AIA Connecticut Design Awards

Celebrating the accomplishments of Connecticut architects and the excellence of Connecticut architectural projects

2018 Jurors

Stephen White, AIA, Dean and Professor, Roger Williams University, School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, Bristol, RI

Celia Imrey, Imrey Studio, Planning & Design, New York, NY

Robert Gurney, FAIA, Robert Gurney Architect, Washington, DC




Architecture: The Encompassing Art

Excellence Award
Photographer: Ben Wasserman
1001 Nights Room
Duo Dickinson Architect, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  The attention to detail in this small one room project is remarkable. A middle-eastern motif is employed at the owner’s request to fulfil a sentimental desire. The detailing is consistent throughout and incorporates, wall elements, ceiling elements, a reading alcove and   millwork. New lighting highlights these elements and is incorporated in a subtle and effective way. The project is highly crafted.




Excellence Award

UBER Sky Tower
Pickard Chilton, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:This project stood out among the unbuilt projects. The project is very forward thinking and incredibly well illustrated. This project reminds us it is never too late to think big about the future. A proposed hub for driverless flying Uber vehicles, the design recalls the best of historical precedents such as Soviet or Italian futurism.




Built – Interior 

Excellence Awards
David Sundberg, Esto Photographer
Joeb Moore & Partners,  Greenwich, CT

Jury comments: This project is refined, meticulously detailed and incredibly well crafted. The project employs a minimal material palette but remains aesthetically rich. Architecture, art and furnishings are integrated to create a seamless composition. The plan is ordered and well organized.








Woodruff Brown Architectural Photography
Tree Rooms Conferencing Suite
Tecton Architects,  Hartford, CT

Jury comments: This is a very well thought out and conceived project. An elliptical entry space and curving walls in strategic areas combine with folded ceiling planes to energize the space and render the spaces dynamic. The project has a rich material palette. The new elements are well integrated with the existing building fabric. The attention to detail in a relatively large project is impressive.

Built – Preservation, Restoration, Adaptation

Excellence Awards
Photographer: Timothy Schenck Photography
River House
Joeb Moore & Partners, Greenwich, CT

Jury comments: It’s certainly a dream to get to work on a fun, modernist house like this, but the job clearly fell to highly skilled hands. The enlarged and renovated home expands light and views way beyond the original design. The result is a merging with the exterior woodsy watery surroundings that surely the original architect (a naturalist) would have approved.





Photographer: Iwan Baan Studio
Round House Renovation, Wilton, CT
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, GA

Jury comments: This project involved restoring an iconic modern house. It is obvious after studying the project that a significant amount of work to restore and update the project was incorporated. The changes make the house better without compromising the simplicity of the original design. The material palette, including translucent glass panels combine with a few small plan alterations to render the house more open and light filled.




Merit Awards
Robert Benson Photography
John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY
Newman Architects, PC, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  The historic interior renovation is nicely done but what caught our eye was the well-attached contemporary addition that left the original building curves alone, borrowed a few of the geometries, and nestles in harmony behind the majestic library.








Robert Benson Photography
Hoyt Barnum House, Stamford, CT
Christopher Williams Architects LLC, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This project is an incredibly well done pure preservation project. The logistics of moving the house to a new location and putting it back together makes this more impressive. The stonework, wood flooring and wood walls are seminal to the project and executed flawlessly.
The new ADA access is extremely well integrated into the project.




Tria Giovan, Photographer
Mid-Century Modern Revived, Quogue, NY
Austin Patterson Disston Architects, Southport, CT

Jury comments:  The architects of this expert renovation brought all the best features of the original building to light and they added new elements and furnishings that expand those modernist ideals of transparency, geometry, and flow.




Built – Residential Design

Excellence Awards
Adirondacks House
Gray Organschi Architecture, New Haven CT

Jury comments:  This project fits beautifully into the landscape. The spatial layout is well organized, accommodating sleeping for 14 in a relatively compact footprint. The exterior materials continue into the interior providing spaces that are warm and durable. The interior is light filled. The ramp and stair provide a very nice moment in the project.






Paul Rivera Photography
Grove House, Bridgehampton, NY
Roger Ferris + Partners, Westport, CT

Jury comments:  This was my favorite entry. What an amazingly inviting minimalist home. This house sits in the middle of a large, flat field and invites engagement from every angle, inside and out. The separate, carefully calibrated volumes and surfaces converse on many levels between themselves and the views. Clearly, the home’s occupants extend that conversation through movement. I especially loved the popped-window-to-folded-eave detail.




Joeb Moore & Partners, Project Photographer
T(EA) House and Gardens, CT
Joeb Moore & Partners, Greenwich, CT

Jury comments:  This house is extremely well integrated with the site walls, hardscape and landscape, including the wonderful rooftop deck. The procession through the landscape to the front door reinforces this strategy. The “T” shaped floor plan is simple and well organized. The massing and use of materials on the exterior is carefully conceived and provides a thoughtful ordering system to the project. The interior detailing and finishes are elegant and refined. Beautiful project.



Merit Awards
Michael Moran, Moran Studio
Fox Run, Greenwich, CT
Khanna Schultz, Brooklyn, NY

Jury comments:  This project is a renovation of a traditional 1930’s Greenwich house and incorporates a clever, nicely massed addition at the end of the house. The addition respects the massing and materials of the main house while incorporating large corner windows and a recessed entry  space, elements that depart form the existing house. The modern, clean lined interiors incorporate wood ceilings that enrich the spaces and feel comfortable in the traditional building envelope. The new spaces are open and light filled and replace the previously dark, compartmentalized spaces. Very nice project.



Paul Rivera Photography
Roger Ferris + Partners, Westport, CT

Jury comments:  We agreed this building wins the difficult battle of modernizing the look of a gabled roof house with punched windows. The crisp eaves, punch-out porches, black-painted steel windows, and extra wide weathered wood floors throughout keep all the elements –new and old- in balance.




Built – Commercial, Institutional, Educational, or Multi-family

Excellence Awards
Peter Aaron / OTTO
Slover Library, Norfolk, Virginia
Newman Architects, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This project is a skilled restoration of an existing library combined with a perfectly scaled, elegantly designed addition. The new addition connects to the historical building in a respectful, unobtrusive manner allowing the historical fabric a prominent place in the composition. The beautifully designed interiors of the addition, with a rich material palette, combine with the elegantly restored façade of the existing structure to provide an interesting juxtaposition heightening the beauty of each. Despite employing a very different language from the historical structure, the massing and material palette of the addition combine in an unexpected but harmonious way.





Jason O’Rear Photography
Salesforce Transit Center,San Francisco, CA
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This project provides an interesting, horizontal juxtaposition to the adjacent Salesforce Tower. The rooftop park gives back to the city 5.4 acres of green space and provides a beautiful platform as viewed from the adjacent Salesforce tower. The undulating, floating façade is beautifully detailed. The light filled interiors are skillfully detailed for such a large project. This project gives back to the city on many levels.









Magda Biernat, Project Photographer
University of Connecticut – Innovation Partnership Building, Storrs, CT
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), New York, NY

Jury comments:  This project is composed of three volumes that are arranged in a thoughtful, organized way. The primarily horizontal composition is enriched through the use of varying materials, including a metal screen that adds a great texture to the composition. The project is further strengthened through its integration with the landscape elements, including organic-shaped green elements inserted into the orthogonal main terrace leading to the building’s entrance. The interiors continue the language used on the exterior and are animated with a vibrant, colorful wall, that is prominent as you approach the building.



Jason O’Rear Photography
Salesforce Tower, San Francisco, CA
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven , CT

Jury comments:  The tapered tower is a beautiful addition to the San Francisco skyline, especially at night. The curved corners and integrated sunshades add depth and texture to the tapered massing. The park at the base of the building provides an unexpected amenity to the project. This project is handled with great skill on all levels.






Merit Awards
Robert Benson Photography
CREC Discovery Academy, Wethersfield, CT
Amenta Emma Architects,  Hartford, CT

Jury comments:  This STEM school is a clever adaption of an existing industrial structure, using many of the old elements. But the project is essentially a new building. The well-organized plan gives great views to the outside from every location. The new volumes improve the massing and the light, and the use of wood on walls and ceilings makes a warm counterpoint to the airiness of the floor-to-ceiling interior glass.




Alan Karchmer Photographer
Devon Energy Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Pickard Chilton, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This is a large, complex project that is handled with incredible deftness. While the faceted tower dominates the skyline in stunning fashion, the 6 story entrance rotunda is the jewel of the composition. A 6 story linear wing is connected to the rotunda and provides a low, linear element juxtaposed to the tower. A performing arts center becomes a sculptural piece in the garden, appropriately employing a different architectural language. The exterior and interior detailing and finishes are executed with great skill and are consistent throughout the entire


Robert Benson Photography
Snyder Sanctuary, Boca Raton, FL
Newman Architects, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  The challenge of creating a building for non-denominational worship as well as other spiritual programs cannot be underestimated. This jewel-like project uses over-sized white “slabs” that appear to lean gently on each other, folding and angling as needed to form a communing whole. The form of the building is itself a metaphor for interconnection, place-making and the idea of making a whole from pieces.



Robert Benson Photography
Symmetry Partners, Glastonbury, CT
Amenta Emma Architects, Hartford, CT

Jury comments:  This project is an amazing transformation of an uninspired commercial structure with dark interiors into a light-filled building with a dynamic facade. Despite a very modest budget, the interior spaces employ materials that define and enrich the spaces. Two large light monitors are strategically located and flood the interiors with light, providing a very pleasant work environment. A screen attached to the façade provides solar mitigation. The angles geometry of the screen provides a welcome “tension” to the orthogonal geometry of the existing structure.


Loft Building for the Arts
Turner Brooks Architect, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  I admired how much was achieved with minimal means on this inviting building for the arts. The angled, flowing wrap-around porch, big windows into the theater space, and colorful palette give this project a quirky flair, and gives the school it sits within a positive focal point on their campus.




Aker Imaging
Wellness Center, Houston, TX
Pickard Chilton, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This project provides open, light filled spaces that are designed for fitness activities. The finishes, high ceilinged spaces and extraordinary amount of light penetrating these spaces elevate this facility far beyond the “gym”. A monumental interior stair connects the levels and anchors a three story atrium with the goal of fostering exercise through the use of these stairs. The massing and spatial layout are well organized. The glass facades are animated with projecting fins and horizontal shading elements. A beautifully detailed “bris soleil” provides
additional solar shading and strengthens the composition. 



Christopher Gardner Photography
Cold Spring School Community Building, New Haven CT
Turner Brooks Architect, New Haven, CT

Jury comments:  This multi-purpose single-volume structure takes on its corner site with a clever pinch. The pinch increases the corner’s dynamism, opening up the opportunity for the architect to make play at the entrance. The result is a wonderful composition with simple rich materials and thoughtful detailing that announces the mission of the building as a place of community and exchange.






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