The San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced the winners of its 2014 design awards this week. Out of 65 submissions from local architecture firms, nine projects were selected to celebrate the "best of the best and help increase public awareness of the importance of architecture in everyday life," stated AIA San Antonio Executive Director Torrey Cartleton in a press release.
Selections were made by a jury of three out-of-town, seasoned architects hailing from San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New Orleans. The winners were announced at a dinner and ceremony Tuesday night at the St. Anthony Hotel.
Lake/Flato Architects received one of the Honor Awards – the highest distinction – for the Dixon Water Foundation's Josey Pavilion in Decatur, Texas (see top photo).
Overland Partners also received an Honor Award for "The Gourd" at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.
This year's Mayor's Choice award, publicly-funded architectural projects reviewed by Mayor Ivy Taylor, went to Muñoz & Co. for the restoration of Our Lady of the Lake University's main building.
"Design is not an extra that makes a building look nice," Taylor said in a statement. "Good design is what allows a facility to be durable, functional and pleasing – design of public facilities says something about a community's values ...San Antonio is a city that is proud of our history and committed to preservation and this project exemplifies those values."
Merit Awards included Lake/Flato's Phil Hardberger Urban Ecology Center, Poteet Architects' Condon residence, Tobin Smith Architect's Alta House, and Overland Partners' Hughes Warehouse – an example of adaptive reuse that also received the AIA San Antonio's Committee on the Environment (COTE) Award for demonstrating excellent sustainable design.
Unbuilt Awards, those projects still under construction or design, went to Alamo Architects' Fire Training Center at the First Responders Academy and Muñoz & Co. for their San Pedro Creek Feasibility Study.
Rodrigo Gorgazzi received the the Student Honor Award for his "6 Prototype Motel" design. The award recognizes exceptional work by emerging professionals.
This year's awards also included the chapter's 10th Twenty-Five Year Award for a local project that has "stood the test of time." General Manager of the Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel Robert Thrailkill, a vice president with Zachry Hospitality, accepted the award for the 21-story hotel, located at the corner of Market and South Alamo Streets overlooking the San Antonio River.
Designed by Cerna & Garza Architects in association with H.B. Zachry Company, the Palacio was completed just in time for the HemisFair '68 World's Fair – multiple crews worked in shifts around the clock to ensure its completion. The 496 rooms were actually constructed off-site out of light-weight structural concrete and then stacked on top of one another. Construction crews, using a crane and stabilizing helicopter tail section, installed 17 rooms per day.
"Today, the building stands as a reminder of the monumental impact HemisFair ’68 had on San Antonio’s built environment," Cartleton stated, "But equally as important is its contribution to the advancement of concrete modular building technology."
Click here to download the AIA San Antonio's press release with more information about the 2014 awards.
*Featured/top image: Dixon Water Foundation's Josey Pavilion in Decatur, Texas designed by Lake/Flato Architects. Courtesy photo.