Page N1.2 . 01 February 2006                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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AIA Awards to Predock, Thorncrown, Moore Ruble Yudell


Antoine Predock is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with offices in Taipei and Ellettsville, Indiana. He often draws on themes and landscapes of the American Southwest in his design concepts. In receiving the gold medal, he will join the ranks of such masters as Louis Sullivan, LeCorbusier, and Santiago Calatrava.

Firm of the Year

In nominating Moore Ruble Yudell for the 2006 AIA Architecture Firm Award, Michael Franklin Ross, chair of the AIA's Committee on Design, observed: "the firm has consistently produced an outstanding body of work rooted in a deep commitment to humanistic architecture.

Ross noted: "Their work is widely admired for its spirited celebration of habitation at many scales and its respect for people, context, and place... the firm continues to evolve in response to new challenges and opportunities while remaining true to the fundamental principles of humanism."

Moore Ruble Yudell, cofounded by the late Charles Moore, has been in practice for 28 years and employs a staff of over 60. The firm's primary work began with residential designs and has since evolved to a broad spectrum of public and private projects, as well as institutional and cultural spaces.

Moore Ruble Yudell treats architecture as inherently an act of habitation, part of a continuum that seeks connections between people, place and culture. The firm's vision, centered on careful examination of site and climate, qualities of light, and the human experience, is credited in its development of spaces and buildings of every scale.

Twenty-Five Years of Services

Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, by the late Fay Jones, began receiving recognition almost from its inception. The small but awe-inspiring glass and cross-braced pine structure nestles in a woodland setting on a sloping hillside in the Ozark Mountains.

"Visiting there gives you a sacred connection between the chapel and its environment, a very centering experience. This is a magnificent object that has received wide acclaim and will continue to be loved and cherished by all who visit," said awards jury chair Robert Hull, FAIA.

"Architects strive to be timeless and with this building you take the procession to a timeless piece of architecture," Hull continued. "Visiting it is a spiritual, nearly holy experience. The name doesn't diminish the symbolism of the crown of thorns. It's iconic in a very special way. Connected to something spiritual, communal, and nondenominational. A truly inspiring work of art and architecture!"

The chapel stands 48 feet (14.6 meters) high, 24-foot-(7.3-meter-) wide, and 60-foot-(18.3-meter-) long. Its 425 windows, made of 6,000 square feet (560 square meters) of glass, filter woodland light across its upward diamond-shaped pine trusses to form ever-changing patterns of light and shadow throughout the day and night.

The vertical and diagonal cross-tension trusses support a folded roof and are made from local pine but are no larger than what could be carried through the woods (larger trusses were assembled on the floor and raised into place). All of the wood was hand-rubbed with a grayish stain to blend with the bark of the surrounding trees and stone.

Hollow steel joints link the cross-braces to form diamond-shaped lighting. The walls are of clear glass. The floor is made of flagstone and surrounded with a rock wall to give the feeling that the chapel is part of its Ozark mountainside.

Looking upward inside the chapel a visitor sees the complex of trusses shaping a crown of thorns. Openings at each end focus attention on the altar and the Ozarks. Visitors enter through an angular Gothic doorway. The only steel is in the diamond-shaped patterns in the trusses.

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Spencer Theater, Alto, New Mexico, designed by Antoine Predock, FAIA, recipient of the 2006 AIA Gold Medal.
Photo: Timothy Hursley

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National Palace Museum, Chiayi County, Taiwan, by Antoine Predock, FAIA.
Image: Antoine Predock Architect, PC

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The Steger Student Life Center at the University of Cincinnati by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, recipients of the 2006 Architecture Firm Award.
Photo: Alan Karchner

ArchWeek Image

Manzanita Village, a student residence hall and dining complex at the University of California, Santa Barbara, by Moore Ruble Yudell.
Photo: Art Gray

ArchWeek Image

U.S. Courthouse, Fresno, California, by Moore Ruble Yudell.
Photo: Tim Griffith

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Peg Yorkin House, Malibu, California, by Moore Ruble Yudell.
Photo: Kim Zwarts

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Thorncrown Chapel, by the late Fay Jones, is being honored with the AIA's Twenty-five Year Award.
Photo: Timothy Hursley

ArchWeek Image

Thorncrown Chapel, by Fay Jones.
Photo: Greg Hursley


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