Best Architecture Projects
Henderson-Hopkins School / Rogers Partners. Image © Albert Vecerka ESTO
A boathouse by Studio Gang, the Smithsonian's BIG plan, and a new Baltimore school by Rogers Partners' are some of 18 projects selected for the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Awards. The awarded projects were chosen from 500 submissions as the US' best new architecture, interiors and urban design projects. Each recipient will be honored at the AIA 2016 National Convention in Philadelphia.
American Enterprise Group - National Headquarters Renovation; Des Moines / BNIM
American Enterprise Group - National Headquarters Renovation / BNIM. Image via AIA
This project encompasses the nearly invisible rehabilitation of an eight-story office building designed by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft, which received a 1967 AIA Honor Award for Architecture. Original systems were meticulously integrated with the building architecture. Rehabilitation required substantial demolition of the interior, which was obsessively reconstructed to accommodate new building and life-safety systems. The renovated space addresses human efficiency and evolving workplace standards with both systems and a minimal, modern office design that enhances human productivity while making AEG’s significant art collection an integrated part of the experience.
Asia Society Center; Admiralty, Hong Kong / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners; Associate Architect: AGC Design Ltd.; Associated Architects Ltd.
Asia Society Center / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners. Image © Michael Moran
Combining historical buildings from the British colonial period with an angular footbridge and a glass-wrapped modern pavilion, the Asia Society complex in Hong Kong spans eras, cultures and styles. They connected the three 19th-century buildings to an extant 1940s structure via a footbridge that cuts a sharp "V" line through the verdant setting, and inserted a new 11, 000-square-foot pavilion behind the younger building. The zigzagging bridge through the greenery, covered like many walkways in traditional Chinese gardens, yields expansive views of the city.
Case Inlet Retreat; Lakebay, Washington / MW Works | Architecture+Design
Case Inlet Retreat / MW Works. Image via AIA
The design brief called for a modern, low-maintenance abode that had a strong relationship with the land. The architects devised a solution whose simple forms unfold into the landscape, offering a unique interaction with the site in each room. The living space projects west into the tree canopy on a cantilevered platform, capturing views of the water and sunset. The kitchen reaches out through a sliding glass door to engage the meadow and the afternoon sun. The site permeates the building, through its ample windows and doors that bring in daylight, views of the Olympic Mountains and natural ventilation. Its concerted use of rugged, natural materials that complement what is found in the local landscape and also reinforces a sense of context and connection.
CHS Field; Saint Paul, Minnesota / Snow Kreilich Architects, Inc, Ryan A+E, Inc. and AECOM
CHS Field / Snow Kreilich Architects. Image © Paul Crosby
Working with the St. Paul Saints, an independent league franchise, and the City of St. Paul, the architects slipped a 7, 000-seat ballpark into a remnant site between an interstate highway, an elevated bridge, a light-rail operations facility and the historic Lowertown District on the edge of St. Paul's business core. Wherever possible, the stadium is porous, opening itself to the life of the blocks around it. The main entrance frames the termination of Fifth Street, creating a vital connection to that core via an axial view along the street to the historic St. Paul Hotel. The sleek, low ballpark offers powerful views to the surrounding structures, many of them warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The 125, 000-square-foot K-8 partnership school run by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is a progressive learning environment for children and a laboratory for the next generation of educators. While most elementary schools are single buildings, the School is a cluster of “containers for learning” inspired by East Baltimore’s row houses, stoops, and social civic spaces. Through its intentionally porous, safe, urban plan, and the craftsmanship of light, materiality and performance, its design respects history and supports the future of education and of its neighborhood.
Mariposa Land Port of Entry Expansion and Modernization / Jones Studio. Image via AIA
Situated amidst the high desert of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry reimagines a border station: The public is welcomed to the U.S. by a canopy colored with reds, whites, and blues of a waving flag. Tree-lined walkways and landscape are irrigated by one-million gallons of harvested rainwater. Art and poetry are integrated within the crossing experience. Vehicular processing zones guide private vehicles and commercial vehicles, carrying 40% of produce entering the U.S., to either side of a central garden “oasis”, providing officers and staff a respite on site.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science / Morphosis Architects; Associate Architect: Good Fulton & Farrell. Image via AIA