Last week, the American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF) announced the winners of the 2018 Design Awards at a ceremony held at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center's Herbst Theatre. Each year for nearly 50 years, the program has recognized "outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Bay Area individuals and organizations," according to an AIASF press release.
Six firms led by College of Environmental Design alumni won honor, citation and special commendation awards in the architecture category: David Baker Architects, founded by principal David Baker (M.Arch ‘82); Field Architecture, led by principal Jess Field (M.Arch ‘06); Levy Design Partners, led by president Toby S. Levin (M.Arch ‘75), WRNS Studio, co-founded by principals Jeff Warner (B.A. Arch ‘74), John Ruffo (M.Arch ‘81); Pfau Long Architecture, founded by Peter Pfau (B.A. Arch ‘81) and Dwight Long (B.A. Arch ‘88); and Meyer + Silberberg Landscape Architects, co-founded by David Meyer, adjunct professor of landscape architecture & environmental planning.
“AIASF received over 200 submissions, featuring a wide spectrum of projects from across the globe,” said AIASF executive director Jennifer Jones in another press release. “Each project is uniquely innovative and inspiring; it is an honor for our chapter to recognize and celebrate the creative work of our talented local design community.”
388 Fulton in San Francisco by David Baker Architects
The first condominium micro-units to hit the market in San Francisco, this central building features 69 studio and two-bedroom apartments. Developed in tandem with the Boys and Girls Club on the same site, it activates the sidewalk with restaurants, transparent residential entries, and bike parking (in lieu of car parking).
This building has been carefully broken down in scale to fit into the San Francisco fabric. It's a project of homogeneous program that takes on the urban responsibility of giving scale and place to an average corner. The plan and building massing negotiate an efficient corridor layout, repetitive units, and distinctive massing. Rather than compromising the units, the massing split results in studio apartments that have even better lighting and spatial quality than otherwise. The subtle curve of the corner massing is a wonderful contrast to the context. Here is housing elevated to architecture.
Sentinel Ridge in St. Helena, California by Field Architecture
The project's primary goal was a spatial dialogue of architecture and land: the creation of meaning through the interaction between produced forms and existing nature.
Tripartite barns in a slipped bar are clad in reclaimed wood and stucco that rise from the earth that the structures sit on. The three volumes are elegantly connected by trellised walkways of superb artistry. The design excellence is comprehensive: from the dignified simplicity of the plan to the clarity of the parti and process, every element is handled with an immaculate level of care.
Merit Award with Social Responsibility Commendation
Five88 in San Francisco by David Baker Architects
This building is the largest new 100%-affordable development to open in San Francisco in a decade. Located in the rapidly developing Mission Bay neighborhood, the sustainable urban building provides 200 affordable, mixed-use, transit-oriented homes for low-income families, plus street edges activated with residential stoops and neighborhood-serving retail space.
This is an example demonstrating that affordable housing means design opportunity, not design abdication. Every window, railing, and material finish is considered and handled with care through to the project's well-built conclusion.
Bloomfield Artist's Studio & Garage in Sonoma, California by Levy Design Partners
Located in rural western Sonoma County, this garage and artist studio is an addition to a late 19th century farmhouse. The design envisioned a simple space, which would integrate with and make the most use of the landscape, while capturing the vocabulary of farm structures.
There is room in architecture for well-designed and -crafted buildings that fit their vernacular context while exceeding the limitations of traditional use and detail. This pair of forms provides a scale that—while perhaps smaller than the traditional barrel barn—nevertheless fits with the scale of the house and gardens, and provides a truly unique serial repetition of large doors and large spaces. The interior details—simple as they may be—are allegiant to the overall form, resulting in unexpectedly fun and unique spatial and formal moments.
Sonoma Academy Guild & Commons in Sonoma, California by WRNS Studio
Sonoma Academy Guild & Commons project fosters environmental-, social-, and community-conscious learning. Embedded with maker, cooking, and garden educational classrooms, the facility embraces biophilia. It was designed site-specific, resulting in a high-performance, market-transformative, healthy, resilient, low-carbon, sustainable design that reflects the region's resources, health and wellness, and nature.
This is a project for which the story is enriched by the holistic embrace of goals from a range of certification systems. Impressive environmentally sustainable features are integrated wonderfully. The building takes terraces from the sloped site to create an architecture of stacked layers that affords varied collective uses on different levels.
270 Brannan St. in San Francicso by Pfau Long Architecture and Meyer + Silberberg Landscape Architects
A new corporate headquarters for an international data software company headquartered in San Francisco respects the character of the historically-industrial South of Market neighborhood while providing an innovative and sustainable workspace for its creative occupants. The 200,000-square-foot building achieved LEED Platinum certification.
A sculptural disc over a cistern provides the focal point for the courtyard inside the office block. Acting like an inverted public fountain, the disc receives water from a glass canopy that becomes the directional funnel for an impressive rainwater collection system. Nature on display is a lovely precedent in an office building.