Page N2.2 . 18 April 2007                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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AIA Housing Awards 2007


The main floor of the PATH center houses services such as medical, addiction, and career counseling. The second and third floors consist of living quarters for 95 people. Although intended for transitional housing, the facility bestows a sense of security and promotes a healthy interaction among residents and caseworkers.

Another special-housing awards recipient, Shirley Bridge Bungalows in Seattle, by Ron Wright and Associates/ Architects, is similar in purpose to the PATH building, but very different in design approach. The six one-story cottages offer affordable housing for low-income people disabled by AIDS. The cottages are organized around a central common space to foster interaction between residents.

Like the PATH and Shirley Bridge projects, the Plaza Apartments, in San Francisco, was carefully designed to help homeless populations fit comfortably into their urban neighborhood. It was designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in association with Paulett Taggart Architects.

The Plaza Apartments' ground floor commercial space, theater entrance, and residential courtyard enhance the streetscape, and the colorful exterior signals a new direction for the neighborhood. Inside are over 100 mini-studio apartments and health services for chronically homeless people.

The jury observed: "This project has taken a wonderfully whimsical approach to the facade that relates to the existing neighborhood. The City of San Francisco is actively trying to alleviate the homeless [problem], and this project has the potential to change the situation."

The DESIGNhabitat 2 House, in Greensboro, Alabama, was designed by architecture students from Auburn University, with David W. Hinson, AIA, for Habitat for Humanity. The house combines contemporary design with high-energy performance and modular construction processes.

Multifamily Housing

The AIA's awards for outstanding multifamily housing recognize both high- and low-density projects, for both public and private clients. In addition to architectural design, the jury considered the integration of the buildings into their context, including open and recreational space, transportation options, and features that contribute to livable communities.

The 156 West Superior Condominiums in Chicago, by the Miller Hull Partnership, is a mid-rise, steel-framed structure with cantilevered outdoor decks for each unit. The architects wanted the building to convey an image of structure, economy, efficiency, and order essential characteristics of Chicago's steel and glass architectural history.

The Union, in San Diego, California, by Jonathan Segal, FAIA, stresses sustainability. The project is an adaptive reuse of an old textile manufacturer's union hall; it includes two affordable two-story live/work lofts and the architect's own office. The townhouses present a bold modern face to the street, while guarding substantial private outdoor space behind.

Two award-winning multifamily projects are a far cry from urban apartments. Bridgeton (New Jersey) Hope VI, by Torti Gallas and Partners, consists of new housing woven as infill into vacant lots and blocks of a historic neighborhood. Porches, cornices, surrounds, siding, trim, and paint color were all designed to help the houses to blend with this context.

Similarly, High Point, in Seattle, designed by Mithun, is a 120-acre (50-hectare) project that replaces 716 subsidized housing units erected after World War II with 1600 units patterned after traditional residential forms. Half the new houses are publicly subsidized, designated for low-income residents, and half are market-value houses constructed by private builders. The neighborhood includes a community garden and integrates a variety of incomes, ethnicities, and family structures.

Single-Family Housing

Two of the single-family house award recipients are woodland cabins. The House at the Shawangunks, New Paltz, New York, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, features simple materials and rectangular volumes. The jury concluded: "A whimsical, fun house nestled wonderfully in the trees... the simple, organized plan and details are exquisite inside and outside. The house is respectful of its environment and pleasing to the eye."

Equally respectful is the hillside Tye River Cabin, in Skykomish, Washington, by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects. The modest "wooden tent" perches on a platform that opens to the forest and river. The materials were allowed to weather to match the natural tones of the site.

Other one- or two-family custom-designed houses that were selected for honors by the AIA program are the 1532 House, San Francisco, by Fougeron Architecture; the Loblolly House, Taylors Island, Maryland, by KieranTimberlake Associates; Delta Shelter, Mazama, Washington, by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects; and a Ranch House in the San Juan Mountains, Telluride, Colorado, by Michael Shepherd Architect AIA.

The awards program also recognized one- and two family production housing built for the speculative market. The two honorees in this category are Danielson Grove, in Kirkland, Washington by Ross Chapin Architects and The 505, in Houston, Texas by Collaborative Designworks.

Patrolia Loft, in Boston, by Ruhl Walker Architects received a special housing award. Additional multifamily housing awards went to 1247 Wisconsin, in Washington DC by McInturff Architects and Salishan Neighborhood Revitalization in Tacoma, Washington by Torti Gallas Partners.

This AIA awards program, now in its seventh year, was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit, and a valuable national resource.

The 2007 AIA housing award jury was chaired by Katherine Austin, AIA and also included Don Carter, FAIA; Jane F. Kolleeny, of Architectural Record; Lisa Stacholy, AIA; and LaVerne Williams, AIA. The award recipients will be recognized on May 3, 2007 at the AIA's National Convention and Design Exposition in San Antonio.

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The Plaza Apartments in San Francisco, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, received one of the AIA's Special Housing design awards.
Photo: Tim Griffith

ArchWeek Image

DESIGNhabitat 2 House, Greensboro, Alabama, by architecture students from Auburn University, with David W. Hinson, AIA.
Photo: David Hinson, AIA

ArchWeek Image

156 West Superior Condominiums, Chicago, by the Miller Hull Partnership.
Photo: Nic Lehoux

ArchWeek Image

The Union, San Diego, California, by Jonathan Segal, FAIA.
Photo: Paul Body

ArchWeek Image

Bridgeton (New Jersey) Hope VI, by Torti Gallas and Partners.
Photo: Hedrich Blessing

ArchWeek Image

High Point, Seattle, by Mithun.
Photo: Doug Scott

ArchWeek Image

House at the Shawangunks, New Paltz, New York, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
Photo: Nic Lehoux

ArchWeek Image

Tye River Cabin, Skykomish, Washington by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects.
Photo: Tim Bies


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