Design Awards- Architecture as Encompassing Art

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Baker Hall Gate

Pirie Associates 

When viewing the gate from afar, the Yale block “Y”, formed and re-formed, could be interpreted as an arcade, tree canopies, or a Gothic arch. As visitors approach, they observe that the large “Y” figures are actually composed of a seemingly infinite network of small “Y”s. Each small “Y” is unique, possessing a distinct set of dimensions. The large “Y”s represent society’s core values; the vision of America embodied by the Constitution. The constituent small “Y”s represent  everyday citizens who exercise the daily mission of the law and who aid in its evolution.

Jury Comment: “I like the details; simplicity and it doesn’t compete with the things around it.”  

Photography Credit: John Muggenborg

Beehive Bridge

Svigals+Partners

The bridge renovation was designed to rectify the poor pedestrian conditions by bringing light, life, and reconnection. The project took five years and was a massive collaboration between City Hall, DOT, multiple design firms, and a steering committee of local artists and business owners. The beehive theme runs throughout the City, appearing on its seal and lending its name to its baseball team, the New Britain Bees. The idea of drawing on the historic city motto and emblem in a bright and forward-looking way originated with and united the project stakeholders solidifying support. The new bridge provides an enhanced and memorable experience, while also offering an iconographic view for vehicular traffic on Route 72.

Jury Comment: “We need more work tackling this kind of problem, and the metaphor is intriguing and conjures many ideas for structure, material, and space.”

Photography Credit: Olson Photography, LLC, Land Sea Air Media, LLC

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St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church Bell Garden

Newman Architects, PC

This environment memorializes a community’s gathering to mourn yet sustain hope despite tragedy. It enriches a renovation honoring the congregation’s 160th anniversary, accommodating gifts and increased attendance following the church’s hosting of the community memorial for the Sandy Hook shooting. The Peace Garden uses long-lasting materials frugally and incorporates sustainable features such as repurposed late-19th-century bronze bells, locally sourced materials (within 500 miles): Concrete, brick, bluestone and hardy native/adaptive plantings without irrigation. The resulting Peace Garden reaches out to community, transitions from street to campus, and forms intimate spaces.

Jury Comment:  “This thoughtful memorial resonates through its symbolism and intertwining rooms that balance enclosure/protection and openness which invites participation.”

Photography Credit: Robert Benson Photography