2017 Best of Design Award for Restoration: The Benacerraf House

Architect: Michael Graves Architecture & Design
Historical architect: Michael Graves
Location: Princeton, New Jersey

The Benacerraf House—designed in 1967 by Michael Graves, built in 1969, and published widely in the following years—was instantly an influential touch point in discussions about American modernism. The project embodies Graves’s neo-Corbusian aspirations and presaged an interest in figural forms and colors that informed his later work. On its 50th anniversary, after years of deterioration and even partial demolition, the house has been preserved, restored, and modernized. The exterior has been returned to its original design (with improved construction details and materials), and the first- and second-floor interiors have been updated.

The results of this 6,160-square-foot restoration and modernization are more contemporary spaces that greatly improve functionality without compromising the geometry of the addition. Repainted with the original color palette, the house today is as visually interesting as it was when completed half a century ago.

“The addition appears to be a playful contrast to the stoic nature of the original structure.” —Nathaniel Stanton, Principal, Craft Engineer Studio (Juror)

Principal-in-charge:
Patrick Burke, Michael Graves Architecture & Design

Project Manager:
Peter Neilson Hague, Michael Graves Architecture & Design

Project Architect:
Xandra Kohler, Michael Graves Architecture & Design

Contractor Project Manager:
Eric Pianka, Pianka Construction

Contractor Site Superintendent:
John Knapp, Pianka Construction

 

Honorable Mention

Project: ROW DTLA Produce Renovation
Architect: Rios Clementi Hale Studios
Location: Los Angeles, California

ROW DTLA Produce Renovation, Rios Clementi Hale Studios (Jim Simmons)

The existing building was a century-old concrete warehouse built to support the distribution of goods along the Southern Pacific rail line. Now, new lobbies create a vital link from the streetscape to the offices above. These lobbies have been carved out of the warehouse, creating a striking front-door experience with materials that relate to the building’s history.

Executive Architects:
House & Robertson

General Contractor:
City Constructors

 

Honorable Mention

Project: Aurora St. Charles Senior Housing
Architect: Weese Langley Weese Architects
Location: Aurora, Illinois

Aurora St. Charles Senior Housing, Weese Langley Weese Architects (Courtesy Weese Langley Weese Architects)

An existing six-story hospital, in a 1930s art deco style rare for the surrounding area, has been converted to 60 units of affordable senior housing in Aurora, Illinois. The building—whose charms include multicolored terra-cotta, decorative brick, and a patterned terrazzo floor—is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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