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Filtering by Tag: welcomecenter

SC Welcome Center at Fort Mill Nationally Honored with 2018 Brick in Architecture Best in Class Award

Mez Joseph

Fired-clay brick offers unlimited aesthetic flexibility, and is an integral part of any sustainable, low maintenance building strategy.
— Ray Leonhard, BIA’s President & CEO

The 2018 Brick in Architecture Awards honor 19 winners for outstanding design that incorporates clay brick. Judged by a jury of independent design professionals, the Brick Industry Association’s (BIA) preeminent design competition awarded five Best in Class, five Gold, five Silver and four Bronze awards from 88 total entries.

Liollio is honored to receive a 2018 Brick in Architecture Best in Class (Commercial) Award for the new SC Welcome Center at Fort Mill! Five Best in Class projects were awarded among the 19 winners. Congratulations to all who made the SC Fort Mill Welcome Center project a success - and all award recipients!

All competition entries will be featured in the Brick Gallery on Brick in Architecture's website. The National Brick in Architecture Awards showcases the best work in clay face and paving brick from architects across the country in the following categories: Commercial, Education - K-12, Education - Colleges & Universities (Higher Education), Residential – Single Family, Residential – Multi-Family, Paving & Landscape Projects, and Renovations. Best in Class winners receive national recognition through a special Brick in Architecture insert in the December 2018 issue of Architect Magazine. All entrants are featured on BIA’s online Brick Photo Gallery here.

Liollio would like to extend a special thank you to this year's Judges: Bill Bonstra, FAIA, LEED AP - Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS John W. Bryant, AIA, LEED AP - Sweet Sparkman Architects Ralph Cunningham, FAIA - Cunningham | Quill Architect PLLC P. Justin Detwiler - John Milner Architects, Inc. Charles Rose, FAIA - Charles Rose Architects Inc Gee-ghid Tse, AIA, LEED AP - Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc.

Congratulations to the entire project team: SCPRT, SCDOT, J.M. Cope, ADC, RMF, 4SE, Johnson and McCalla, and Meridian Brick

About Brick in Architecture: Founded in 1934, BIA is the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction representing the nation’s distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products. Website: www.gobrick.com.

Post & Courier: SC Welcome Centers Getting Some Overdue Attention to Impress Travelers

Mez Joseph

By Dave Munday
dmunday@postandcourier.com
Jun 23, 2018

When it comes to tourism, never underestimate the importance of a restroom. Providing public restrooms and making them easier for visitors to find has been the topic of much discussion in Charleston.

Public facilities with innovative designs can be a visitor attraction in themselves, as noted by the annual International Toilet Tourism Awards. The awards by MyTravelResearch.com were created "to show the close link between innovative, clean toilets with great design and a successful local tourism economy — or as we like to call it the trickle down effect."

For example, a public restroom in Lucas, Kan., called Toilet Bowl Plaza, is noted as a big visitor draw. The building itself was designed in the shape of a toilet, and the inside is covered with mosaics and quirky creations by local artists.

The public restrooms at the welcome centers along the major arteries leading into South Carolina have been a prime focus lately of state tourism officials. The nine official welcome centers play a key role in the state's economic development, according to Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

"Over 80 percent of visitors to South Carolina come by car," Parrish said. "First impressions mean everything." Eight welcome centers ring the Palmetto State, capturing visitors coming from every direction. The other one is near the middle. When Parrish took over PRT seven years ago, he said, the welcome centers were pretty shoddy and unimpressive — restrooms, vending machines, a small space to pick up some brochures or ask a question. They were only open five days a week, closed Mondays and Tuesdays to save money.

The Department of Transportation turned over maintenance to PRT in July 2014. The tourism agency got about $4.5 million from DOT to maintain the centers this year, according to DOT's budget report. The restrooms were cleaned up, landscaping and flowers added. That was just the beginning.

There are no plans to make the restrooms worthy of a Toilet Award, but the centers themselves are being overhauled. Two have been completely rebuilt in the last two years, costing about $4.5 million each. One is at Hardeeville on Interstate 95 just north of the South Carolina-Georgia state line, replacing a center that opened in 1978. The other is at Fort Mill on I-77 south of the North Carolina border, replacing one that opened in 1981.

The new Hardeeville welcome center, on I-95 just over the border from Georgia, is much more spacious and high-tech than the old one, and the exterior reflects the colors of Lowcountry sandy soil and beach sand. Provided/SCPRT/Perry Baker

The exterior of the rebuilt Fort Mill welcome center, on I-77 south of the North Carolina border, was designed to resemble the clay color variances of the Catawba pottery native to the area. Provided/Paul Warchol/Liollio Architecture

Construction on a new Dillon welcome center in the Pee Dee region, on I-95 just south of the North Carolina border, is set to start later this year. The current Dillon center opened in 1973.

The newer centers are more spacious and modern than their predecessors. Rather than just racks of brochures advertising the state's attractions, high-definition screens on the walls stream live webcams from around the state. The exteriors are designed to reflect the local culture. For instance, the new Dillon center looks like a farm house typical of the rural, tobacco areas of the Pee Dee.

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The new Dillon welcome center, on I-95 south of the North Carolina border, will resemble a farm house typical of the rural, tobacco areas of the Pee Dee. Provided rendering/Jeff Lewis Architect

Parrish said the goal is not only to let travelers know about the state's attractions but to give them the impression that South Carolina is on the cutting edge. "It's not only important for tourism but also for economic development," he said. "We don't want them to look dated."

About 3.5 million visitors a year step inside the welcome centers, according to PRT. The agency spends about $1.5 million a year to staff them with trained travel counselors versed in South Carolina history and culture.

The counselors welcome visitors, answer questions, give out coupons and occasionally make reservations. The department says its counselors made about $2 million in hotel reservations last year, even though the centers are equipped with wireless Internet service so travelers can do it themselves over their phones. “It’s a chance for us to have that personal touch," Parrish said. "No matter how great technology gets, nothing will ever replace the 'human touch.'

"Businesses that cater to tourists can put their brochures in the center for free. PRT reports about $88,000 a year from selling spaces for bigger ads.

For instance, the Santee welcome center — the one near the center of the state on I-95 south, near I-26 — is the closest to Charleston, and also one of the smallest. The town of Mount Pleasant has a poster on the glass front door. It says, "Where Rush Hour is a pleasant surprise, but still leaves you speechless." There's a photo of some dolphins a driver might see while crawling over the Ravenel Bridge or Shem Creek.

Around the corner, on the path leading to the women's restroom, Drayton Hall advertises its new visitors center. Inside, a wall panel advertising North Charleston has a photo of the boardwalk at Riverfront Park with the slogan “always take the scenic route.”

The tourism department doesn't get any money from the vending machines. Those are reserved for entrepreneurs through the S.C. Commission for the Blind's Business Enterprise program, which includes hiring drivers for those who can't see well enough to drive. The policy is a federal mandate under the Randolph-Sheppard Act.

It would seem the state could make some extra money selling T-shirts or other souvenirs, but that's not allowed along interstate highways under the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.

Liollio Architecture Awarded Multiple 2018 AIA South Carolina Awards

Mez Joseph

Liollio Architecture is honored to announce that the 2018 American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter has recognized three Liollio projects with four State Design Awards. Richland Library Ballentine, in Irmo SC, received a New Construction Honor Award and an Interior Architecture Merit Award. Hampton County Health Clinic, in Varnville SC, received a New Construction Merit Award. South Carolina Welcome Center at Fort Mill, in York SC, received a New Construction Citation Award. Because these projects were the result of deep collaboration with clients, Liollio would like to extend special thanks to South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, Hampton County and Richland Library.

Events surrounding the AIASC Annual Design Conference took place in Lake City SC over the course of three days, from Wednesday, April 18 to Friday, April 20. This year, AIASC partnered with Lake City’s annual community-wide arts festival and competition known as ArtFields, artfieldssc.org. This year's theme was Community: By Design and focused on the power of art and design in creative placemaking. The Design Awards program and many other sessions were open to the community. Speakers included Michael Ford, Associate AIA, Emilie Taylor Welty, Dan Pitera, FAIA, and Trey Trahan, FAIA. The awards were juried by New Orleans LA-based juries and presented at a Design Awards Celebration held on Thursday, April 19 at The Bean Market during the AIASC Design Conference.

Hardeeville Welcome Center Progress

Mez Joseph

Just a few images showing the progress of the Hardeeville Welcome Center Replacement in Hardeeville SC. Liollio is currently working on two Welcome Center Replacements in SC, one in Hardeeville and one in Fort Mill.