AIA New Hampshire honors architectural excellence

Six awards for Excellence in Architecture were handed out at the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ 25th annual awards banquet, held Jan. 16 at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester.

Three Honor Awards were distributed. They were won by Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects Inc. of Boston, Scott Simons Architects of Portland, Maine, and Ann Beha Architects, also of Boston.

Three architectural firms won Merit Awards — TMS Architects of Portsmouth, Richard Monahon Architects of Peterborough, and Francis D. Treves Architect LLC, of Princeton, N.J.

Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects was honored for a 100-year-old Squam Lake vacation house — Lakeside Library. Contractor was Garret B. Rowe.

The small structure, which serves a variety of purposes — a guesthouse, library, tennis-viewing pavilion and boathouse – replaced a garage, which dictated the maximum footprint, resulting in a compact vertical structure with three levels.

The picturesque roofscape and bundling of vertical elements give the feel of a miniature castle and also echo the tall trees that are its backdrop.

The living room contains a massive stone fireplace and many-paned bay window. Yet, despite all the wood and stone, the space is flooded with light.

Jurors called the structure “a wonderful, inventive project” that “takes risks.” They added: “The whole thing has a jewel box feel.”

Also winning an Honor Award was Scott Simons Architects of Portland, for the Tilton Academic Building at the Tilton School. General contractor was Milestone Engineering and Construction.

The 38,000-square-foot building is made of brick, granite, oak and glass. Sustainable design elements include an exterior barrier insulation system, high-performance boilers, mechanical and lighting systems and controls, sunshades along the southern elevation and day-lighting characteristics in all of the teaching spaces.

Local quarried slate tiles, waterless urinals, zero VOC coatings, high recycled-content steel and carpets also were used.

According to the jury, the building is “a contemporary structure, yet it is in harmony with the buildings near it. … an elegant pallet of durable materials that contribute to the clean, modern look. We like the way it takes an object building and makes an academic space in front.”

The third Honor Award was for the Currier Museum of Art expansion in Manchester by Ann Beha Architects of Boston. Bedford-based Harvey Construction Corp. was the contractor and Richard Burck Associates, Somerville, Mass., the landscape architects.

The 73,000-square-foot renovation and expansion project encompasses two city blocks with outdoor space for sculpture and events. The North addition features a new main lobby, ticketing, and museum shop. On the South, three new galleries surround an enclosed Winter Garden, offering a year-round space for the café, receptions and performance. From the Winter Garden, a stair leads to a new 180-seat auditorium, classrooms and administrative offices.

Requirements for steady, reliable, 24/7 climate control posed particular challenges for energy reduction, but the design incorporates both large and small-scale improvements. By eliminating daylight and maximizing insulation in the new construction, these spaces could be run as efficiently as possible.

Other sustainable features include capturing site runoff, minimizing natural lighting in visitor service areas and offices, low-e glass, fritted glass and window shading to control daylight and heat gain, and lighting occupancy sensors throughout.

The jury praised the “strong architectural principles” used in the project, adding that it “is a sensitively done addition, solving a difficult problem.”

A Merit Award was won by Richard M. Monahon Jr. AIA Architects, Peterborough for additions, renovations and restoration of The Dublin Lake Club in Dublin. Construction manager was Hutter Construction.

The 1902 lakeside clubhouse — inspired by the Japanese Tea House form — is part of the Dublin Lake District on the National Register of Historic Places.

“This is a lovely small project. Everything the architect did supported the good parts of the original building and nothing detracted,” the jury noted. “It is beautifully integrated and detailed, and the structural improvements are sensitive to the integrity of an historic building.”

Restoration work at The Music Hall in Portsmouth by TMS Architects, Portsmouth, also received a Merit Award. General contractor was DeStefano and Associates.

Tackled in phases, the restoration project included stabilization of the building’s envelope, restoration of the grand proscenium arch, and restoration of the theater’s dome.

During the latter restoration process, elaborate murals and trompe l’oeil moldings were uncovered, replicated on canvas, and applied to the domed ceiling. Also restored was the theater’s lobby, which was expanded with the removal of 700 cubic yards of ledge.

The jury said the design “shows a good sense of what to keep, what to improve and sensitivity to historic details.”

In a new category for the Awards Program — Unbuilt Architecture — a Merit Award was presented for work on The Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Memorial by Francis D. Treves AIA of Princeton, N.J.

Projects entered in the category were for designs of any unbuilt project, including purely theoretical projects and unbuilt client-sponsored projects.

“This is a very interesting, creative concept — a thoroughly investigated and carefully designed intellectual piece,” said the jury. “It is not trying to put the past back, but helps one understand it.”

Two Peoples’ Choice Awards were also distributed, the result of a ballot vote conducted during the AIANH Awards Submissions Exhibit at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Winners were a private lakeside home in Holderness by Samyn D’Elia Architects, Ashland, in the residential category, and the Currier Museum of Art, Ann Beha Architects of Boston, for the commercial designation.

In addition, the 2009 Clinton Sheerr Award for Excellence in New Hampshire Architecture was presented to Daniel V. Scully AIA of Keene.

The award honors and promotes New Hampshire architects whose work exemplifies excellence in design at the highest level and is known throughout the state.

Also, a special award for excellence in architecture, established to mark the 25th anniversary of the AIANH Design Awards Program and recognize architectural design of enduring significance on a project that has stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years, was given for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests headquarters in Concord, designed by C. Stuart White Jr., AIA, Banwell White and Arnold (now Banwell Architects).

The headquarters for the Forest Society were designed in 1979 and occupied in November 1980. The project received considerable attention both regionally and nationally, including a first place award in the 2nd National Passive Solar Design Competition (1981), chosen from over 400 entries.

The winners of the AIANH Intern/Young Architect Design Competition were announced at the banquet as well.

Nathan Stolarz, TMS Architects, Portsmouth, won first place, selected by the jurors from among 12 blind entries. Second place went to Shawn Bolduc and Sothea Chhun of JSA Architects Interiors Planners, Portsmouth.

Third place was taken by Mo Gagnon of Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester.