Page N1.3. 27 August 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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AIA Small Projects 2008


The Peninsula Temple Sholom Entry Canopy in Burlingame, California, by Herman & Coliver Architecture, transformed the entry of a suburban synagogue with laser-cut aluminum panels that create a postmodern and playful take on a forest of trees. A canopy overhead provides shelter for visitors to linger in conversation as they enter and leave. The changing leaflike shadow it casts makes reference to the ritual of the passage of time.

That most private of architects' common design projects, the bathroom remodel, was also honored. For Spa in a Box, Gardner Mohr Architects renovated a 55-square-foot (five-square-meter) bathroom in Washington, D.C., with a balance of whimsy, luxury, and affordability, using materials such as tile and wood to add texture and beauty.

Patrick Carney, AIA, was also recognized in the objects category for designing an array of chandeliers for the Hamilton Hotel, a 1929 Art Deco building in San Francisco.

Response to Nature

Those who selected flood-resistant housing as the awards program's 2008 wild-card category obviously had an eye on the ongoing rebuilding effort in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But the winner was not one of the modern-style, Brad Pitt-sponsored "Make It Right" houses in the Crescent City.

Instead the honor went to architect Gordon A. Nicholson's design for the Nautilus House in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, a speculative collaboration with a local builder interested in introducing sustainable design to the area. The long, narrow site suggests the vernacular Charleston single-house, which features a simple, contemporary material palette.

As a whole, the award-winners provide a snapshot of largely pragmatic architecture, with touches of iconoclasm: a desire to fit in generally, but not to melt away in sameness.

The 2008 winners were announced, exhibited, and celebrated at this year's AIA National Convention in Boston in May. From 158 submitted projects, 15 were selected for awards and three for honorable mentions.

The jury for the 2008 AIA Small Project Awards included moderator, Lisa Stacholy, AIA, LKS Architects; Janice Olshesky, AIA, Olshesky Design Group LLC; William Rakatansky, AIA, Freeman-White Architects Inc.; George M. Blackburn III, AIA, Construction Consulting International; and Edward D. Gaskin, AIA, Trahan Architects.

Brian Libby is a Portland, Oregon-based freelance writer who has also published in Metropolis, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Architectural Record.


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Tempo, a welded-aluminum monument, was designed by LEAD Inc.
Image: Ali Heshmati

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PINE/Cone by SALA Architects is an enclosed gathering space in a Minnesota pine forest.
Photo: Peter Bastianelli-Kerze Extra Large Image

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The Peninsula Temple Sholom Entry Canopy in Burlingame, California, was designed by Herman & Coliver Architecture.
Photo: Tim Griffith Extra Large Image

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Spa in a Box is a remodel of a 55-square-foot (five-square-meter) bathroom in a Washington, D.C., condo.
Photo: Cheryl Mohr, AIA, LEED AP Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

Spa in a Box floor plan drawing.
Image: Gardner Mohr Extra Large Image

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Nautilus House in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was recognized in the category of flood-resistant housing.
Photo: Sara Cook Extra Large Image


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