Architecture Innovator Winners

Our IDA winners have been announced! Discover who our judges picked for best in Architecture!

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Sound Structure New England architectural touchstones—pitched roofs, an outdoor terrace and gray siding—mask an architectural complexity and specificity suited to the clients’ family makeup and the neighborhood’s disaster history. As a precaution against damage in another storm, Rubens-Duhl built the house on 45-foot-deep piles and elevated it from the ground plane. photographs by neil landino, jr.

Beach Blast A bright and airy kitchen (bottom left) opens into a dining nook lit by a Hubbardton Forge pendant light. Reclaimed wood pine dining table is from Williams-Sonoma. The sides of the butcher-block–topped island are painted Benjamin Moore Greyhound. Dark rafters both support and lend visual punch to the living/dining room (top) that overlooks the Sound. The elevated ceiling and central axis of the windows lends a sense of grandeur mitigated by the comfortable casual furnishings. An outdoor porch (bottom right) with ipe wood decking wraps the house and offers a contiguous connection between architecture and water. photographs by neil landino, jr; OUTDOOR PORCH PHOTO PEGGY RUBENS-DUHL, AIA


Innovator 2

Emerging from the storm, a coastal design works hand-in-hand with Mother Nature

It wasn’t long after Peggy Rubens-Duhl, AIA of Fresh Architect signed a contract with her clients—a brother and sister who wanted to create a New England gathering place for the rest of their family—that Tropical Storm Irene battered the Connecticut shoreline where the home was located. The clients’ original cottage was destroyed to the point that it needed to be demolished, but Rubens-Duhl salvaged as much material—and spirit—of the old place as she could. “We were salvaging memories and parts of the old building while building a new, more modern home,” Rubens-Duhl says. “We were trying to play nicely in the sandbox of Mother Nature.”

Rubens-Duhl focused on both the necessity to build a warm, comforting and inviting house that could function as a central family get-together spot, and the need to create a structure that could withstand the assaults of a tough environment. “It’s such a vulnerable area,” she notes. This led to a complex visual and conceptual interplay between rugged interventions like 45-foot-deep FEMA-compliant structural piles and the detail-oriented delicacy and openness of much of the interior work. Working within new requirements for coastal design was a challenge and required multiple variances and an incredible focus on making sure this cottage nestled by the sea worked. “I have this little joke that I’m Facebook friends with Mother Nature now,” Rubens-Duhl says. Clearly, that friendship has been confirmed.

Want to see more winners from the Innovation in Design Awards? Click on a category below to view each winner:

interior design


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