June 2006 Newsletter

dreamArchicture 2006 (see below)

June 27th Chapter Meeting/5 HSW LU
Hurry!!! Time is running out to register for the June 27th Chapter Meeting. Deadline to register is June 16th and seating is limited.
Preventing Moisture, Air and Vapor in the Building Envelope
Where?  Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham
               1731 1st Ave North First Floor Conference Room
When?   June 27th
Time?     8:30 – 2:45
Click here for more information

2006 Birmingham AIA Design Awards

Every year at about this time, the Birmingham Chapter of the American Institute of Architects solicits its members for entries of their best work from the past five years, arranged in categories of Commercial, Institutional, Residential and Small Projects (under $150,000 total construction cost). Typically, that work is exhibited in a local setting and reviewed by a jury made up of local and regional architects, academics, and related professionals.  The jury evaluates each project, debates its merits and recognizes the best with their highest commendation, the Honor Award, or the very good with a Merit Award.  This year, we did not bring a jury to Birmingham.  Instead, we packed our 30 project entries and headed for Harvard.

In recent years, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) has garnered a collection of graduates from Auburn’s School of Architecture – in particular those involved in Auburn’s Rural Studio.  With the help of one such student, Forrest Fulton, we assembled a star-studded jury, led and hosted by Rodolfo Machado (a star by architects’ standards) in the offices of Machado & Silvetti Associates.  Jury members were as follows:

Rodolfo Machado has a long and impressive resume.  His drawings and projects have been extensively published and exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.  He has studied architecture and urban design across the globe.  Beginning in his native Buenos Aires, he then moved to Paris, France and on to Berkeley, California, where he studied architectural theory and criticism.  Since its inception in 1974, the firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates has received the First Award in Architecture given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three National Honor Awards from the AIA, and myriad local and regional awards.  A member of the Harvard University faculty for 20 years, Machado currently chairs the Department of Urban planning and Design at Harvard’s GSD.

Jonathan Levi earned degrees from Yale University’s School of Architecture, and has been a member of Harvard’s GSD faculty since 1985.  In addition to teaching, lecturing and exhibiting his work world-wide, Levi has produced architectural projects such as the Memorial to the Holocaust in Charleston, SC, and a group of projects for the Harvard campus, including student and faculty housing, dining and rooftop gardens.

Christian Dagg brought local perspective to the jury.  A graduate of Harvard’s GSD and previously an architect for Machado and Silvetti Associates, Dagg has been part of Auburn University’s School of Architecture faculty since Fall of 2000.

Penn Ruderman is a spring graduate of Harvard’s GSD and one of Machado & Silvetti’s newest members.  Ruderman’s resume includes undergraduate studies at Yale University and the University of Cincinnati, and work for Office dA in Boston, Eric Owen Moss in Los Angeles and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam in Atlanta.

Witnessing an architectural jury at work is fascinating.  In this case, all four men devoted the better part of a Saturday to our Chapter.  They considered each entry carefully and thoughtfully.  Discussion sometimes led to disagreement before resolution - at one point Machado, frustrated that the others did not agree with him, pointed to his office surroundings and jokingly said, “this is my house – take your opinions and go.”

It was encouraging to hear each find sincere joy in good work.  Machado said of the Brower residence by Krumdeick A+I, “the concept is so wonderfully clear… I love to see the construction layers on the outside.”  Levi said of the Tubb residence by Dungan Nequette, “Wow – what a great plan… such clarity.  I’m ready to move in.”

Their love for their profession was clear at every level.  In all, the process reminded me that architecture is a career of passion.  Despite the deadlines, late nights and budget woes, we are united in our field by an appreciation and yearning for design excellence.  This language is understood in Argentina, California, Massachusetts and just as surely in Birmingham, Alabama.  This event allowed us to gather and celebrate our efforts; to be intrigued by professionals devoted to our trade, inspired by their ability to produce good work, and heartened by the notion that Birmingham’s design community is strong, growing, and garnering attention across state and regional lines.  With construction at every turn in our fair city, I look forward with great anticipation to future entries in years to come.
Amanda Moore, AIA
Chairman, 2006 Design Awards Committee

click here for the photo gallery of the Design Awards Ceremony
click here for this year's winners.

dreamArchitecture Awards Ceremony
dreamArchitecture “New Orleans – Help Build It Back!” is getting everyone’s attention!  This year we had 21 participating schools and 12 schools represented the winners. There were over 3000 entries from Birmingham City Schools, private schools, Jefferson County and over the mountain school systems.  Parents, students, architects and proud grandparents all gathered at ArchitectureWorks May 4th, 2006 to view the winning artwork.  Students received art supplies as their award and teachers received gift certificates to Books & Company.  The students came up with great designs to help New Orleans rebuild.  There were buildings with helicopters at the top to fly away in when the hurricanes hit, buildings built on rafts and a hurricane alert button for the city. 

We have started our planning for next year and will be asking for your help.  We would like to ask firms to sponsor the award gifts we give the children.  We will be in touch.

We would like to thank our committee for another successful event; Dick Pigford, Adrienne Retief and Robert Stockton. 
Click here for the list of winners.
Click here for the photo gallery.


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