AIA selects recipients for the 2017 Small Project Awards

Category 3

Funny Girl Farm Produce Barn; Durham, North Carolina
Szostak Design, Inc.

Designed as an open-work shed for produce handling, this 4,300-square-foot barn reflects its agrarian function in its economy of form and materials. The barn shelters a large open workspace and equipment storage area, flanked by a linear bar of enclosed utility spaces. A limited palette of wood and steel articulates the barn's clearly defined plan. These materials were chosen for durability, to withstand the elements and heavy use. The enclosing screen walls and sloping roof are designed to be responsive to site and climate, and to provide shelter from sun and water while also harnessing wind to provide ventilation. The shed's simple structure plainly represents its utilitarian function; its refined materials palette and architectural detailing elevate the design.

Lady Bird Loo; Austin, Texas
Mell Lawrence Architects

The Lady Bird Loo is located near Austin's wild and busy downtown, in a stretch of hike-and-bike trails paralleling the river that bisects the city. The clients needed two single restrooms, low maintenance and vandal-resistant with great ventilation and a sense of safety for the occupant. The design team wanted spirited shelters scaled to the well treed riverside park space, with each having its own personality. The interiors give a sense of momentary pause and respite; they are safe and airy with great light and views of trees and sky. Requiring no special finishes or maintenance, the project is built entirely of steel and concrete left raw and unfinished. Changing sunlight animates the whole experience; it amplifies details and narrow edges, reemphasizes the faceted forms, darts light-slivers through intentional gaps between material, and creates useful shade and fun shadow patterns.

De Maria Pavilion; Bridgehampton, New York
Gluckman Tang Architects

The De Maria Pavilion is part of an informal art walk that links several contemporary sculptures on an estate. Set within a walled 1920s "kitchen garden," the design inverts the typical formal garden by reintroducing indigenous plantings: cedars, bayberry, white oaks and grasses. The board-formed, concrete interior frames works by Walter De Maria, day-lit by a large skylight and window-wall. Light levels are modulated by light-diffusing glazing and motorized shades mounted above Alaskan Yellow Cedar rafters. The facades of the pavilion reference the surrounding wall and dark granite of Large Grey Sphere, a 32-ton outdoor sculpture. Composed of 24-inch bricks, the east and west faces are set in a random bond pattern with alternating courses corbeled to create emphatic horizontal shadow lines. At the north and south, the brick is split and set in a header-only bond, creating a coarse texture that is a counterpoint to the polished surfaces of the art within.

The jury for the 2017 Small Project Awards includes: Jean Dufresne, AIA (Chair), Space Architects + Planners; Richard Fernau, FAIA, Fernau + Hartman; Joyce Hwang, AIA, Ants of the Prairie; Jack Travis, FAIA, Jack Travis FAIA Architect and Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

Matt Tinder
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