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AIA celebrates excellence in design, architecture

January 12. 2013 8:39PM
Manchester's Department of Public Works Administration Building was designed by Lavallee Brensinger Architects and built by Harvey Construction Corp., Bedford. (COURTESY)

BEDFORD - The Granite State's architectural community celebrated outstanding projects and professionals Friday at the 2012 Excellence in Architecture Design Awards.

At its annual meeting and awards banquet at the Bedford Village Inn, the American Institute of Architects New Hampshire Chapter (AIANH) recognized such projects as a municipal building and a county courthouse in Manchester, campus buildings at Keene State College and Phillips Exeter Academy; and the recent Hampton Beach visitor center renovation.

The 2013 jury, comprised of representatives from the Rhode Island architecture community, selected 10 projects from 39 submissions. Two buildings were also honored in the annual People's Choice Awards.

Presenter and AIA member Megan Moynihan, of Oyster Works in Charlestown, R.I., said the jury "looked for the integration of decorative and construction details into a visually consistent language, whether the vocabulary was classical or modern.

"Most importantly, the jury was struck by approaches to sustainability that went beyond (or bypassed entirely) LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to explore how buildings could be imaginatively re-used and repurposed."

Honor Awards

City of Manchester Department of Public Works Administration Building

Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester.

Construction Manager: Harvey Construction Corp., Bedford.

Prior to this project, the Department of Public Works was housed in a 50-year-old building, which was unsuitable for any function and was beyond its useful life. The goal of this project was to provide a new consolidated facility for all DPW needs for the next 50 years. DPW divisions, including highway, engineering, facilities, and parks and recreation, previously located in three separate buildings, were reunited under one roof. The new building, part of a three-block campus project, is a safe, healthy, collaborative, and energy-efficient work environment, and revitalizes a central city neighborhood.

Hillsborough County Superior Court North, Manchester.

Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester.

Construction Manager: TLT Construction Corp., Wakefield, Mass.

After much public debate, it was determined to renovate and update the existing Superior Court in lieu of developing a new facility on a new site remote from its current civic district neighborhood. This decision champions solid urban planning, but also mandated that the renovated facility meet every measure of new court design. The interior was completely removed to allow abatement of asbestos, while curtain wall additions on the east and west facades refresh the building's image and presence, introducing natural light throughout the space.

The building is on track to receive a LEED Silver certification, and has been awarded the Governor's "Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award."

Merit Awards

Keene State College TDS Center, Keene

Architerra Inc., Boston.

Contractor: Engelberth Construction Inc., Keene

Landscape Architect: Brown Sardina Inc., Boston

This innovative LEED Platinum building accommodates three Keene State programs under one roof: sustainable product design (technology), the built environment (architectural design and building science), and workplace health and safety (safety).

The 53,000-square-foot Technology Design and Safety Center redefines the edge of campus and is modeled to use less than 50 percent of the energy of a building compliant with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc.)

Hampton Beach Design & Development Project, Hampton Beach

Samyn-D'Elia Architects, P.A., Ashland.

Design/Builder: Harvey Construction Corp., Bedford

Landscape Architect: ORW Landscape Architects and Planners, White River Junction, Vt.

Ward D'Elia of Samyn-D'Elia Architects' design draws inspiration from the historical architecture of Hampton Beach. The new seashell building features a dramatic open-air tensile structure stage, conference and event spaces, public rest rooms, first aid station, life guard lookout, staff amenities, and two beach-facing stages. The complex's north and south pavilions house a visitor center, retail space, staff offices and storage, and meeting rooms.

Two bath house plazas at the north and south ends of the park were designed to make it convenient for visitors to use the entire length of the beach and features ample restrooms, wash-off showers, lockers, a large shade pergola and beach access.

Phillips Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy

ARC (Architectural Resources Cambridge), Cambridge, Mass.

General Contractor: Harvey Construction Corp., Bedford

Phillips Hall holds a prominent position among the historical classroom buildings on Phillips Exeter Academy's campus. In 2007, ARC was retained by the school to study options for renovations to the 40,000-square-foot historic building, which has served as the home to the English and modern language departments since its construction in 1932.

ARC worked closely with the school to guide the planning and phased renovation process. The renovated and restored building provides five new classroom spaces in previously under utilized attic spaces; a new elevator and Americans with Disability Act improvements; air conditioning and classroom technology; and the replacement of all windows and roofing and restoration of all original masonry.

Nubanusit Lakehouse, Hancock.

Sheldon Pennoyer Architects, Concord.

Builder: James C. Moore Builders, Jaffrey.

A 2,948-square-foot house designed as a family retreat at the edge of Nubanusit Lake has brought a local family back home after 10 years in Ohio. The waterfront site presented a challenge with a dramatic elevation change of 30 feet from the road to the water in less than 120 feet of distance. The major design accomplishment was to bring the visitor from the street level down one level via an open stair tower and connector to the front door.

The main floor of the house allowed for a consolidated plan of a dining room and living room overlooked by the kitchen. A strategically located screened porch, adjacent to the living room, provides sheltered outdoor living and access to a terrace overlooking the lake. Sweeping roofs with deep overhangs and a series of rock walls and terraced gardens express the idea of connection between the built and the natural environments.

Harriman Hill Housing Coalition, Wolfeboro.

Warrenstreet Architects Inc., Concord.

Construction Manager: Gary Chicoine Construction, Weare.

Warrenstreet Architects was responsible for the complete design of Harriman Hill, 24 units of work force housing rental community located in the beautiful Lakes Region of Wolfeboro. The project consists of six, four-unit apartment buildings in the first phase of construction; six buildings will be added in the second phase for a total of 48 units, and the third phase will add 20 single-family houses.

Each unit provides for an open floor plan, appliances heat and hot water are included. The setting provides for a sense of community while fitting into the rural fabric and being five minutes from downtown. Harriman Hill was designed with many sustainable features including solar panels, natural gas-fired hot water boiler and individual recovery ventilators were installed in each apartment.


Regeneration Park, Portsmouth.

TMS Architects, Portsmouth.

General contractor: T.R. Russell Builders, Rye.

Landscape architect: Toomey Landscape, Portsmouth.

Regeneration Park is a project that has been able to successfully reuse an existing building and transform it into a near net-zero office, retail, and restaurant building. Previously used as an automobile dealership with a great deal of asphalt paving adjacent to wetlands, the revitalized site and finished building has resulted in a vastly improved space that is sensitive to the environment and appropriate for the new tenants and owners.

Mount Wachusett House, Princeton, Mass.

Daniel V. Scully/Architects, Keene.

Contractor: Grzyb Builders Inc., Princeton, Mass.

The challenge for this project was to restore the original 1920's summerhouse to bring out its best. Daniel V. Scully Architects began by removing additions that had buried the original house so that the mass of the original house was able to read more clearly again. They created a roofline that unified the additions and acted as a foil to the mass of the original house instead of hiding and blurring it.

Commendation for unbuilt architecture

Island Shack

Bart Sapeta AIA, Keene State College

Inspired by the affordability and mobility of trailerable motor sailors, this do-it-yourself concept for an island shack responds to the owner's desire to fabricate it in his home garage using off-the-shelf materials, transport it to the lake on a 7-by-16-foot trailer, ship the cargo to the island on a flat bottom barge and install it by winching all pieces into place.

People's Choice Awards

Each year, AIANH holds an exhibit of the awards submissions at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester and posts them on its website for voting by the public. The winner among the residential projects was Night Pasture Farm located in central Vermont, designed by Bonin Architects & Associates of New London. In the commercial category, the Hampton Beach Design and Development Project by Samyn-D'Elia Architects was the winner.

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