The American Institute of Architects, Oregon Chapter, announced its annual awards for design excellence on Oct. 23. The usual awards show, a night of backslapping and networking held at Revolution Hall, was replaced by an online presence due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, since Adobe Cloud is an everyday tool for architects and designers, the digital presence is stylish and worth looking at.
Significant wins went to Waechter Architecture for two buildings. Its wooden hexagon the Society Hotel Bingen in Bingen, Washington, and Origami, its building in Portland for the developer called Project^. Origami's slightly off windows and zig-zag roof profile have already made it a talking point and landmark in the Piedmont neighborhood.
Other top awards went to Mahlum Architects for the Grant High School Modernization, and Allied Works Architecture for the Providence Park Expansion. Both projects turned crumbling 20th-century spaces into light-filled temples for mass gatherings and athleticism.
Scott Edwards won for its Glass Link, a stylized modern home of two boxes separated by a glass box, with the address listed as at an "undisclosed location." Another single-family residence winner was the Lee family's House on 36th in Portland, by Beebe Skidmore Architects. The T-shaped home is an example of an emerging daring northwestern modernism where BSA inserts bold forms into Portland's traditional wooden house neighborhoods.
Blu Dot Showroom, a furniture showroom in the Pearl District, brought home another award for Waechter Architecture for turning a warehouse into a curving, inviting furniture showroom. Another remodel that the public can visit is the Meier & Frank Building Redevelopment, a new lobby designed by Bora Architecture and Interiors for the offices that now take up what was once the space adjacent to Macy's and the Nines Hotel.
As Portland begins to value its post-World War II architectural heritage, the Halprin Landscape Conservancy's rehabilitation received the Fellows Award for its $4 million rehab of the Portland Open Space Sequence. This is the series of pocket parks, paths, fountains and sculptures that stretch north from the little Source Fountain, like a river to the Forecourt Fountain outside the Keller Auditorium. The Open Space Sequence was designed 50 years ago by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, and has since been recognized as an intriguing use of space in an area that was redeveloped from a razed Jewish and Italian neighborhood into a series of otherwise dull high rise apartments.
Also notable were wins for young architect Scott Mooney of SRG Partnership, and long timer Otto Poticha who heads up Poticha Architect and is an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon.
The jury who picked the winners remotely from 66 submissions were Gina Emmanuel, Centric Architecture, Nashville, Tennessee; Zena Howard, Perkins and Will, Charlotte, North Carolina; Matthew Kreilich, Snow Kreilich Architects, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Patti Rhee, EYRC Architects, Culver City, California and Scott Wolf, Miller Hull Partnership, Seattle, Washington.
A complete list of the winning projects can be found online at the AIA website (aiaoregon.org/aia-oregon-architecture-awards).
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