AIANH honors architectural excellence

An adaptive reuse project, a unique screened porch and an Adirondack-style camp were singled out last month as the top winners at the New Hampshire American Institute of Architects’ 23rd annual awards banquet.

Winning an Honor Award of Excellence in Architecture for Adaptive Reuse was Dennis Mires, P.A., The Architects of Manchester for additions and renovations at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester.

Construction manager for the project was Milestone Engineering & Construction Inc.

The project originally involved renovating a three-floor, 15,000-square-foot mill space, but when it was determined that the mill building could support another floor it was an opportunity to add 5,000 additional square feet. Using the perimeter bearing walls to support the new roof allowed for a higher, column-free space across the entire additional floor.

The concept was to respect the original building and its details, the architects said. The brick parapet was left intact and the new structure was placed behind it. The copper clad fascia and storefront system were left in place.

The first-floor center entrance was reused as the entry to the public student store and gallery. The added floor was clad in zinc-coated copper and the side entry to the student studios was celebrated with an archway, canopy, and lighting, integrating the added floor with the existing building.

The completed building provides eight drawing and painting studios, two ceramics studios, the student store, student gallery, student lounge, faculty offices and support space.

Jurors called the design “honest,” “respectful” of the original structure and “clever,” adding that the building “serves as a beacon for art in the community.”

A Merit Award for Design was given to Daniel V. Scully/Architects of Keene for a screened porch at a home in Hancock.

Contractor for the project was Richard Pisciotta Builder.

A stainless steel armature beam, like an idealized childhood swing set, holds up the roof. The rafters swing, with the SS beam being the common pivot point. The breezeway and porch roof framing starts with the pitch of the house, and slowly rotates over its length to horizontal, becoming perfect.

Jurors called the design “an ingenious idea, simply and beautifully detailed,” adding that it was “really elegant,” stemming from its construction.

“The connection to the house is wonderful, acknowledging what was already there. This design solution was not an easy one and it shows innovation. We like the whimsical elements. The edge details are very nice.”

A Merit Award for Craftsmanship was presented to Christopher P. Williams, Architects of Meredith for an Adirondack-style camp in Moultonborough.

Contractor for the project was White House Construction.

The camp was designed to fit around the existing trees of the wooded lakeside site. But when construction was 85 percent complete, the camp burned to the ground in an intense fire that destroyed all vegetation within 60 feet of the building. The owner opted to rebuild the camp and to replant with native species around the building to “create” the building’s environment.

The 3,900-square-foot building is built of natural materials, including bark-on Atlantic White Cedar siding and columns complemented by stained natural edge siding and wood shingle roof and local stone.

Twig work furnishings and appointments were selected to enhance the relationship to the waterfront site and to also create a cultural environment reflecting the history of the region.

According to jurors, “despite the scale of this house it is very understated in the exterior, sitting comfortably on the site.” They added that the camp interior’s “whimsical nature is fun and not ostentatious” and praised the materials, which they called “wonderful.”

Jurors for the 2007 Design Awards program were: T. Whitcomb Iglehart, Tai Soo Kim Partners, Hartford, Conn.; Rachel Levitt, architectural writer for The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Architecture Boston, New England Home, and Design New England; and Carol A. Wilson, Carol A. Wilson, Architect, Falmouth, Maine.

Other honors

Also as part of the awards program, winners of the AIANH Intern/Young Architect Design Competition were honored.

Created in 2003 to provide an opportunity for interns and young architects to strengthen their design skills, gain recognition and assist a community with their design challenges, this year’s competition revolved around the design of a community center in Jaffrey. Jaffrey planners and the town building committee invited each submission designer to attend a meeting in November and present their design concepts.

The jurors reviewed six blind entries and selected the design by Mo Gagnon of Stewart Associate Architects LLC in Laconia for first-place honor, calling it “the most resolved solution” and “most energized architecturally and also the most developed architecturally.”

Second place went to Andrew Queen of PCI Architecture in Manchester. A Special Recognition for Rendering Excellence was awarded to Iva Zoretic of Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester.

Jurors for the Intern/Young Architects Competition were; Richard Monahon, Richard Monahon Architect, Peterborough; Daniel V. Scully, Daniel V. Scully Architects, Keene; and Susan Leach of the Jaffrey Building Committee.

Winners of the annual Peoples’ Choice Awards were the New Hampshire Technical Institute Student Center designed by CN Carley Associates of Concord and a lakeside home in Wolfeboro, designed by TMS Architects of Portsmouth.

The two projects were selected by ballot at AIANH’s exhibit at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Dec. 14-Jan. 19.

In addition to the design awards, Marty Gross and Etoile Holzaepfel were designated honorary members of AIANH.

Holzaepfel, a landscape architect in Portsmouth, was honored for her work in the area, and particularly for the pivotal role she played in saving the historic Wentworth by the Sea grand hotel. Gross was cited for a number of accomplishments. As chair of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, he led the purchase, renovation and occupation of its current building, worked on several legislative projects of benefit to the profession, has served on or chaired a variety of municipal and state study commissions and is a board member of the Concord Area Trust for Community Housing, which provides affordable housing to those in need.

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