Awarded Projects Prove that Great Architecture Performs as well as Inspires.
At a sold-out event Monday night, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle chapter honored architects from across Washington State for innovative, and in some cases, groundbreaking projects exemplifying best examples in a broad array of settings from single- and multi-family residential, to health care, to civic, to commercial.
Award-winning projects served as powerful demonstrations of how architecture can perform financially, sustainably and humanistically, as well as positively transform our social and urban landscape.
“This is an awards program that is moving away from focusing on “the money shot” in terms of measuring excellence in architecture,” said David Baker FAIA of San Francisco, one of the AIA Honor Awards jurors. “It was great to see the high degree of sustainable design. The Pacific Northwest is clearly a leader in this area.”
Of the 177 submittals to 2008 AIA Seattle Honor Awards, four received Honor Awards, four received Merit Awards, four received Commendations, and two received Citations for their work.
Honor awardees were recognized for their sustainable responses to the challenges and demands of 21st-century architecture and their transformative qualities. The four (shown in this article) receiving Honor Awards were:
“7,” by Robert Hutchison & Sarah Biemiller. Jurors unanimously were impressed with this project, noting “This conceptually ambitious project breathes life into the faded recent history of public art. Extracting two innate qualities of the existing environment – its post-and-beam structure and its wonderful quality of light – the work creates a new ephemeral structure that speaks to both but is neither.”
EX3 Ron Sandwith Teen Center, by Weinstein AU. This Federal Way project was distinguished by its strong conceptual approach to materials and translucent flexible spaces, allowing it to be functional over time.
Montlake Branch of the Seattle Public Library, by Weinstein AU. The library was noted for its powerful civic presence and successful integration with the varying scales of the surrounding neighborhood.
Woodway Residence, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. This was a stand out because of its radical transformation – programmatically and spatially – of an outdated, 1950s structure while still preserving the building’s heritage, which jurors called “a valuable sustainable agenda.”
Four projects received Merit Awards. They include: Kitsap County Administration Building by Miller Hull; Envelope House by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Gym by E. Cobb Architects and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen.
Commendations were awarded to: Agnes Lofts by Weinstein AU; 56 Piles by E. Cobb Architects; the Terry Thomas by Weber Thompson and Banner Gateway Medical Center by NBBJ.
Two conceptual projects received Citations: VO (Vegetable Oil) Shed by Atelier Jones and Bumper Crop by Miller Hull, for their ability to rethink and re-imagine solutions to everyday necessities such as fueling stations and food production in an urban setting.
Overall jurors were impressed with the high quality of award submittals, noting “a respectful competency across the board.” The three-person jury included noted architects, Patricia Patkau, Hon. FAIA of Vancouver BC’s Patkau Architects, Nader Tehrani of Boston’s Office dA, and David Baker FAIA San Francisco’s David Baker + Partners, who reviewed the entries over the weekend, visited several of them and developed their selections Monday morning.
Moderating the awards program and jury deliberation was Susan S. Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis magazine. The 2008 Honor Award Co-Chairs were Bill Gaylord AIA of GGLO and Mary Johnston FAIA of Johnston Architects.