Nineteen projects ranging widely in style and function have been selected by jury to receive 1991 Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects. The awards were announced last night at the AIA's annual "Accent on Architecture" gala at the National Building Museum.
"Diversity over purity" was a theme of the competition this year, wrote architect Robert Venturi, in a prepared statement. Venturi was chairman of the nine-member jury that picked the winners from more than 650 entries. He also voiced the jury's disappointment that "certain civic building types," such as schools and churches, "were conspicuous in their absence."
Also announced last night was the 1991 Architecture Firm Award, given annually by the AIA to recognize "distinguished architecture" produced by a single firm for a decade or longer. This year's winner is the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership of Portland, Ore., cited especially for its beneficent "impact on the Northwest region."
Frank Gehry of Santa Monica, Calif., won honor awards for two very different projects on either side of the continent. His renovation of a nine-story warehouse in Boston was said to be "spunky and provocative" and yet in harmony with its traditional urban context. His "village-like" sequence of low buildings for furniture-maker Herman Miller Inc., in Rocklin, Calif., was said to "enrich the genre of manufacturing facility design."
The new Glendale Heights (Illinois) Post Office, designed by Ross Barney + Jankowski of Chicago, is the first federal building to receive an honor award in several years. Locally, the Baltimore firm of RTKL Associates was cited for a temporary sculpture studio at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore.
Other cultural facilities honored were the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York, and the Rice Building, an addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Hammond Beeby and Babka of Chicago. The latter project was said "both to affirm and rethink classical architecture."
Residential projects small and large won more awards than any other type of building. Amazingly, three are located in the planned resort community of Seaside, Fla. -- a set of two-story, one-bedroom "Honeymoon Cottages," designed by Scott Merrill of Vero Beach, Fla.,; the mixed-use "Dreamland Heights Hotel" by Steven Holl Architects of New York; and the single-family Chatham House, by Walter Chatham of New York.
Multiple residences receiving awards include the Mendelsohn House, a senior-citizen housing complex in San Francisco, designed by Robert Herman Associates of that city; a mixed-use apartment building in Fukuoka, Japan, by Stanley Tigerman of Chicago; the Charleston Cottages, a cluster of small houses for the homeless, designed in a vernacular style by Chris Schmitt & Associates of Charleston, S.C.; and Courtyard Houses, a group of resort town houses in Vero Beach, by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. A private "shingle-style" house in East Hampton, N.Y., by Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York, was praised for its "Shakerlike" detailing and its innovative floor plan.
The Koizumi Sangyo Building, a mixed-use commercial structure in Tokyo designed by Eisenman Architects with K Architects and Associates of New York, was lauded for creating "a fascinating visual dialogue between ... order and chaos." The third project in Japan to receive an award is the Hotel Il Palazzo in Fukuoka, by Aldo Rossi with Morris Adjmi of New York.
A cabin complex for a rural Pennsylvania Girl Scout camp by Susan Maxman Architects of Philadelphia was honored for its sensitivity both to its young users and the natural setting. The Caribbean Marketplace in Miami, by Charles Harrison Pawley of Coral Gables, Fla., was cited for its "vibrant colors, fanciful forms ... and civic character." A sleek new interior for the Royalton Hotel in New York, designed by Gruzen Samton Steinglass Architects of New York (with Philippe Starck, interiors consultant), was said by the jury to "misbehave" in a way that suits its site in Midtown Manhattan.