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AIA Selects the 2011 Recipients of the Small Project Awards
The E.D.G.E. Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment; Bayfield, WI. Revelations Architects/ Builders Corporation.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the eight recipients of the 2011 Small Project Awards. The AIA Small Project Awards Program, now in its eighth year, was established to recognize small-project practitioners for the high quality of their work and to promote excellence in small-project design. This award program emphasizes the excellence of small-project design and strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to projects, no matter the limits of size and scope.

The jury for the Small Project Awards includes: Deborah Pierce, AIA (jury chair), Pierce Lamb Architects; Obie G. Bowman, FAIA, Obie G. Bowman, FAIA, Architect; Randy Brown, FAIA, Randy Brown Architects; Lance Hosey, AIA, LEED AP, GreenBlue and Wendy Evans Joseph, FAIA, Wendy Evans Joseph Architect, Cooper Joseph Studio.

Award recipients are categorized into two groups; category 1), Small Project Structures (construction costs up to $500,000) and category 2) Small Project Objects (construction costs up to $50,000).

Category 1

PS 234 Manhattan Walkway, New York City
Macrae-Gibson Architects P.C.

The purpose of the walkway is to connect the main PS 234 building with a kindergarten annex. The walkway is L-shaped, following the outline of the property and consists of a steel framed structure varying in height from 12 to 20 feet that rests on a concrete base which forms the ramp. The structure is made of 4” x 4” red painted steel posts with red painted steel connecting beams and is roofed with a standing seam red metal roof.

Layton Pavilion, Greenfield, WI
Johnsen Schmaling Architects

A small architectural intervention embedded in the spatial vacuum of suburbia, the Layton Pavilion functions as a gatehouse connecting a large strip mall parking lot and a walled-in, undevelopable brownfield site used as a provisional public green space along a busy suburban intersection. Literally leading from nowhere to nowhere, the pavilion itself becomes a destination that reintroduces the fundamental concepts of spatiality, scale, and materiality to the experientially impoverished realm of the urban periphery. Empty and ominous, it serves as a quiet monument to the richness of the human condition.

Meditation Hut III “Victor”, Champaign, IL
Jeffery S. Poss Architect

Entry to the hut is through an obscured door detailed like the cedar walls. Inside an oversized window opposite the entrance immediately pulls the view back outside to a composed view of mature trees. Adjacent to this is a miniature tea cabinet. A raised platform in the main space supports three tatami mats. Throughout the day water reflections are projected onto the soffit. The roof channels rainwater to a central spout over the pond. A horizontal window in the tatami room frames a meditative fragment of water. The floor of glossy ebonized birch has the sensation of a deep still pool - the grass tatami mats become an island within an island. The result is an interior volume that is protective and serene but alive with subtle energy.

Tea House, Bethesda, MD
david jameson architect

A hanging bronze and glass object inhabits the backyard of a suburban home. The structure, which evokes the image of a Japanese lantern, acts as a tea house, meditation space, and stage for the family's musical recitals. After experiencing the image of the lantern as a singular gem floating in the landscape, one is funneled into a curated procession space between strands of bamboo that is conceived to cleanse the mind and prepare one to enter the object. After ascending an origami stair, the visitor is confronted with the last natural element: a four inch thick, opaque wood entry door. At this point the visitor occupies the structure as a performer with a sense of otherworldliness meditation.

Kiwi House, Baton Rouge, LA
Plus One, LLC

Named for its somewhat rough exterior and cool, open interior – optimizes the layout and orientation of its site. In keeping with the traditional imagery of the neighborhood, the house is a modern interpretation of the shotgun house, built for a mere $98 a square foot. The guiding design philosophy for the Kiwi House can be broken down into three principles. Respond to the site to allow the structure to bolster an existing sense of community, tread lightly on our natural resources minimizing consumption and waste and finally plan for efficient energy use and reduction of energy loss.

The E.D.G.E. Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment; Bayfield, WI
Revelations Architects/ Builders Corporation

Using tough economic times and materialism as a backdrop, the architect set out to challenge the notion that “bigger is always better.” The result is this sustainable and portable dwelling that has become a launching point and educational tool to transform the way homes are designed. A modular design, the structure’s mechanical areas – kitchen and bathroom – are prefabricated to provide quality, affordability and speed of assembly. These modules are woven together by walls of glass on either side of the central living space, with a loft bedroom above each module.

Category 2

Gordon Square Bus Shelter, Cleveland, OH
Robert Maschke Architects Inc.

The brief called for the creation of functional and iconic elements to be incorporated as a part of an ensemble of new pieces of public art slated for the highly anticipated Detroit Avenue Streetscape project. The design is conceived as a single stainless steel surface which wraps and folds to create the shelter. Folds in the surface are determined by the accommodation of functional, contextual, and structural variables, which merge to generate the shelter’s shape. A pattern of perforations moves across the surface of the shelter which responds to localized conditions of sun, wind and view.

Pavilion, Empire, MI
Salmela Architect

This pavilion is an outdoor center for bocce ball tournaments, picnics, conversation and even summer night sleeping under safari nets. It is also a counterpoint of form to the orderly house, black out-buildings, fireplace and sauna of this retreat. The walls/roof are constructed on a flat concrete slab. The structure consists of two flat trusses of diagonal chords of stock 2x lumber. A 16”on-center 2x4 stud frame stiffens this flat truss and the paper-resin sheathing/siding/roofing makes a stiff 36 foot long plane. The structure was built for $23,000.

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