2013 Great Places Award Winners Announced

Northerly Island / Studio Gang Architects +

Seven exemplary projects in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design have been named winners of the 2013 Great Places and were honored during the 44th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) earlier this month. The EDRA Great Places recognizes professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience.

The winners after the break…

Providence Wins Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge

Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the winners of the , a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities to improve the well-being of the nation. Out of the 305 cities that competed in this inaugural competition, Providence, , was presented the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and a $5 million implementation award for its “cutting-edge early education initiative”. Mayors Challenge innovation prizes also were awarded to Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica, all of which will receive $1 million to support implementation. 

Refurbishing America’s Shopping Mall

The Arcade © PBN/Brian McDonald via PBN

One thing about a recession is that it accelerates the demise of dying trends and struggling establishments. In this case, it is America’s beloved , which have been slowly in decline since their peak popularity in 1990. Now, in the wake of the 2008 economic catastrophe, American cities are riddled with these abandoned shopping meccas, from the mall to big box stores and shopping strips, whose oversize parking lots are equally as useless as the spaces themselves. The question is, how can we effectively repurpose these spaces?

A perfect example after the break…

Three Pier Bridge / Studio Providence LLC

© Tim DeCoster

The design of this project by Studio Providence LLC, a partnership by and 3six0 Architecture, was the result of an international competition. Awarded by the Boston Society of Architects with an esteemed Unbuilt Project Award, the proposal uses three piers that are evocative of the fishing piers of New England.

House on College Hill / Friedrich St. Florian Architects

© Warren Jagger

Architects: Friedrich St. Florian Architects
Location: , Rhode Island, USA
Structural Engineer: Wilbur Yoder
Contractor: Joseph M. Furtado, Inc
Project Area: 3,000 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Warren Jagger Photography, Inc

Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, Brown University / Architecture Research Office

Courtesy Michael Moran

Architects: Architecture Research Office (ARO)
Location: , , USA
Project Team: Stephen Cassell, Principal; Kim Yao, Associate/Principal; Neil Patel, Project Manager; Gustavo Colmenares
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 18,100 sqf (GSF)
Photographs: Michael Moran

Eastside Addition / 3six0 Architecture

© John Horner

Architect: 3six0 Architecture
Location: , Rhode Island
Project Team: Kyna Leski- Principal, Christopher Bardt AIA- Principal, Jack Ryan RA- Senior Associate & Project Architect, Curtis Boivin, Kelly Ennis, Yu Morishita, Michael Williams
General Contractor: Golden Rule Construction Company
Structural Engineer: Wilbur Yoder
Lighting Consultant: Hogan Macaulay, Architecture + Light
Project Area: 1,100 square feet
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: 3six0 Architecture, John Horner

Paschke Danskin Double Loft / 3six0 Architecture

© John Homer Photography

Architect: 3six0 Architecture
Location: , Rhode Island
Principals: Kyna Leski and Christopher Bardt, AIA
Associate & Project Architect: Olga Mesa, LEED AP
Team: Aaron Brode, Avi Forman, and Kelly Ennis
General Contractor: Case Construction Company
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: John Horner Photography

Joukowsky Institute / Anmahian Winton Architects

© Warren Jagger

Architect: Anmahian Winton
Location: Providence, Rhode Island,
Project Team: Nick Winton AIA(principal in charge), Alex Anmahian AIA(consulting principal), Aaron Bruckerhoff AIA, LEED AP(project manager), Joel Lamere (project architect), Makoto Abe (project designer), Aaron Stavert AIA
Consultants: RDK Engineers, Richmond So Engineers, GZA, Shawmut Design & Construction, Hines Wasser Associates, LAM Partners
Project Area: 15,000 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Peter Vanderwarker, Warren Jagger, Jane Messinger 

Providence River Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge Competition Winner / inFORM Studio

©

The River Pedestrian Bridge is a unique urban proposal in that the basis of its proposition is an exchange of transit medium. The relocation of a substantial, vehicular only conduit in favor of a pedestrian oriented connector will completely transform the spatial character of the Jewelry District/Old Harbor. Given this significant urban transformation, the project should envision a potential much larger than a pure connector. The proposed River Pedestrian Bridge can become a spatial mediator between urban and ecological spaces and function as an integrated series of programs into the waterfront public spaces, allowing east and west to become a singular meandering public space. With this perspective, the proposal is better understood less as a bridge and more as an urban intervention. More about inFORM Studio‘s Providence River Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge submission after the break.

The Wheeler School Nulman Lewis Student Center / Ann Beha Architects

© David Lamb Photography

This small Student Center is a hub and hinge for The Wheeler School’s urban campus in , RI. The campus is constrained by its property size, limited green space, and location within an historic neighborhood. Composed of solid, institutional brick buildings and converted residential structures, the campus faces inward, with its back turned to the community. The Nulman Lewis Student Center sets a different course: transparent, welcoming, and decidedly contemporary. It is the new arrival portal, facing and welcoming the community. The setting and neighborhood may have assumed that a traditional building would be the only appropriate answer for its context, but this building looks forward, advancing contemporary design expression within an historic context.

Architect: Ann Beha Architects
Location: Providence, , USA
Project Area: 5,000 sqf New Student Center, 5,000 sqf Renovation to Student Union and Alumni House
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: David Lamb Photography

Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

© Iwan Baan

The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, recently opened for spring semester classes at Brown University. Providing performance space, exhibitions, installations, and an outdoor amphitheater, the Center’s long structural spans, high ceilings, and large floor plates stimulate a necessary collaborative environment with flexibility. Seeking LEED Gold certification, the exterior venetian blind system and green roof are just a few of the sustainable features for the Granoff Center.

Charles Renfro, partner-in-charge for the project, stated the following about Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s design:

In creating the design for the Granoff Center, we needed structural elements that would stimulate the creative process from virtually every aspect of the building. The Granoff Center is a merger of architectural gesture and academic pedagogy. Our strategy was to encourage and illustrate collaboration across every level.

The six half-levels that make up the Granoff Center were derived from a stacked floor slab system. The three initial floors were divided in half down the length of the building and then offset. This intentional misalignement provided a unique connection between levels, therefore the landings were expanded, providing gathering space for breakout sessions for both students and faculty.

Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Location: , Rhode Island,
Acoustician: JaffeHolden
Construction Management: Shawmut Design & Construction
Project Area: 38,815 sqf
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Iwan Baan