MHM Receives Honors at 2024 Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Awards

Knoxville Sunsphere
Spruce Up Award

MHM was honored to have multiple projects nominated for the 2024 Orchids Beautification Awards, two of which were winners. KKB presents the Orchid Beautification Awards to Knoxville and Knox County buildings, public art, and outdoor spaces that beautify and elevate the local landscape.

MHM in partnership with , the , the , , the , and , was recognized in the Spruce Up category for the restoration of the Knoxville Sunsphere to its original color – PANTONE 19-4052 TCX Classic Blue.


City of Knoxville Public Safety Complex
Bright Spot Award

MHM provided architectural, engineering, and interior design services for the new City of Knoxville Public Safety Complex that received the Bright Spot award. The conversion/renovation of the vacated St. Mary’s Hospital consolidates the city’s public safety functions onto one campus while creating green space by removing seven unused buildings. Special thanks to design consultants, , for support with elements related to the Police, Fire, Courts, and E911 services.

MHM Project Selected for Outstanding Design in 2023 ASU Architectural Portfolio

University of Tennessee Zeanah Engineering Complex

McCarty Holsaple McCarty is honored to announce that the University of Tennessee Zeanah Engineering Complex in Knoxville, Tennessee, has been selected for publication in Endeavor Business Media’s  2023 Architectural Portfolio for Outstanding Design. An annual competition honoring education design excellence, the Architectural Portfolio spotlights projects representing today’s most effective learning environments.

The University of Tennessee is a new gateway to the Tickle College of Engineering and a new home for the Nuclear Engineering Complex. In collaboration with SmithGroup out of Detroit, MHM has designed this 230,000 s.f. facility to contain flexible laboratory spaces, laboratory support spaces, general-purpose classrooms, reconfigurable collaborative spaces for students, innovation labs, maker spaces, and administrative spaces. It also offers multiple programs for freshman, undergraduate, and graduate students of the College of Engineering.

A jury of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education members and education administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, schools, and universities across the country. Seventy-eight projects were chosen for publication in AS&U, an educational facilities, purchasing and business administration magazine reaching 57,000 facility planners, school and university administrators, and architects with this issue. This is the competition’s 41st year.

As a guide for their evaluations of the designs, the jurors paid special attention to these criteria:

  • Inclusive and welcoming to all

  • Agile

  • Beauty that inspires joy

  • Seamless integration of indoors and out

  • Promotes collaboration, community, and active learning

  • Exhibits innovation throughout

  • Sustainability

  • Budget-conscious

  • Health and safety

  • High-quality construction

Founded in 1928, American School & University is devoted exclusively to education facilities/business administration. The authority for information about the educational facilities market, AS&U delivers an insightful combination of exclusive reports, special focuses, and how-to articles. For more information, please visit ASUmag.com and SchoolDesigns.com.


MHM Recognized at the 2023 AIA East Tennessee Design Awards Gala

Pictured let to right: Steven Whitmore, Adam Buchanan, and Bud Archer after presenting the Appalachian Oasis project at the PechaKucha Knoxville Vol. 49 event on November 16, 2023.

MHM is honored to have been recognized at this year’s with a Citation award for Appalachian Oasis, MHM’s inaugural research project.

The Appalachian Oasis research project is a response to Chattanooga’s lack of refuge from the threat of rising temperatures and creates a network of artificial oases to improve navigation around the city and the surrounding communities. Each station is a self-sustaining, passive structure formulated by a ‘grass blade’ modular structural system and woven tensile mesh that utilizes shading and integral misting to create a cooled microclimate.  Every version of the “Appalachian Oasis” shares the same design philosophy, but each form adapts to the functional needs of the area served. These adaptable forms are intended to create a communal space that can be active or transient in nature. 

Congratulations to our MHM team members, Steven Whitmore, Bud Archer, and Adam Buchanan, for their tremendous effort and dedication to this research project. Also, a special thanks to Grace Ann Altenbern (Graphic Work) and Thomas Wasmund (Proficient Engineering) for their contributions.

In addition, the Downtown Maker Exchange received an honorable mention at the event, Cameron Bolin and Justin Hare were presented with Presidential Citations for their contributions to AIA East Tennessee, and Melissa Hatchett was recognized as a newly licensed Architect.

MHM Receives National Recognition, Outstanding Project Awards

McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects, Inc., has received Outstanding Project Awards in LEARNING BY DESIGN Magazine’s Fall 2023 Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence edition. The Webb School of Knoxville - Middle School Innovation Center and the University of Tennessee Zeanah Engineering Complex have been recognized as award-winning benchmark facilities for incorporating next-generation learning space design and planning methodologies. The built environment characteristics found in each project are worthy of replication by other educators and design professionals when creating improved learning spaces.

“This addition seems truly impactful and transformative to the overall operation of the school and enhancing its pedagogy. The emphasis and vareity of maker spaces and project based learning facilities was essential for this population of students. This project utilized traditional exterior materiality while providing modern, 221st century learning spaces with extensive daylighting and all the needed flexibility and technological accoutrements. Outdoor learning spaces and abundant views to outdoors support a strong indoor-outdoor connection.”

- 2023 Judges on Webb School of Knoxville Middle School Innovation Center

All awarded entries were judged by a jury of seven design and education professionals recommended by the Association of Learning Environment (A4LE) and the authors and publisher of Learning By Design. The wide variety of projects such as the Webb School of Knoxville Middle School Innovation Center and UTK Zeanah Engineering Complex submitted materials such as floor and site plans, photographs, and written narratives that gave the jury enough information to score each on six specific criteria: Innovation, Community Needs, Interior Architecture and Design, Sustainability, Functional Design, and Next Generation Learning.

The jury further considered each project’s unique architectural qualities, space utilization, interior design finishes, choice of furnishings, and contemporary planning concepts that were successfully put in place. LEARNING BY DESIGN’s Fall 2023 jury applauded MHM for meeting or exceeding the six submission criteria on both projects.

“Plannin is spot on for a modern engineering building with two wings separated by a community space. There is a great variety of spaces that allow for differing modalities of learning. The building accommodates hands on experience and wonderful sustainable thought solutions. The openness of so many of the spaces will create community and expand casual collisions of ideas.”

- 2023 Judges on University of Tennessee Zeanah Engineering Complex

To access the magazine’s digital edition, visit:

MHM Voted Community Leader at 2023 PARK(ing) Day Event

PARK(ing) Day, presented by and the, returned to downtown Knoxville on Friday, September 15th, 2023. The successful event had over 20 businesses, architectural firms, and non-profits collaborating to construct parklets along the 400 Block of Gay Street. More than 400 passersby enjoyed and engaged in the park displays while coming together to commemorate the significance of green spaces in urban areas.

For this year’s event, MHM partnered with , , and non-profit partner . The intent of the display was to reuse and recycle downed trees from the recent storms in Knoxville to create natural playscapes for children and families to enjoy at Ijams Nature Center. In addition to having sustainably sourced materials to use at PARK(ing) Day, the team wanted to provide Ijams with items that are easily recreated, maintained, and enjoyed by all who visit. These creations include bike racks, chairs, benches, and outdoor games.

We were honored to win the award for Community Leader. The award recognized the display as the most connected to the community - producing a magical experience when participants have an emotional connection that happens when we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

Thanks to our MHM team for working hard to bring this vision to life – Madison Stephens, Georgia Morris, Gray Taylor, and Casey Myers.