Clark Nexsen Receives 2020 Firm of the Year Award from AIA Charlotte

Clark Nexsen has been named 2020 Firm of the Year by the Charlotte Section of the American Institute of Architects. The Firm Award was presented during the AIA Charlotte annual awards ceremony, held virtually on October 28.

Clark Nexsen established a presence in Charlotte in 1994 with the acquisition of the award-winning firm Gunn Hardaway. Since then, their footprint and positive impact on architecture in Charlotte and the state have grown substantially. The firm has a broad portfolio spanning commercial office facilities, student housing, libraries, laboratories, and buildings for K-12 and higher education. In addition to the Charlotte office, Clark Nexsen also has North Carolina offices in Asheville and Raleigh.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized with this prestigious award. Our firm has been extremely fortunate to work with great clients and partners who have given us tremendous opportunity,” –Jason Jones

The Charlotte office is currently working on the design of a new main library Uptown, which will be their second library project teamed with Snøhetta. The bold new design for this library, opening in 2024, will expansively re-imagine the vital role of the library in the daily life of the Charlotte community.

“Our Charlotte team works hard every day to elevate the level of our designs and to be involved in the community. We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary this year, so the timing of the award couldn’t be better,” notes Jason Jones, AIA, principal and director of Clark Nexsen’s Charlotte office.

With expertise in student housing that has expanded their national architectural footprint, they have completed projects in New York, Florida, and Oklahoma, in addition to their work in the Southeast. Current housing projects include the New Housing Village at UNC Wilmington, the Bluford Street Residence Hall at North Carolina A&T State University, and Slusher Hall at Virginia Tech.

“Clark Nexsen has been a team partner on a number of significant buildings and renovations at UNC Charlotte, including Holshouser Hall and the new 130,000 square-foot science building with state-of-the-art STEM classrooms and laboratories, slated to open in 2021,” comments Chris Jarrett, professor, School of Architecture at UNC Charlotte.

Clark Nexsen Charlotte volunteering during their "100 Ways of Giving" campaign to celebrate the firm's 100th anniversary.

Clark Nexsen Charlotte volunteering during the”100 Ways of Giving” campaign to celebrate the firm’s 100th anniversary. Helping out at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and with TreesCharlotte.

Community Engagement

While giving back to the community is central to Clark Nexsen’s culture, the firm is celebrating the firm’s 100-year anniversary in 2020 with a special “100 Ways of Giving” campaign. Staff members are committing at least eight hours of service to community organizations or activities such as individual fundraising for disease research, supporting environmental clean ups, or mentoring local students. The organizations the team in Charlotte has supported include the Humane Society of Charlotte, United Way, TreesCharlotte, Jamil Niner Student Pantry at UNC Charlotte, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, and Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Commitment to Education

Clark Nexsen’s Charlotte office is highly engaged in education and encourage their design leaders and staff to be involved with the architectural programs at both Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte, and future designers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and area private schools. The proximity of their office to the CPCC campus has allowed them to welcome many classes over to see their projects in design and learn how they work.

They are a longtime supporter UNC Charlotte’s School of Architecture through mentorships, scholarships, teaching, and internships. They have also welcomed many UNC Charlotte grads into Clark Nexsen as employees and several have risen to senior positions within the firm.