Page N4.2 . 13 September 2006                     
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    Michigan AIA Awards


    Both the synagogue and church are characterized by a prominent structure and extensive glazing. The 18,000-square-foot (1,700-square-meter) synagogue has a Menorah-shaped glass wall rising at each end. The jury said: "The form is elemental, symbolic, and memorable, and the skeletal use of timber creates a strong connectivity to the setting," a wooded hilltop that had been a setting for rabbinic prayer and meditation.

    The 33,000-square-foot (3,100-square-meter) Keystone Church, in contrast, sought to express in its building a sense of community and connection to Christian values but without "traditional architectural trappings." The exterior palette glass and pillars clad in a random pattern of masonry is intended as a symbolic representation of the diversity of its congregation. It became the first LEED-certified church in the United States.

    Modern Meets Historic

    Two corporate office interiors also demonstrate a diversity of approaches. Architects Harley Ellis Devereaux designed their own space for their Chicago office, and biddison architecture + design crafted a space for Infineon Technologies in Livonia, Michigan.

    The Harley Ellis Devereaux office is the transformation of a coarse industrial shell into a refined, light-filled workplace. The existing, massive load-bearing pillars have become space-defining elements among the walls of lighter materials in a melding of historic and contemporary.

    The semiconductor company Infineon wanted a corporate office environment that was decidedly nonindustrial. This the architects gave them in the form of richly colored cherry wall finishes contrasted with glazed partitions and punctuated by layered, floating ceiling planes.

    The two award-winning houses in the Michigan AIA line up could not be more different. SmithGroup focused on authenticity in restoring the 1884 Craig Mawr Cottage on Mackinac Island. The Hurwitz House in Grand Rapids was designed by Integrated Architecture to be thoroughly contemporary, with pavilion zoning of functions and with a form and selection of materials more commonly associated with commercial construction.

    SmithGroup restored the "cottage" to its original Victorian appearance, leveling and reinforcing the structure, while incorporating 21st-century amenities, such as central heating, air-conditioning, upgraded power and telecommunications, an irrigation system, and a swimming pool. Two fireplaces were refinished with stone found on the property, and three outbuildings were reconstructed. All work was conducted to standards of the Secretary of the Interior because the house is on state park land.

    The four pavilions of the Hurwitz House, which wrap around the entry drive, are the public realm, the family area, bedrooms, and the utility wing. They are connected by a circulation spine that showcases the children's art while creating a buffer between the living areas and the entry. The entire house is barrier free.

    A fifth set of pairs is commercial one firmly set in the automotive tradition of the state and other bringing little-discussed social spaces into the design spotlight.

    Stola N. A. in Ferndale, Michigan is the North American gallery-like headquarters for an Italian automobile designer which the Van Tine/Guthrie Studio crafted from a nondescript industrial building. Despite the display of cars, the exposed ceiling structure, and concrete block interior surfaces, the space exudes a certain refinement of detail and atmosphere.

    McIntosh Poris Associates was awarded for Steamworks, a bathhouse for the gay community of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The interior is modeled on a Pompeian marketplace, balancing a need for privacy with opportunities for interaction. "This project is notable for the risks it takes in a building type that generally receives little to no attention in the world of design," noted the jury.

    Other projects not pictured here also received honor awards: the renovation of the historic Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, by SmithGroup, with the University of Michigan AEC - Interior Design Services; OMI Sushi by PLY Architecture; Kinetic Post by biddison architecture + design; and everydaywines by WETSU.

    Two buildings received the chapter's Twenty-Five Year Award: the Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Care Center, designed by a joint venture of William Kessler and Associates, Inc., Zeidler Partnership, Inc. and Giffels Associates; and the Corning Museum of Glass by Gunnar Birkerts.

    The jury for the AIA Michigan Honor Awards Program, all from Cleveland, Ohio, included Ronald Reed, FAIA, chair; Richard Fleischman, FAIA; Richard Kaplan, FAIA; and Nicholas Lesko, FAIA.

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Lubavitch Campus of Living Judaism by Luckenbach/ Ziegelman Architects PLLC received an honor award from AIA Michigan.
    Photo: Laszlo Regos Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Keystone Community Church by Integrated Architecture.
    Photo: Green Frog Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Chicago office of Harley Ellis Devereaux.
    Photo: Anthony May Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Office for Infineon Technologies by biddison architecture + design.
    Photo: biddison architecture + design

    ArchWeek Image

    Restoration of the 1884 Craig Mawr Cottage by SmithGroup (heavily manipulated image).
    Photo: Ken Cobb, JJR

    ArchWeek Image

    Hurwitz House by Integrated Architecture.
    Photo: Laszlo Regos

    ArchWeek Image

    Steamworks by McIntosh Poris Associates.
    Photo: David Whittaker Photographer, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Stola N. A. headquarters by the Van Tine/Guthrie Studio.
    Photo: Justin Maconochie Photography


    Click on thumbnail images
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