AIA Seattle Fetes Design Winners

For the 53rd annual AIA Seattle Honor Awards program, an esteemed jury of Ming Fung, Hodgetts + Fung, Culver City, Calif.; Carlos Jimenez, Jimenez Studio/Rice University, Houston; and journalist/author John Morris Dixon, FAIA, former chief editor of Progressive Architecture, reviewed 150 entries from Washington design professionals and announced the awards November 8 before an enthusiastic assembly of nearly 700 fans and friends of design at award-winning Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle.

The jury selected nine projects for award and commended the quality of the body of work represented by all the submittals. In the AIA Seattle tradition of openness, which stimulated the nation’s first all-online conduct of an Honor Awards program beginning in 2000, all entries appear on AIA Seattle’s Web site. The images are also set for public viewing at AIA Seattle Gallery beginning December 8.

According to Honor Awards Committee Chair George Shaw, AIA, the program sought to assemble work for the purpose of reflection “on the significance of the architecture of our region and its relevance to the human condition, life experiences, and the world in which we live.” The jury’s observations, in on-stage conversation and in their recorded comments, generally addressed concepts of the role of architecture and the architect in advancing community and global goals.

Honor Awards

Seattle Central Library
by OMA/LMN—A Joint Venture
Jury comments:
“A genuinely revolutionary reconfiguration of ‘the library’ as a place of urban gathering and the exchange of information. We admire the inventive concept of the building as a festive public place, the seamless and thorough-going integration of the building envelope with the interior experience, and the relentless imagination driving the manifestation of idea in every detail. It took some remarkable work to achieve the reality of this building. We found no evidence of laziness in thought or execution. Congratulations on a truly marvelous achievement!”
(Photo © Pragnesh Parikh/LMN Architects.)

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle Center
by LMN Architects
Jury comments:
“Applause for this achievement combining reconstruction with invention, and the dramatic sequence from exterior to interior experiences. We note with pleasure the colorful introduction achieved by the imaginative integration of artwork and landscaping of the entry court, carried through with great subtlety as the audience proceeds to the richly colored interiors. As in the Library, the design team here achieves a place of urban celebration, bringing spatial clarity to the diverse cultural precinct of Seattle Center.”
(Photo © Lara Swimmer.)

Canyon House
10 miles upstream from Lewiston, Idaho
by Paul Hirzel, Architect
Jury comments:
“We see here a rethinking of the idea of house in a way that conforms with particular aptness to its place in the landscape. The two portions of the residence, in two micro-climates, retain a singularity of concept. The structures demarcate the landscape, with genuine viewing opportunities more than mere figures in the scene. The invention comes in the rediscovery of agrarian forms, with weight and structure of the building elements perfectly calibrated to the place, at the same time avoiding cliché.”
(Photo © Art Grice.)

Awards of Merit

Milepost 9, Seattle residence
by E. Cobb Architects
Jury comments:
“This ‘uniquely urban proposition’ negotiates the landscape intelligently to capitalize on the topography of its site. The house consists of fragments that coalesce—a difficult achievement. The sequence of spaces creates intimacy, each element expressing the joy of living in the house through skillful choreography and ‘no extravagant details!’”
(Photo © Chris Eden.)

Madrona House
by Vandeventer+Carlander Architects
Jury comments:
“A mature design sensibility here directs a variety of workable and delightful living spaces, maximizing the use of an exceptionally small urban lot. We see here a great example of what an imaginative architect can do with good clients and a tight urban site.”
(Photo © Michael Moore.)

Long Residence
Orcas Island, Wash.,
by Cutler Anderson Architects
Jury comments:
“A truly original and unconventional use of structural systems extends the Northwest design vocabulary in this house. The celebration of materials creates pleasure, playfully taking liberties with the muscularity of the Northwest convention in a lighter, brighter orchestration.”
(Photo © Art Grice.)

Olympic College Poulsbo Branch Campus
Poulsbo, Wash.,
by The Miller|Hull Partnership
Jury comments:
“In the initial statement of this institution’s placement in a new location, the architects present a spinal organization with spaces gracefully distributed on either side. The placement of the structure in the forest manifests the regional sensibility, while combining and integrating steel, wood, concrete, and glass with an eloquent consistency.”
(Photo © Nic LeHoux.)


U.S. Federal Courthouse
Jury comments:
“This project demonstrates the effectiveness of the U.S. General Service Administration’s program to advance the quality of civic design. Here the architectural achievement derives from re-examination of the program requirements for a complex function and artfully integrates interior and exterior connections.”
(Photo © Frank Ooms.)

Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan
Portland, Ore.
by Mithun Architects + Designers + Planners
Jury comments:
“We admire the environmentalist vision here and the range and diversity of the research ambition of this study—an unusual and hopeful direction that comprehensively addresses local development considerations and their global impact.” (Rendering courtesy of the architect.)

Copyright 2004 The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved. Home Page


Check out the new AIA Seattle headquarters and read AIA Seattle Executive Vice President Marga Rose Hancock’s account of the design of the chapter’s new offices.

Refer this article to a friend by email.Email your comments to the editor.Go back to AIArchitect.