AIA Small Projects 2008
by Brian Libby
Housing for art lovers, homeless people, flood-zone dwellers, and hobbits. Chandeliers, bus stops, and a synagogue entrance. An expandable bathroom.
These are not massive landmarks, but rather the AIA's annual exemplars of design executed with limited financial and programmatic means: the American Institute of Architects 2008 Small Project Awards recipients.
The two principal award categories are for structures (with budgets up to $500,000) and for objects (budgets up to $50,000). The awards program also typically includes an annually changing "wild card" category, which this year was devoted to flood-resistant housing.
Abōd® (pronounced "abode") by BSB Design is a low-cost dwelling targeted at squatters and homeless people in South Africa. Thanks to prefabricated parts, the arched structure can be built by four people in one day using only a screwdriver and an awl.
One memorable house among the residential projects honored is the Hobbit House by Archer & Buchanan Architecture, located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Designed and built for a serious collector of J.R.R. Tolkien books, manuscripts, and artifacts, the cottage takes its cues from the imaginary world of The Lord of the Rings.
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Abōd®, a low-cost modular housing protoype by BSB Design, received an AIA 2008 Small Project Award.
Photo: © BSB Design
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Archer & Buchanan Architecture created Hobbit House for a devotee of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Photo: Tom Crane Photography
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