Page N1.3. 26 March 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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AIA Housing Awards 2008


Also in Manhattan, 25 Bond Street carries the unusual distinction of being a multifamily building designed for its residents, a group of seven friends who teamed up with a developer to purchase the property. BKSK Architects LLP designed the building to relate to its NoHo neighborhood.

Two types of stone compose a double-layered screen facade set in front of a bronze-and-glass wall. The screen's asymmetrical pattern was intended to echo the facades of its cast-iron neighbors without imitating them. The building's facade depth matches that of nearby historic buildings. The jury praised the project for being "renovated with a subtlety of detail evident in the unusual irregular facade."

Additional awards for multifamily housing went to The Duke in Scottsdale, Arizona, by Circle West Architects, and Macallen Building Condominiums in Boston, Massachusetts, by Office dA Inc. and Burt Hill Inc.

Custom Homes

One of the winners in the category for one- and two-family custom homes is Modern Barn in Wainscott, New York. Leroy Street Studio designed this 6,000-square-foot (560-square-meter) vacation home to relate to its agrarian setting on Long Island.

From a distance, the house seems a fairly simple form, its basic massing and roofline indeed barnlike, its slatted timber rain screen evocative of traditional materials. That slatted skin encloses a more complex interior, however, including outdoor courts and garden spaces within the building's main volume.

The top floor comprises a series of connected public spaces under a ridgeline skylight: study, double-height living space, screened porch, and outdoor deck. The jury called the building's timber-and-steel roof truss system "an exciting ceiling treatment."

In the Southside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gerard Damiani and Debbie Battistone of studio d'ARC architects created Live/ Work Studio II, a home and modest studio for themselves. Incorporation of such materials as steel, glass, and locally made concrete blocks makes reference to the construction heritage of the neighborhood and city.

Two parallel masonry bearing walls and three large glazed surfaces organize the interior. Moving up from the earthen basement, the spatial sequence leads to the first floor, hidden from the street; then to the second floor, with its large window; and finally to a roof garden. A large, horizontal sliding roof window serves as a thermal chimney.

"This project is an exciting example of how to save and redevelop parts of inner city America," said the jury, admiring the project's "[q]uality detailing and programming."

Another house designed by an architect for himself is Laboratory in Omaha, Nebraska, by Randy Brown Architects, a project that also received a 2008 AIA Honor Award for interior architecture.

Brown conceived of the home as an ongoing laboratory for architectural experiments, with some areas intentionally left unfinished, allowing for future work. The jury was intrigued by this "exploration of the refined and the raw." Brown also built the structure himself, with hired help from architecture students.

Elements such as canted walls and rifts at the wall-floor seam create dynamic interior spaces and subspaces. Sustainable design elements include passive solar design, natural ventilation, R-45 roof insulation, insulated concrete forms, radiant-floor heating, and a green roof.

In Glen Echo, Maryland, the minimally detailed interiors of the Wissioming Residence help keep the focus on its picturesque site overlooking the Potomac River. Designed by Robert Gurney, FAIA, Architect, the project includes a house, detached home office structure, and a swimming pool suspended 20 feet (six meters) above grade.

A reflecting pool separates the main residence from the office building, which also includes a garage and guest suite. Translucent glass and Kalwall panels on the latter evoke Japanese shoji screens. Wood siding unifies the lantern-like office and the house, with its terne-coated stainless steel cladding and windows framed in black steel.

The project is replete with structural precast concrete planks, which enable hydronic heating of the house. The interior palette includes white terrazzo flooring, aluminum, and white oak cabinetry. "Details are well done," remarked the jury. "An elegant example of a contemporary house with a well organized plan and program."

Additional awards in the category for one- and two-family custom residences went to Streeter House, Deep Haven, Minnesota, by Salmela Architect; Lake Tahoe Residence, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, by Lake|Flato Architects; L-Stack House, Fayetteville, Arkansas, by Marlon Blackwell Architect; and Wildcat Ridge Residence, Snowmass Village, Colorado, by Voorsanger Architects.

Special Housing

The category for special housing, introduced for the 2007 awards, recognizes exemplary design for such specialized housing types such as domestic violence shelters, residential rehabilitation programs, independent living for disabled residents, and single-room-occupancy residences.

The lone special housing award-winner for 2008 is Project Place–Gatehouse in Boston, designed by Hacin + Associates, Inc. The six-story building combines nonprofit offices and 14 affordable studio apartments with a commercial restaurant. A glazed stair tower contrasts with the two-color masonry facade, at night acting as an illuminated gatepost on a busy thoroughfare.

A projecting bay window on the top floor marks the lounge for residents of the SRO units, located on the top two floors. A double-height window on the second and third floors reveals a gathering space for Interseminarian Project Place, the nonprofit agency that served as the building's developer and that provides support services to help homeless individuals reestablish themselves in society. The ground-floor restaurant helps subsidize rent for the SRO units.

LEED certification is pending for the building, which uses two onsite geothermal wells for energy-efficient heating and cooling.

The 2008 Housing Awards jury was chaired by Sanford Steinberg, AIA, Steinberg Design Collaborative, LLP, and also included David Jameson, FAIA, David Jameson, Architect; Jane Kolleeny, Architectural Record; Charles F. McAfee, FAIA, McAfee3 Architects; and Mark McInturff, FAIA, McInturff Architects.   >>>


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The Front Street, Block 97 project, designed by Cook + Fox Architects, comprises 95 residential units and 13 ground-floor retail spaces.
Photo: Seong Kwon/ Karin Partin Extra Large Image

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New construction combines with old in Front Street, Block 97.
Photo: Seong Kwon/ Karin Partin Extra Large Image

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Front Street, Block 97 elevation drawing.
Image: Cook+Fox Architects LLC Extra Large Image

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25 Bond Street is a multifamily housing project designed by BKSK Architects LLP in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
Photo: Michael Moran Extra Large Image

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The 25 Bond Street development was a collaboration between seven resident-owners and a developer.
Photo: Michael Moran Extra Large Image

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The Modern Barn house in Wainscott, New York, received an AIA Housing Award in the custom home category.
Photo: Paul Warchol Extra Large Image

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The simple massing of Modern Barn, designed by Leroy Street Studio, belies a complex spatial relationship of solids and voids.
Photo: Paul Warchol Extra Large Image

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Modern Barn floor plan drawings.
Image: Leroy Street Studio Extra Large Image

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Operable walls on two sides of the ground-floor billiards room open the Modern Barn to patio and lawns.
Photo: Paul Warchol Extra Large Image

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Live/ Work Studio II in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was built on a previously vacant lot surrounded by brick rowhouses.
Photo: Ed Massery


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