Page N1.2 . 09 March 2005                     
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New England AIA Awards

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The low-profile, energy-efficient facility is sited on 130 acres (53 hectares) of open meadow and mixed hardwoods. Workers are given panoramic views and unobstructed access to the daylight. A deep roof overhang provides shading, while distinctive "rain ladders" contribute to a stormwater management system that maintains the indigenous landscaping.

The 40,000-square-foot (3700-square-meter) upper level of the two-story building is the primary office area. The open perimeter, designated for circulation and intermittent conferencing, provides a full-height window view for all while supporting the company's culture which seeks to downplay hierarchy and emphasize interaction. The lower level, primarily below grade, contains the facility's entrance and public and support spaces.

Conditioned air is distributed to the office area via an 18-inch- (46-centimeter-) deep floor plenum. Every individual can control his or her microclimate with operable diffusers in the floor. The shallow barrel-vaulted roof form facilitates airflow to the return air "chimneys" at either end of the space. Acoustic and lighting clouds provide completely indirect, glare-free electric lighting.

Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects received an honor award for their expansion work on the Harvard University Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is an addition to the 1970 landmark by Josep Lluis Sert.

To accommodate a need for new space where no horizontal expansion was possible, the architects added vertically to the existing building, and filled in the site.

The three rooftop additions needed to be light in weight, and this is reflected in their form and construction. They are minimalist steel-framed glass volumes in contrast to the heavier original building. Their exterior material cast glass channels is luminous and light as a counterpart to the robust precast concrete, while providing a rhythm compatible with the Sert building.

The irregular pattern of windows within the glass channel module reflects the increasing density of occupancy from bottom to top, and echoes a similar relaxed composition of openings in the original building.

The fourth firm to receive an honor award is Gray Organschi Architecture. The awards jury applauded the beauty of two bridges in Madison and Washington, Connecticut.

Receiving the five citation awards were: Andrew Cohen Architects, Wayland, Massachusetts; Beinfield Architecture, PC, South Norwalk, Connecticut; Daniel Scully/ Architects, Keene, New Hampsire; Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering, Boston; and Kaehler/Moore Architects, Greenwich, Connecticut.

Members of the AIA New England jury were Turner Brooks, adjunct professor of design at The Yale School of Architecture; Susan Maxman, FAIA, principal of Susan Maxman Associates of Philadelphia; and William Sherman, chair of the University of Virginia's Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

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The expansion of Harvard University's Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects is one of four recipients of an honor award for excellence in architecture from AIA New England.
Photo: Alan Karchmer/ Esto

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The three areas of addition at Harvard University's Science Center.
Image: Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, Inc.

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Harvard University Science Center, Level 3 floor plan.
Image: Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, Inc.

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Bridge by Gray Organschi Architecture.
Photo: Paul Warchol Photography

 

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