NEW HAVEN: AIA CT released the winners of its 2018 Business Awards. The organization says,this statewide award honors architects for solving business problems for Connecticut clients, thereby demonstrating the power of architecture to shape business performance, improve peoples’ lives, and provide a value- added service.”
The annual awards are juried by an independent panel of architects, this year’s jurors are
Victor Cassella, American Polyfilm Company, Branford; Brent Robertson, Fathom, West Hartford; Tony Terry, AIA, Terry Architecture, Branford.
There are two size categories, [under and over 50 employees] for the awards to help clarify the project scale and two “social” categories, Community Integration and Civic Contribution.
UNDER 50 EMPLOYEES: RECIPIENT
Brand Strategies Group at Quinnipiac University, Hamden
Amenta Emma Architects, Stamford
A 19th-century house has been transformed into a 21st-century powerhouse for ideas for Quinnipiac University’s Brand Strategy Group. The old house was a hard sell to the university’s client, a veteran of the advertising world who imagined a New York City loft environment. The design team presented an ambitious approach to opening the spaces of the house. The result is a collaborative, contemporary environment and a playful, unconventional response that evokes the excitement of a start-up business. The meeting spaces, facing one another across the atrium, promote the cross pollination of ideas between the marketing staff on the first floor and the creative staff on the second. The space has energized the team and allowed more collaboration, more fun and more communication, while attracting and retaining the kind of creative workforce that is key to the group’s success.
This is a startling combination of exterior preservation and interior innovation. It seemed impossible to create, but reflects a new generation of thought on space planning. The integration of work force with mission pushed the vocabulary for an open, collaborative space. There was not one false, wasted move.
OVER 50 EMPLOYEES: RECIPIENT
Inspira Marketing, Norwalk
CPG Architects, Stamford
Inspira Marketing wanted a space that embodied its energetic spirit. Its new location melds luxury with industrialism. With a client base that visits it often, it wanted an agile approach to its workspace, blurring the lines between hospitality and office and showcasing its award -winning brands. The bar area is used for gathering and brainstorming and for illuminating product brands. When not in use for presentations and hosting clients, the boardroom extends the space for company‐wide meetings and celebrations. Inspira’s new identity “markets” to the new talent it wants to attract. The design team perfectly reflected the company’s culture and ethos. Clients’ meetings are often held in its office rather than theirs, while corporate trainings that were once held offsite are now held here.
Jury comments: The design for this office encourages clients successfully to go out of their way to be in the space, capturing the tone of hospitality. It is really successful in creating an environment—so that that the firm can live out its story.
SPECIAL AWARD FOR COMMUNITY INTEGRATION
Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan
Richard Turlington Architects Inc., New Haven
This renovation involved the ability to integrate complicated hospital compliance codes, historic building sensitivity, a range of permitting requirements, and a deep understanding of the hospital's mission. Each building aimed to be a critical part of a patient's path to holistic wellness, welcoming patients, their families, and our staff and reaffirming hope in the future. Patients, families and staff were uplifted by the natural light and beautiful outside views brought into the buildings. Awards for the design work at the hospital reassured neighbors and a town less than enthusiastic about a psychiatric hospital in their midst. These buildings express our values of dignity, hope and beauty for each patient, their families and our staff, and their renovations have substantially impacted our ability to attract patients and staff in a highly competitive environment. The beauty of our campus has contributed to the physical, emotional and spiritual wellness of our patients at a critical time of their lives.
Jury comments: The scale of different communities was taken into consideration. There were outstanding statements on the integration of the architect into the spirit of the facility. The architect had to serve many masters: thee range of issues was daunting, The integration of space and practice informed changes in treatment. The project was remarkable in its scale and scope.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR CIVIC CONTRIBUTION
One State Street Café & STEAM Coffee Bar and Renovation, Hartford
ID3A, LLC, Glastonbury
The designer played a critical role in upgrading and modernizing the existing space for a modern coffee bar. Strategic placement has provided a vibrancy to the lobby throughout the business day. It is an amenity that serves both as an informal meeting space and a landing spot for clients awaiting meetings. A destination for occupants of the surrounding buildings, the renovation has proven to be successful by driving increased foot traffic and revenue.
There are few spaces in Hartford where different groups can come together and interact. This is strong response to effective market research. It recognized an absence and responded to it.