Olson Kundig Architects Wins Two National AIA Housing Awards

1111 E. Pike; Art Stable
1111 E. Pike (left, © Francis Zera); Art Stable (right, © Tim Bies/Olson Kundig Architects)

American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored two projects by Olson Kundig Architects. Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike have each received the 2011 National Housing Award in the Multifamily Living category.

Press Release
Olson Kundig Architects wins Two National AIA Housing Awards
Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike are honored in the Multifamily Living category

Seattle, WA: March 18, 2011 – Olson Kundig Architects is pleased to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored two of the firm’s projects with 2011 National AIA Housing Awards. Art Stable and 1111 E. Pike have received awards in the Multifamily Living category, and are among the eighteen projects recognized nationwide. The AIA’s Housing Awards Program was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.

Tom Kundig, FAIA, led the design of both projects. “It’s an honor to receive this award for the first two multifamily, urban infill buildings we’ve completed in many years,” says Kundig. “These projects are located in distinctive neighborhoods and are built to serve different purposes. As architects, we tried to come up with unique solutions based on the context of each project. It’s exciting to continue to visit 1111 and Art Stable and see how they are becoming part of their communities.”

Art Stable, Seattle / by Olson Kundig Architects
© Benjamin Benscheider

Art Stable is an urban infill project in the rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the building carries its working history into the future with highly adaptable live/work units. Both front and back elevations of the building are active. The alley-facing façade features an 80-foot 5-inch tall hinge, davit crane and five steel-clad, hand-cranked doors that cover nearly a third of the façade. The system references a warehousing tradition in how it moves oversize objects into the building. On the street side, large hinged windows open to provide natural ventilation throughout the units. The building draws upon the architectural concepts of prospect and refuge, transposed to an urban setting.

Art Stable, Seattle / by Olson Kundig Architects
© Benjamin Benscheider

The shell and core of Art Stable are built to last over 100 years. Units within the building are designed to accommodate flexibility in use and changes over time, and are zoned for both residential and commercial use. An energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling is supported by an innovative system, in which geothermal loops were inserted into the structural piles.

Art Stable, Seattle / by Olson Kundig Architects
© Benjamin Benscheider

The jury commented on Art Stable: “This is a home for artists that rises to the level of high art itself….Its style, along with the operable doors and the crane on the roof, seems very Dutch in feel. It is very cleverly detailed…..It almost has a handmade look – it seems to represent what the art is all about and harken artists to the workshop.”

Art Stable recently was announced as the residential architect design award’s 2011 Project of the Year.


© Francis Zera

1111 E. Pike brings architectural diversity to the Pike/Pine neighborhood by serving as a modern counterpoint to nearby remodeled historic structures. The site’s history as part of Seattle’s “auto row” is captured in the 1111’s tall, wide windows and high ceilings, the use of steel, and an exterior of panelized siding with a palette inspired by classic car colors from the 1950s. It was designed so that owners would be able to choose the exterior color of their unit from a pre-selected set, much like selecting your own car color, resulting in a mix-and-match aesthetic.

The owner and developer of this project, a long time resident of the neighborhood, wanted to support the economic and social diversity of the neighborhood by providing affordable housing. Simple materials and straightforward construction kept costs low, enabling people who work in the community to live there as well. Inside each unit, a custom-designed Puzzle Door allows owners to adapt their space as needed. 1111 E. Pike meets LEED requirements for Development Density, Site Selection, Alternate Transportation, and Storm-water Management.


© Tim Bies

The jury comments on 1111 E. Pike included: “Uplifting – its everchanging face is arguably its best delight!….I love the flexibility of exterior spaces….The architect and developer allowed the future owners to personalize their unit by choosing their own exterior color – one of the classic car colors – which gives the project richness and a joyful appearance.”

The jury for the 2011 Housing Awards includes: Katherine Austin (jury chair), AIA, Katherine Austin Architect; Claire Conroy, Residential Architecture Magazine, Editorial Director; Mike Jackson, FAIA, Historical Preservation Agency, State of Illinois; Luis Jauregui, AIA, Jaurequi, Inc. and Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, Florida International University Miami.


© Francis Zera

The AIA Housing Awards Multifamily Housing category recognizes outstanding apartment and condominium design. Both high- and low-density projects for public and private clients were considered. In addition to architectural design features, the jury assessed the integration of the buildings into their context, including open and recreational space, transportation options and features that contribute to livable communities.

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