From the restoration of a beachfront mansion, constructed in 1852 and final home of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, ... to an outdoor elementary school classroom; ... to an art gallery interior renovation; ... to a campus project in Jimani, Dominican Republic; ... to an all female athletics facility ... jurors unanimously recognized design excellence in the 2010 AIA Gulf States Region Honor Awards program.
The Gulf States Region of the American Institute of Architects announced the recipients at a celebration in Miami during AIA’s national convention in June. The outstanding design quality and diversity of project types submitted by architects in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee impressed the Austin, TX-based jury.
Thad R. Kelly, AIA of Fayetteville, AR, presided as Awards Chair and assembled a talented group of jurors from the Austin area. Jurors included Donna Carter, FAIA, of Carter Design Architects; Lary Irsik, AIA, of ArchiTexas; Scott Ginder, AIA LEED AP, of Dick Clark Architects; and Lisa Dambold, AIA, of Studio8 Architects.
The fourteen projects recognized, chosen from a field of 113 submittals, are: (check back for photos)
Beauvoir – Biloxi, MS Larry A. Albert, AIA; Albert & Associates, PA; Hattiesburg
The challenge: to restore the beachfront mansion, constructed in 1852 and final home of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, after near destruction by Hurricane Katrina.
History is complicated – only slightly less than Mother Nature. The meticulous and scholarly restoration of Beauvoir simultaneously adds to our knowledge of preservation in the wake of disaster, allows the continued telling of our complicated history with the attention to authenticity that is remarkable in the wake of such destruction.
The project shows impeccable attention to preserving historic details.
Restoration and Reconstruction of this building was an incredible undertaking that reclaimed a significant historic landmark structure from the ruins of a storm for future generations to enjoy.
Architects were challenged to design a vacation home that takes advantage of panoramic views of the lake and surrounding forest. The program included a contextual, yet modern residence with enough living and sleeping space to accommodate a large extended family on weekend getaways.
I appreciate the organic development of the house form from site and integration of the design features with a very livable home. Again I'm taken by the timeless nature of the design themes. The detailing is modern, and of the time but not clichéd.
The structure itself frames vistas that accentuate the site and is situated to take advantage of the topography and terrain. Every twist and turn is well thought out with careful consideration for how one experiences the space, both inside and out.
The most striking feature of the house is the exactness of the detailing of rustic materials in a contemporary language. Truly beautiful.
This home’s materials and forms are delicately woven and conjoined within the wooded site.
Siena Center, St. Mary’s Dominican High School – New Orleans, LA
Waggonner & Ball Architects; New Orleans
This is a new athletics facility for an uptown New Orleans all female high school, separated by a fire wall from the adjoining Student Center, also designed by the firm in 1991.
Sophisticated use of materials and manipulation of scale to complement the immediate neighborhood. A modern building and sensibility – that will continue to look contemporary.
A well proportioned massing of solid and transparent forms that resulted in a delightful building.
Extremely well detailed. The result is an appropriate nod to the past but a truly modern facility.
Arkansas Studies Institute – Little Rock, AR
Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects; Little Rock
A library’s history institute combines three buildings of three different centuries and construction types into one site sensitive architectural timeline, evoking imagery of pages of an open book.
The building just works on so many levels. The metaphor of the book leaves is a wonderful thought, and it was presented in the most simple and direct way, yet it is not needed to enjoy the building facade and how it changes on this corner. Architecturally executing the metaphor and being an addition to an historic building is brilliant. It does not mimic, yet both vertically and horizontally, it reinforces its connection to not only the existing buildings, but the streetscape and the pedestrian. It does it as a 21st century building, not a clone of a bygone era.
A well crafted facility with multiple layers of interest - whether viewed as part of the existing and adjacent structures or on its own. The uninterrupted rhythm of the facades allows the elevations to be distinct yet come together harmoniously.
I admire the use of the rustic materials in a contemporary language juxtaposed with the existing historic building forms.
The façade is playful and has many layers that are symbolically derived from the building program.
Honor Citation Awards
Kiwi House – Baton Rouge, LA
Plus One Design and Construction; Baton Rouge
The Kiwi House, because of its raw exterior and open interior, offers the traditional imagery of the neighborhood, a modern interpretation of the shotgun house.
An affordable structure, using “off the rack” materials, in new ways to interpret a traditional and understandable form – the house. The very form of the house also allows for elegant details that can be mastered within standard production tolerances. My definition of excellence in design.
With sustainable design as pretext, this project exhibited bold forms and elegant lines that grew from the building’s programmatic needs.
The Kiwi House is southern vernacular interpreted with a clean, modern, and fresh approach. It’s proof that a limited budget does not have to restrict the quality of design.
The absolute simplicity of the project achieves all that it can within a very modest budget.
One Eleven – Baton Rouge, LA
Remson|Haley|Herpin Architects; Baton Rouge
As the first ground-up downtown residential project in 40 years, this multi-use commercial and residential infill project sets the stage for future residential development in the area.
Elegant use of materials, fitted to a difficult site. Modern, but not clichéd, urbane yet human, a refuge in a much larger development. A city home. The skillful change in materials, what is open and what is not make residential portion seem imminently livable. This will remain fresh and inspiring for years to come.
This is a creatively conceived and executed structure that is well designed and appropriately scaled within its constrained historic context.
This project shows great ability to position on a difficult site and then use the complexity of the site to benefit the privacy of the residential units.
The building seems as though it was constructed with the surrounding structures. It is fully integrated yet still stands on its own architecturally.
Heifer International Educational Center – Little Rock, AR
Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, Ltd.; Little Rock
World hunger organization Heifer International’s new Education Center weaves wetlands with exhibits, expanding environmental stewardship into the public realm, while serving as a symbol of hope for world hunger efforts.
Elegant synthesis of idea, site and ideals. Strong parti provides structure to users’ experience throughout the space and informs their connections to the landscapes and nature. The detailing is consistent and intentional, adding to the entire visitor experience.
An exquisitely detailed complex with a singular architectural vocabulary that fits harmoniously into its landscape.
The structure becomes a literal translation of the function of the facility, and does so successfully, in an understated manner.
The connections between the various materials, highlights the detailing and the great amount of care and exactness to bring the palette together.
The Outdoor Classroom at Washington Elementary – Fayetteville, AR
Michael Hughes, Associate AIA, Fayetteville
The Tectonic Landscapes Initiative focuses on small, unremarkable, and often forgotten places adjacent to the lives of under-served people. Through the adaptive re-use and recycling of leftover urban spaces, the resulting projects augment and enhance existing building infrastructures with new, primarily outdoor, spaces, promoting play and exhibiting a social and environmental conscience.
The material, compositions, and juxtapositions create an eloquent essay in tectonic form.
A simple creative design solution that responded to the program needs within the constraints of a miniscule budget.
Handsome and refined detailing draws the curiosity of the viewer, inviting him to come closer and experience the structure and the site as a unified whole.
Elegant implementation of a principle driven project. The attention to each material and its relationship to the next, the joinery and their adjacency, not only construct the outdoor classroom, but demonstrate concepts of design in a touchable, teachable moment for students who may not ordinarily be exposed to this depth of design elements.
Arthur Roger @ 434 – New Orleans, LA
Wayne Troyer Architects, New Orleans
Renovation of an historic storefront space to an art gallery (with a connection to an adjacent gallery); including gallery, workstations, display/storage, lounge, kitchenette and bathroom.
This project successfully highlighted historic features and materials as art within the space and created an exceptional design balance between new construction and historic preservation.
The project does exactly what a gallery project should do, it showcases the space, allows attention to be paid to the art and the performance and then it delights. Careful detailing reinforces the sense of backdrop and framing but offers much more to gallery visitors as they take in the space and the art.
Glass filled voids draw the eye into the space. Clean and refined materials are used throughout, allowing the art to stand out. The interest of the space lies in its lack of the superfluous.
The simplicity of the well executed interior details is the right complement to the historic façade.
Anthony Trust Carillon Tower – Garvan Gardens, Hot Springs, AR
Maurice Jennings + David McKee, Architects; Fayetteville
A carillon tower was requested by members of a botanical garden to provide an instrument of celebration and monument of time. The tower acts as a marker, guiding people on their path to the chapel.
This sculpture appears as though it grew out of the site and comfortably shares a contemplative space within the towering trees.
The Carillon tower is a beautiful beacon and wayfinding landmark that stands out among the trees and yet feels part of the natural surroundings.
Contrast of strength of its pillars and airy experience of being within the tower allows the carillon to be experienced on many, equally rewarding, levels.
An elegant structure that invites the visitor in to experience the space both visually and audibly.
West Tennessee School for the Deaf (Recreation and Physical Therapy Building) – Jackson, TN
The architects were asked to add a functional and efficient recreation and physical therapy component to an existing campus. The facility includes a gym, a library, and classroom space.
This project was exceptional in creatively solving a programmatic need with a simple bold form that transformed the building’s identity.
The West Tennessee School for the Deaf is a beautiful composition of forms and space.
Simplicity, economy and a sense of scale within the neighborhood fabric. An elegant, timeless design that seems perfectly suited for the daily interaction of a school campus. The nature of daylight in the varied spaces, the use of simple materials, are elements informing users of excellence in design.
Understated design with simple materials brought together to create an elegant structure.
The project was to provide comprehensive spiritual, medical, physical, educational, economic and social relief, renewal, and recovery to transform the poor and disadvantaged in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Challenged by the Jimani Board of Directors to design facilities using local materials and labor.
This project forces us to define and understand our notion of design excellence. This project embodies design as sustainable, relevant to those who interact with it. Designing a visually pleasing building, with simple tools, that allows a community to help themselves and to design this across cultures and mores – this is indeed universal design. More remarkably, the structure withstands a natural disaster and can be repurposed and immediately become part of the solution to an entirely different set of needs.
This project exhibits the power of architecture and humanity and how essential needs can produce meaningful architecture for the community.
The most remarkable feature of the project is that it accomplishes exactly what it is designed to do and that it is accomplished with passive sustainable methods. The documentation of this is evident in the earthquake relief efforts.
Pellissippi State Community College – Magnolia Campus Improvements – Knoxville, TN
BarberMcMurry architects; Knoxville
A technical community college located in a 1950’s catholic high school needed replacement windows, an ADA compliant ramp, and new canopies over two front doors.
A delicate and artistic transformation of the building’s identity through the use of glass and light that was sensitive to the building’s original architecture.
These design interventions had a big impact on the way that the project is perceived from the street. With a few moves the new design gave new life and a rebranding to a repurposed building.
The added elements bring new life to the facility while providing a needed function.
This is an excellent example of a modest project yielding results greater than the sum of the parts and in the process allows all of us to show clients how existing buildings can be updated and modernized for modest investments. Reuse of an existing building, the ultimate in sustainability, is successful because of the skilled implementation of the simple improvements.
The Belisle Building Renovation and Addition – Baton Rouge, LA
Remson|Haley|Herpin Architects; Baton Rouge
A respected construction company wanted to move its headquarters into a rapidly revitalizing downtown area. After purchasing a 1920’s two-story Italianate building, the client hoped to use their new location to rebrand their business with a contemporary, cutting-edge image.
The juxtaposition and interweaving of old and new architecture is edgy, but well balanced.
This building makes you think. I especially like the play on columns – support, organizer of space, from the use of glass, to the intentional voids within the space.
By treating the façade as an overall composition of beautiful forms, both old and new, the design expresses the 3rd floor addition in a confident manner that is seldom done.
The addition’s green glass columns create both a visual and perceived balance to the existing restored façade. What was once a floating structure in appearance is now grounded and enhanced by the addition.