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November 10, 2010

‘Love at first sight’ for AIA’s top award winner

Journal Staff Reporter

A three-unit apartment building in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood earned the top award from the Seattle AIA on Monday, with jurors saying it could provide a new model for living in Seattle.

The Colman Triplex, designed by Workshop AD, won the Seattle AIA’s Honor Award for 2010.

The 3,720-square-foot building is on a sloping site. It has one, two- and three-bedroom units with 770, 910 and 2,040 square feet respectively.

Workshop AD said in its submittal that the complex challenges the current model of infill development.

It is a multifamily structure with one owner on a standard house lot. It provides a range of dwelling sizes, generates income for the resident-owner, allows the owner to reconfigure the units as family needs change, and has much more open space than if the site were subdivided for townhouses.

“To me, it was love at first sight,” said juror Gilles Saucier of Saucier+Perrotte Architectes in Montreal. Saucier called it economic, real and changeable — “a very simple project that challenged the notion of how we live.”

Juror Jim Jennings of Jim Jennings Architecture in San Francisco said it is a “very beautiful, composed building” that doesn’t appear from the outside to have three units. The awards program moderator was Nathaniel Kahn, director of “My Architect,” a film about his father, architect Louis Kahn. Nathaniel Kahn said the Colman Triplex allows tenants to be by themselves and together, and will likely become increasingly relevant to Seattle in the future.

“We talked about it non-stop,” he said.

The awards honor the work of Washington state architects. More than 170 projects were submitted, and 13 selected.

The jury gave commendations to two other projects that it said represent new approaches to city living. Both are by Graham Baba Architects.

Building 115, a three-story Fremont complex with commercial space and one housing unit, allows the client to live, work and earn income on-site. The Kolstrand Building in Ballard is an adaptive reuse of a 1910 marine supply building in an industrial neighborhood. It has office, retail and restaurant space.

“Those two projects are challenging the idea of living in the city quite a lot,” said Saucier. He also said it’s important to keep older, interesting but “not extraordinary” buildings like The Kolstrand.

Deployable Greenhouses by atelierjones received a citation from the jury. The concept shows modular greenhouses that are self-sufficient, harvesting rainwater and using solar energy to power one grow light. Atelierjones said the greenhouses could be located throughout the city with minimal impact to the land.

Saucier called them architecture that serves the community.

“It could be almost a subversive project in that you wake up in the morning and there’s a deployable greenhouse in your parking lot,” he said.

The jury was impressed with Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center by NBBJ, and gave it a merit award. They said it meets the needs of medical professionals and patients in innovative ways, and with interesting architecture. It reflects a team effort between client and architect, they said.

“You really can’t get good architecture without good clients,” said juror Sheila O’Donnell, O’Donnell+Tuomey Architect in Dublin.

The jury gave a commendation award to Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and Rainier Valley Teen Center by Weinstein A|U Architects + Urban Designers LLC. Jurors said the multi-functional facility wastes no space, and is both aesthetically pleasing and economical — in places using light “as a material.”

Three homes were given merit awards: Bodega Residence by Cutler Anderson Architects, Port Townsend Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Suncrest Residence by Heliotrope Architects.

The jurors liked the use of wood and the strong relationship to their sites, in the Seattle Northwest tradition.

Seattle AIA Award Winners

Honor: Colman Triplex in Seattle. The architect is Workshop AD. Other team members are Lair GC., LairDesign, HSV Engineers and Alchemie.

Merit: Bodega Residence in Bodega, Calif. The architect is Cutler Anderson Architects. Other team members are Tanglefoot Master Builders and Coffman Engineers.

Merit: Port Townsend Residence in Port Townsend. The architect is Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Other team members are PCS Structural Solutions, Allworth Design and NB Design Group.

Merit: Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center in Bellevue. The architect is NBBJ. Other team members are Seneca Group, Sellen Construction, PCS Structural Solutions, Affiliated Engineers, ABKJ and Site Workshop.

Merit: Suncrest Residence in Deer Harbor. Heliotrope Architects is the architect. Other team members are Swenson Say Faget, Garden Artisan, Ravenhill Construction and Decorative Metal Arts.

Commendation: Building 115 in Seattle. Graham Baba Architects is the architect. Other team members are D. Boone Construction and Swenson Say Faget.

Commendation: The Kolstrand Building in Seattle. Graham Baba Architects is the architect. Other team members are CDB General Contractors and Swenson Say Faget.

Commendation: Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and Rainier Valley Teen Center in Seattle. Weinstein A|U Architects + Urban Designers LLC is the architect. Other team members are KPFF, SvR Design Co., WSP Flack + Kurtz, Davis Langdon, and Eskillson Architecture.

Citation: Art Stable Hinge in Seattle. Olson Kundig Architects is the architect. Other team members are Exxel Pacific: Construction; general contractors Matt Stodola and Nick Miller; and Jeremy Kramp Engineering Consultants.

Citation: Deployable Greenhouses envisioned for Seattle. Atelierjones is the architect and the structural engineer is Harriott Smith Valentine.

Citation: Steel Stair in Seattle. DeForest Architects is the architect. Other team members are Roberts|Wygal, ND Design Group, Evergreen Design Co., Steel Fabricators and Five Star Metals.

Citation: T Bailey Offices planned for Anacortes. Olson Kundig Architects is the architect. Other team members are Kenneth Philp Landscape Architects, Ravnik & Associates Civil Engineering, Sargent Engineers, Meyer Heating and Skyline Electrical.

Citation: University of Washington West Campus Student Housing envisioned for Seattle. Mahlum is the architect. Other team members are SvR Design Co., Walsh Construction, WG Clark Construction, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Coughlin Porter Lundeen.

Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.