Designs for winning
Six firms took home awards Jan. 14 in the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ 2005 Excellence in Architecture Awards Program. All told, four Honor Awards and two Merit Awards for Excellence in Architecture were handed out. Winning an Honor Award was Daniel V. Scully Architects of Keene, which was recognized for design of a summer residence on Lake Nubanusit in Hancock. The residence was a log cabin transformed between 1996 and 2003 into four structures made of logs, corrugated steel and boulders. Jurors liked “the way new materials and old materials blend and become cohesive. We like the way the home nestles in to the landscape. The angles do work, and the details are very interesting. It has a camp feeling; this project does work with the vernacular.” Contractor was Richard Pisciottta Builder. Another Honor Award went to Banwell Architects Inc. of Lebanon and Mitchell Giurgola Architects of New York City for their work on the Boyd Science Center at Plymouth State University. The combined facility — the original Boyd Hall, built in 1969, and an addition — is 90,000 square feet and houses the Natural Science Department, the Mark E. Sylvestre Planetarium, the New England Weather Technology Evaluation Center, department offices and the 220-seat Boyd Auditorium. Jurors noted that the building is simple and straightforward - “the scale and the vocabulary are very successful.” Jurors also appreciated the reconfiguration of the plan. “The use of materials is sensitive and it is well-crafted. This was also one of the best presentations in that it was very complete and clear, and the before and after diagrams were extremely useful.” General contractor was Harvey Construction Corp. Also earning an Honor Award was New Hampshire resident Sheldon Pennoyer and his firm, O’Neil Pennoyer Architects of Groton, Mass., for Insight Meditation Society’s Forest Refuge in Barre, Mass. The buildings maintain a predominantly solar orientation, and their narrow sections and roof dormers maximize cross ventilation and convective cooling. Deep roof overhangs provide sun control and protect the sidewalls from the elements. Standing dead Lodge Pole Pine was used for columns, recycled wood products for floors, locally grown timber for finish work as well as low-VOC interior finishes. Jurors stated: “The vocabulary on this project is perfect. It fits in to New England yet feels Asian at the same time, and is not gratuitous. The scale is really good ... a human scale. We appreciate how it relates to the ground plane.” General contractor was North Branch Builders. The fourth Honor Award went to Carlone Dick LaFleche Architecture, Cambridge, Mass., for its work on the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch. The environmental education and lodging facility, staff offices and dormitories and meeting/exhibit hall were built with sustainable architecture, landscape architecture and construction technique. Following a longtime AMC tradition, the design favors sensible, functionally proven, cost-effective green technology that can be replicated by visitors over expensive, experimental approaches. Jurors applauded this project for its sustainability features and how the site plan honors green space: “The vocabulary of the exterior reveals its contemporary hand without being gimmicky. The interiors make good use of wood and color, and the plan relates to the exterior both in solar orientation and function.” Construction manager was MacMillin Company. The Capitol Center for the Arts project, Concord, designed by Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architecture, New London, was given a Merit Award. The project involved giving the theater enhanced visibility and amenities. The jurors said, “This project fully accomplished what it set out to do. The new stairway and terrace function as a beacon to draw people in.” They especially liked the balcony and the lighting on this project and commended the site work. Construction manager was Cobb Hill Construction Inc. A Merit Award also went to the Watertown Savings Bank, Watertown, Mass., designed by Royal Design Builders, Hampton. The preservation project involves transforming the downtown Union Market Building into the bank’s new executive and loan office — an important part of the effort to revitalize the downtown Watertown Square, which is taking place in tandem with work on the surrounding sidewalks and streets by the town of Watertown. Said the jury: “This preservation project accommodates for twenty-first century use in a real way while maintaining the character of the historic exterior. Within the constraint dictated by the two-story windows, the architects have created an excellent modern banking space that nevertheless exudes the confidence of traditional architecture.” In addition to the design awards, State Transportation Commissioner Carol Murray was made an honorary member of AIANH. She was recognized for her vision and determination to ensure a cooperative planning and design process, and to foster well-designed projects for the state. Outgoing President Douglas Bencks also was recognized, for his exceptional leadership and guidance for the New Hampshire Chapter and the profession.