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    AIA National Design Awards

    8 House, CopenhagenThe Standard, New York41 Cooper Square, New York | Poetry Foundation, ChicagoPittman-Dowell House, La Crescenta | Gates Center for Computer Science, PittsburghRhode Island Hall, ProvidenceRuth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, Indianapolis | Integral House, TorontoMilton Miller House, Owings MillsAnd More...

     
    Gates Center for Computer Science · Pittsburgh

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    Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects designed the 217,000-square-foot (20,200-square-meter) Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

    continued

    "Complex" seems an apt word indeed to describe the new computer science complex at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    As part of designing a 217,000-square-foot (21,200-square-meter) container for classrooms, offices, and research spaces, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects was asked to create a single building that could be treated as two, and to provide several pedestrian and service connections to the rest of campus. All of this had to be accomplished on a 5.6-acre (2.3-hectare) site with terrain that varies 75 feet (23 meters) in elevation, and encumbered by existing sewer lines, existing buildings and surface parking that would be demolished, and a large zone of subsurface rock.

    In the resulting new facility — the Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies — each floor is uniquely shaped to address those constraints and to optimize office views. At the heart of the nine-story Gates Center is a spiral ramp, dubbed the Helix, that links the facility's five main entrances, located on the third, fourth, and fifth floors. Bridges also connect all levels of the four-story Hillman Center with the Gates Center, and two major new pedestrian bridges link to adjacent computer science and arts buildings and thereby to the campus beyond.

    "This project is scaled perfectly within an urban campus and within a uniquely difficult site," remarked the jury. "The fenestration and zinc exterior skin surprisingly relate beautifully to the campus fabric without being literal."

    The LEED Gold-certified building integrates many green design features. All 310 offices have windows, most of them operable. Heating and cooling are controlled by individual office thermostats with occupancy sensors. A winter garden, several atria, and copious interior glass help transmit daylight throughout the building. The facility has five planted roofs, uses enthalpy wheels (rotary heat exchangers), and includes a system to harvest rainwater for use in flushing toilets.

    The associate architect was Gensler and the local architect was EDGE studio.

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    The two-layer facade of the Gates and Hillman Centers is clad predominantly in dark zinc shingles arrayed on the bias, resting atop lighter metal cladding.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

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    Much of the concrete structure of the Gates and Hillman Centers was left exposed.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

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    Gates and Hillman Centers fourth-floor plan drawing.
    Image: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects Extra Large Image

     
    Rhode Island Hall · Providence

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    In its renovation of Rhode Island Hall for Brown University's Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Anmahian Winton Architects created several geometrically playful installations, including this central second-floor volume, which is topped by an open mezzanine.
    Photo: Peter Vanderwarker Extra Large Image

    At Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Anmahian Winton Architects restored the exterior of historic Rhode Island Hall (1840) while completely transforming the interior for the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

    Originally the home of a natural history museum, the Greek-revival building had since been divided into classrooms and offices that did not meet the institute's space requirements. In a renovation project that earned LEED Gold certification, the facility's interior structure and all its contents were demolished, clearing the way for a structural and spatial reconfiguration that has increased the useful square footage.

    Central to the strategy for the redesign were daylight distribution and an effort to dissolve the boundaries between teacher and student. Covered skylights were reopened and light baffles installed to provide diffuse light to spaces such as the library. To take advantage of large existing windows and tall ceilings in the skylit, double-height second-floor space, a core of translucent glass-walled faculty offices is topped by a mezzanine reading space.

    Throughout the building, milk glass is paired with white oak panels to form a contemporary liner, differentiated from the historic structure both materially and through its gently folding, twisting surfaces.

    In addition to improving daylighting, the renovation has provided 90 percent of spaces with a direct line of sight to the outdoors. All windows are operable and 88.3 percent of total wood-based building materials are FSC-certified.

    The jury commended the architects for a "fresh, dynamic interior intervention that is both innovative and beautifully resolved."

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    Longitudinal section drawing of Rhode Island Hall in Providence, Rhode Island.
    Image: Anmahian Winton Architects Extra Large Image

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    The LEED Gold-certified renovation of Rhode Island Hall (1840) included a restoration of its historic exterior and a complete overhaul of its interiors.
    Photo: Peter Vanderwarker Extra Large Image

     
    Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion · Indianapolis

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    The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion is a wood-and-steel structure in the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis, Indiana.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

    The Indianapolis Museum of Art recently created 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park on the site of a naturalized former gravel pit between the museum and Indiana's White River. A key component of the new park is the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, designed by Marlon Blackwell Architect.

    Built as a place for visitors to rest and to participate in educational programming, the delicate building gently creates shelter in a wooded portion of the park. As the AIA awards jury remarked, "Its low posture and horizontal form... is quite elegant in its lightness while reaching out and inviting nature in."

    The entire park is located in a floodplain, so the pavilion is raised on columns to allow floodwaters to pass under it. Supported by a steel structure, a continuous surface of ipe wood slats wraps around vertically to form both a deck and its roof.

    The building's only opaque volume, clad in a fire-resistant rainscreen of charred cedar, contains the restrooms. Combined with this volume, three walls of glass and a skylight define the 1,290 square feet (120 square meters) of interior space, which is bathed in dappled light, with visual connections to the trees and sky.

    The project is targeting LEED certification, and includes water-conserving plumbing fixtures and a ground-source heating and cooling system.

      >>>

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    Marlon Blackwell Architect designed the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, located in a wooded portion of the 100-acre (40-hectare) park.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

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    A wooden deck surrounds the 1,290-square-foot (522-square-meter) glass enclosure at the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley Extra Large Image

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