Small in size, small in cost: AIA's Small Project Awards

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AIA's Small Project Awards highlights projects small in stature and cost, such as this novel self-propelled floating sauna by goCstudio(Credit: Kevin Scott)

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently revealed the winners of its annual Small Project Awards. Comprising nine projects that are small in stature and relatively small in cost, highlights include a self-propelled floating sauna, a colorful girl scouts' camp, and a mobile dentist shoehorned into a trailer.

The awards are split into two categories. Category One concerns small projects with a construction budget up to US$150,000, while Category Two highlights those under $1,500,000. This latter category may not sound all that cheap, but AIA says that compared to a typical architect-designed project, it is.

A few highlights are shown below, all winners can be seen in our gallery.

Wa_sauna – goCstudio

goCstudio's novel Wa_sauna was the subject of a Kickstarter campaign to bring a floating sauna to Seattle's lakes.

The Category One winner is legally classed as a self-propelled vessel and measures just 7 x 7 ft (2.1 x 2.1 m), resting atop a 8 x 16 ft (2.4 x 4.9 m) deck and floatation barrels. Users get their sweat on with a small and efficient wood-burning stove, and the sauna itself is propelled by a quiet, battery-powered electric motor.

Girl Scouts Camp Prairie Schooner – El Dorado Inc

Camp Prairie Schooner, located near Kansas City, won a Category Two award for its architect-designed girl scouts trail center. The project includes a dining hall, five permanent units, two buildings for troop use, a 40 ft (12 m) rappel tower, an archery range, a swimming pool, and a zip-line.

The bunk houses feature a combination of fluted polycarbonate glazing and painted concrete board over a rain screen at each end, creating a colorful effect that very much enlivens the buildings' design. Inside, there's custom pendant lighting designed by a former girl scout.

Studio Dental – Montalba Architects

Nobody likes going to the dentist but at least Studio Dental, by Santa Monica, California's Montalba Architects, makes it more convenient by being mobile. A Category Two winner, the project consists of a fully-fledged dental service shoehorned into a 230 sq ft (21 sq m) trailer.

Despite having such little space to work with, the architects installed a waiting area, sterilization room, and two rooms for conducting the actual dental surgery. Acoustic foam was installed throughout to aid sound dampening, while the the back door of the trailer folds down to enable air circulation.

Source: AIA

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