Architecture professor Rachel Dickey wins award for plaza design

Architecture professor Rachel Dickey wins award for plaza design
Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The “Bleachery Heritage Plaza,” designed by Associate Professor of Architecture Rachel Dickey, has received the 2023 BLT Built Design Award for Cultural Heritage Landscape in the Landscape Architecture category. This annual international competition recognizes “the most pioneering and groundbreaking designs” in four broad categories.

A panel of 30 judges, which included design professionals, media representatives, entrepreneurs and academics, chose winning projects from more than 700 entries from 45 countries. “The Bleachery Heritage Plaza” was named a “Jury Top Pick,” which means that it scored more than 80 points out of 100 by jury members.

In 2020, Dickey won the commission from Rock Hill, South Carolina, to design a plaza in what is now called University Center, because of its proximity to Winthrop University. The Bleachery Heritage Plaza, completed in 2022, pays tribute to the Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Company, which opened in 1929 and was one of the largest cloth printing and finishing companies in the United States. Called The Bleachery, because bleaching cloth is the first stage in the printing process, the company employed almost 5,000 people at its height in the mid-1960s. It closed in the 1990s.

Read more about the manufacturing history of Rock Hill and how that history is represented in Dickey’s design in this feature story.