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Winners of Modernism in America Awards renew value of modern architecture
Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 |

The Modernism in America Awards have announced this year's winners. The national awards program highlights the documentation, preservation and re-use of modern buildings, structures and landscapes in the U.S. or U.S. territory. The program also raises awareness of the economic and cultural value of modern architecture and design, as well as new methods of its preservation.

One Award of Excellence was given in the categories Design, Advocacy, and Inventory/Survey. Five Citations of Merit were also awarded.

Winners will receive their prizes during the Docomomo US National Symposium on March 13-15, 2014 in Houston, Texas.

Have a look at some of the winning projects below.

Furnace Creek - Entrance Façade after rehabilitation. Walls were cleaned and repaired and the deteriorated site paving was replaced with improvements for passenger loading and accessibility. This principal façade largely retains its historic appearance, complemented by the historic gravel roof surface which was recreated at sloped Auditorium roof to left. Credit: David Wakely

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Furnace Creek - Entrance Façade after rehabilitation. Walls were cleaned and repaired and the deteriorated site paving was replaced with improvements for passenger loading and accessibility. This principal façade largely retains its historic appearance, complemented by the historic gravel roof surface which was recreated at sloped Auditorium roof to left. Credit: David Wakely

Design Award of Excellence: Furnace Creek Visitor Center at Death Valley National Park 

Original Architects: Cecil Doty, National Park Service; Welton Becket & Associates, San Francisco, CA 
Restoration Team: National Park Service, Denver Service Center (Project Manager/Property Owner); Architectural Resources Group, Inc. (Architect); and AMEC Environment & Infrastructure Inc. (Project Management, Engineering, and Landscape Architecture)

Project summary: "Built in 1959 by noted Park Service architect Cecil Doty, the buildings were sensitively expanded at the lobby, restrooms and administrative offices. The additions respect the original architecture. Character defining features were preserved and historically significant landscaping was thoughtfully rehabilitated. New pedestrian paving and shade structures were added for visitor accommodation. LEED Gold certification is pending."

Peavey Plaza - The fountains of Peavey Plaza. Credit: Keri Pickett, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

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Peavey Plaza - The fountains of Peavey Plaza. Credit: Keri Pickett, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Advocacy Award of Excellence: Peavey Plaza 

Original Designers: M. Paul Friedberg + Partners 
Advocacy Team:  Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM), The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) and Docomomo US/Minnesota

Project summary: "Designed in 1975, Peavey Plaza is an extension of Minneapolis’s renowned Nicollet Mall. In 2011 the city looked to redesign the Plaza, paralleling the renovation of the adjacent Orchestra Hall. A consortium of local and national organizations came together to successfully communicate Peavey Plaza’s on-going importance and prevent its demolition. The Board of Directors of Docomomo US is impressed by the well-coordinated collective nature of these efforts; their outreach to a wide audience including local constituents and national interests; and their use of a combination of advocacy tools including the solicitation of pro bono design concepts by the plaza’s original landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg."

The Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. landing page is the portal to an engaging exploration of the modern resources in Los Angeles County.

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The Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. landing page is the portal to an engaging exploration of the modern resources in Los Angeles County.

Survey Award of Excellence: Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. Website 

Team: Los Angeles Conservancy (project lead), Historic Resources Group (data collection facilitators), Architectural Resources Group (content), Alan Hess (content), ThinkShout (web development) and YYES (graphic design)

Project summary: "The Survey Award of Excellence is given to the Los Angeles Conservancy for their documentation of modern resources through the Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A., California Website (www.laconservancy.org/modern). The jury notes the very considerable amount of thoughtful work and financial resources that went into the development of the exceptional visual quality, organization and public access of the website. 'The Los Angeles Conservancy is commended for creating such an expansive resource documenting more than 300 historically significant Modern sites throughout Los Angeles County.' Speaking for the jury James Polshek continues, 'Their use of innovative technology, preservation talent, historical knowledge and web design talent to attractively bring together a vast amount of information available to the general public is commended.'"

Visit their website here.

Arboretum - Arboretum, Christ Cathedral. East elevation, camera facing west. Photo by Cristian Costea. Credit: Christian Costea Photography, Inc.

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Arboretum - Arboretum, Christ Cathedral. East elevation, camera facing west. Photo by Cristian Costea. Credit: Christian Costea Photography, Inc.

Design Citation of Merit: The Arboretum (formerly the Garden Grove Community Church) 

Restoration Team: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange (owner), LPA Inc. (architect), Cannon Building (general contractor) Davis Partners/Hager Pacific Properties (construction managers) and Lamprecht archiTEXTural (consulting architect).

Project summary: "The jury awards a Citation of Merit for the restoration of the Arboretum on the Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, California. The jury notes the impressive effort to reinforce and strengthen the original structure, hide new air conditioning systems, while retaining the original design intent. Designed in 1961 by Richard Neutra as a ‘drive-in church’, the restoration included the development of a new window system to sensitively replicate the original design as well as the rehabilitation of deteriorated fountains and reflection pools, and interior finishes."

Miami Marine Stadium - Side view of Stadium. Credit: Rick Bravo

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Miami Marine Stadium - Side view of Stadium. Credit: Rick Bravo

Advocacy Citation of Merit: Miami Marine Stadium 

Project summary: "The Docomomo US Board of Directors awards a Citation of Merit to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Board of Directors notes the project is an exemplary model of successful advocacy using multiple channels: social media, public events, fundraisers, newsletters, and collaboration of local boards, preservation groups in addition to public and private partnerships. The Board of Directors notes the organization’s funding of an engineering study concluding the stadium could be restored demonstrating an exemplary depth of due diligence in establishing the case for its preservation. Designed in 1963 by Hilario Candela and host to hundreds of boat races and floating concerts, Miami Marine Stadium was closed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992."

Litchfield Homes - The Huvelle House (near left) and Stillman I (far right): The two houses side by side at dusk, sharing a similar modernist language. Calder mural (far right). Credit: Brad Stein and Joseph Mazzaferro

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Litchfield Homes - The Huvelle House (near left) and Stillman I (far right): The two houses side by side at dusk, sharing a similar modernist language. Calder mural (far right). Credit: Brad Stein and Joseph Mazzaferro

Design Citation of Merit: Stillman and Huvelle Houses, Litchfield, CT

Restoration Team: Joseph Mazzaferro and Kenneth Sena

Project summary: "The jury awards a Citation of Merit to Joseph Mazzaferro and Ken Sena for their historically correct restoration of the two homes that introduced modernism to Litchfield, Connecticut: Stillman House I designed by Marcel Breuer in 1950 and The Huvelle House designed by John Johansen in 1953. The jury notes that in addition to repairing structural damage, the owners removed later additions to the Stillman House and returned a removed floating porch and staircase to a Breuer-designed swimming pool. For the Huvelle House, a cantilevered porch and corresponding sun-louver above were also reconstructed following their removal years ago. For both houses, all glass was replaced, interior volumes were returned to scale where changed, and all original design detailing was closely observed. Dr. F. Peter Swanson and Robert Gregson nominated the work."

Trenton Bath House - Bath House interior after restoration, showing circular atrium feature (adapted from original design for ADA compliance), new historically accurate asphalt shingle roofs, and restored and cleaned CMU walls. Credit: Brian Rose

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Trenton Bath House - Bath House interior after restoration, showing circular atrium feature (adapted from original design for ADA compliance), new historically accurate asphalt shingle roofs, and restored and cleaned CMU walls. Credit: Brian Rose

Design Citation of Merit: Trenton Bath House and Day Camp Pavilions 

Restoration Team: Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC – (Project Management, Design, Preservation - now Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC), Heritage Landscapes (Landscape Architecture), Wu & Associates, Inc. (Restoration Contractor), Mercer County Division of Planning, Susan Solomon, PhD, Keast & Hood Co. (Structural Engineering), Joseph R. Loring & Associates (MEP Engineering), The RBA Group (Civil Engineering), Gilbane (Cost Estimating), De Sapio Construction, Inc. (Contractor - Snack Bar).

Project summary: "The jury awards a Citation of Merit to Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC for the restoration of the Trenton Bath House and Day Camp Pavilions in Trenton, New Jersey. The jury notes the heroic preservation efforts of the previously threatened site and the sensitivity of the restoration of the 1954-1957 Louis I. Kahn and Anne Tyng design."

The top half of the NCMH website’s landing page showing the organization’s logo and a 1960s black-and-­white public domain photo of the iconic Eduardo Catalano house that was in Raleigh, North Carolina, until it was destroyed in 2001.

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The top half of the NCMH website’s landing page showing the organization’s logo and a 1960s black-and-­white public domain photo of the iconic Eduardo Catalano house that was in Raleigh, North Carolina, until it was destroyed in 2001.

Survey Citation of Merit: North Carolina Modernist Houses, Inc. 

The jury awards a Citation of Merit to George Smart the founder and director of the North Carolina Modernist Houses, Inc for their contributions to documenting modern architecture on their website. The jury notes the vast amount of information included on the website in addition to the group’s ongoing events and programs aimed to promote and document the merits of modernism in North Carolina and beyond.

Visit their website here.



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