Washington, D.C. – July 26, 2012 – Eleven small projects have been selected by the American Institute of Architects as winners of the 2012 Small Project Awards. The Small Project Awards Program recognizes small-project practitioners for high quality work and to promote excellence in small-project design. Now in its ninth year, 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: James Cline, AIA (jury chair), Cline Architects; Anne Fougeron, FAIA, Fougeron Architecture; Chad Oppenheim, AIA, Oppenheim Architecture + Design; James Slade, AIA, Slade Architecture; and Karen Van Lengen, FAIA, Karen Van Lengen Architect.
Award recipients are categorized into three groups; category 1) a small project construction, object, work of environmental art or architectural design element up to $150,000 2) a small project construction, up to $1,500,000 and 3) a small project construction up to $1,500,000 which does not rely on external infrastructure as its primary power source.
SPECS Optical Façade; Minneapolis
To bring visibility to an optical shop hindered by sign codes and obscured by landscape beautification on one of Minneapolis' busiest streets, Alchemy evaluated code options and technology to create architecture inseparable from the idea of sign. On a limited design+build budget, a new skin of self-supporting greenhouse polycarbonate frames grow out of the historic facade. Low and high tech tools included a laser cut scale install model, CNC cut polycarbonate, waterjet-cut aluminum, and die-cut polyurethane straps which helped to celebrate craft befitting both the building and the creative store that inhabits it.
The Mobile Dwelling Cube; Oakland, CA
This compact mobile dwelling cube allows the client to balance his personal and professional life in one space. The mobile unit enables the client to freely reconfigure the loft to suit his Feng Shui classes while securing his personal realm. To meet the owner’s requests for transferring the cube to future locations and minimizing on-site fabrication, a steel frame and plywood components were prefabricated to fit through a standard 3-foot door. FSC Ash plywood panels were hand-selected for unique grain patterns that resemble Chinese ink landscapes. Soy-glued plywood finished with natural Shellac, enables the owner to inhabit the cube without off-gassing concerns.
The Ghost Houses; Knoxville, TN
This project was not supposed to be possible - five units of housing and a studio in three structures on a one-quarter acre infill lot with an historic zoning overlay. Yet, by using the history of the site as a wedge the architects were able to overcome rigid regulations to create a progressive project consistent with their interest in dense, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods and architecture that is simultaneously responsive to both its location and global environmental concerns.
OS House; Racine, WI
Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Occupying a narrow infill lot in an old city neighborhood at the edge of Lake Michigan, this LEED Platinum home for a young family demonstrates how a small residence built with a moderate budget can become a confident, new urban constituent. The compact building volume is wrapped with an innovative concrete rain screen facade system that transforms into a delicate scrim of metal rods defining the perimeter of upper level outdoor rooms. Floor-to ceiling apertures penetrate the rain screen, their bright colors an unapologetic nod to the cheerful polychrome of the neighborhood’s Victorian homes.