Page N3.1 . 19 February 2003                     
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    New Hampshire AIA Awards 2003

    by ArchitectureWeek

    The New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has announced the winners of its 2003 Excellence in Architecture Awards Program. The organization selected three firms for special recognition.

    Christopher P. Williams Architects of Meredith, New Hampshire, received an honor award for a Norwegian-style residence in New England. The house, with its dragon heads on the roof to ward off evil spirits and a wheat chaff over the entry to bring good fortune, calls to mind Scandinavian timber architecture of the late Middle Ages. Williams worked with a Norwegian architect during the design of these features, which were executed by a traditional Norwegian wood carver. The 2,800-square-foot (260-square-meter) house sits on the side of a lake; its natural colors help it blend into the landscape. The house interior is rich in detail and, although inspired by historic forms, is thoroughly modern in its construction. The firm also received an honorable mention for environmental sensitivity for the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

    Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Manchester received an honor award for the new headquarters for the Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) in the Manchester Millyard, on the Merrimack River. The company wanted to revive a 1909 steam-power generation facility that had been long since decommissioned, to reuse as much of it as was structurally possible, and to integrate it with a new building.

    The architects restored the site through an aggressive environmental remediation program, cleaning up hazardous materials and returning the site to a healthy state. The project preserves the power plant's historic construction and reflects the site's industrial heritage in a new three-story addition. Many products used in the construction of the facility are of recycled or recyclable material. The building is as energy efficient as was considered possible without compromising the historic and aesthetic value of the building and the mill yard.

    An honorable mention was given to Samyn D'Elia Architects of Ashland, New Hampshire for the sensitive interior restoration of a 1910 cabin on Squam Lake. The owners wanted a modernization that would preserve the family memories and architectural details embodied in the original construction. So the architects built, for example, a new, less-steep stair but retained the birch-limb railings. They added windows and enlarged existing ones but made sure the new ones would match the old casements.

    The cabin remains uninsulated, with exposed stud walls and wood heat. Original camp furniture was repaired and replaced where necessary, with new pieces chosen to match the old. The result is a renovated, repaired, and slightly expanded but still rustic family cabin.

    Lavallee Brensinger Architects received a second honor award for the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire. Located in a residential neighborhood, the state's only four-year law school has developed through four major additions to the original 1950s building.

    The latest design relocates the school's practicing law clinic, previously housed deep within the building, to a street-front location with its own entry. The new building also includes faculty offices, classrooms, computer lab, and a distance-learning lecture hall. Architecturally, the new addition helps to unify 40 years of facade evolution.

    The jury for the AIA New Hampshire awards program was made up of architects associated with AIA Vermont.



    ArchWeek Image

    A Norwegian-style house by Christopher Williams Architects was one of several AIA New Hampshire award winners.
    Photo: Cheryle St. Onge

    ArchWeek Image

    New headquarters for the Public Service Company of New Hampshire, by Lavallee Brensinger Architects, on a restored industrial brownfield.
    Photo: Joseph St. Pierre

    ArchWeek Image

    Lakeside cabin renovation by Samyn-D'Elia Architects, retaining rustic characteristics.
    Photo: Joseph St. Pierre

    ArchWeek Image

    The Franklin Pierce Law Center was designed by Lavallee Brensinger Architects to blend with the older campus.
    Photo: Joseph St. Pierre


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