The AIA Chicago chapter awarded big-time recognition to some of the city's small and emerging architectural firms as well as exceptional local small projects in the 2015 Small Project Awards. The Chapter announced the winners today at a festive party and exhibition in Chicago's Architectural Artifacts. The exhibition showcased all the entries from this year, and attendees had to opportunity to meet the architects behind the work.
A total of seven firms received awards: one firm was presented with the Honor Award and six received Citations of Merit.
Scroll down to see the winning projects.
Live/Work Gallery in Chicago by P.K. VanderBeke, Architect
"The challenge: to create a functional and sustainable live/work gallery in a century old factory space while retaining the character of "a romantic ruin" that had initially attracted the client. The solution: existing finishes were stabilized and retained while new construction worked from a palette of steel, concrete, and glass to evoke the building's industrial past. The steel clad fireplace and closet enclosure sit away from the walls like artifacts left behind by former occupants. Large galvanized electrical pipe acts as wiremold and baseboard. Stairs and walkways were fabricated of industrial steel grating carefully chosen so the owner (and his dog) feel comfortable going barefoot on them. The removal of a portion of a windowless second floor addition to create a terrace and the enlargement of window openings into doors on the first floor invite additional natural light into the space while celebrating the courtyard where paving was reduced to add greenspace and allow runoff to be accommodated on site. The living space is separated thermally and acoustically from the gallery and garage spaces below by a new stairwell enclosure. Heavy industrial felt curtains on exterior openings insulate the occupants from heat loss, light, and sound when they so desire."
CITATION OF MERIT:
MGLM Architects - Acanthus Awards Medal
"The annual awards program of the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art sought a bronze award that exhibited the ideals of the Classical tradition while making the award specific to the chapter. They chose the name of the Acanthus Award of Arete. Arete is a Greek word translated as excellence in fulfillment of purpose or function, and the bronze was created to uniquely honor a project that exhibits that quality. The origin of the design lies in the philosophical juxtaposition and harmonious interweaving of the geometric and the organic, embodying Chicago’s motto of URBS IN HORTO – City in a Garden – as well as local design traditions. The design is generated from a synthesis of 3 significant moments in the history of American Midwest architecture. The square frame represents the geometric layering present in the Prairie Style. The intersection and interaction of the natural and the geometric, as well as the “awakening” of the square, allude to Louis Sullivan’s teachings. Finally, the Acanthus leaves and corbels represent the Classical, as stipulated by the program."
Froelich Kim Architecture - Box Within A Box
"Located in an existing storefront space in a vintage Bucktown building, this is our San Francisco based client's Chicago flagship workout studio. The program included a main workout room to be enclosed and kept at a very warm 98.6 degrees (same temperature as the human body), changing rooms, reception desk, shoe storage, open lockers, and benches where patrons can remove their shoes before entering the workout room. By clearly defining its mass and volume, we celebrate the main workout room, affectionately known as the "hot box" and define it as a distinct and featured element. As seen from the street, this red panel clad workout room visually reads as a box within a box and becomes the calling card feature of the workout studio. Selectively carved openings in the walls of the box create views in and out, and to allow the interior architecture to dramatically reveal itself as one follows the path of circulation."
Dirk Denison Architects - Cast Aluminum Table
"An elongated elliptical resin top serving up to twelve diners cantilevers from the delicate support of three identical cast aluminum legs. The tenuous aesthetic of the legs resonate the adjacent cable structure supporting the cantilevered house, while the texture of the porous cast aluminum bring a new texture to the sleek interior."
MAS Studio - Elemental Kitchen
"Glass, stainless steel, and marble define the kitchen for a private residence in Chicago. The client wanted a modern kitchen that could be part of the living space of the house. With a carefully selected palette of materials, we addressed the client’s needs while exploring concealment, light, and tactility. Back-painted glass is used across all vertical surfaces, concealing drawers as well as appliances such as the dishwasher, refrigerator, and ovens. With no visible hardware, it becomes a continuous surface that varies as the light conditions change. A translucent acid-etched glass backsplash conceals LED lighting, becoming a frameless, seamless glowing surface. Stainless steel creates a continuous countertop and seamlessly integrated sink with a non-directional finish, lending a softness and glow to its appearance. Tactility and functionality define the different edge details. Marble clads the ample kitchen island, visually becoming a solid and warm surface that can be used as part of the kitchen as well as for social gathering. Glass doors open and pocket into the island revealing two ovens, drawers, and extra storage. While the palette of elements used in the kitchen is minimal, their textures, application, and relationship create a space that is complex and rich in qualities."
Vladimir Radutny Architects - Ranquist Development Group
"A Chicago developer tasked us to create a new office atmosphere within an existing single story masonry shell. Our strategy was to place emphasis on the intrinsic character of materials used to build this simple box. First, we needed to uncloak its forgotten beauty, hidden behind the layers of old gypsum skin. Once the perimeter was brought back to life, we kept clear of it, and began to introduce the components needed for an everyday “office space”. An oversized communal desk with integrated storage was placed in the center of the room. Structurally supported by two thin perforated metal screens, the desks appear to be cut into smaller segments, defining multiple work areas needed within the single shared space. These striking sheets of metal are designed to be visually intriguing, enhancing the raw qualities of an existing skin. To further separate the office from its adjacent zones, we introduced a continuous black “binding wall” snaking through various programmatic needs. Storage, mechanical closet and a private office are carefully sculpted within this single move. The lack of natural daylight in the space was solved through the placement of large panes of glass as separating walls, borrowing light and adding views throughout. Now, the occupants are more connected with their immediate surroundings and feel much less contained."
Vladimir Radutny Architects - Toledo Chabad Center in Toledo, Ohio
"The design approach for the Chabad House of Toledo and its multitude of programs starts with a strategic site organization, and the integration of existing typography within the building's scheme. As a result of this site specific strategy, the main building volume is placed at the highest point on this long narrow site, centrally located from front to back. The building becomes a threshold between the outward public zone and a more secluded, private area beyond. In order to respect the low profile of the surrounding residential neighborhood, the educational program of the complex is nestled partially below grade and screened with native vegetation. As a result of this move the overall structure appears as one story volume from the main pedestrian street. The overall building form is the result of a rotation in the upper programmed volume. This shift allows the Center to face directly east, optimizing the direction of daily prayers. This configuration enables the complex to appear as though it opens-up and reaches-out, similar to the role Chabad plays within the Toledo community. To further reinforce the inviting character of the facility, the façade treatment softens the building’s rigid form. It evokes a sense of change and gentleness via the interplay of light and shadow on its rippling wood-clad folds."
Studio Dwell Architects - Urban 24
"Filling the Gap - Looking like a missing tooth, this project helped to complete a gap in the urban fabric of this intimate residential row-house street in Chicago. The row-houses were built in the 1890's, showing wear and demolition over the years. Infilling this small lot provided challenges for the new residence; to not disturb adjacent structures, party walls and to respect the existing scale of the street. Current zoning allowed for a building two stories taller than the block. To keep in scale, floor levels and the front height of the residence were aligned with the adjacent houses. The upper level is setback 16 feet making it difficult to read from street. Typical of row-houses, delivering light into a residence that only has two sources-front and back, required a revised design approach. The solution was to incorporate a combination of skylights, vertical open volumes and transparent walls and floors throughout, allowing natural light down through the residence. Staggering these stacked volumes not only provided a continual sustainably smart light source, but also provided intimate spaces. Exposed white masonry interiors further aid in bouncing light inside. The created effect is that of a folded open residence that provides privacy when desired."
- Frank Christopher Lee, FAIA,. Johnson & Lee, Ltd.
- Jeffrey L. Day, AIA, Min Day
- Elizabeth Fenner, Editor in Chief, Chicago Magazine
- Paul Florian, FAIA, Florian Architects
- Jennifer Park, AIA, Adjunct Professor, IIT; A Jurassic Studio
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