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AIA awards recognize clean lines, harmony with nature and gutters

Clean lines, optical illusions and one giant diagonal gutter dominated the structures honored for architectural design at the 2016 AIA Design Awards.

The Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized design work and saluted some other local luminaries with service awards at a June 9 gathering at the Foundation for the Carolinas.

In the service awards category, Ron Morgan, who founded architecture firm Dalton Morgan Shook and was a former professor of architecture at UNC Charlotte, was recognized posthumously for his work in the city and around the world with the Citizen Architect Service to the Community Award. Morgan, who died May 30 at age 74, worked up until a few days before his death.

“I can’t say enough about Ron, but he was involved in work with architecture and planning in Charlotte including up until just last month with his “100 Gardens” project that was recognized by President Barack Obama,” said John Paquin, president of AIA Charlotte.

Alexandria Supino of HDR won the S. Scott Ferebee Service to the Section Award.

There were three winners of the Emerging Professional of the Year Award, given to those who have been registered for 10 years or less: Marija Kerlin of Housing Studio, Nicole Brown of LS3P, and Matthew Butler of Bergmann Associates.

Rounding out the service category awards, Susan Patterson, formerly of the Knight Foundation, was recognized with the Laurel Award for her work with bringing architects from other cities and countries to Charlotte to help design buildings for the city’s future.

“Knight Foundation is about informed and engaged communities,” Patterson said. “What creates those is having places for people to meet and talk. The work architects do to create inviting places that encourage people to connect is important for our city.”

The jury for this year’s design awards was made up of professionals from the Ohio Valley area, led by Chair Drew White of Indianapolis-based Axis Architecture. There were 40 projects submitted for award consideration.The winner for the Divine Detail Award was Cluck Design Collaborative for the double-sided staircase at Red Barn House in San Clemente, California. White said the jury was impressed that the metal staircase produced a different perspective with one side open and the other seemingly closed, depending on the viewing angle.

Architectural firm Little won the Unrealized Project Award for its designed –– but never constructed –– Qingdao Archives Museum in Qingdao, China.

Reusing an old auto shop as a bar and grill won a Merit Award for Cluck Design Collaborative for its work on Mac’s Speed Shop in Greensboro.

Also winning Merit Design Awards were Wilson Tate Savory for the UNC Charlotte Band Center and Gensler for its work redesigning the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce building on Tryon Street.

White tipped his hat to Wilson Tate Savory for making a band building that was economical and functional and fit in harmoniously with the UNCC campus. The jury liked the Chamber of Commerce building’s interior design and said they’d like to work there, given its open space and putting green.

Finally, this year saw two Honor Award designs –– both won by C Design. First, the group was recognized for its work on the YMCA Camp Thunderbird Duke Energy Pavilion in Lake Wylie, South Carolina. The jury praised C Design for its work in keeping the basketball court and activities pavilion open and breezy while preserving the view of the trees and other natural elements at the lake.

C Design’s second winning project was the Piedmont Natural Gas Rockingham Resource Center in Rockingham. The research and development center for the energy producer was built in a former warehouse, but the architects at C Design reworked the entry to remove a corner of the building, necessitating a rebuild of the gutters and drainage system. The result was a large, diagonal gutter that appears to cut the front of the building in half symmetrically. White said the judges liked the gutter and that it was the one detail that set the entry apart.

“All of the winners are consistently high in quality and are a great example of what our architects can do,” Paquin said in closing. “It seemed to be attention to detail that won this year, as well as a modern approach and crisp lines. The pavilion that C Design won for was all about rustic materials and being harmonious with that natural environment at the YMCA camp.”

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