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Best in Brick - Bronze Award for Milan National Guard Readiness Center

Milan Award Certificate


The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has honored stunning architecture that incorporates fired clay brick. With new categories this year including Renovation/Restoration, the 2013 Brick in Architecture Awards span almost half the country in 21 states, including green building practices that have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings.

“Fired clay brick offers unmatched style and substance,” said BIA President and CEO Gregg Borchelt, P.E. “It offers the aesthetic flexibility to match the architect’s imagination and desires, along with sustainable design, unmatched durability and many benefits from its physical properties,” he said.

BIA selected Bailey Edward's architectural design of the addition to the Illinois National Guard Readiness Center in Milan, Illinois for the Bronze Award in the Renovation/Restoration category. The Milan Readiness Center’s 15,000 sf addition houses an additional 130 soldiers of Forward Support for the Illinois National Guard. Security requirements for key interior spaces – military supply rooms and locker rooms – made it imperative that the exterior walls feature a minimal number of windows with no windows on the first floor level. This design challenge was embraced through the inventive use of clay brick.

Military service is a symbol of the pride an individual holds in its country. Armories and readiness centers have long infused symbols of patriotism in their designs to express that pride: the eagle, the American flag and the well-preserved cannon, boat or aircraft. The Milan Readiness Center is no different. The clay brick design of this addition incorporates seven words as Morse code patterns on the walls that symbolize the Army National Guard values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service, Honor, Integrity, and Courage. Utility-sized face brick in two contrasting colors animates the façade and reinforces the message of strength, durability and security for those under the protection of the National Guard.

Firmly embedded in the bricks and mortar of this building, these words will serve as daily inspiration to all who choose to serve our country.