A Yakima restaurant and an addition to the Central Washington University campus are among the buildings being honored with creative and construction awards by architects and design enthusiasts.

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen + Ice House in downtown Yakima, designed by Graham Baba Architects and built by VK Powell Construction, received top honors at the American Institute of Architects/Central Washington 2015 Design Awards and Gala.

The restaurant won an AIA Honor Award for design and a Craftsman Award for its finely skilled construction during the 
Oct. 16 event in Prosser.

“This building clearly meets the criteria for an honor award,” judges wrote of the restaurant. “The architects have accomplished one of the most difficult things of architecture, that being making a clear, minimal and stimulating environment.

“The building is well-detailed with great care to the intersection of materials, lighting and systems.”

Cowiche Canyon Kitchen + Ice House is a building “that serves as an example for the possibilities of architecture to create environments that serve clients while also advancing the life of the community,” judges added. The building is located at the southwest corner of Yakima Avenue and Second Street.

Eisenhower High School, designed by KDF Architecture and NAC Architecture and built by Graham Construction, was honored with a Merit Award.

“The blue-tiled wall as an element that forms the edge of the exterior courtyard creates a dynamic and exuberant space. It’s easy to see that Eisenhower High School, sitting on its West Valley landscape, celebrates the glory of the high desert all around,” judges wrote.

Also receiving a Merit Award, the Industrial & Engineering Technology Building at Central Washington University was designed by LMN Architects and built by TW Clark Construction.

“While fitting well with the other buildings on CWU’s campus (all that brick), it is quite clear that something’s different here. Brightly lit hot-yellow walls let you know that this is a place seeking to inspire ideas,” judges wrote. “The building is artfully composed, blending technology and tradition.”

Two projects, one unbuilt, also received Citation Awards.

The Yakima Valley Tech facility was designed by KDF Architecture and built by Garco Construction.

“This building creates a very open and welcoming environment utilizing a minimal palette of materials that are well integrated,” judges wrote.

An unbuilt project that was honored — the Yakima Central Plaza — was designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Whether to proceed with the $14 million project will be one of the first major decisions facing new City Council members.

“This project represents a thoughtful and inspired series of ideas to enhance the community environment of Yakima.”

Judges for the first AIA/Central Washington Design Awards since 2000 were Greg Kessler, AIA, professor of Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman; Monica Miller, executive director, Gallery One Visual Art Center, Ellensburg; Christopher Patano, AIA, studio director, Patano Studio Architecture, Seattle; and Rebecca Teagarden, former architecture and design writer for The Seattle Times.

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