Architecture

Small Project Awards celebrates builds that punch above their weight

Small Project Awards celebrate...
XS House was designed by Interface Studio Architects and is located in Philadelphia. The project is one of the seven winners of this year's AIA Small Project Awards
XS House was designed by Interface Studio Architects and is located in Philadelphia. The project is one of the seven winners of this year's AIA Small Project Awards
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Aesop DTLA was designed by Brooks + Scarpa, and is located in Los Angeles, California
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Aesop DTLA was designed by Brooks + Scarpa, and is located in Los Angeles, California
Aesop DTLA is an interior design project for a skin care company and makes use of cardboard for its furniture, walls, and fixtures
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Aesop DTLA is an interior design project for a skin care company and makes use of cardboard for its furniture, walls, and fixtures
Aesop DTLA
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Aesop DTLA
Logan Center Kilnhouse was designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects for the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts
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Logan Center Kilnhouse was designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects for the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts
Logan Center Kilnhouse consists of a modified shipping container and serves as a place to host the ceramic kilns employed by the university's visual arts department
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Logan Center Kilnhouse consists of a modified shipping container and serves as a place to host the ceramic kilns employed by the university's visual arts department
Logan Center Kilnhouse was recognized in Category 3 and measures under 5,000 sq ft (464 sq m)
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Logan Center Kilnhouse was recognized in Category 3 and measures under 5,000 sq ft (464 sq m)

Rossmore & Weldon was designed by Brooks + Scarpa and is located in Los Angeles, California
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Rossmore & Weldon was designed by Brooks + Scarpa and is located in Los Angeles, California
Rossmore & Weldon is part of a larger housing project in the area and turns two little-used courtyards into social spaces for residents
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Rossmore & Weldon is part of a larger housing project in the area and turns two little-used courtyards into social spaces for residents
Rossmore & Weldon was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
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Rossmore & Weldon was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
Salvage Swings was designed by Somewhere Studio and is located in Roosevelt Island, New York
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Salvage Swings was designed by Somewhere Studio and is located in Roosevelt Island, New York
Salvage Swings is a series of swings for all ages that was built using recycled shipping pallets and can be easily dismantled if required
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Salvage Swings is a series of swings for all ages that was built using recycled shipping pallets and can be easily dismantled if required
Salvage Swings was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
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Salvage Swings was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation was designed by Tonic Design and is located in Raleigh, North Carolina
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The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation was designed by Tonic Design and is located in Raleigh, North Carolina
The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation enhanced a dull and poorly lit high school entry hall, adding extra seating and lighting
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The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation enhanced a dull and poorly lit high school entry hall, adding extra seating and lighting
The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
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The Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School Great Hall Renovation was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
Unit 2808 was designed by Vladimir Radutny Architects and is located in an apartment building in Chicago, Illinois
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Unit 2808 was designed by Vladimir Radutny Architects and is located in an apartment building in Chicago, Illinois
Unit 2808 is a cost-conscious renovation of a small home in a Mies van der Rohe-designed Chicago apartment building that sought to maximize light and views. It was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
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Unit 2808 is a cost-conscious renovation of a small home in a Mies van der Rohe-designed Chicago apartment building that sought to maximize light and views. It was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
XS House was designed by Interface Studio Architects and is located in Philadelphia. The project is one of the seven winners of this year's AIA Small Project Awards
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XS House was designed by Interface Studio Architects and is located in Philadelphia. The project is one of the seven winners of this year's AIA Small Project Awards
XS House consists of seven light-filled apartments squeezed into a cramped inner-city space previously used to park two cars
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XS House consists of seven light-filled apartments squeezed into a cramped inner-city space previously used to park two cars
XS House was recognized in Category 2 and its construction budget came in at under $1,500,000
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XS House was recognized in Category 2 and its construction budget came in at under $1,500,000
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Each year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Small Project Awards celebrates outstanding projects that are built to a relatively small budget and size. This year's winners include an impressive micro-housing project, a shipping container-based university arts building, and a cost-effective renovation of an apartment.

As was the case with the recent AIA Housing Awards, the AIA 2020 Small Project Awards is a relatively light year, comprising just seven projects (down from a dozen last year).

The seven projects are split into three separate categories: Category One, which covers projects that cost up to US$150,000 in construction costs, Category Two, for those that cost up to $1.5 million in construction costs, and Category Three, for those that measure up to 5,000 sq ft (464 sq m) – which sounds like a lot but is on the small side for high-profile architecture awards like this. A few standout examples can be seen below, but head to the gallery to see each project in full.

Unit 2808, by Vladimir Radutny Architects, is a budget-conscious renovation of a small apartment in a Mies van der Rohe-designed Chicago building that's used as the owner's city retreat. Due to the cost restrictions, the architect even helped out as an occasional builder and the project involved removing the unit’s plaster walls and stripping out the interior, replacing it with a tasteful interior layout that maximizes natural light and views, as well as increasing storage space.

Unit 2808 is a cost-conscious renovation of a small home in a Mies van der Rohe-designed Chicago apartment building that sought to maximize light and views. It was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000
Unit 2808 is a cost-conscious renovation of a small home in a Mies van der Rohe-designed Chicago apartment building that sought to maximize light and views. It was recognized in Category 1 and had a construction budget of under $150,000

The project was recognized in Category One and cost under $150,000.

Regular readers will recognize the XS House from our recent AIA Housing Awards coverage. The project squeezes a total of seven apartments onto a Philadelphia inner-city plot that was previously used to park two cars and measures a mere 11 ft (3.3 m) in width.

XS House consists of seven light-filled apartments squeezed into a cramped inner-city space previously used to park two cars
XS House consists of seven light-filled apartments squeezed into a cramped inner-city space previously used to park two cars

Designer Interface Studio Architects (ISA) has done a superb job making such cramped dimensions livable and the interiors of the apartments have ample natural light inside and high ceilings, plus a minimalist decor that flatters the small space. The project was recognized in Category Two and its construction budget cost under $1,500,000.

The Logan Center Kilnhouse was designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects and involved input from students and administrators at the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts. It consists of a modified shipping container and serves as a place to host the ceramic kilns employed by the university's visual arts department.

Logan Center Kilnhouse was designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects for the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts
Logan Center Kilnhouse was designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects for the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts

Sporting glazing at each end, the idea is that the container also functions to showcase the art-making processes going on within. The kilns themselves provide heating (supplemental heaters are also available), and an exhaust system draws in fresh air while forcing heat out. It's also shaded by the taller buildings and vegetation that surround it. The project was recognized in Category Three and measures under 5,000 sq ft (464 sq m).

Source: AIA

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1 comment
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the American Institute of Architects and I seem to differ on the definition of "outstanding"