Page N1.2 . 23 February 2005                     
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AIA Honor Awards 2005

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Another honor award recipient is the Seattle Central Library, designed by a joint venture of Dutch firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), headed by Rem Koolhaas, and Seattle firm LMN Architects. The glass-encase library is organized as a spiral with each level dedicated to specific functions. Books are arranged along the spiral in a continuous ribbon corresponding to the numeric Dewey Decimal System of classification. "A beloved, refreshing, dynamic living room for the city of Seattle," said the jury.

One of the residential award winners is the Shaw House in Vancouver, British Columbia, by Patkau Architects. Looking across English Bay, the narrow, largely concrete house is organized simply with high-ceilinged living spaces on grade, private spaces above, and a music room below grade. The above-grade lap pool along the west side of the house reflects daylight deep into the central areas.

The jury was intrigued by the design's richness despite the constrained site. "The elevation of the pool... creates a magical light throughout the entry and lower space, even reflecting light on ceilings and walls above... Amazing construction detailing with shadow grooves and the assembly of elements like a Mondrian painting."

A continent away, in St. Amant, Louisiana, is the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Complex, designed by Trahan Architects. The master plan of this rural campus creates a distinctive sense of place for both sacred and secular functions of the parish. Apertures carved into the thick wall introduce natural light to the oratory interior without revealing context or light source beyond. Each opening is a metaphor for the passage of death, resurrection, ascension, and eternal presence.

Medium and message combine in the award-winning Somis Hay Barn and Stable, in Somis, California, designed by SPF:a. The architect was guided by the contrasting philosophies of modernism and wabi-sabi the Japanese concept of beauty in imperfection. The barn's structure is steel: solid, permanent, modern, and unchanging. In contrast, hay is used as cladding, which constantly changes as bales are removed for use as bedding and feed.

The jurors were struck by this interpretation of a traditional building type: "Visually quiet with a simplicity of form with a constantly changing exterior...The barn is in harmony with its surroundings as well as the creatures that inhabit it."

The Architectural Resource Group was honored for its restoration of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, which was built in 1878 and damaged during a 1995 storm. Having survived the 1906 earthquake, the conservatory is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park and the oldest public greenhouse in the state. Now painstakingly restored, with attention to the authenticity of the original construction technology, it houses new interpretative exhibits and visitor accommodations.

Another award-winning restoration is the Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor executed by Quinn Evans/ Architects. The architect of record was Albert Kahn + Associates, the same firm that designed the original 1913 Classical Revival structure.

The team was challenged to transform the historic auditorium into a modern performance venue while retaining its original character and renowned acoustic excellence. They restored the historic features, increased patron comfort and accessibility, performed building code compliance upgrades, and replaced and modernized the building's mechanical and electrical systems. The most difficult aspect of the project was to make the modernization nearly invisible within the historic fabric.

The Contemporaine in Chicago, designed by Perkins + Will is a 28-unit condominium building with a four-story base for retail and parking. Located between mid-rise warehouses and residential towers, this building mediates the variations in scale and context. The jury describes it as: "a sculptural form for the city of Chicago... The expressed concrete, the pinwheel balconies, the stepped terraces give a wonderful precedent in a sea of "modern lofts" or neo-Georgian apartments... It constantly surprises you with its variety."

Five of the projects receiving honor awards have already been covered in ArchitectureWeek. They are the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle; the Gannett/ USA Today Headquarters in McLean , Virginia by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; the Agosta House on San Juan Island, Washington by Patkau Architects; the Mountain Tree House in Dillard, Georgia by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects and the Emerson Sauna in Duluth, Minnesota, by Salmela Architect.

In addition to these 13 architecture projects, 11 awards were given for interior architecture and 11 for regional and urban design. Selected from over 630 total submissions, these 35 recipients will be honored in May, 2005 at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Las Vegas.   >>>

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The Seattle Central Library, designed by a joint venture of Dutch firm OMA, headed by Rem Koolhaas, and Seattle firm LMN Architects, was one of 13 projects to receive a 2005 AIA Honor Award for Outstanding Architecture.
Photo: Philippe Ruault

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The Shaw House, in Vancouver, British Columbia, by Patkau Architects.
Photo: Paul Warchol

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The Holy Rosary Catholic Church Complex, in St. Amant, Louisiana, designed by Trahan Architects.
Photo: Timothy Hursley

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The Somis Hay Barn and Stable, in Somis, California, designed by SPF:a.
Photo: Zoltan Pali, AIA

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The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, restored by the Architectural Resource Group.
Photo: David Wakely Photography

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Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, restored by Quinn Evans/ Architects and Albert Kahn + Associates.
Photo: Balthazar Korab

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The Contemporaine in Chicago, designed by Perkins + Will.
Photo: James Steinkamp, Steinkamp/Ballogg Photography

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Mill City Museum in Minneapolis by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle.
Photo: Assassi Productions

 

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