VOA Associates Incorporated announced that the Roosevelt University Wabash Building in Chicago, IL has won the 2015 FIABCI-America Grand Prix of Real Estate award. The award was announced this week at the FIABCI-America Grand Prix Gala in Washington, D.C. The architect of the Wabash Building, Chris Groesbeck, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of VOA and Roosevelt University.
The FIABCI Prix of Real Estate recognizes the project that best embodies excellence in the real estate disciplines involved in its creation. It illustrates the FIABCI ideal of providing society with the optimal solution to its property needs. The FIABCI of Real Estate is awarded by an international panel comprised of top real estate professionals and experts, and is chosen for overall merit.
One of the highest honors given annually to a single, outstanding project in America, the national award recognizes a property that embodies the best in U.S. real estate, setting the stage for the Wabash Building to compete in Malaysia in May 2015 for the International FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award.
“The Wabash Building has received a number of awards, but this one in particular elevates the University and the building before an international audience of distinguished leaders in real estate and design,” said Jon B. DeVries, director of Roosevelt’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, which initiated the application process for the award and whose offices also are housed in the Wabash Building. “This honor puts Roosevelt, its building and VOA Associates’ work on the global stage,” he says.
“Our acceptance of this award on behalf of Roosevelt University was a testament to the relevance of the university’s continuing mission of social justice and its relationship to global issues of sustainability. The Wabash Building was honored alongside a group of outstanding projects,” says Chris Groesback. “All of these projects demonstrate the importance of holistic real estate development which considers and balances the issues of economics, environment conservation and the strengthening of our local and global communities.”
The 61-year-old FIABCI (The International Real Estate Federation) represents the world’s real estate professions through its Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. With chapters in more than 60 countries, FIABCI represents every discipline in the industry and connects real estate professionals worldwide.
The mixed-use 32-story, 420,000 SF USGBC LEED Gold-certified ‘vertical campus’ at 425 S Wabash Ave. in Chicago combines five building types into a sleek and wavy glass façade. The Wabash Building stacks facilities that would usually be located in separate buildings like classrooms, laboratories, a student union, student services, and more than 600 residential beds. The building acknowledges its past and celebrates the present through its fluid connections to Roosevelt University’s national landmark Auditorium Building.
Previous awards for Wabash Building at Roosevelt University include 2013 Best Project in the $50-$150 million category SEAOI (Structural Engineers Association of Illinois), The ULI Global Award of Excellence for 2013, ULI Chicago Vision Award 2013, The 2013 USGBC Illinois Chapter Emerald Award, 2013 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award and American Institute of Architects (AIA) SustainABILITY Leadership Honor Award 2013. VOA designed the Wabash Building to support the University’s mission, which is based on the transformative values of education and social justice. Additionally, the interior was designed to promote sustainable behavior and sustainable education by encouraging users to utilize stairs in lieu of elevators through bright stairwells and interior signage. The Wabash Building speaks to Chicago’s architectural legacy, serves its diverse populace, and provides a healthier environment to live, work and learn.