2nd Annual Small Project Award Winners

AIA Chicago

For the second year in a row AIA Chicago has recognized local small firms who work on small projects with small budgets with their Small Project Awards. We love small, and look forward to these awards for the showcase of creativity and innovation across the midwest. Here's a highlight of five of the residential winners.

All projects entered in the Small Project Awards had to be designed by Chapter member firms or be located within the Chicago metropolitan area. Each firm had to consist of nine or fewer licensed architects and interns. Additionally, construction budgets had to be under $50,000 for objects, and under $750,000 for structures.

Shown above the jump from left to right:

1. Bucktown Residence Renovation and Addition by Froelich Kim Architecture: "This old Bucktown two-flat felt tired and claustrophobic to this family of five. They wanted to restore — and reuse — the existing masonry and provide a link between the new kitchen and family room to the outside. The restored brick walls of the old interior were left exposed and, in contrast, the addition has a clean, modern design, including a wall of glass that provides a visual link from the new rooms to the backyard. A new private deck on the second floor master bedroom completes the rear exterior of the house, its geometric shape adding a more sculptural form to the façade. The new garage detailing mirrors the main house and provides a backdrop that defines an inviting private rear yard where the children can play freely."

2. Garden Infrastructure + Connector by Blender Architecture: "The clients purchased the property next door for the purpose of adding a garage, while simultaneously maintaining the open space. In the addition, Blender Architecture created a connection between the architecture and the landscape, and included a cistern under the garage to collect rain water from all structures and re-distribute it for landscape irrigation and the outdoor fountain. Gabion walls are incorporated into the north wall of the garage and used to separate the neighboring property. The separating wall has a built-in planter that allows the leftover irrigation water to filter through and back into the cistern. Salvaged wood from the demolition was re-purposed for a new bathroom and the exterior is clad in a cedar rain-screen. Exterior bluestone is used on the floor to further diminish the outside from the inside."

3. A Barnyard Retreat by Fraerman Associates: "An owners' desire for a swimming pool and guesthouse next to their Virginia farmhouse resulted in a contemporary barn design with the material palette found in the existing farmhouse --copper, stone and painted wood. "The wall structure in the barn is what made it," said another juror. A large trellis runs the length of the guesthouse-- which includes a home office, guest suite, exercise loft, living space, kitchenette and pool bath--providing shade for pool goers, as well as contributing to its energy efficiency by shading the barn."

4. Sawyer Pool House by Nicholas Clark Architects Ltd.: This 1,400-square-foot pool house uses a similar material palette to the traditional main house, but provides a modernist counterpoint. Resting on a wood deck plinth, which gives it a light, weightless appearance, the building's first floor has a screened outdoor shower and dressing area, a bathroom with direct access to and from the pool area, large living space — with floor-to-ceiling windows and bi-parting sliding doors which look out onto the pool — a kitchenette and a bedroom suite with a private screen porch. The open steel stairs climb to the upper-level's sleeping loft. Outside, cedar sunscreens are mounted on industrial tracks and slide to protect the interior space from the sun and shutter the windows.

5. Farmhouse Retooled by Fangmann Gensburg Harting Architect (Citation of Merit): "Drawing inspiration from the L- and T-shaped farmhouses that dot the countryside throughout the Midwest, the design includes two windowgabled ends, found in larger farm houses, and a front porch. Running along the front of the house, the porch floats approximately two feet in front of the exterior wall, allowing light and shadow to pass between the house and the porch. The top is a "Live Roof," which serves as a green element and a visual element from the second floor."

For those interested in seeing more, the awards reception and exhibition is taking place tonight, Friday, May 11 at Architectural Artifacts — RSVP here.

Read More: Small Projects Are Anything But Ordinary at Chicago Architect.

RELATED AIA SMALL PROJECT AWARDS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
Small Wonders: AIA Small Projects Awards
AIA Small Project Awards
Two Midwest Houses: AIA Small Project Awards

(Images via Chicago Architect: 1. Bob Coscarelli; 2. Darris Lee Harris; 3. Roger Foley Photography; 4. Linda Oyama-Bryan; 5. John Toniolo)