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Barn At Key School In Annapolis Wins Top Award

| December 23, 2010, 11:48 AM | 0 Comments

Architects responsible for a $5.5 million renovation of The Key School’s long-standing barn building are the latest recipients of a top architecture award from the American Institute of Architects’ Chesapeake Bay chapter. This month, Leo Wilson and Bryan Fishback of Hammond Wilson Architects were awarded the 2010 AIA Honor Award, the highest distinction among three award levels, for notable architectural and design achievements by regional architects. The project also earned a People’s Choice Award, determined by attendees at the award recognition ceremony.

Projects worldwide and completed in the last six years were eligible for consideration, provided a member of the design team was a member of the AIA Chesapeake chapter.

The barn renovation project was completed in the fall of 2009, creating an additional 10,000 feet of classrooms and communal space at The Key School. It was designed and constructed to adhere to the highest of environmental standards, in large measure due to extensive collaboration between architects, students, teachers, parents and trustees at Key. Students and faculty researched plans to incorporate solar energy, low-flow water fixtures and various other means of conserving energy into the project design, as well as to make use of local and recycled materials during construction. They then presented their proposals to Wilson, Fishback, and the Building and Grounds Committee of the Key School’s Board of Trustees.

“It is an honor to have a project recognized by the design community,” said Leo Wilson, principal at Hammond Wilson Architects. “The reality for us is that projects like this are only possible if the owner shares our belief that the school’s built environment should reflect it’s mission.  For The Key School, this includes a strong sense of it’s own history, a sensitivity to the environment within which the campus sits and the belief that all undertakings are an opportunity to learn.  Key is fortunate to have so many students, teachers, administrators, board members and volunteers who are committed to these ideas.  All we really had to do was listen.”

The AIA’s Chesapeake Bay chapter solicited entries for the awards in mid-September, stating that, “the purpose of the awards program is to encourage and recognize distinguished architectural achievement and to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to improve the built environment and for their role in shaping the quality of life through design excellence.”

In early November, a jury comprising AIA Philadelphia chapter members Daneilla Voith and Cameron Mactavish, the founding principals of Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP, and Sam Olshin, a principal of Atkin Olshin Schade, reviewed the submissions. Award winners were announced at a gala at the Annapolis Maritime Museum on Dec. 4.

“Projects will not be considered in the limited context of the Chesapeake Bay region but rather within the context of present day design values and the ideals that have shaped the definition of “good” design throughout the years,” the AIA stated in its release calling for entries. “As always, a host of design issues will inform the jury process. Issues such as innovation, form, construction, utility, response to context and/or an appreciation of the project’s environmental impact are some of the factors likely to be considered for each project.”

“Clearly, we are not the only ones who think Key’s Barn is visually and functionally noteworthy,” said Key School Head of School Marcella Yedid in announcing the honor to Key faculty and trustees. “Our thanks goes to Hammond Wilson Architects for its work on this impressive project.”

The Barn is one of six original buildings on the Key School campus, originally a gentleman’s farm near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

More information about Key School’s barn renovation project is available at:

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About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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