October 23, 2009
  AIA Maryland’s 2009 Design Awards Celebrate Excellence

AIA Maryland recently announced its 2009 AIA Maryland Design Awards winners recognizing architects, building owners, and general contractors. AIA Maryland also held its third annual Student Design Awards; three awards were given to graduate and undergraduate students.

The jury awarded four Honor awards, seven Merit awards, six Citation awards, and one Public Building of the Year award, as well as two student Design awards and one student Citation award. The student Design award winners each received a $1,000 cash prize.

Public Building of the Year—Commercial

Project: American Brewery
Architect: Cho Benn Holback + Associates
Project Location: Baltimore, Md.

Jury comments: The most sustainable act is to save and restore an existing building. Here the client and architect have created a catalyst for revitalizing a neighborhood. Pumping new life into a venerable building that was abandoned for thirty years. The architect did just enough, but not too much: knowing when to stop. Some very sensitive insertions inside the building reveal its original materials of wood and masonry give a tactile sense of history.
Photographer: Paul Burk Photography


Project: Smithsonian Institution, Pennsy Collections & Support Center
Architect: Gensler
Project Location: Landover, Md.

Jury comments: Stunning, museum quality interior in a utilitarian building. Incredibly inventive, an uplifting workspace. Transforms the junk space of American civilization.
Photographer: Paul Warchol


Project: The Gateway, Maryland Institute College of Art
Architect: RTKL Associates Inc.
Project Location: Baltimore, Md.

Jury comments: Architecture of an international standard. Dynamic and active courtyard. Touches the ground well. Creates a sense of artistic community, a modern cloister. Very sophisticated façade. Extraordinary.
Photographer: David Whitcomb (RTKL); Paul Burk Photography

Honor—Residential Architecture

Project: House on Hoopers Island
Architect: David Jameson Architect, Inc.
Location: Church Creek, Md.

Jury comments: A beautiful composition followed through at every detail. A village of buildings that evokes traditional farmsteads or fishing shacks, yet clearly of the 21st century. The central element is a screened porch open to the breeze. Beautifully designed fenestration. Extraordinary.
Photographer: Paul Warchol

Honor—Residential Architecture

Project: The River House
Architect: Ziger/Snead LLP, Architects
Location: Jamaica, Va.

Jury comments: Quiet, long and thin, like a racing shell. View of the water is unforgettable. Very gentle on the site. Intelligent plan separates owners and guests. We liked the view under the building to the water at the entry. This project is a reminder to kill: keep it simple, stupid. We did wonder though where to put the Weber grill?
Photographer: Alain Jaramillo; Douglas Bothner (Ziger/Snead)


Project: Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Architect: Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.

Jury comments: We admire the site plan and creation of courtyard and the way the visitor sequence cascades down the hill. Very deferential to its context. Crisp and fresh with familiar materials. Overhangs and porches offer shelter and shade.
Photographer: Alan Karchmer, Architectural Photographer


Project: University of Baltimore Liberal Arts and Policy Building
Architect: Cho Benn Holback + Associates
Location: Baltimore, Md.

Jury comments: Architects understood the existing building. The insertions and stair addition are appropriately deferential. Conforms to Secretary of Interior Guidelines, i.e. that the contemporary is of its time and differential from the historic. Sections show how modern utility systems affecting floor thickness defer to thinness and lightness of the existing stair. What’s new is modern, what’s existing is clear. Instead of imitating, the modern elements are very distinct but quiet.
Photographer: Paul Burk Photography; Alain Jaramillo


Project: Boonsboro Library
Location: Boonsboro, MD
Architect: Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects

Jury comments: A reminder that you can make something really nice without being overly convoluted. Seems to belong to its landscape. A judicious use of economical and light wood materials, contrasting with the stone reading area and fireplace. A simple shed with great aspirations.
Photographer: John Allen

Merit—Interior Architecture

Project: Gensler Baltimore
Location: Baltimore, MD
Architect: Gensler

Jury comments: Fresh, light, minimal, carries theme of materials to the outside. Restrained use of color. Very “graphic”, simple means. It looks like an uplifting place to work. You can look through the entire space, has a sense of community.
Photographer: Michael Moran Photography, Inc.

Merit—Residential Architecture

Project: Brooklyn Green
Location: Baltimore, MD
Architect: Cho Benn Holback + Associates

Jury comments: Matches the scale and overall form of neighborhood. Green roof and solar water heating, plus other sustainable features are commendable. Well thought out floor plans. Simple and effective use of color. Pop out makes a nice room upstairs and creates an entry porch.
Photographer: Paul Burk Photography

Merit—Residential Architecture

Project: Randecker House
Architect: McInturff Architects
Location: Vienna, Va.

Jury comments: Light, use of color, simplicity and use of site make this house a delight. Seems very livable. You can imagine having a family here. Touches lightly on the ground. Very simple response to a complex landscape problem: how to live in a wooded landscape. This is “design within reach”.
Photographer: Julia Heine (McInturff Architects)

Merit—Residential Architecture

Project: Plaza Lofts 22
Architect: WDG Architecture
Location: Hyattsville, Md.

Jury comments: Raises the standard of multifamily building. Excellent composition of materials, for example the end elevation. The interiors are clean and unique. The section takes advantage of the curved façade. Great attention and rigor to details, which are at the same time commendably quiet.
Photographer: Judy Davis, Hoachlander-Davis Photography


Project: Torchio Building
Architect: Torchio Architects, Inc.
Location: Centreville, Md.

Jury comments: Architect, contractor, handyman, engineer, this architect has done it all. We commend the architect’s effort to “walk the talk”. We also think the building appears to be a good addition to the streetscape.

Citation—Unbuilt (Non-Commissioned)

Project: upGRADE
Architect: Hord Coplan Macht
Location: N/A Design Competition

Jury comments: To address economical school space is an important challenge. Offers great promise. Addresses sustainability and economical use of materials.


Project: Temple Beth Shalom
Architect: Charles E Anthony Architects, PC
Location: Arnold, Md.

Jury comments: Intelligent site plan and lovely sequence of entry. Beautiful light over the ark. Composition of materials and light is consistently good. Courtyard creates a break with the everyday world creating a journey to a spiritual space.


Project: Harpers Ferry Train Station
Architect: GWWO, Inc./Architects
Location: Harpers Ferry, W Va.

Jury comments: This is a labor of love; meticulous research and restoration. Very clear presentation.


Project: The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center
Architect: Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners
Location: Silver Spring, Md.

Jury comments: Commend reclamation and transformation of an existing building that was to be torn down. The architect convinced the client to keep building. Dynamic spaces inside created with modest means. A vital project in place of what could have become a landfill.


Project: Nemours Mansion and Gardens Visitor Center
Architect: Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.
Location: Rt. 141 and Alopocas Drive, Wilmington, Del.

Jury comments: Clear, well-organized plan, well integrated with exhibits, good choice of materials. We applaud the thought given to exhibit sequence and site plan. Site carefully considered.

Student Design Project Winners

Award: Graduate Design Award
Entrant: Mahmoud Riad
Project: AL Masmaa': The Place for Listening

Project Type: Studio
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Faculty Sponsor: Peter Noonan, AIA, LEED AP, Professor of the Practice/Architecture
Jury comments: Experiential, timeless, of its place. Affects all the senses–acoustic, touch, hot/cold, slight/shade. Presentation makes it possible for us to imagine being in these spaces. Atmospheric, quality, range of drawings and analytical process are exceptional.

Award: Undergraduate Design Award
Entrant: Julia Mitchell
Project: Choreography of Space

Project Type: Studio/Self-Directed
School: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Ermann, Associate Professor, Architecture 2-3 Chair
Jury comments: Process of design with large physical model commendable. Models well built and evocative. Interior space is triumphant. A building for dance with movement: even the spectators participate. Suggests great discovery on the part of the student. Confirms that music expands the part of the brain that conceptualizes three dimensions. This project is distinguished by its depth of investigation. Very concise text. Exceptional.

Award: Special Citation
Entrant: Beret Dickson
Project: Baltimore FarmWorks: Yielding Architecture for [Urban + Agri] Culture

Project Type: Self-Directed Project
School: University of Maryland
Faculty Sponsor: Isaac Williams, Assistant Professor, Architecture Program
Jury comments: Confronts contemporary issues, i.e., integration of building and environmental systems within an urban context. A little generic, but adaptable, prototypical. Synthesizes architecture, landscape architecture, and environmental systems.

news headlines
recent related
AIA North Carolina Honors 25 Excellent Projects
AIA Wisconsin Honors Seven Projects

Projects in seven categories were chosen by the prestigious jury from North Carolina: Frank Harmon FAIA, Chair, Frank Harmon Architect PA; Robin Abrams AIA, ASLA, Director School of Architecture NCSU; Phil Freelon FAIA, The Freelon Group; Matt Griffith AIA, Frank Harmon Architect PA; and Ellen Weinstein AIA, Dixon Weinstein Friedlein.