Saturday, October 10, 2015

Baltimore AIA 2015 Awards

The event started with thunder and lightening, guests arrived drenched from a torrential downpour that added to a sense of other-worldliness that befell many who came to Baltimore AIA's latest round of Design Awards. Those awards are usually bestowed during a festive event in one of the venues that had received a design award before, something new and shiny or something lovingly restored.
AIA event card

So it caused disorientation this time around that the event took place in the "Lithuanian Hall" on Hollins Street, a place nobody had heard of in the context of architectural work in recent decades, a place that, located in the easterly dead end portion of Hollins Street near MLK Boulevard, is hard to find and that its Greek-Roman revival exterior is not that remarkable, not to mention that the Hall has no parking lot.
The Lithuanian Hall (photo: ArchPlan)

But the locale was chosen by design, it is on the list of over 50 hidden architectural treasures that the AIA will showcase during Architecture Month (October) during the Doors Open event on 10/24.
The Lithuanian Hall celebrates its 100th birthday this year (it was founded in 1915, but the current structure was built several years later when the original rowhouses became too small) and it is indeed a throwback into the past including the original Lithuanians gathering in the downstairs bar over authentic Lithuanian beer around a dance floor with a live  band providing the music. The language emanating from the tables is Lithuanian, the art on the walls and stairways is Lithuanian folklore and elaborate wood carvings are on display on an upper floor museum.
Wood cuts in the stairway of the Lithuanian Hall
(photo: ArchPlan)

Bar, restaurant and dance floor in the basement (photo: ArchPlan)
There were a lot of "presidential awards" read out by current AIA President Rob Brennan:
  • Client of the year award: Jubilee Baltimore for the Center Theatre. 
  • Consultant of the year; Jackie window and door 
  • Contractor of the year: Lewis contractors (Wash Monument. )
  • Craftsmen of the year: Worcester Eisenbrandt for the Washington Monument restauration 
  • Allied Member of the year: Subzero and Wokf by Fretz*
  • Community Architect award: Davin Hong for his school investment zones initiative
  • Civic Engagement award: Chris Parts 
  • Service to the Profession: Dan Bailey*
  • Architecture Journalism: Ed Gunts for his architectural reviews in the Baltimore Brew
  • Community Development: Aecom for their work on the Red Line stations
  • Architectural discourse. T3texture*

Another set of awards was given under the title "Good Design is good Business" by a jury consisting of Ed Gunts, Jay Brodie, and MaryAnne Akers. The winners were:
  • Kann Architects*, 
  • Cho Benn Holback for their Whole Foods conversion of the former Rouse headquarter building in Columbia and 
  • SM&P Architects for the Alma Cocina Latina project.

Other awards included the "Future Architects Resources" awards selected by jury members Anthony Consoli. President elect, Anna Castro and Michael Dailey for these students:
  • Morgan Bryan Asson. Morgan State University
  • Brian Baska, also Morgan
  • Dan Lorezana, AA Community College
the Baltimore Fellows Leadership Award for graduate students given to Ginokachi Eburuoh, the Don D. Redden Award for Dan Rodricks and his contributions to architecture and the Golden Griffin Award for Mt Vernon Conservancy and their work on the Washington Monument

Finally, the actual Awards for Design Excellence selected by a jury of  Matthew Kreilich, AIA, LEED AP, Snow Kreilich Architects, Thomas Meyer, FAIA, Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd and Joan M. Soranno, FAIA, HGA Architects and Engineers, were given to:
Congratulations to all! Design does matter and Baltimore needs design to thrive. the Baltimore chapter of AIA is an active participant in the region's design culture and is helping to shape the region's future, sometimes quietly and behind the scenes, sometimes with thunder and lightening.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

*Some of the awards listed are noted without complete information due to my inability to type fast enough on my mobile phone. The complete and official information see in the box below the images.

The grand design awards winner: Price Modern show rooms in Remington (photo: ArchPlan)

(photo: ArchPlan)

Photo: Gensler

AIABaltimore President’s Awards

The President’s Awards recognize those who have made valuable contributions to the design and construction process, as well as individuals, companies, and organizations of special distinction and service to our chapter and our community.  This year’s awards are:

Client of the Year
Jubilee Baltimore
In recognition of Jubilee Baltimore's continued commitment to improving Baltimore's urban environment through the renovation of the Centre Theater: a prominent historic landmark on North Avenue and an integral contribution to the evolving Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

Consultant of the Year
Jackie Browning, Window & Door Planning Consultants
In recognition of Jackie Browning’s continued involvement with the architectural profession as the expert voice for the window and door industry, along with her long-standing support of AIA Baltimore programs and initiatives.

Contractor of the Year
Lewis Contractors
In recognition of Lewis Contractors’ high level of service and execution in the restoration and rehabilitation of significant historic projects, most recently the Washington Monument on Mount Vernon Place for its 200 year anniversary.

Craftsman of the Year
Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc.
In recognition of Worcester Eisenbrandt's continued contribution to the excellence of the building trades in masonry restoration and rehabilitation, most recently for the restoration of the entry doors on the Washington Monument on Mount Vernon Place for its 200 year anniversary.

Allied Member of the Year
Subzero and Wolf by Fretz
In recognition of Subzero and Wolf by Fretz, and Christine Simeone’s continued support of AIA Baltimore's programs and initiatives, most recently Celebrity Chef Night.

Community Architect
Davin Hong, AIA
In recognition of Davin Hong’s commitment to exploring, documenting and delivering the message that investment in the Baltimore City Public School construction projects can be leveraged to improve the surrounding community.

Civic Engagement
Chris Parts, AIA
In recognition of Chris Part's decade-long contribution to a consistent and sustained AIA representation in the halls of the Annapolis State House, monitoring legislation and testifying on our behalf.

Service to the Profession
Dan Bailey, AIA
In recognition of Dan Bailey's commitment and perseverance in leading the design and construction industry in seeking fairness in the State procurement process for Maryland-based professional services and contractors.

Architectural Journalism
Ed Gunts
In recognition of Ed Gunt's long professional career as Baltimore's Architecture Critic, most recently in his position with the Baltimore Brew.  His skillful and informative reporting has called for good urban and building design with a focus on transparency of the public process for design and access to Baltimore’s public spaces.

Community Development
Understanding the ultimate need for urban mass transit to service a growing and vibrant Baltimore, the proposed light rail Red Line and the design of its stations are recognized for its great potential, although left unrealized.

Architectural Discourse
In appreciation of the need for a visual and written medium dedicated to architectural discourse, the publication T3XTURE is recognized for its dialogue and imagery in continuing to inspire a higher level of design discussion in Baltimore and beyond. 

The Good Design is Good Business Award honors architects and clients who best utilize good design to help companies and organizations achieve their goals.  This award is intended to recognize projects where design excellence elevated the resulting benefit of a project to the business, institution, or community which it serves.  In particular, it awards exceptional collaboration.

The 2015 jury included Maryanne Akers, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University, Baltimore journalist, Ed Gunts; and Jay Brodie, Baltimore Business Journal contributor and former president of the Baltimore Development Corp.

 Good Design = Good Business Award to City Neighbors Hamilton & City Neighbors High School by Isackson Design Group and Kann Partners.

Our jury noted that:
This project demonstrates that Good Design is Good Business through the interaction among the client and designers, in particular through the effectiveness of the student-designed spaces.  The jury commended this project for articulating its mission, and how it lifted up the environment for the students. It feels as if the students own these spaces, which means it achieved its goal.  The design warms up the school’s spaces through color and materials, is embracing and welcoming, and evokes a sense of community and togetherness.  The message that “the environment is the third teacher” is embodied well in this project, and provides an outstanding example for other schools.

Honorable mentions.  The first is for The Rouse Company Building by Cho Benn Holback + Associates

The jury commented that: The Rouse Company Building effectively repurposed a corporate headquarters into a multi-tenant building with a large chain grocery store.  It is a good example of a sensitive adaptive-use which retains the essence of the original building, and carries this into the new design. The jury appreciated the massing and articulation of the addition, and how the new design reinforces the relationship of the building to the lake.

A second honorable mention for Good Design =Good Business goes to Alma Cocina Latina by SM+P Architects.

The jury commented that: Through its use of natural light and materials, Alma Cocina Latina demonstrates great attention to detail through a few simple moves. The design made every square inch count, and created an inviting space.

FAR Scholarships: Jury, Ana Castro of JRS Architects, Luis Bernardo of Design Collective, and Michael Daly of Architectural Support Group.
Undergraduate Scholarship Award of first place is awarded to:
Bryan Asson, for “Folded Duality”
Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning

The jury commented that: This project fit into the context well. The design is complex; yet, thoughtful and very well executed. The concept is wellarticulated by means of nice sketches and drawings.  The end result is striking and one of the best student submissions this year.

An Undergraduate Honorable Mention Citation is awarded to:
Brian Baksa, for “Perkins Promenade”
Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning

The jury commented that: This is a great design which makes use of very clear diagrams and text for an effective presentation. A design that displays a very clear thought process that is very well executed.

Another Undergraduate Honorable Mention Citation is awarded to:
Dan Lorenzana
Anne Arundel Community College

The jury commented that: Clearly a talented student with very beautiful drawings skills.  One of the best hands of the submissions this year; beautiful pen & ink work.
The Baltimore Architecture Foundation/AIABaltimore Fellows Leadership Award is intended to encourage and assist students to be leaders in their academic program, and foster leadership skills for their future in the architecture profession.

The Fellows Leadership Award goes to:  Ginikachi Eburuoh 

The Roger D. Redden Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong dedication to Architecture and to furthering its understanding in Baltimore.  It is my pleasure to present this year’s award to: Dan Rodricks.

BAF’s Golden Griffin Award is presented to an organization that has demonstrated a dedication to Architecture and to furthering its understanding in Baltimore.  I am very pleased to present the 2015 Golden Griffin Award to: The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. 

DESIGN AWARDS: the Honorable Mention Awards to:

Baltimore Jewelry Center
Alexander Design Studio
The jury commented that:
The design offers simplicity and restraint for a makers lab.  It has an industrial quality without being too design-y.  The furniture and equipment blend really well with the overall aesthetics. Every detail was thought about, like the multi-colored peg board. The display corridor is very nice, as are the color palette and materials. Often these are spaces that are un-designed, and hard to make look good.

Millennial Media
Marks, Thomas Architects
The jury appreciated the architect’s restraint in allowing the original character of the building and structure to be maintained. There is a real sense of light and openness inside the building. The spacious, light-filled open office floor plan would be a wonderful place to work.  The playful use of color and collaborative spaces throughout offer a fresh yet respectful approach to the design.

This project took a space that was unredeeming at the starting point, and transformed it into a nice work environment.  The connecting stair, use of glass and stainless steel details add to the openness of the space. Color is used rather sparingly but in an effective way to highlight important elements within the office space.

Southwest Partnership
This master plan engages multiple communities with five big ideas.  If offers an interesting framework and way of thinking. This looks like a real community visualization: someone in the community could look at this and get excited about a different future envisioned and use it as a platform for change.   The graphic presentation and renderings and what they’re communicating back to the community are commendable. 

Also to Gensler, the first design award of the night goes to:

Price Modern
The jury appreciated the very clean and simple design of this adaptive reuse of a former industrial building into a furniture showroom.  The jury also loved the spatial complexity inside.  This project considered every surface and detail throughout the space.  The exposed and dropped ceilings are used very effectively to articulate work zones. The selective concealing and revealing of the existing structure is extremely successful on this project.

Forum Auditorium
Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects
The jury appreciated the restoration of this beautiful auditorium, and particularly its use of color and material. The meticulous attention to the restoration of every surface preserved a wonderful space for generations to come.   Like a great restoration must, this great space looks like it did when it opened originally. The design gods are smiling that this building was lovingly restored. Bravo!

The next design award goes to:

Maryland Institute College of Art, Fred Lazarus IV Center Annex & Bridge Connector
Ziger/Snead, LLP
The jury appreciated the simplicity and understated quality of this project.  A great example of “less is more”.  The level of restraint is commendable and the small connector skyway is a wonderful and unexpected surprise. It simply looks like an inspiring and high-functioning place to study art.  This project offers a nice juxtaposition between the historic, warehouse/industrial aesthetic with simple and contemporary detailing. The interiors are open, light-filled spaces that have a great collaborative vibe.

Michael F. Trostel FAIA Award is presented to a project that exemplifies Excellence in Historic Preservation

This year’s Trostel Award goes to:

The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy Washington Monument Restoration
Sandra Vicchio & Assoc. LLC

This project is a complicated technical restoration and is well-documented.  The story and the project are presented very well, demonstrating the care that the team took with the restoration.  The lighting highlights the monument really well too. These kinds of historic preservation projects are really important, and this is very sensitively done.

The 2015 Award for Excellence in Sustainable Design is presented to:

Gaudreau, Inc.

The jury commented that: It is no easy task to accomplish LEED Platinum in the adaptation of a large former tobacco warehouse to a healthcare research and education facility.  The jury commended this project as a wonderful example of adaptive reuse at the highest level of sustainable recognition. 

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