Architects recognized for design excellence

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Awards for excellence in design were presented at a Thursday evening gala hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects in the Cultural Trust Education Center, Downtown.

Strada Architecture's renovation of the Fourth Avenue Dollar Bank Building earned a historic preservation award for excellence.

"Juxtaposition of the lions as a new interior feature and a solution to a technical preservation issue was well played and created a new dynamic within the historic context," the jurors wrote. "The choices about replacement and restoration were expertly made and executed."

DRS Architects with Sasaki Associates received an honor award for their design of the Robert M. Smith Student Center at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock. Jurors praised the "elegant facades, which were skillfully composed." The building's exterior "functions as an invitation to the spaces and activities inside. Interior spaces are flexible and adjust to a variety of uses."

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative's design for the Saint Lespwa Center of Hope in Haiti received an honor award. Jurors noted the degree of design quality the architects achieved while involving members of the community in the building's design and construction.

"The project clearly acknowledges the vernacular architecture of the area while elevating the aspirations of the community," they wrote.

An honor award was given to Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, with Deborah Berke Partners, for a design of the 21C Museum Hotel in Cincinnati. A three-member jury said the work represented "a careful and exacting restoration." The project also received an award for excellence in historic preservation.

Jurors commented that "restrained use of color and the use of white as a unifying feature allows the space to act as a gallery for the artwork and the inhabitants. ... Artworks are playfully and respectfully integrated as design elements."

The People's Choice winner was St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center in Peters, designed by IKM Incorporated.

This year's Design Pittsburgh jury consisted of lead juror Steve Dumez, director of design at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple in New Orleans; Anne Marie Decker at Duvall Decker Architects in Jackson, Miss.; and Maurice Cox, associate dean for community engagement at Tulane University in New Orleans.

For a complete list of winners, go to

Marylynne Pitz: or 412-263-1648.

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