AIA National Design Awards 2010
Other sustainable features of the Serta International Center include a well insulated roof (R-30), water-conserving plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency boilers, pervious paving, thermally broken low-e insulated glass, and a rain screen to reduce heat gain.
"The Serta International Center is a beautifully crafted example of a pleasant work environment that seamlessly slips into its landscape, creating a harmony between the natural and the manmade," praised the jury.
At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Skirkanich Hall houses the Bioengineering Department and serves as an important connector, linking two adjacent buildings from the early 1900s and providing a gateway to the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the building is organized around an atrium and generous circulation spaces. On the perimeter of the upper floors stand the laboratories: open and column-free, filled with daylight from north-facing windows and flexible to accommodate future changes.
Both the interior and exterior feature custom-designed, subtly variable materials, including a bold yellow tile inside and a hand-glazed green ceramic brick outside. The brick facade is punctuated by arrays of giant etched-glass "shingles."
The LEED 2.0 credit system was used as a guide, but the university opted not to pursue certification. Sustainable features include domestic water preheating by condensate from the heating system, and a low-temperature heat pipe system to preheat the lab supply air stream.
"The section is brilliant," remarked the jury. "There is a thoughful use of materials, genius in vertical circulation, solid programmatic resolution... both delicate and dramatic, all in all a beautiful project."
Crafted Dining in Chelsea
Bentel & Bentel Architects/ Planners transformed an existing restaurant space in a former National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) bakery into the New York City location of Craftsteak, part of chef Tom Colicchio's chain of Craft restaurants.
The architects drew inspiration from the client's pared-down culinary philosophy, creating a high-end space with a limited material palette of oak, steel, wool, and plaster. A new two-story steel-and-glass wine vault and a wall of rough plaster and blackened steel contrast with existing arched concrete ceilings, steel ceiling plates, and riveted steel columns. Beeswax serves as a minimal protective coating on furnishings and fittings.
"The strangely nostalgic quality of the design is not produced by replicating past forms, but offers an original weave of metal, glass, and fabric into an oddly familiar eating hall," commented the interior architecture awards jury.
The Chelsea neighborhood restaurant space now houses a new restaurant, Colicchio & Sons.
Multipurpose in Missouri
A rural school district in Exeter, Missouri, asked Dake Wells Architecture to create a cafeteria, performance hall, and gymnasium — all in one space.
The architects developed a graceful solution at the low cost of about $129 per square foot ($1,390 per square meter). The new 11,600-square-foot (1,080-square-meter) multipurpose space comprises a steel framework wrapped with an outer layer of acoustically absorptive tectum. Suspended within the volume is a folded wood ceiling that reflects sound from the stage to performance audiences while allowing sound to dissipate above.
Light fixtures within the wood wrapper are rated to withstand impact from volleyballs and basketballs. The space is largely daylit by frosted clerestory windows and skylights, and sensors reduce use of artificial lighting. In a space-saving move, the stage doubles as a drama classroom, separable from the gym by an insulated overhead door.
The use of durable finishes and regionally manufactured masonry, concrete, steel, glass, and wood and offered both cost savings and environmental benefits.
The interiors jury praised the multipurpose space as "diabolically simple: one bold stroke solves three functions in one."
Four other projects also received awards for interior architecture:
US Data Corporation Offices, Omaha, Nebraska, by Randy Brown Architects (pictured)
Chanel Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, by Peter Marino Architect
Historic Central Park West Residence, New York City, by Shelton, Mindel & Associates
Vera Wang Soho, New York City, by Gabellini Sheppard Associates
Principles for Greenwich South
When the Alliance for Downtown New York asked Architecture Research Office to help develop a master plan for Greenwich South, a 41-acre (17-hectare) section of Lower Manhattan, the architects instead developed an adaptable strategic framework to guide future development.
The Greenwich South Strategic Framework centers on five core principles: encourage an intense mix of uses, reconnect Greenwich Street from the Battery north through the World Trade Center, improve connections with areas to the east, facilitate dense development while ensuring a pedestrian-oriented environment, and establish a recognizable character for the district.
The collaborative process, undertaken with associate firm Beyer Blinder Belle, included research on the historical, social, and built context; consultation with a "brain trust" of diverse experts; coordination of a visioning charrette; and creation of public exhibits and publications.
Framework for D.C. Core
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts developed the Monumental Core Framework Plan (not pictured) to guide planning, development, and investment decisions in Washington, D.C.'s monumental core over the next 30 years. EDAW-AECOM served as associate firm on the project.
By outlining the transformation of four federal precincts adjacent to the National Mall, the plan aims to protect the Mall from overuse; create distinctive settings for new memorials and museums; improve connections between the Mall, city, and Potomac River waterfront; and transform the monumental core into a more vibrant and sustainable location.
Among related actions already underway, NCPC is examining ways to integrate active uses within the ground floors of federal buildings.
Downtown Savannah Grows Eastward
The City of Savannah, Georgia, sought to create a physical and regulatory framework for growth eastward from its historic downtown into vacant former industrial land. The resulting Civic Master Plan for the East Riverfront Extension, developed by Sottile & Sottile with associate firm
Niles Bolton Associates, centers on a careful division of public and private realms.
In Savannah's National Landmark Historic District, 40 percent of the land is public and 60 percent private. The new master plan maintains this ratio and establishes a core network of urban streets, parks, and public spaces to the east. In exchange for the creation of a generous, highly connected, human-scaled public realm, private owners are given nearly unlimited flexibility in density, land use, and ownership patterns. The plan thus reinforces historically development patterns of the existing city while fostering diverse urban development.
More Urban Design
Another four projects also received awards in regional and urban design:
U.S. House Office Buildings Facilities Plan and Preliminary South Capitol Area Plan, Washington, D.C., by Wallace Roberts & Todd (pictured)
Connections: MacArthur Park District Master Plan, Little Rock, Arkansas by Conway + Schulte Architects
A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware River, Philadelphia, by Wallace Roberts & Todd
Ryerson University Master Plan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
The 28 recipients of the 2010 AIA Institute Honor Awards will be honored at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami, Florida, June 10 to 12.
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