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NH'S Award-Winning Architecture
Published Friday, April 14, 2017

The American Institute of Architects NH Chapter (AIANH) recently announced the recipients of its 2017 Annual Excellence in Architecture Design Awards. The program recognizes architecture that exemplifies excellence in overall design, including aesthetics, clarity, creativity, appropriate functionality, sustainability, building performance and appropriateness with regard to fulfilling the client’s request. This year, 10 projects were recognized at the AIANH Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in January.

The winning projects are presented here with descriptions of key aspects of the projects as well as comments from the jury about why they won.

For more information about the winning projects, visit www.aianh.org/content/aianh-design-awards.

 Excellence in Architecture Category: Merit Award

Atrium Medical

Architect: Lavallee Brensinger Architects in Manchester
Construction Manager: Hutter Construction in New Ipswich

This growing international medical device manufacturer in Hudson engaged Lavallee Brensinger Architects to lead a feasibility study to assess the comparative benefits of possible new sites versus the adaptation and expansion of existing facilities. The availability of modestly priced, quality office space tipped the scales in favor of existing facilities, resulting in the acquisition of an office building and site with capacity for additional development.

Siri Blanchette, Blind Dog Photo Associates

The project includes new construction for clean room manufacturing, quality control, technical support, shipping/receiving, comprehensive renovations for R&D laboratories, main lobby, food service, fitness, training, offices and conference rooms.

Siri Blanchette, Blind Dog Photo Associates

Jury Comments: “The before-and-after images of the main entry to this project caught the jury’s attention immediately. As we looked further, understanding the strategy with which the architects efficiently reprogrammed the loading dock to become the main entry, repurposed the previous main entry into a private executive entry and then moved the loading dock to the back of the site, the jury agreed this project deserved a merit award. The crisp resolution of the new main entry, both with respect to the hardscape and the facade renovation, is elegant and completely convincing.”

Excellence in Architecture Category: Merit Award

Great Rhythm Brewing Company
Winter Holben architecture + design in Kittery, Maine
General Contractor: Scott Thornton, owner of Great Rhythm Brewing Company in Portsmouth

David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto

The architect, in close collaboration with Great Rhythm Brewing Company, created the entire design vision for the adaptive re-use of an underutilized waterfront industrial building to become a state-of-the-art brewing facility. Key features of the design include: a striking presence visible from more than 1,200 feet away, a welcoming entrance, a tasting room with views to the outdoors and brew house, and a visitor destination that compliments the revitalized West End neighborhood in Portsmouth.

Jury Comments: The photos of this transformation, achieved at a modest $50/square foot, say it all. The jury commended the choices made by the architects in every aspect of the design. A few simple gestures on the front facade—super graphics, a wood entry box and vertically stacked reclaimed windows—create both an elegant composition and an unmistakable image for the brewery. … Simple garage doors, when open, provide additional dramatic effect.”

Excellence in Architecture Category: Citation Award

Holderness School Outdoor Ice Rink
HL Turner Group Inc. in Concord
Construction Manager: Milestone Engineering & Construction Inc. in Concord

John Gauvin/Studio One

Timber frame canopies provide additional winter sun shading for the ice surface and also serve to enhance the New England character of the building.

Full height northwest walls and a large sliding door shield players and spectators from the wind. The large south-facing roof provides a solar array that will power the facility through the future.

Jury Comments: “By judiciously integrating wood elements as entry features, with thoughtful joinery and base detailing, the architects have successfully transformed a straightforward pre-engineered building into a reference to rural New England vernacular architecture.”

Excellence in Architecture Category: Citation Award

University of Connecticut Next Gen Hall
Architect: JSA Inc. in Portsmouth
Construction Manager: KBE Building Corporation, Farmington, Conn.  

Robert Benson Photography

This is a NextGen 720-bed residence hall that contains residential spaces, offices for Residential Life, first year programs and learning communities staff, and spaces for academics, innovation and community building. These spaces include a Learning Community Innovation Zone makerspace, idea lab, NextGen Forum for programs and events, and dedicated community spaces for students and faculty. The facade is articulated to reduce the scale of the building at the pedestrian courtyard, while trumpeting the university’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics from the top of a hill.

Jury Comments: This project receives a citation for both its response to context and its well-organized, bright interiors. By opening up the C-shaped plan, the building sensitively addresses the residence halls to either side, approaching each with an orthogonal orientation, tying all three buildings together. The one-story gallery also successfully mediates the courtyard, bringing it down to human scale."

Excellence in Architecture Category: Honor Award

Southern NH University’s Library
Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects in Boston
Construction Manager: Harvey Construction Corporation, Bedford

Chuck Choi Architectural Photography

The 50,000-square-foot library at Southern NH University, completed in September 2014 with a construction cost of $20 million, sits at the heart of the 300-acre SNHU campus in Manchester. The main goal of this project was to create a signature building that would communicate the centrality of academics and position the learning commons at the crossroads of the student experience. The building is articulated to maximize solar exposure and exploit the fine views to the surrounding woodlands. Materials were deliberately selected for their regional association and durability, including NH granite and Ipe wood, a hard, dense, sustainably harvested wood.

Chuck Choi Architectural Photography

Jury Comments: “The jury was initially drawn to the clarity of this project’s plan. We appreciated the simple choice of two primary exterior materials—granite and wood—and how they interact, with the wood revealing itself from behind the granite facade. The way in which these materials, and the glazing, are tied together through a consistent, playful rhythm is also delightful. We loved how the two primary entries to the library and to the cafe are expressed as penetrations through the wood, signaling warmth upon arrival. This theme is further reinforced with the concept of the hearth embedded in the wood, expressed intimately on the interior and monumentally on the exterior at the fabulous big wood-lined porch.”

Excellence in Architecture Category: Honor Award

Keene State College Learning/Living Center
Architect: Perkins + Will in Boston
Contractor: Engelberth Construction Inc. in Keene

Anton Grassl

The Keene State College Living & Learning Commons is a first-year residence hall and the school’s first Living-Learning community. The project is a gateway connecting the east campus entry on Wyman Way to the east/west axis of Appian Way and the future development zone that includes the Redfern Arts Center and the Visual and Media Arts Center.

Anton Grassl

The  project  arranges  the  building  blocks  of  the  Residential  Learning  Community  to  form  a unifying  landscape  for  this  precinct  of  campus  by  organizing  them  into  three  wings  plugged  into  a vertical  social  hub.  The wings define three distinct landscape experiences: arrival, contemplation and gathering. The vertical hub becomes a landmark for visitors arriving from the east and puts the living and learning activity on display. Study lounges at the end of each wing help anchor the building to prominent paths, and ground floor lounges and classrooms invite in the larger campus community.

Jury Comments: “The jurors all agreed that this was a beautiful project. It is both restrained and playful. Several members of the jury remarked that the core success of the design lies in its central feature, which the architects have called the Hub, a three-story vertical social space that engages three simple wings, each in a different way.”

Excellence in Architecture Category: Citation Award

Hanover Residence
Architect: Haynes & Garthwaite Architects in Norwich, Vt.
General Contractor: Estes & Gallup Inc. in Lyme
Interior Design: Redmond Interior Design in Burlington, Vt.
Landscape Architect: Mary Zebell Garden Design & Site Planning in Ithaca, NY

Westphalen Photography

This shingle-style home, located at the edge of the Dartmouth College campus, is sited at the top of a hill that slopes down to the Connecticut River and has views into Vermont through a screen of mature trees. The design, massing and detailing allow the house to fit into the context of early 20th century buildings. The columned porch is a welcoming gesture to neighbors and is a response to the pedestrian character of the neighborhood. The primary rooms flow together in an open plan where south facing windows maximize solar gain and sunlight and provide views into the gardens.

Westphalen Photography

Jury Comments: "The jury’s phrase for this project was refined elegance, both for the project itself and, equally, for the presentation. The shingle-style language chosen by the architects appears appropriate for the context, and great care has been taken to maintain a rich, well-articulated stylistic consistency throughout the design. The jury was impressed with the restraint exhibited by the architects, both on the exterior and in the interior spaces. Special recognition also goes to the contractor for excellent craftsmanship."

Excellence in Architecture Category: Honor Award

River House
Architect: Haynes & Garthwaite Architects in Norwich, Vt.
General Contractor: Naylor and Breen Builders Inc. in Brandon, Vt.
Interior Design: Redmond Interior Design in Burlington, Vt.
Landscape Architect: Janet Cavanagh Landscape Architect in South Strafford, Vt.

Carolyn Bates Photography

Located on the Connecticut River, this four-bedroom home was designed to capture the character of a New  England farmhouse and was sited to preserve as much farmland as possible while providing views up and down the river. The house and barn define an outdoor room that frames a visitor’s view across the river to Vermont. The barn contains a studio apartment, office, workshop, boat room and equipment storage. The energy performance of the house approaches net zero.

Carolyn Bates Photography

Jury Comments: The jury was impressed with the restraint in the design of this project. We were reminded of Shaker buildings. At first glance, the house and barn, in fact, almost appear to be truly vernacular, like a happy compositional accident, devoid of the self-conscious hand of the architect. The apparent simplicity, however, belies both a very deliberate orientation of the buildings along the east-west axis, in response to the sun and the site, and careful modulation of glazing to capture sunlight, breezes and views.”

Small Projects Category: Citation Award

Lakeside Accessory Building
Architect: Richard G. Holt, Architect in Freedom
General Contractor: Cormack Construction Management in Madison
Landscaping: Belknap Landscape Company Inc. in Gilford
Surveying: Hambrook Land Surveying in Center Sandwich

Richard Holt, AIA

This lakeside shelter was designed to complement a nearby family home and provide secure storage for small watercraft, equipment and beach paraphernalia. It also provides a gathering space. Set on piers, the building spans over a large boulder on one side, and the deck just kisses a larger boulder on the other.

Richard Holt, AIA

Jury Comments: “The restraint of the design, with careful attention to detail, is pleasing, and the decision to depart from the otherwise monochromatic palate in the stain of the doors, pulls the composition together subtly, giving this small structure a sense of presence. The jury was also impressed that, within extreme limitations created by setbacks and boulders, the architect managed to site the building in a way that makes it appear to have always been there.”

Small Projects Category: Honor Award

Lakeside Maine Cottage
Architect: TMS Architects in Portsmouth
General Contractor: Phil A. Douglass Inc. in Bridgton, Maine
Landscape Contractor: Snow’s Excavation in Bridgton, Maine
Interior Designer: Cebula Design in Newburyport, Mass.

Rob Karosis

This newly constructed Maine cottage was built within the confines of a previously razed camp. The owners’ goal was to design a comfortable, casual Maine cottage that reflected its natural lakefront setting. The architectural character and detailing of the home replicates architectural elements found in many turn-of-the-century cottages throughout this lakes region of Maine. The exterior of the house is capped with a playful combination of hip and gable roofs. Clad with a standing-seam, sage green metal roof to blend into the site’s natural forest setting, the stone central fireplace chimney becomes a visual focal point for the living room. A panoramic view can be seen through large picture windows to the lake beyond. Canoe paddle balusters, moose silhouette cutouts on the exterior shutters and shutter brackets in the shape of airplane propellers reflect personal touches of importance to the owners.

Rob Karosis

Jury Comments: “The jury called this project the Storybook Cottage. … Because of a limitation requiring them to build no more than the original, razed structures, the architects have cleverly manipulated the geometry of this new structure, responding to both the massing of the original building and the configuration of the site. The result is a charming cottage that appears completely at one with its site and with the history of the place.”

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