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Oklahoma City architecture firm selected as a finalist for a Blueprint Award

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Folding Light

Oklahoma Contemporary's art center during sunrise.

Rand Elliott Architects has been selected as a finalist for a Blueprint Award in the category “Best Public Use Project” for the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. 

“Blueprint” is a London-based architectural magazine that annually awards the best architectural projects worldwide. Rand Elliott Architects is an Oklahoma City-based architectural firm that also does interiors and graphic design work, according to Rand Elliott, one of three principals at the firm.

“It is truly the global authority on architecture,” Elliott said.

Elliott said the design process for the Oklahoma Contemporary began a decade ago. When constructing a building, architects focus on three things —  place, purpose, and poetics. 

“[We wanted to] find a design, an idea, a concept that could be translated into an architectural statement that would identify what Oklahoma is like,” Elliott said. 

Their ultimate inspiration came from the tallgrass prairies, one of Oklahoma’s many ecosystems Elliott said. The building’s skin features folds made of recycled aluminum that are designed to capture light. Throughout the day, the building changes colors with the natural light. 

“Being an arts center, the idea is to inspire adults as well as children to create things. So by the building capturing this light, it becomes a situation where it inspires you,” Elliott said.

According to their website, Rand Elliott Architects has collected 356 awards for architectural excellence, has been recognized 10 times by the American Institute of Architects, and has been featured in over 450 publications over the years. Some of their most notable works include the Devon Boathouse and Pops Arcadia.

In November, “Blueprint” will host a virtual event where a panel of judges will select the finalists that move forward in the competition. Elliott is proud to be a finalist and to have his company’s work recognized by “Blueprint.” 

“It’s good for Oklahoma,” Elliott said. “It’s good for Oklahoma City. It certainly is beneficial for our client. And it certainly makes us proud as the authors of the building.”

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