Page N3.3. 24 May 2006                     
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    AIA Housing Awards 2006


    Single-Family Houses

    Although all of the multifamily projects in the AIA Housing Award program and most of the single-family ones are urban, a distinctive rural house stands out. Near Clyde Park, Montana, the 17,000-acre (6900-hectare) Avis Ranch now sports converted historic ranch buildings, repurposed by Fernau & Hartman Architects, Inc. The architects renovated a barn and a granary, abandoned for 50 years, into a farmhouse, bunkhouse, and recreational space. They also remodeled a log cabin to create an office.

    For the Kessler Residence in Chevy Chase, Maryland, architect Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, placed emphasis on "universal design" for a modern house in a historic neighborhood. Generous interior spaces feature wide halls, an elevator, and fully accessible bathrooms and kitchen. The 3,800 square-foot (350-square-meter) house is organized around a 75-foot (23-meter) lap pool.

    The renovation of the "Slot House" in Brooklyn, New York, by Noroof Architects, was shaped, in part, by the desire to preserve a 60-foot (18-meter) maple tree in the front courtyard. A slot-like window was cut into the row house facade to provide a view of the tree from inside. The architects then took the spatial idea of the slot and repeated it throughout the design to extend the house vertically and horizontally.

    The Coconut House in Los Angeles, by Lee & Mundwiler Architects, is another infill project. The approach from the street leads to the entry situated at the core of the house. Openings and moveable louvers are designed to blur the boundaries of the narrow lot and shield the residence from neighbors and the street. A maintenance-free facade of dark fiber core panels with wood veneer emulates the tough shell of a coconut.

    The 1,200 square-foot (110-square-meter) Tower House, Chicago, by Frederick Phillips and Associates, is disproportionately tall. This adaptation to a small, irregular lot was inspired by the Chicago's skyline, and the house's height secures the owners' view to it. The house is vertically inverted, with living, dining, and kitchen spaces on the third level, bedrooms on the second, and only parking and entry at the ground level.

    And, finally, the AIA awarded two projects for special innovation in detail design, use of new technologies, design process, and adaptation of materials. Solar Umbrella, Venice, California, by Pugh + Scarpa Architects and Engineers was cited for its "reinvention of the solar canopy." The skin absorbs sunlight rather than deflecting it, providing the house with all its electricity. Passive and active solar design strategies make it 100 percent energy neutral.

    The Modern Modular, by Resolution: 4 Architecture, is a prefabricated prototype now completed in several U.S. locations. They are built on the concept of "mass customization" from a system of "modules of use," freestanding elements made with off-the-shelf materials, techniques, and spatial organizational strategies. The jury commended the firm for verging from conventional approaches for modular housing and achieving "diversity within modularity."

    The 2006 American Institute of Architects Housing Award jury included Kerry Dietz, AIA; David Baker, FAIA; Mark Ginsberg, AIA; Jane F. Kolleeny; and Rosemary McMonigal, AIA.


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    Contemporaine, designed by Perkins + Will, is one of 13 projects cited in the AIA 2006 Housing Committee Awards program.
    Photo: Steinkamp-Ballogg Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Photo: Steinkamp-Ballogg Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Avis Ranch, renovated by Fernau & Hartman Architects, Inc.
    Photo: J.K. Lawrence Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Kessler Residence by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA Architect.
    Photo: Maxwell Mackenzie

    ArchWeek Image

    "Slot House" by Noroof Architects.
    Photo: Chuck Choi Architectural Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    The Coconut House by Lee & Mundwiler Architects.
    Photo: Juergen Nogai/Juergen Nogai and Julius Shulman Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Tower House by Frederick Phillips and Associates.
    Photo: William Kildow

    ArchWeek Image

    Solar Umbrella by Pugh + Scarpa Architects and Engineers.
    Photo: Marvin Rand


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