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December 5, 2023
The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture has announced the winners of its 2023 American Architecture Awards.
These awards honor the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects in the United States and abroad and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the U.S.
Over 150 projects won this year, including four in Washington. Another five projects in the state received an honorable mention. In addition, Seattle architecture firm Olson Kundig was honored for two projects, one in Oregon, the other in Oklahoma.
The winning Washington projects are:
Grand Avenue Park Bridge, designed by LMN Architects
This was the sole project to be awarded in the Bridges and Infrastructure category. The Grand Avenue Park Bridge opened in Everett in 2020.
Across a 257-foot span, the truss bridge connects Everett's Grand Avenue Park to the city's growing waterfront district. The bridge weaves pedestrian ramps and stairs above, around, and inside a sloping truss, presenting an inviting and attractive new crossing.
LMN describes the bridge design as pragmatic and economical. Its truss form responds directly to programmatic needs while also recalling the form and character of traditional railroad trusses found across the Pacific Northwest. Structural elements consist of weathering steel, a raw form of steel, which uses rust to form a protective layer, providing corrosion resistance and enhancing the bridge's long-term maintainability as well as giving it a distinctive color.
The project team also includes the city of Everett, client; Everett Parks & Recreation, landscape architecture; Interwest Construction Inc., general contractor; and KPFF Consulting Engineers, prime consultant for structural, civil, and plumbing engineering.
Woodinville Whiskey Processing and Barrel Aging Facility, designed by Graham Baba Architects
This new facility for Woodinville Whiskey Co. won in the Commercial buildings category. The facility is located on a 10-acre site in Quincy, amidst fields of grain that are used to produce the company's product. It was developed to meet increasing demand and provide more space for the company to process and age its whiskey.
The project is a multi-phase expansion that consolidates operations and provides space for continued development. The initial phase of the expansion was completed last year and comprised a processing and bottling building, which also houses new corporate offices, and a barrel rickhouse for aging whiskey. A second and third barrel rickhouse followed and two more rickhouses are currently under construction. A final barrel rickhouse will be completed in early 2024 for a total of six buildings on site.
The buildings range from 40- to 70 feet wide by 400 feet long, establishing a monumental presence within the surrounding grain fields. They are prefabricated steel structures that have been customized to blend in with the natural environment and to represent the company's brand.
The design of the buildings is inspired by traditional ricking houses of the American South and simple agricultural and industrial warehouses found in the region. Massing is kept simple, with functional aspects such as vehicle circulation, loading and unloading dictating the site's layout and the scale of the buildings. All structures are clad in dark metal siding and Kebony wood.
The project team also includes Woodinville Whiskey/LVMH, client and Rimmer & Roeter Construction, general contractor.
The Prow, designed by Aidlin Darling Design
The Prow is described as “a biophilic retreat” for Expedia Group staff and executives, located at the company's 40-acre corporate campus bordering the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle.
The Prow has a distinctive angular vectorial shape which is designed to be a direct reference to the concept of motion, reflecting Expedia's work in the travel sector.
The modernist structure is located away from the campus's main office buildings and was sited close to the shoreline to help employees to clear their minds, thus spurring innovation.
The building is designed to appear “hidden in plain sight” and is discretely integrated into the surrounding landscape. It has a green roof that mirrors the surrounding planted ground plane and is lifted at one end.
The materials palette for The Prow is defined by indigenous Pacific Northwest materials, which the architect says, “creates a space that authentically honors the region while providing a biophilic experience visually, tactically, and acoustically.” Walls are crafted from the same stone as the riprap found along the Elliott Bay shoreline and floors and ceilings are crafted from local Douglas Fir trees.
The building opened in 2020. It was awarded in the Corporate Office Buildings category.
The project team also includes Expedia Group Inc., client and GLY Construction, general contractor.
Encompass Northwest, designed by Signal Architecture + Research
The final project in Washington to win this year was Encompass Northwest in Snoqualmie. The new therapeutic center won in the Schools and Universities category. It opened in 2021.
Encompass Northwest is a nonprofit that provides early learning, pediatric therapy, and family enrichment programs for children up to 8 years old and their families.
Programming consists of a main entry with eye-catching burnt orange and teal furnishings, administrative spaces, a children's gym, therapy rooms with colorful interiors and interactive elements that include climbing walls and soft play equipment, parent-child intensive rooms, bifurcated by a panel of two-way glass that allows therapists to observe a parent and child and provide training from a distance, and meeting rooms that can also be used by the public.
Signal Architecture + Research designed the 10,000-square-foot facility to feel calm, nurturing and supportive, and worked to imbue the structure itself with notions of care. All spaces at the center are consciously non-institutional. As the architect explained, “rather than an architectural object, the building was conceptualized as a responsive ‘tool' to equip the team in their use of multi-angled therapeutic techniques.”
The project team also includes Encompass Northwest, client; Osborn Consulting, Inc., landscape architecture; and Abbott Construction, general contractor.
Also winning in the Corporate Office Buildings category was the LeBron James Innovation Center at Nike World Headquarters, in Beaverton, Oregon, designed by Seattle architecture firm Olson Kundig. The center opened in 2020. The 85,000-square-foot project is essentially a research lab where the brand gathers data from athletes to use in product design.
Olson Kundig also won in the Museum and Cultural Buildings category for the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 29,000-square-foot center opened last spring. It is the new home for The Bob Dylan Archive, a collection of more than 100,000 items that span and tell the history of Dylan's nearly 60-year career. Items on display include handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence, films, videos, artwork, memorabilia, and original studio recordings.
Olson Kundig designed the center to be an interactive experience that uses artifacts from Dylan's career to tell a bigger story about his worldwide cultural significance and American cultural history.
The following projects received Honorable Mentions:
Ballard Food Bank, Ballard, designed by Graham Baba Architects.
UW Founders Hall, Foster School of Business, Seattle, designed by LMN Architects.
Kaiser Permanente Everett Ambulatory Surgery and Specialty Center Expansion, Everett, designed by HOK.
Lakeview Office Building, Kirkland, designed by LMN Architects.
University of Washington North Campus Housing, designed by Kieran Timberlake.
The 2023 American Architecture Awards are now in their 29th year. Awards are given in 26 categories. The full list of winners is at https://www.americanarchitectureawards.com/winners/