Wednesday, December 01, 2004

AIA Awards Announced

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the recipients of the 2004 Business Week/Architectural Records (BW/AR) Awards. Given annually, the BW/AR Awards honor architects and clients who best utilize good design to achieve important objectives for organizations such as marketing products and services, attracting and maintaining a high-quality student body or workforce, improving the health and welfare of employees, and uplifting the immediate environment.

This year's recipients consist of three government facilities, five cultural/educational projects, and two aid organizations. They range from a community center in LA's Skid Row to an iron studio in rural North Carolina, from a martial arts facility in Japan to the foreign ministry in Jerusalem, but at the core they all share one attribute—they understand how good design can achieve important organizational objectives.

The projects were evaluated by a jury of ten consisting of prominent architects, design professionals, and business leaders. The members of the 2004 BW/AR jury are Moshe Safdie, FAIA, principal, Moshe Safdie and Associates; Betsy Z. Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer, Resource Asset Investment Trust; Rand Elliott, FAIA, principal, Elliott + Associates Architects; Douglas Gardner, former president, Urban Development Group, Catellus Development Corporation; Lee Green, director of Corporate Identity and Design, IBM Corporation; Paul Herzan, president, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Frances P. Huppert, FAIA, senior vice president, Design & Construction, Empire State Development Corporation; Marianne McKenna, FRAIC, principal, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects; Paula S. Wallace, president, Savannah College of Art and Design; and Allison G. Williams, FAIA, managing principal, Ai Architecture/San Francisco.

The recipients of the 2004 Business Week/Architectural Record Awards are:

Project: Humane Society/SPCA of San Antonio and Bexar County, San Antonio.
Architect: Billy A. Lawrence, AIA, Alamo Architects, Inc., San Antonio
Client: Humane Society/SPCA of San Antonio and Bexar County, San Antonio
Shelter Design Consultant: Connolly Architects, Inc., Austin, Texas

Whereas most shelters are dark, noisy, depressing, and located on the periphery of town, the San Antonio SPCA selected a prime retail area. The resulting facility is spacious, welcoming, and uplifting, encouraging repeat visits and volunteerism. Adoptions are up 95 percent and the return rate has dropped to 2.5 percent. Disease levels have fallen significantly due to quick turnover and communal accommodations. Best of all, because the older animals are placed in the front, three times as many adult dogs and cats are now being adopted.

Project: Limerick County Hall, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Architect: Karen McEvoy, Merritt Bucholz, Bucholz McEvoy Architects, Dublin
Client: Limerick County Council, Limerick, Ireland
This government facility was created with the objective of creating a new vision of local government. The building provides clear and efficient public access to the local government, consumes virtually no energy from non-renewable resources, reduces CO2 emissions and energy usage; bathes employees in abundant natural lighting; provides natural ventilation; and is a model for other governmental organizations.

Project: MoMA QNS, Long Island City, N.Y.
Architect: Scott D. Newman, AIA, Cooper, Robertson & Partners, New York City
Client: The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Associate Architect: Michael L. Maltzan, AIA, Michael Maltzan Architecture
The design of this project had to accomplish three goals: support preservation and research activities for 25 years; accommodate blockbuster exhibits without major structural changes; and provide a strong visual statement. MoMA QNS did all of that, plus it started the neighborhood’s evolution from industrial neighborhood to burgeoning arts community. The goal of 1-2,000 visitors per day is consistently exceeded, and during major exhibits visitors can reach 4,000. In addition, MoMA’s goals were achieved months within schedule and under budget.

Project: Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem
Architect: Jack Diamond, Hon. FAIA, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Inc., Toronto, Canada with Kolker, Kolker Epstein Architects, Jerusalem
Client: Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem

The 430,000 square foot facility was designed to accommodate administrative and state ceremonial requirements services which were formerly scattered in a series of single-story huts. The Foreign Ministry wanted the building to exude a stately and ceremonial function, yet also be a symbol of secure office design in the Middle East. Despite the fundamental need for security, the building achieves a feeling of openness and transparency, while distinguishing itself as an elegant and dignified state building.

Project: Iron Studio, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, N.C.Architect: Frank Harmon, FAIA, Frank Harmon Architect, Raleigh, N.C.
Client: Penland School of Crafts, Penland, N.C.

This rural school's popular iron program had outgrown its ramshackle studio. The new 5,500-square-foot studio is programmed for designing, fabricating, and finishing iron objects weighing three ounces to three tons. Within the first year of operation enrollment increased by 100 percent and future courses are fully-booked. Additionally, the Iron Studio has increased Penland's visibility and raised the level of expectation for other craft disciplines within the school. Sturdy, practical, and deceptively simple, the Iron Studio celebrates the craft of iron-making in a noble way.

Project: Finn Center, Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View, CA
Architect: Mark Cavagnero Associates, San Francisco, Calif.
Client: Community School of Music and Arts

After 36 years in temporary facilities, the Community School of Music and Arts finally has a permanent facility that integrates its programs and spaces, providing 17 private music studios, several large art classrooms, ceramics studios, an exhibition gallery, exterior performance areas, and a 204-seat concert hall. Boasting inspiring light-filled classrooms and studios for art and acoustically exceptional practice and performance spaces for music, the building is a "blank canvas" for the school's creative programs. With a new building that has caught the attention of the surrounding community, the Community School has seen even greater interest in its programs. In the eyes of the client, the Finn Center, in function and presence, reflects the collaboration that has allowed it to further its mission of Arts for All.

Project: Ehime Prefectural Budokan, Matsuyama City, Ehime, Japan
Architect: Michio Sugawara, Hon. FAIA, Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, Inc., Tokyo
Client: Ehime Prefecture, Ehime, Japan

The goals for this martial arts facility was to increase visitors, improve international appeal, boost the local economy, and create a landmark facility that would be a monument to culture, friendship, and local traditions. The number of annual visitors, previously registered at 21,745, has increased to 146,546. By contracting with local vendors, the project generated nearly $13 million for the community. In addition, in the four months following completion, 20 large events were held in the facility, including one international-level sport game and one national-level convention.

Project: James M. Wood Community Center, Los Angeles
Architect: Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, Lehrer Architects LA, Los Angeles
Client: SRO Housing Corporation, Los Angeles

This project, a repeat collaboration between architect, builder, and client, is the sole community space for the social, recreational, and nutritional needs of LA's Skid Row residents. The project uses natural light and color to engage the user and transform the tough urban context. The architecture serves to honor the homeless population, honor the street, and explore both the humane and the monumental.

Project: Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, Seattle
Architect: Robert Hull, FAIA and Ron Rochon, AIA, The Miller/Hull Partnership, LLP
Client: City of Seattle, Seattle Center

The primary function of this new exhibition hall is to promote community and a sense of place for nearly one million visitors per year. The previous building and plaza sat isolated along the southern edge of the green and blocked the view of a nearby theatre. The desire to open up the view and increase available space led to a "subterranean" design which pushed the building into the ground and created a public rooftop pavilion. The environmentally-sensitive design was built for a LEED Certified rating reducing its impact on the community's water and energy resources, and has provided a rich open space for community events and festivals.

Project: Britomart Transport Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Architects: Greg Boyden, JASMAX Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand and
Mario Madayag, Mario Madayag Architecture Ltd. (MMA), Auckland, New Zealand
Client: Auckland City Council Britomart Project Group, Auckland, New Zealand
Preservation Architect: Salmond Reed Architects, Auckland, New Zealand

The City Council wanted to create a central underground transport station; increase the desirability and image of public transportation; upgrade harbor and gulf ferries and buses; and redesign terminals near the new train station. Recognizing that downtown Auckland urgently needed revitalization and the original central train station was inconveniently located, the City Council decided to remedy both ailments simultaneously. The resulting design successfully integrates an existing heritage building, the world's only underground diesel train station, a "glasshouse" that links the two projects, and a spirited redevelopment of surrounding streetscapes and public spaces.