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    AIA Housing Awards: Single-Family


    D.C. Townhouse Renovation

    A narrow, three-story commercial building in Washington, D.C., was converted by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect into a light, open mixed-use building with a two-story townhouse above ground-floor commercial space. Built more than a century ago, the building was protected by regulations that required the preservation of its neoclassical limestone facade.

    An essential challenge of the Brown Townhouse renovation was to bring daylight into the central areas of this long, narrow midblock building, which measures 18 by 100 feet (5.5 by 30.5 meters). Since daylight access was limited to the roof and the building's narrow ends, skylights were added and openings were cut between floors.

    Now, daylight washes down walls, illuminating the second and third floors from above. Selective placement of glass partition walls and the use of light-colored finishes throughout the townhouse also contribute to a sense of openness in the living spaces.

    The use of opaque interior partitions was kept to a minimum. Indeed, the home's second floor has a largely open plan. Careful placement of one small, enclosed service pod reinforces circulation zones and separates a den from the other living spaces. A penthouse addition stands between two rooftop decks that offer the home's only outdoor space.

    Orcas Island Retreat

    Heliotrope Architects designed a summer home in Eastsound, Washington, a small town on Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands. Overlooking the Straight of Georgia, with sheltering groves of fir and beech trees, the North Beach Residence was built on the site of a historical winter camp for the Lummi tribe.

    This cultural significance, which prohibited excavation for foundations, together with the home's location in a federally designated floodplain, led the architects to design a home raised several feet above ground level.

    A low rectangular structure with a planted roof, the 2,000-square-foot (186-square-meter) home is positioned so that its long, glazed living spaces are afforded views of the sea to the northwest and of the meadow and pond to the southeast. The primary dwelling is bookended by a pair of guest suites at its southwest end, and a modest utility and mechanical room to the northeast.

    Sliding glass panels predominate both of the glazed sides of the main living space, offering ready access to two shallow decks that run nearly the full length of the house.

    Built on a mat-slab foundation poured at ground level, the structure of the metal-clad building features slender, widely spaced steel columns to provide relatively unobstructed views. The roof and floor were framed using I-shaped composite wood joists and girders.

    Intended for use from May to October, the home employs rooftop solar hot-water collectors that serve both the domestic hot water supply and a hydronic heating system. A 10,000-gallon- (38,000-liter-) rainwater catchment system supplies water for irrigation and toilets, and a freestanding three-kilowatt photovoltaic array is estimated to offset all of the home's yearly electricity use.

    Finger Lakes Colossus

    The Combs Point Residence in Ovid, New York, is one of two residential projects by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson that the AIA recognized in its 2011 housing awards. Like the North Beach Residence, this home is situated on a shoreline, but in this case, the site is Seneca Lake, one of New York's Finger Lakes.

    The five-bedroom house is nestled among deciduous and evergreen trees on a small delta at the mouth of a narrow, steeply sloping valley. The amply glazed living spaces extend beyond the tree cover, commanding a wide view of the lake and its western shore beyond.

    The home's muscular wood-and-steel structure and its rambling plan are familiar elements of Peter Bohlin's style. The primary spaces of the home are contained within the largest of three masses. Oriented along a generally east-west axis, a long circulation spine organizes the 4,800-square-foot (450-square-meter) main home and extends toward the outbuildings, changing directions twice to bypass existing trees.

    The smaller of the two outbuildings contains an office and exercise space, while the larger outbuilding (1,200 square feet, or 110 square meters) offers substantial guest accommodations, including its own living, dining, and kitchen space.

    The project's ecological impact was a central concern. A majority of lumber used was FSC-certified, and other wood products were selected with indoor air quality in mind. Unused and salvaged project materials were donated to a local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

    Rhode Island Guest House

    For a Cape Cod-style home at the oceanfront Goosewing Farm near Little Compton, Rhode Island, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed a sympathetic addition to house modern amenities. The new combination structure now serves as a guest house and support facility for the farm's stone barn event space.

    The Guest House project accomplished two basic tasks: renovating and simplifying the existing, 2,500-square foot (230-square-meter) Cape Cod-style home, and adding an adjacent 1,000-square-foot (93-square-meter) structure. In updating the original building, the architects removed several earlier additions from the back of the house, including a large kitchen.

    The resulting clarified form, containing living and sleeping spaces, is a pure expression of the iconic Cape Cod style: a steeply gabled, rectangular, story-and-a-half structure clad in cedar shingles.

    In designing the adjacent addition, the architects employed a simple strategy: largely duplicating the external massing, proportions, and detailing of the original home while providing substantially more glazing and creating complementary but distinctly modern interiors. Inside, the addition's vaulted ceilings and largely open floor plan achieve a sense of spaciousness.

    A freestanding wood-clad enclosure containing a kitchen, laundry, and bathroom occupies the middle of the volume, subtly subdividing the addition's interior — defining circulation zones along its sides and suggesting larger rooms at either end.

    The two side-by-side gabled forms, old and new, are linked by a low, 16-foot- (five-meter-) long, glazed walkway whose minimalist profile allows it to attach to the older building without interrupting the clean lines of the latter's overhang.

    The project team also included Lombard John Pozzi Restoration Architect.

    Another building on the 70-acre (28-hectare) farm is the Sisson Cottage, a centuries-old, euphemistically named 5,400-square-foot (500-square-meter) farmhouse that was previously renovated in 2002, also by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

    The American Institute of Architects announced the winners of the 2011 AIA Housing Awards on March 17, 2011.

    The jury for the 2011 awards was chaired by Katherine Austin, AIA, Katherine Austin Architect, and also included Claire Conroy, editorial director of Residential Architect; Mike Jackson, FAIA, State of Illinois Historical Preservation Agency; Luis Jauregui, AIA, Jaurequi, Inc., and Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, Florida International University.


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    ArchWeek Image

    Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect designed the renovation of a three-story commercial building in Washington, D.C., creating a modern townhouse that features a master bedroom accessed only by a narrow bridge.
    Photo: Paul Warchol Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Exploded axonometric drawing of the Brown Townhouse, which includes a ground-floor commercial rental space.
    Image: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The North Beach Residence is a three-bedroom summer home built on a coastal lot on Orcas Island, in Washington state.
    Photo: Benjamin Benschneider Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Ground-floor plan drawing of the North Beach Residence, designed by Heliotrope Architects.
    Image: Heliotrope Architects Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor-to-ceiling glazing, much of it operable, encloses two long sides of the main living space of the North Beach Residence.
    Photo: Sean Airhart Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    In the Combs Point Residence, on one of New York's Finger Lakes, pairs of heavy wood joists rest on a frame of steel beams and columns to form the primary structure, while expansive glazed walls enclose the west-facing living space.
    Photo: Nic Lehoux Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor plan drawing of the Combs Point Residence, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
    Image: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The material palette of the outbuildings echoes that of the main home at the Combs Point Residence.
    Photo: Nic Lehoux Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Bohlin Cywinski Jackson also designed an addition to and remodel of a Cape Cod-style guest house at Goosewing Farm, near Little Compton, Rhode Island.
    Photo: Nic Lehoux Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Inside the addition to the Goosewing Farm Guest House, looking past the entry corridor toward a large kitchen area.
    Photo: Nic Lehoux Extra Large Image


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