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AIA Honors 26 Top Projects

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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A restored historic library in Missouri, a house nestled into a rock in Washington, and loft renovation in New York are among the cast of design triumphs accorded the American Institute of Architects’ 2014 Institute Honor Award.

AIA says the awards are the profession’s “highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.”

The winners were chosen from more than 500 total submissions; the 26 recipients, located around the world, will be honored at the AIA 2014 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

AIA also announced the winner of its 2014 Twenty-Five Year Award: the Washington, D.C., Metro rail transit system.

AIA's descriptions of the 2014 Institute Honor Award-winning designs follow. Two projects were honored twice, for their interiors and exteriors: The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and The Pierre, on San Juan Island, WA.

Additional images, jury comments, and notes of interest are available by clicking on the project names.

2014 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center; Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Botanic

All images courtesy of AIA, photographer credited; © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Nested into an existing berm, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center is a seamless extension of the garden path system. The project achieved LEED Gold certification.

As a chameleon-like structure, the visitor center transitions from an architectural presence at the street into a structured landscape in the botanic garden. The building redefines the physical and philosophical relationship between visitor and garden, introducing new connections between landscape and structure, exhibition and movement.

Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) Campus; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
KPMB Architects



© Maris Mezulis

The project is a reinterpretation of a traditional academic quad building based on the Oxford model. The project features two three-story, interconnected buildings and an auditorium pavilion organized around a courtyard.

The scale, proportions and materials of the brick elevations facing the street are a direct response to the 19th-century masonry industrial buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. A limited palette of local limestone and brick masonry, wood and glass was used to create a serene atmosphere for study and reflection.

New Boathouse for Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI); Boston
Anmahian Winton Architects

The New Boathouse is the first permanent facility for Community Rowing, the largest public rowing organization in the country. The project is composed of two buildings that form a courtyard that overlays two typically incompatible conditions: a public forecourt to the river and a staging terrace for the boats.

The small building, a glass-shingled pavilion for single shells, displays the boats to the adjacent parkway. The large building houses longer boats, offices and training rooms. The unique kinetic cladding system, which regulates natural ventilation and light, literally transforms the shape of the building and its relationship to the surrounding landscape.

Jackson Hole Airport; Jackson, WY

The Jackson Hole Airport renovation and expansion considers the building a simple, understated foreground feature intended to merely reside within the landscape, near Teton National Park.

The queen-post trusses reduced beam depths, increasing the volume, allowing for an expansive glass curtain wall that reinforces the connection between interior and exterior. The LEED Silver-certified airport distinguishes itself from the aesthetics of typical airports because of its regional design approach, materiality and intimate scale. The airport serves as passenger’s first and last impression to this truly unique region.

King Street Station; Seattle, WA
ZGF Architects LLP

King Street Station
© Doug Scott

The rehabilitation of King Street Station restores historic 1906 architectural finishes, re-establishes the station as a modern transportation hub, and capitalizes on materials and energy invested a century ago by reusing materials rather than replacing them.

The project enhances public spaces, improves pedestrian and multi-modal connections in and around the station, and has served as a catalyst for additional redevelopment within the neighborhood. Securing the station for the future, the rehabilitation also included significant seismic and structural updates to improve the building’s safety and durability. The project has also achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum; Minneapolis, MN
HGA Architects and Engineers

Addressing the intimacy of personal grieving and the shared rituals of commemoration, the design for the new Garden Mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery revisits an ancient building type whose setting demands contextual sensitivity and attention to materiality.

The mausoleum minimizes the visual impact on its historic context by nestling more than three-quarters of the building into an existing south-facing hillside. In each crypt and columbarium room, daylight strengthens the relationship between the spiritual and the earth-bound while offering a serene and healing environment. The material palette—stone, bronze, wood and glass—calls upon visual and experiential senses while recalling centuries of memorial tradition.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust; Los Angeles
Belzberg Architects

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is submerged into the surrounding public park space, allowing the landscape to continue over the structure. Pathways are morphed onto the building and appropriated as surface patterning.

The museum emerges from the landscape as a single, curving concrete wall that splits and carves into the ground to form the entry. Inside visitors experience a series of isolated spaces saturated with interactive archival content with diminishing natural light while descending further into the earth.

The Pierre; San Juan Island, WA
Olson Kundig Architects

A secure and unexpected retreat nestled into a rocky outcropping, The Pierre (French for stone) celebrates the materiality of its Pacific Northwest site. The house—composed of concrete, wood, steel and glass, and topped with a green roof—visually and physically merges with nature.

The Pierre
© Dwight Eschliman

Inside, rugged surfaces of rock periodically emerge into the space, contrasting with the refined textures of the furnishings. While one side of the house is hunkered into the site, the other overlooks the water, balancing the dual desires of prospect and refuge.

Quaker Meeting House and Arts Center, Sidwell Friends School; Washington; DC

With a minimum of means, this project transforms a non-descript 1950s gymnasium into a Quaker Meeting House and Arts Center serving the entire middle and upper school community at Sidwell Friends School. The building program includes a worship space, visual art and music rooms, and exhibition areas.

The essence of Quaker Meeting, and thus the Meeting House itself, is silence and light. Architecturally, this is achieved by filtering light and sound through architecture, landscape, structure, and systems arranged in successive concentric layers around a central source of illumination, both literal and spiritual.

SCAD Museum of Art; Savannah, GA
Sottile & Sottile and Lord Aeck Sargent in association with Dawson Architects

Resurrecting the ruins of the nation’s only surviving antebellum railroad complex, the Savannah College of Art and Design transformed a National Historic Landmark.

The design process emphasized an artistically manual approach, honoring the humanity and integrity of the site’s heritage. Ruins were integrated within a contemporary concrete structure, preserving and highlighting the historic materials as a fundamental part of the new architecture.

With its galleries, art studios, classrooms, theater, public gardens, and vibrant streetscape, this new civic landmark stands as a center of intellectual exchange, artistic discovery, and urban evolution.

St. Louis (MO) Public Library, Central Library Transformation and Restoration
Cannon Design

St. Louis Library
© Tim Hursley

St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library, designed by Cass Gilbert, fills a city block in the center of downtown St. Louis. The transformation of the three-story 1912 Beaux Arts structure focused on the north wing, replacing multistory, non-public book stacks with a new “building within the building” for public use.

Now light-filled and welcoming to its urban neighbors, the north wing is a new entrance surrounded by upper stories of books visible to all. The original entry and public rooms were restored and revitalized, continuing their active use as a vibrant public resource.

2014 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

Bar Agricole; San Francisco, CA
Aidlin Darling Design

The Bar Agricole is a 1,400-square-foot restaurant and bar located in San Francisco’s industrial South of Market district. A wooden “hull”—constructed of reclaimed whiskey-barrel oak, milled into thin strips, and suspended from the ceiling—creates a sense of intimacy in the long, tall interior of the former warehouse building.

Bar Agricole
© Matthew Millman

Designed to complement the restaurant’s seasonal menu, the interior palette balances warm textures with the use of durable, sustainable materials.

K&L Gates at One New Change; London, U.K.

International law firm K&L Gates’ London office is seamlessly integrated into Land Securities’ complex and iconic One New Change, which was designed by Jean Nouvel.

Commanding views of St. Paul’s Cathedral are a backdrop to technologically advanced meeting spaces and collaborative work areas that enhance the provision of integrated global services.

The design responds directly to the dynamic and irregular building envelope, with enclosures, ceiling treatments, lighting, and site-specific art that define the space and reflect K&L Gates’ brand.

Knoll Flagship Showroom, Offices and Shop; New York City
Architecture Research Office

Knoll’s New York showroom, offices, and shop reflects intelligent planning, sensitivity to craft, and joyful materiality. A choreographed path draws visitors from the ground-floor shop through the showroom and offices.

© Elizabeth Felicella

Colorful textile layers define the space, including a vibrant 55-foot wall that showcases 2,400 material samples. Two steel stairs display felt and leather and promote connectivity in the offices, where clients experience open plan, private office and activity spaces in use. This mix of spaces supports a variety of work styles - formal, informal, public and private.

The Los Angeles (CA) Museum of the Holocaust
Belzberg Architects

The interior architecture at The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust employs natural light and the morphing of space to open and lift or darken and compress the user’s experience at key points. The lighting of the interior galleries dims as the visitor steps deeper into the earth and subsequent rooms, while limited natural light serves as a companion to each patron’s unique experience. The final ascent up is filled with sights and sounds of unrestricted park land.

Holocaust Museum
© Benny Chan-Fotoworks; Iwan Baan; Belzberg Architects

The exhibition design incorporates educational content that is synthesized with all aspects of the design via innovative technology using integrated interactive design methods.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Showroom; New York City
Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects PC; HLW International

The Marc by Marc Jacobs Showroom is housed within the Manhattan headquarters of the global fashion house Marc Jacobs. The showroom is a reinvention of the client’s original space and addresses the challenge to maximize the use of daylight within the building’s deep floorplate, while simultaneously addressing the need for areas of relative privacy.

The design employs a central curvilinear glass form as an organizing element of the space which is used to filter natural light while creating subtle visual screening to delineate the private zones.

Odegaard Undergraduate Library; Seattle, WA
The Miller Hull Partnership

The interior renovation of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library re-imagines the learning experience for 21st-century students through transformation of space in an outmoded 1970s building. The project was accomplished in two years by state mandate.

Updates to the massive 165,000-square-foot library—serving 10,000 students, 24 hours a day—include removal of an imposing atrium stair and a “kit of parts” approach supporting key learning behaviors in a bright, open setting. New seating, individual and group workstations, and active learning classrooms enhance the academic experience for a collaborative and tech-savvy student body.

The Pierre; San Juan Island, WA
Olson Kundig Architects

A secure and unexpected retreat nestled into a rocky outcropping, The Pierre celebrates the materiality of its Pacific Northwest site. Inside, rugged surfaces of rock periodically emerge into the space, contrasting with the refined textures of the furnishings.

Antique and vintage furniture is complemented by custom-designed pieces, while contemporary works of art are displayed inside and outside the house.

SoHo Loft; New York City
Gabellini Sheppard Associates LLP

The 8,284-square-foot interior renovation project enhances the SoHo-Loft typology while creating multi-level garden roof terraces. The design emphasizes lightness, openness, spatial fluidity and permeability.

SoHo Loft
© Paul Warchol

Influenced by the client’s requests to blur the lines of separation between public and private, children and adult areas, thresholds are defined by sliding translucent doors, acting as light filters, while providing flexibility of use.

Venture Capital Office Headquarters; Menlo Park, CA
Paul Murdoch Architects; Kappe Architects Planners

Gardens, transparency and wood finishes create a warm, intimate work environment for this office headquarters of a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. To reduce on-site construction, the two-story office building is made of prefabricated steel modules set by crane on a concrete parking podium.

The building interior is designed to temporarily house and incubate young companies, adapting to their changing needs. Strong, accent-colored glass expresses the company’s reputation for risk taking while fine, wire-brushed wood finishes form an elegant and understated feeling in keeping with the firm’s market sophistication.

2014 Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design

The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization for Little Rock; Little Rock, AR
University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

The Creative Corridor
© University of Arkansas Community Design Center + Marlon Blackwell Architect

The Creative Corridor retrofits a four-block segment of Little Rock’s historic Main Street based on aggregation of the city’s scattered cultural arts organizations. The project goal was to structure an identity for the Creative Corridor rooted in a mixed-use living environment anchored by the arts, rather than Main Street’s workaday retail base.

Denver (CO) Union Station Neighborhood Transformation;
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The redevelopment of the former rail yards at Denver Union Station is a case study of the power of transit-oriented urban design. The 42-acre master plan knits together light rail, commuter rail, and buses into a 21st-century intermodal transportation hub.

The East River Blueway Plan; New York City
WXY architecture + urban design

East River Blueway
© WXY architecture + urban design

The East River Blueway Plan, led by WXY architecture + planning, provides a new vision for Manhattan’s East River waterfront from the Brooklyn Bridge to 38th Street. The project addresses issues that were overlooked for the last half century, including waterfront access from the land and water, environmental goals, climate change adaptation and storm resiliency for the waterfront and adjacent neighborhoods.

Miami (FL) 21: A New Zoning Code for the City
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. LLC

Miami 21 is a form-based zoning code that replaced Miami's Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and land-use based regulations. Using the Transect and the SmartCode as its basis, the new code focuses on the control of building to assure pedestrian-oriented public space, and provide physical predictability for developers and residents alike.

The Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan; San Antonio,TX
Lake|Flato Architects

The Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan is serving as a transformative model and catalyst for green urban revitalization in a long neglected portion of San Antonio’s inner city. Established in 1883, the Pearl Brewing Company once had the largest brewery in Texas but eventually closed their operation in 1985.

After 15 years lying derelict, the creative reuse of this 26-acre brownfield site and its abandoned structures are drawing in a rich mix of new residents, small businesses, retail, and non-profits while emphasizing community, conservation, and local economic development.

Son Tra Peninsula Strategic Vision Plan; Vietnam
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Son Tra is connected with Da Nang via the longest suspension cable bridge in Vietnam, the Thuan Phuoc Bridge, which was opened in 2009. This connection to the city has improved accessibility, but it has also brought development interest that threatens the environmental health of the area.

The plan champions this territory as one to be enhanced, rather than exploited; it calls for the creation of a protected status for the “mountain-island,” and it establishes clear “no build” zones at altitudes above 100 meters while suggesting locations where development may enhance economic opportunities without affecting the environment and natural beauty.


Tagged categories: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Architects; Architecture; Awards and honors; Color + Design; Designers; Landscape architects; Project Photos; Renovation

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