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October 21, 2015
Chapter News

AIA Philadelphia Celebrates Design Excellence at the 2015 Design Awards Gala

By Elizabeth Paul

The AIA Philadelphia Design Awards Gala was held on October 14, 2015 at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The gala serves to acknowledge AIA Philadelphia members and other individuals that are shaping the built environment in the Philadelphia region and beyond. The Design Award winners are selected through a jury with this year’s jury from Portland, OR.

Divine Detail Award
The Divine Detail Award celebrates exemplary design innovation and craftmanship embodied in a particular aspect of built work (including furnishing).

Digsau | Matchbox – Stone Wall – The stone wall constitutes a third of the Matchbox, Swarthmore College’s newest wellness, fitness and theater space. It features an experimental and organic design using old stone material piled in the college’s woods over more than 100 years. The jury recognizes the outstanding innovation of the project through the use of existing materials on site that tell history. 

Gold Medal
The Gold Medal recognizes a single built work of the most exemplary design quality.

KieranTimberlake | Dilworth Park – The redesign created a more dignified civic plaza with a calm structure so as to not interfere with Philadelphia’s grand and exuberant city hall. In addition to improving access both to the subways and across the park, the design includes a raised lawn, a fountain with an integrated art installation and a cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating. The jury recognizes it as “a truly civic project that is inclusive and allows for many types of people to coexist happily”.

Silver Medal
The Silver Medal recognizes a single unbuilt project of the most exemplary design quality.

Erdy McHenry | PennDesign Meyerson Hall Transformation – The transformation features a prominent pedestrian entrance with an addition of luminescent glass to the façade on the north side. Erdy McHenry also redesigned the Walnut/34th street plaza to a friendlier street presence that provides places for student interaction.

Additional winners achieving Merit and Honor awards include: AMBIT Architecture, Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, ISA - Interface Studio Architects, John Milner Architects, Wallace Roberts and Todd LLC, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, EwingCole, and Jacobs Global Buildings.

The following individuals and organizations were also celebrated for their contributions to the architecture profession and the built environment.

Community Design Award
Every year, the Community Design Collaborative recognizes one of its many compelling Design Grants for excellence in design, collaboration, and community impact with its Community design Award.

Nicetown CDC | Nictown Sports Court – Nicetown CDC plans to turn an empty 3-acre right of way beneath the Roosevelt Boulevard into a lively community sports court. The design features basketball courts, a soccer field, a skate park, rain gardens, a public green and a plaza, promising to reanimate a quiet section of Nicetown’s Germantown Commercial Corridor.

Paul Philippe Cret Award
The Paul Philippe Cret Award recognizes individuals or organizations who are not architects but who have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the design of buildings, structures, landscapes, and the public realm of Greater Philadelphia.

The Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia – Since Mayor Nutter took office in 2008, he has been committed to improving Philadelphia’s built environment, pledging to make Philadelphia the Number One Green City in America. He initiated “Greenworks Philadelphia” – a systematic plan of 15 sustainability targets promoting green building and equitable and healthy neighborhoods. With the support of the local architectural and building community, Mayor Nutter has had some notable successes, including Philadelphia having the tallest green office building and the second-highest level of green roof space in the country. “From the Greenworks Philadelphia initiative to the redesign of Dilworth and Love Parks, and the redevelopment of Market East and North Broad, Mayor Nutter has fostered an environment that promotes the role of architecture in a thriving world class city”, said Jim Rowe, president of AIA Philadelphia.

John Frederick Harbeson Award
The John Frederick Harbeson Award is presented annually to a long-standing member of the architectural community and is intended to recognize significant contributions to the architectural profession made over their lifetime.

Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce With 34 years of private practice in planning and architecture, Alan Greenberger integrates long-range strategic planning with business and real estate development in his current role as Deputy Mayor. Under his leadership, Philadelphia has a new Zoning Code and a comprehensive plan to guide the city’s growth over the next two decades - “Philadelphia 2035” - for the first time in 50 years. Greenberger also serves as Chairman of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and on the boards of numerous civic and cultural organizations including the Association for Public Art, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. “Alan Greenberger is a true representation of the citizen architect, using his training for the betterment of our community," says Rowe. "His work on Philadelphia 2035 exemplifies his vision of how planning a healthier and more vibrant city can make a positive impact on the lives of Philadelphians.”

Young Architect Award
The Young Architect Award, presented by AIA Philadelphia’s Steering Committee of Fellows, seeks to recognize a candidate’s contribution to the categories of leadership, practice and service.

Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Historic Preservation at Ballinger – Ms. Wang’s professional expertise stems from a broad range of practical experience in the field of architectural design and historic preservation. Her impressive portfolio ranges from new construction to adaptive reuse and historic preservation for commercial institutional and residential clients. She is a Board Member for the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Co-chair of Community Outreach Committee for CREW Philadelphia and volunteers her professional design services for the Community Design Collaborative. Additionally, Ms. Wang is a lecturer at PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Studio.

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