RTA Architects wins four design awards

The firm's winning projects included Craig Hospital and Ignacio High School

RTA Architects won two 2016 BESTawards from the International Interior Design Association Rocky Mountain Chapter (IIDA RMC) for Craig Hospital and Ignacio High School. A total of 22 awards were presented during the 2016 IIDA RMC Design Awards Gala in Denver.

RTA Architects also won two 2016 Design Awards for their design of the Moffat PK-12 School from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado during the 2016 AIA Colorado & Local Design Awards Gala in Copper Mountain. RTA received an AIA Colorado Award of Merit, as well as an AIA Colorado South Honorable Mention Design Award. Only two public school projects were among the 36 winners.

Craig Hospital – Winner, GIVE Category

Craig Hospital specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injuries. The facility, built in 1969 and last renovated in 1982, was showing its age and dated design. The primary project goals were to optimize efficiency and effectiveness by connecting the campus (adjoining two separate building with a central courtyard and arrival), re-organization and enhancement of program, a building addition including expansion and addition of services, and the conversion of shared patient rooms into private suites.

The interior was designed to express the organic local landscape. Use of natural tones, rich textiles and regionally-inspired artwork provides a balanced palette, while textured stone and colorful landscapes highlight key areas and wayfinding.  Several jurors commented on the relaxed, easy to navigate environment which was necessary to ensure the patients are comfortable and not over-stimulated.

The other aspect of the project that garnered significant recognition was the project’s creative and meticulous phasing. Craig was able to continue operations while the facility renovations took place, with 100 percent bed capacity and continued inpatient and outpatient treatment services, while minimizing noise and disruption for Craig’s critically injured patients.

 “We had a collaborative design partner in SmithgroupJJR. Interior Designer Scott Steffes and the whole project team did amazing work on this transformative project,” RTA Architects Associate Paul Reu said. “Craig Hospital is the type of project that exemplifies why I enjoy healthcare architecture; designing spaces that enhance the healing environment for staff, community members, and especially the patients and family members that Craig serves so well.”

Ignacio High School – Merit Award Winner, LEARN Category

Ignacio High School aspired to renew community pride and reflect the region’s multi-cultural heritage through the renovation of the existing junior high and high school buildings. Through meetings with the District, the Southern Ute Tribal Board, and the community, key program areas were identified as opportunities to strengthen the high school's connection between the school and community:

  • Multiple community access points to the school;
  • Exterior gathering areas at the entry to the building and commons;
  • Space on school property for the local agricultural program; and
  • Design sensibilities that respond to the town’s multi-cultural heritage.

Jurors noted RTA’s use of large scale graphics of ceremonial costumes, Southwest color, pattern, and sacred geometries are incorporated into the materials and architecture of the building, all of which reflect the multi-cultural heritage of the Ignacio community. Even the location of the entrance on the East side of the building is in keeping with Southern Ute tradition. A new office addition creates a controlled building entry, serves to unite and organize the plan, and offers sweeping views out to parent drop-off, bus stop and an engaging courtyard.

Moffat PK-12 was designed to fill a void in the small, close-knit community of Moffat. The school previously struggled with an aging school, decreasing enrollment and migration of students to nearby and larger school districts. The District asked RTA to focus on four key tenets: student engagement, a welcoming school to support the community, public engagement during the design process and flexibility to accommodate the evolving learning environment of the school.

Because Moffat PK-12 is an anchor in the community, the new school was designed to encourage “life-long learning” and maintain the school as the “heart” of the Moffat community. The jury praised the design for its ability to accommodate the wide range of ages in the school, balancing the need for grade separation with community cohesiveness.

About RTA Architects
RTA Architects has created award winning architectural and interior designs for the Colorado built environment since 1975. RTA specializes in education, healthcare, retail, and commercial properties, delivering beautiful buildings that serve the unique needs of their owners and occupants. In addition to our core strength of architecture and design for new construction, renovation, and adaptive re-use projects, RTA provides technical expertise in a broad range of related services including: feasibility studies; site selection and comparative analysis; master planning; site planning; facility programming; interior design; and environmental graphics, signage and way-finding.


The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) works to enhance quality of life through excellence in interior design and to advance interior design through knowledge, value and community. IIDA is a professional networking and educational association of 13,000 members in 29 Chapters and 58 countries around the world. IIDA RMC’s website can be located at https://www.iidarmc.org.

About AIA Colorado

For more than 150 years, AIA Colorado has been the voice of the architectural profession in Colorado. As a membership organization for architects, those working towards licensure and allied industry professionals, AIA Colorado provides education and resources for its members and tools for the public to find and work with architects. With more than 1,750 members from across the state, AIA Architects are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence. AIA Colorado is a state chapter of the national American Institute of Architects. www.aiacolorado.org.

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