From WalMart to Library: MS&R Receives National AIA Honor Award

photo1.jpgMeyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd (MS&R), co-founded by principal Thomas Meyer (B.Arch '71) and former School of Architecture Professor Garth Rockcastle, won an American Institute of Architects Honor Award for their conversion of an abandoned Wal-mart into a highly functional public library in McAllen, Texas. The award is AIA's highest honor for interior architecture.The final result, potentially the largest library on a single floor, is larger than a football field. Jack Poling (M.Arch '88), MS&R's senior principal and managing partner, was the lead interior architect behind the project.   


The makeover impressed the AIA judges, "The McAllen Main Library represents an important shift in American cultural attitudes toward tolerating big box, suburban structures. The interior spaces have been dramatically transformed from a warehouse to a place with a sense of intimacy...The design team signaled that 21st-century attitudes toward design are evolving quickly." The library previously received an AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture and an ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Best Overall Award for public libraries over 30,000 square feet. 

  • The New York Times profiled the McAllen, Texas library in September 2012.

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MS&R's AIA Honor Award will be presented on June 20, 2013 during the AIA National Convention in Denver, CO. The College of Design is hosting a reception for all School of Architecture alumni during the AIA Convention. Watch for an email invitation later this spring. Contact Lori Molberg, alumni director, with questions at (612) 625-8796 or visit z.umn.edu/arch100outofstate.

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