ENR Mountain States, working in concert with other regional ENR publications and editors across the U.S., has selected its Design Firms of the Year for 2019.

They are Architectural Nexus, Salt Lake City, for the Intermountain area; and JLG Architects, with multiple offices in North and South Dakota, for Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

Design Firms of the Year are chosen by a vote of the regional ENR editors across the country from a carefully selected group of finalists based on regional revenues, new initiatives, current projects and several other factors.

Architectural Nexus
Salt Lake City

Architectural Nexus designs projects for a wide variety of market sectors, but the firm’s primary design studios include work for commercial, institutional, education, health care, community sectors and labs.

Architectural Nexus has offices in SLC and Sacramento. Sometime this year, it will complete the purchase of all privately held stock and become a 100% employee-owned firm.

The firm’s SLC office is the only double LEED Platinum (new construction and building operations and maintenance) building in the Intermountain West.

In 2018, Arch Nexus also became the first architectural firm to design and own a Certified Living Building—its own office in Sacramento. Arch | Nexus SAC also is the first Living Certified building in California, the 19th Living Certified project in the world and the first Living Certified re-use project in the world.

As a part of its philanthropy program, the firm has committed to building a Living Building Tiny Home on its property to be donated to a program that’s dedicated to ending homelessness.

Recent key projects include:

  • Salt Lake County Library at Daybreak. The 25,000-sq-ft Salt Lake County Library at Daybreak is the only registered International Living Future Institute (ILFI) zero-energy public building in Utah.
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute. Architectural Nexus has been a part of all phases of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, one of the top cancer-research and treatment centers in the world. The project is now in Phase 5 design.
  • Draper Recreation Center. The Draper Rec Center serves as a place to bring people of all ages together and includes amenities such as a leisure pool, a competition pool, exercise and multi-use spaces and an indoor-turf field house.
  • Community Rebuilds at Mill Creek. This neighborhood of interconnected residences in Moab Utah are the first buildings in Utah to register for the Living Building Challenge.

JLG Architects
North and South Dakota

The majority of JLG Architects’ 13 regional offices serve the Mountain States region: six in North Dakota, three in South Dakota. The remainder are in Minnesota, including a new office that opened in St. Cloud, Minn., earlier this year.

In addition to a solid revenue performance in the regional service area, JLG’s sports and ice hockey practice group’s national commissions grew substantially in 2018. That division serves clients across the entire U.S. Adding a team of certified interior designers to the interior architecture team has also expanded

JLG’s service lines beyond its core design markets of education, health care, multifamily, aviation and master planning.

JLG Architects became a 100% employee-owned firm in 2014, and it applies a one-firm model (no geographic profit centers) to enhance its workforce flexibility and focus. Also, it has a robust recruitment program that targets high-potential new graduates and trains them in a customized three-year, in-house development curriculum.

Recent key  projects include:

  • Dakota State University Madison Cyber Labs, Madison, S.D.  This is the only cybersecurity education and research facility of its kind in the region.
  • Village on the River, Sioux Falls, S.D. This is a reimagining of the standard parking garage into a people-focused Live-Work-Play center in downtown Sioux Falls.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Medora, N.D.  This will be one of only 13 presidential libraries in the U.S.
  • Colorado College Edward J. Robson Arena, Colorado Springs. JLG is currently working on 17 hockey projects across the country, including the University of Denver and the University of Utah.
  • Altru Health System Hospital; Grand Forks, N.D.  A new 500,000-sq-ft hospital is being built on an active health care campus.
  • University of North Dakota Memorial Union. Known as the main living room of campus, this project was funded by students.
  • West Fargo Horace High School, West Fargo, N.D.  JLG has seven high schools, 17 elementary schools, and three K-12 schools in progress.
  • Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative, Williston, N.D.  The new facility will be only the fourth LEED Gold electric cooperative in the U.S.

A profile story on both firms will appear in the June issue of ENR Mountain States. Congratulations to this year’s winners.