AU Press Releases

Inamori Kyocera Museum wins architectural award

The Inamori Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics in Binns-Merrill Hall on the Alfred University campus won the highest honors for an interior design in an annual Design Excellence competition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Buffalo/Western New York chapter.

The project was submitted to the competition by Wendel, a Buffalo-based architecture, engineering, planning, energy services and construction management firm.

Interior design was done by Roche & Co., Ltd. Wendel was the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and structural engineering consultant. The general contractor was LeChase Construction, with O’Connell Electric Company.

The award was presented at the AIA’s annual gala Tuesday (Nov. 15) at the 20th Century Club in Buffalo. The Inamori Kyocera project was "very well received," earning the "Honor Award" for interior design, said Architect David Zielinski.

"The museum is a natural to be recognized for all the collaboration that went into creating a truly magnificent space for the University," said Zielinski.
The award recipients were selected by a jury of Montreal architects.

"This innovative and bold execution of the display cabinets produced a striking and eye-catching display which extends beyond itself," one juror wrote. "A clear and unapologetic architectural idea is well-communicated and executed."

The Museum was dedicated in May 2011 in a ceremony that included Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp., one of the world’s manufacturers of high-tech ceramics.
The "fine ceramics" showcased in the Museum are actually engineered materials developed for cutting-edge applications in science and industry.

"The Inamori Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics plays an important role in educating the public, young people in particular, about the vital role of ceramics in the future economy, in areas ranging from information technology to medical devices, diagnostic systems, industrial equipment, renewable energy and environmental preservation," said Alfred University President Charles M. Edmondson when the facility was dedicated.

The striking blue glass display cabinets contain objects that highlight the history of ceramic materials, which can be traced back to 24,000 BCE (Before Common Era) to today, where fine (also known as advanced or engineered) ceramics are an enabling technology in countless everyday items - from computers and cell phones to more specialized applications like fuel cells, solar panels and biomedical implants.