Page N2.2 . 17 September 2003                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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Wood Design Awards 2003


The other honor award went to Maison Goulet in Quebec, designed by Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architectes, of Montreal and built by Michel Riopel Construction et Rénovation, of Entrelacs, Quebec. This mountain house has a simple gable geometry with an interior lined with sheets of exposed Douglas fir plywood. In winter, a ventilation system circulates warm air from the ceiling to a stone base where it is converted to radiant heat. In summer, screened doors open to nature. The jury called it a powerful building made from everyday materials. "The monolithic use of full panels of Douglas fir plywood creates an exciting, yet refined interior."

Awards of Merit

One of the five merit awards went to two "Outdoor Classrooms" in New York City parks in Staten Island and Southern Queens. They were designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects of New York and built by AmeriCorps volunteers. The inexperienced builders were helped by a framing model, field sketches, and carpentry demonstrations from the architects.

One of the pavilions looks out over a pond. The spacing of its framing members create an interior of filtered light. The other pavilion fronts a woodland. Its variations in height, pitch, and transparency make the roofline a canopy that casts a dappled light on the forest floor. The use of wood as structure and decoration helped integrate the pavilions with their natural settings.

A residential merit award went to the Milanville House in Pennsylvania, designed by Bone/ Levine Architects and built by Larry Braverman of Beach Lake, Pennsylvania. Originally built as a barn in 1850, this weekend house overlooks the Delaware River. Its renovation was inspired by a desire to preserve the spirit of the original post-and-beam structure.

Extending the new foundation beyond the original perimeter allowed the timber structure to maintain an independent identity. Insertions include three insulated wood stud curtain walls, steel Y-braces and I-beam purlins to aid roof support, and steel tension cables for lateral resistance.

The river-facing east facade has an operable wall of glass doors, original siding for wood shutters, insect screens, and wooden blinds, all hanging from tracks. The jury said: "With reused exterior siding over the original timber frame, and by retaining its position on the site, the barn is as a ghost of its former life. The exterior detail is exquisite with... vertical spaces between board siding on sliding doors allowing penetration of light."

Another residential award winner was designed by Will Bruder Architects, Ltd. for the Riddell family, in Wilson, Wyoming. It was built by Deon F. Heiner, Continental Construction, of Alpine, Wyoming. The 2,500-square-foot (232-square-meter) bungalow was conceived as a simple pavilion for work and leisure on a forested site. An asymmetrical ridge gable plays a variation on local building forms.

Vertical cedar weathers on the gable end walls, decorated by stains from a grid pattern of iron nails. Walls of the long elevations have sculptured surfaces of zinc siding, horizontal cedar, and flush-detailed glazed openings.

On a smaller scale is the award-winning Emerson Sauna in Duluth, Minnesota, designed by Salmela Architect, also of Duluth, and built by Rod & Sons Carpentry, Gilbert, Minnesota. In keeping with Finnish farmstead traditions, the steaming room has a sod-covered flat roof and brick walls to hold heat. Smoke from a slender chimney vents above the height of the second-level cooling room, a triangular "wood tube" that cantilevers beyond a supporting brick wall.

About the sauna, the jury noted: "The project makes skillful use of basic geometric shapes that intersect to make a strong building with textures of wood, brick, glass, and sod roof. The prominent gable roof has the intriguing quality of seeming to float above the structure."

A final merit award went to the Messenger House in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design, and built by Gordon MacLean, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The house has a monolithic wedge-shaped form that represents the architect's search for the quality of "plainness" found in local sheds and barns. A central spine of exposed stud framing runs the length of the interior, while plywood shear walls, wood bracing, and horizontal steel pipe resist transverse wind loads. A seven-bay "great room" of living, dining, and exterior court areas is completely glazed on the ground floor; the rest of the skin is shingled in cedar.

The jury concluded: "... the house has a contemporary design well conceived in the spirit of both the landscape and the traditional indigenous buildings." Like other projects honored in this awards program, the Messenger House balances the rich appearance of wood with simple details appropriate for its frugal use.

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The Wood Design Awards jury was made up of Peter Bohlin, FAIA, of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Raymond Moriyama, FRAIC, Hon. FAIA, of Moriyama and Teshima Architects, and Laura Hartman of Fernau & Hartman.



ArchWeek Image

The "Outdoor Classroom" pavilions were designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects and built by AmeriCorps volunteers. The structures received a merit award from the 2003 Wood Design Awards program.
Photo: Mark LaRocca

ArchWeek Image

The Milanville House on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, by Bone/ Levine Architects.
Photo: Jacek M. Kucy

ArchWeek Image

The Riddell Residence in Wilson, Wyoming, by Will Bruder Architects.
Photo: Bill Timmermann

ArchWeek Image

The Emerson Sauna in Duluth, Minnesota was designed in the Finnish tradition by Salmela Architect.
Photo: Peter Bastianelli-Kerze

ArchWeek Image

The Messenger House in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Brian MacKay-Lyons Architecture Urban Design.
Photo: James Steeves/ Atlantic Stock Images


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