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Olson Kundig Architects Wins National AIA Housing Awards for Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike

Seattle, WA: March 18, 2011 – Olson Kundig Architects is pleased to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored two of the firm’s projects with 2011 National AIA Housing Awards. Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike have received awards in the Multifamily Living category, and are among the eighteen projects recognized nationwide.

Tom Kundig, FAIA, led the design of both projects.

Art Stable is an urban infill project in the rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the building carries its working history into the future with highly adaptable live/work units. Both front and back elevations of the building are active. The alley-facing façade features an 80-foot 5-inch tall hinge, davit crane and five steel-clad, hand-cranked doors that cover nearly a third of the façade. The system references a warehousing tradition in how it moves oversize objects into the building. On the street side, large hinged windows open to provide natural ventilation throughout the units. The building draws upon the architectural concepts of prospect and refuge, transposed to an urban setting.

The shell and core of Art Stable are built to last over 100 years. Units within the building are designed to accommodate flexibility in use and changes over time, and are zoned for both residential and commercial use. An energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling is supported by an innovative system, in which geothermal loops were inserted into the structural piles.

The jury commented on Art Stable: “This is a home for artists that rises to the level of high art itself….Its style, along with the operable doors and the crane on the roof, seems very Dutch in feel. It is very cleverly detailed…..It almost has a handmade look – it seems to represent what the art is all about and harken artists to the workshop.”

Art Stable was recently announced as the residential architect design award’s 2011 Project of the Year.

1111 E. Pike brings architectural diversity to the Pike/Pine neighborhood by serving as a modern counterpoint to nearby remodeled historic structures. The site’s history as part of Seattle’s “auto row” is captured in the 1111’s tall, wide windows and high ceilings, the use of steel, and an exterior of panelized siding with a palette inspired by classic car colors from the 1950s. It was designed so that owners would be able to choose the exterior color of their unit from a pre-selected set, much like selecting your own car color, resulting in a mix-and-match aesthetic.

The owner and developer of this project, a long time resident of the neighborhood, wanted to support the economic and social diversity of the neighborhood by providing affordable housing. Simple materials and straightforward construction kept costs low, enabling people who work in the community to live there as well. Inside each unit, a custom-designed Puzzle Door allows owners to adapt their space as needed. 1111 E. Pike meets LEED requirements for Development Density, Site Selection, Alternate Transportation, and Storm-water Management.

The jury comments on 1111 E. Pike included: “Uplifting – its everchanging face is arguably its best delight!....I love the flexibility of exterior spaces….The architect and developer allowed the future owners to personalize their unit by choosing their own exterior color – one of the classic car colors – which gives the project richness and a joyful appearance.”

The jury for the 2011 Housing Awards includes: Katherine Austin (jury chair), AIA, Katherine Austin Architect; Claire Conroy, Residential Architecture Magazine, Editorial Director; Mike Jackson, FAIA, Historical Preservation Agency, State of Illinois; Luis Jauregui, AIA, Jaurequi, Inc. and Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, Florida International University Miami.

The AIA Housing Awards Multifamily Housing category recognizes outstanding apartment and condominium design. Both high- and low-density projects for public and private clients were considered. In addition to architectural design features, the jury assessed the integration of the buildings into their context, including open and recreational space, transportation options and features that contribute to livable communities.

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