May 13, 2008
by: Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: Design Awards Winners’ Symposium: Architecture Winners
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.07.08
Speakers: Will Bruder, AIA — Architecture Design Awards Juror & President, will bruder + PARTNERS (Moderator and Speaker); Andrew Berman, AIA — Principal, Andrew Berman Architect; Duncan Hazard, AIA — Partner, Polshek Partnership Architects; Thomas Lanzelotti, AIA — Principal, Gensler; Philip Ryan — Senior Associate, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Organizers: AIANY Design Awards Committee
Sponsors: Benefactors: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Syska Hennessy Group; Patrons: F.J. Sciame Construction; Goldman Sachs; HDR; HOK; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services; O’Connor Capital Partners; Richter+Ratner; Thornton Tomasetti; Lead Sponsors: Arup; Consulting for Architects; Gensler; KI; Lutron Electronics; Mancini Duffy; RMJM Hillier; STUDIOS architecture; Turner Construction Company; Sponsors: Armstrong World Industries; AKF Engineers; Building Contractors Association; Cosentini Associates; Costas Kondylis & Associates; Flack + Kurtz; Forest City Ratner Companies; FXFOWLE Architects; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; James G. Kennedy & Company; Jaros Baum & Bolles; JCJ Architecture; John Gallin & Son; MechShade Systems; Microsol Resources; New York University; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Perkins+Will; Peter Marino Architect; Polshek Partnership Architects; Ricci Greene Associates; Rogers Marvel Architects; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Toshiko Mori Architect; Weidlinger Associates

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The only 2008 Architecture Honor Award went to Steven Holl Architects’ Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Andy Ryan, courtesy AIANY

The jurors had not met each other until the day of the 2008 AIANY Design Awards judging, but it turned out that David Adjaye, RIBA, Will Bruder, AIA, and Ada Karmi-Melamede, AIA, IIA, had a similar set of parameters for selecting the award-winning projects among 150 submissions. They were looking for “ordinary tectonics done extraordinarily well. We did not want to devalue the award by honoring too many,” stated Bruder. As a result, only one Honor Award and five Merit Awards were given.

Bruder was the only juror to experience the Honor Award-winning Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, designed by Steven Holl Architects. He described the building as iconic, both day and night, and the spatial choreography was welcoming, starting from the approach by car and ending in the old wings of the museum. The building reflects the skyline from a distance, and the sculptural form directly relates to the museum’s sculpture garden. The double-skin glass wall sandwiches raw fluorescent strip lights — a simple assemblage that emanates a translucent glow. The entry chamber consists of “light vessels” and its volume fully integrates both light and mechanical systems.

The Private Library and Writing Studio in Long Island, NY, by Andrew Berman Architect, and the Salt Point House in Salt Point, NY, by Thomas Phifer & Partners, won Merit Awards for their simplicity and subtlety, Bruder said. Andrew Berman, AIA, wanted to design a building that is a mystery to outsiders while creating intimacy and shelter for the client. He sited the cabin at a threshold between a field and forest, emphasizing the contrast between horizontal and vertical. Time is a major element of the design, and light carves and animates the space affecting the appearance of the exterior copper cladding. The Salt Point House also incorporates illusion in its design. The exterior consists of two parallel sheer walls that create a sense of both privacy and voyeurism, according to Bruder. The scrims add layers to an otherwise simple kit-of-parts construction.

“Corrugated metal is the material of our time,” said Bruder, a material used in the Salt Point House as well as The New York Times Building by FXFOWLE Architects / Renzo Piano Building Workshop with interiors by Gensler. Here, the design team borrowed conveyor belt technology for the exterior ceramic rods to create a translucent screen of its own. Collaboration drove the interior design, according to Gensler principal Thomas Lanzelotti, AIA. The firms worked together to integrate the interior with the exterior — from the interior garden and art installation viewable from the street, to the exterior signage, designed by Pentagram, located at newsroom level. Transparency was as important for sustainability (this is the only LEED-certified awarded building in this category) as ideology. The movement on the street relates to the activity of the reporters and production inside.



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