AIA Housing Design Awards
The awards program that highlights quality design in housing is a relative newcomer to the American Institute of Architects. Now in its third year, this program recognizes projects that "promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource." In March 2003, the AIA announced nine recipients of this honor, including exemplars in both multifamily and single-family design.
In the multifamily category, the jury looks not only at the buildings but also at their ties to neighborhood recreation and transportation. One winner in this category is "Montage" in Palo Alto, California, by the San Francisco firm Seidel/Holzman. This infill housing is part of the university town's plan to convert a car-oriented commercial strip into a pedestrian-oriented mixed-use neighborhood.
Montage includes flats and townhouses, each unit having access from a central courtyard, which is both circulation and social space. By placing the buildings close to the street and parking to the rear, the project met the city's guidelines and kept construction costs down.
One of the single-family projects selected is the Calvert Street Residence in Washington, D.C. by the Alexandria, Virginia firm of Robert M. Gurney. This townhouse in the district's Kalorama- Adams Morgan area had been abandoned for many years and completely gutted. However, because it was in a historic district, its front facade had to remain intact. The renovation transformed the interior into a modern light-filled residence with an unusual mix of materials — block aluminum, lead-coated copper, copper wire cloth, and sandblasted glass.
Another single-family award winner is Cyronak House, on Block Island, Rhode Island by Estes/Twombly Architects, Inc. of Newport, Rhode Island. This rugged, secluded house was designed to withstand the elements with style but little maintenance. Its simplicity was inspired by the old farm buildings of the area.
The result was a 22-foot (6.7-meter) square, two-story "block" with an attached entry shed, deck, and terrace. The exterior is clad in traditional white cedar shingles, redwood trim, and local field stone. The terrace has sliding barn doors on the north side, connecting the single room — living/ dining/ kitchen — on the first floor to the surrounding island environment.
An award-winning multifamily project is the Edward T. Lewis Quadrangle Residence Hall for St. Mary's College in Maryland by Muse Architects of Washington, D.C. Situated in historic St. Mary's City, this college campus has a tradition of thoughtful juxtaposition of buildings and open spaces.
The new 47,000-square-foot (4400-square-meter) residence hall and its courtyard fit well into the St. Mary's campus master plan. The three dormitories house 216 students, and a fourth building has common areas and recreational facilities. The central courtyard is a formal elliptical lawn surrounded by gravel walkways.
The only community design award this year went to Monterey Place HOPE VI, in New Haven, Connecticut by Fletcher-Thompson, Inc. of Shelton, Connecticut. An area described as "barely livable" was transformed into a neighborhood of safe and affordable housing for low and middle-income families.
Other AIA housing award winners are Gateway Lofts in Charlotte, North Carolina by David Furman Architecture; Colorado Court in Santa Monica, California by Pugh Scarpa Kodama; 1310 East Union Live/Work Lofts in Seattle by Miller/Hull Partnership, and the Chiricahua Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona by B3 Architects, of Santa Barbara, California.
The 2003 jury for the AIA housing awards was chaired by John Klockeman, AIA and included Carol Burns, AIA, Jane Kolleeny of Architectural Record, J. Carson Looney, FAIA, and Michael Pyatok, FAIA.
"Montage" in Palo Alto, California, by the San Francisco firm Seidel/Holzman, is one of the winners of a 2003 AIA Housing Award.
Photo: Tom Rider
Calvert Street Residence in Washington, D.C. by Robert M. Gurney.
Photo: Anice Hoachlander
The Cyronak House, on Block Island, Rhode Island, by Estes/Twombly Architects, Inc.
Photo: Warren Jagger
The Edward T. Lewis Quadrangle Residence Hall for St. Mary's College in Maryland by Muse Architects.
Photo: Alan Karchmer
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