Vivid Concepts, Stunning Detail Define 35th BJI Architecture & Design Awards

by BJI Webmaster 0

CHICAGO, IL. For Immediate Release —The new and modernized centers that won or scored honorable mentions in the 35th BJI Architecture & Design Awards feature unique and vividly executed concepts, gorgeous attention to detail, and one of the strongest crops of honorees in the history of the annual competition.

As this year's winner of the coveted Best New Center award demonstrates, big cities hardly are the only places to find the nation's most remarkable boutiques and entertainment centers today. Vinyl Social Club in Sioux Falls, S.D., delivers the most distinctively conceptual experience among all BJI Architecture & Design Awards submissions in 2019.%Its dashing homage to 1970s rock ‘n roll embodies co-owner Kirk Keupp's vision of wanting "to create a space that kind of looked like your grandparents' basement... We did a lot of paneling and we did some shag carpeting. We did an old, retro fireplace, and we have a bunch of lava lamps along with our gaming ... We just wanted to create a space where you can hang out, have fun, and do some things that you don't see in every bar you come across."

Vinyl Social Club in Sioux Falls, S.D., delivers the most distinctively conceptual experience among all BJI Architecture & Design Awards submissions in 2019.

The rock era enjoys another stunning celebration in one of its birthplaces — Liverpool, England, where Roxy Ball Room (Best New Center — Ancillary Profit) honors its homegrown legends, The Beatles, with a sizable, graffitied George Harrison portrait adorning one wall. "We always try to nod to the local area," said Roxy Leisure's Joel Mitchell. "Our Manchester site has Oasis and Stone Roses." No detail went overlooked in creating what Mitchell describes as "Our bread and butter — that soundtrack, that type of feel, that vibe. The idea that you can have a dive bar but not be a dive bar."

The rock era enjoys a stunning celebration in one of its birthplaces — Liverpool, England, where Roxy Ball Room won for Best New Center — Ancillary Profit with ultra-violet pool rooms like this one, overseen by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. 

Fifth Arrow, winner in the Best New Center — Lounge/Restaurant category, presents another unique concept, this time one with a history steeped in the Prohibition Era. "Apparently, when you entered the front door, there was a slide, which was how you would access the basement, and that's where the bar was during the Prohibition Era," explained US Bowing's Mike Conejo. The lounge's rustic and minimalist interior design intimately evokes the days of Al Capone and is accented by US Bowling's choice to “put in above-ground ball returns, and the lanes are new synthetic lanes, but they're made to look like the lanes of old,” Conejo said. “I designed those lanes based off of photos of old lanes."

Fifth Arrow, winner in the Best New Center — Lounge/Restaurant category, has a fascinating a history steeped in the Prohibition Era. 

The concept of new centers occupying century-old, industrial spaces may be a familiar one by now, but that does not make the 32,000-sq.-ft. Red Stick Social Club, our winner for Best New Center — Boutique, any less intriguing. Residing in the Mid City neighborhood of Baton Rouge, La., the vast, brick edifice stood vacant for years after having previously served as an icehouse built at the turn of the last century, then later as a power plant. The building's days as a power plant may be long gone, but the five-floor Red Stick Social Cub ensures the vibe will remain electric there for a long time to come.
The winners among the modernized centers that entered this year's competition include Parkway Social in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, which marked its 50th anniversary in a larger-than-life way with a stunning makeover spearheaded by interior designer Crystal Arreola and architect Peter Lesdow under the supervision of owners Angelo and son Tom Nitsopoulos. The gorgeous, exposed ductwork and beaming overhead, which had been obscured by acoustic tiling before Arreola made the bold decision to remove it, helps establish a vibe that is at once rustic, industrial and modern.
Lebowski Pizza & Bowling in Salmyshskaya, Russia, executes a ravishing atmosphere where "special attention has been given to creating a cozy chamber space with beautiful, dim lighting, a bowling area rich in dark greens and beiges with light brown, overstuffed sofas, and one of our most distinctive design elements — our black 'keg wall,'" explained owner Roman Kunilovskiy. Lebowski scored a win for Best Renovated Center — Boutique.
Equally enchanting is a project in Oshkosh, Wis., that began with an act of reverence for the building it involved. "We were looking to restore the building back to its former state; it had not previously been listed on the national or state historic register, so we went through that process,” explained Carey Sharpe, co-owner of The Lanes at The Howard, winner for Best Renovated Center — Interior. The endeavor to honor the building's history included recreating the bowling center's wooden, above-ground ball returns, "which was very hard to do," Sharpe said, "because nobody makes wooden ball returns anymore.”
Be sure to check out all 19 winners in the 35th annual BJI Architecture & Design Awards in the November issue of BJI. Collectively, they deliver a feast for the eyes and, for proprietors, a wellspring of ideas and inspiration.

35th annual BJI Architecture & Design Awards Winners

Best New Center - Vinyl Social Club, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Best New Center, Boutique, U.S. - Red Stick Social Club, Baton Rouge, La.
Best New Center, Boutique, U.S. (Honorable Mention) - Pinz, New Hartford, N.Y.
Best New Center, Boutique, International - Kinobowling, Gleisdorf, Austria
Best New Center, Boutique, International (Honorable Mention) - AMB Akadeemia Bowling, Tallinn, Estonia
Best New Center, Interior, U.S. - Andy B's, Denton, Texas
Best New Center, Interior, International - Hyperbowling, Middelburg, Netherlands
Best New Center, Exterior - Circus Bowl, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Best New Center, Lounge/Restaurant - Fifth Arrow, San Francisco, Calif.
Best New Center, FEC, U.S. - Cinergy, Amarillo, Texas
Best New Center, FEC, International - Shott Amusement, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Best New Center, Ancillary Profit - Roxy Ball Room, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Best Renovated Center - Parkway Social, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Best Renovated Center, Boutique - Lebowski Pizza & Bowling, Salmyshskaya, Russia
Best Renovated Center, Interior, U.S. - The Lanes at The Howard, Oshkosh, Wis.
Best Renovated Center, Interior, International - Swing Bowling & Restaurant at Holiday World Maspalomas
Best Renovated Center, VIP - The Back Alley, Butler, Pa.
Best Renovated Center, Lounge/Restaurant - Mauritius Beach Restaurant & Bowling - Münster, Germany
Best Renovated Center, Lounge/Restaurant, U.S. - Spare Time Windsor Locks, Conn.

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