Since 1979, Keep Knoxville Beautiful has hosted the Orchids Beautification Awards to recognize the architects, contractors, organizations, businesses, and artist that have strived to improve the beauty of Knox County. These awards are so meaningful because the nominated landscapes and properties contribute to sustaining Knoxville's long-lasting beauty and splendor. These spaces stand out in rebuilding and rejuvenating communities affected by blight and degradation, positively inspiring others to maintain these standards within their lives and communities.
2018 Orchids Awards Winners
The Tennessean Personal Luxury and Residences received the award for Redesign/Reuse, for its remarkable transformation of a World's Fair-era state office building into a modern downtown luxury hotel and residence.
The New Architecture winners were East TN Children's Hospital Scripps Addition and the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors. These structures stand as unique and identifying architectural symbols of the vibrancy of the Knoxville area.
The winners for Outdoor Space were Baker Creek Preserve and Marble Hall and Pavilion. Baker Creek Preserve was recognized for its functional landscapes for sports and recreations. Marble Hall and Pavillion was once a closed off building in Lakeshore Park. The new open structure allows for stunning views of the park from all angles.
Zoo Knoxville received the award for Public Art for their new gateway signs at the corner of Knoxville Zoo Drive and Rutledge Pike. The new sign incorporates the playful and colorful branding of Zoo Knoxville, assuring visitors they are headed in the right direction.
The winners for Restaurant/Café/Bar/Brewery Orchids Award were Elkmont Exchange and SoKno Taco. Elkmont Exchange took a neglected property on one of Knoxville’s most prominent arteries and turned it into a landmark for Knoxville; the building's new and modern style add life and innovation to the area. SoKno Taco is a hip and vibrant destination for families, cyclists, and neighborhood residents. With a green space with native and pollinator plants along their property this neighborhood asset compliments the surrounding community and Urban Wilderness.
The City of Knoxville Public Works Building received the award for Environmental Stewardship for their progressive design in architecture and the incorporation of sustainability. The new facility is silver LEED certified with features such as geothermal systems that improve efficiency by 30% and reduce energy cost. The property also includes electric vehicle charging stations, a bus stop, a green roof, and permeable brick pavers to filter water runoff.