Design Awards Highlights – Part 3

This is the third 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.

ikon.5 architects Receives AIA-NJ Design Award

Princeton, N.J., Firm Honored for Work on SUNY New Paltz Building

Princeton, N.J. based ikon.5 architects has been awarded a Merit Award in the Non-Residential Built category by the AIA-NJ for the Campus Commons, a three-level, 12,000-square-foot expansion of the 1970 student union at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

The expressive, angular shape of the glass-sheathed building with a jutting apex is an architectural reference to the rock outcroppings of the distant Shawangunk Ridge, a major rock-climbing destination that is a distinctive part of the campus’ natural setting. The project also included the renovation of 10,000 square feet of adjacent space in the existing student union.

“We are proud to present this award to ikon.5 for this creative structure that serves as a campus gathering center and makes a strong counterpoint statement to the topography of the landscape,” said Laurence E. Parisi, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “Creating this transparent and sculptural structure for the University is a well deserved achievement for this creative architectural firm.”

The new “crystalline palisade,” as the Campus Commons has been called, functions as the gateway to the university, creating a dramatic first impression by enlivening a formerly neglected space between two pre-existing concrete buildings, providing a physical point of identity for the university and modernizing its image, while also linking it to the regional landscape.

“There was little about the institutional architecture of the SUNY New Paltz campus to distinguish it from that of the dozens of other SUNY campuses,” said Joseph G. Tattoni, AIA, a principal of ikon.5 architects. “Our goal was to transform the image of the campus by designing a Campus Commons that created a striking first impression and that was an abstract expression of the majestic rock crags of the Shawangunk Ridge.”

The inviting, light-filled gathering place also serves the very practical functions of providing space for meeting rooms, a game lounge, a study mezzanine and group study rooms. It’s also the most environmentally friendly project the university has ever built, having been designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standard.

Ikon.5 architects has won several other AIA-NJ design awards in recent years, including those for the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center located in Little Falls, N.J., on the campus of Montclair State University, and for two public libraries in Delaware, the Hockessin Public Library in Hockessin and the Kirkwood Public Library in Kirkwood, both located in New Castle County.

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