Design Awards Highlights – Part 2

This is the second installment of highlighting the 2011 Design Award winners leading up to the 2012 awards.    The deadline for 2012 submissions is August 29, 2012.  Find out how to submit your project for 2012′s Design Awards.

Clarke Caton Hintz Receives AIA-NJ Design Award For
Its Office Space At the Masonic Temple in Trenton, N.J.

AIA-NJ has awarded Trenton, N.J.-based architecture and planning firm, Clarke Caton Hintz (CCH), with a Merit award in the “Interior Architecture” category of its annual Design Day Competition. The award was given to CCH for the historic preservation and renovation of the firm’s third floor office at the Trenton Masonic Temple, located at 100 Barrack St. in Trenton, N.J.

“Clarke Caron Hintz’s project exemplifies great historic preservation work,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ. “I am honored to recognize CCH for their design talents, dedication and commitment to their craft and to the architectural community.”

CCH discovered the unfinished third floor of the Trenton Masonic Temple while working with the Masons to prepare a long-term preservation strategy for the 80-year-old building. The Grand Lodge of New Jersey, the statewide Masonic organization, acquired the building in 2004 for the purposes of restoring and managing its use. During the preservation work, CCH realized the potential of the extraordinary third floor and decided to undertake the renovation project for the firm’s new headquarters.

The Trenton Masonic Temple was originally constructed in 1927 to house five lodges. The neo-classical limestone building is one of the last truly grand Masonic Lodge facilities in the state.

“The third floor had been designed to be three additional meeting rooms, but was never finished,” said Michael Hanrahan, associate partner at CCH and immediate past president of AIA-NJ. “With 25-to-35 foot ceilings, large exposed concrete columns and beautiful views, this space presented tremendous opportunities, yet it had stood empty for over 80 years.”

The design for the new facility takes advantage of the extraordinary spatial and material qualities of the third floor. Steel trusses supporting the roof have been exposed and new skylight openings have been added. Most of the large, open spaces remain unobstructed, providing drafting and workspaces for the architects and planners. Offices and meeting rooms are located along the perimeter, and are enclosed with a glass partition system that allows natural light to penetrate into the center.

CCH, which is known for its focus on urban revitalization and energy-efficient building practices, designed the new office space to meet certification standards established under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for commercial interiors (CI). The designation is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit coalition of building industry leaders that administers the national ratings for high performance of sustainable buildings.

“Our new office is tracking Silver level certification through the LEED-CI rating system,” said Hanrahan. “By selecting a site in an urban center, taking advantage of the existing space and materials, expanding the natural daylight within the space and through efficient systems design and the selection of “green” products and materials, we were able to meet or exceed the LEED requirements for efficiency and sustainability.”

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