AIA Dallas announces winners of its 2020 Unbuilt Design Awards

Last night, AIA Dallas announced the winners of their 2020 Unbuilt Design Awards in a virtual celebration. A jury made up of Inanc Eray, founding partner of Eray / Carbajo; Jen Maigret, founding director at PLY + and associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan, and Jesús Robles, founding director of DUST and lecturer at the University of Arizona, selected projects from Gensler, Dallas-based designer Eric Gonzalez and Dallas-based Agent Architecture as the winner of the night from a pool of 42 entries. Dallas-based 5G Studio also received a People’s Choice Award.

The winners displayed a variety of styles and approaches, but shared a sensitivity to context and regional landscapes.

Dallas: Freeways hacked by Agent Architecture, one of the winners of the AIA Dallas 2020 Unbuilt Awards (Agent Architecture / Courtesy AIA Dallas)

The Dallas: Freeways Hacked Proposal from Agent Architecture cheekily touts a future Dallas in which the highways surrounding the city have been converted into a linear park system that provides elevated wildlife habitats, recreational waterways and a hippodrome for drone racing (“the most important Hygiene sport “). said the designers) and a place for contactless alfresco dining. The proposal was the only winner that explicitly addressed life in the age of COVID-19, although it wasn’t the only one who was sensitive to the public outside space and thought about its location at a regional level.

Rendering of Gensler's Frisco Public Library DesignFrisco Public Library by Gensler, one of the winners of the AIA Dallas 2020 Unbuilt Awards (Gensler / Courtesy AIA Dallas)

Gensler’s proposal for the Frisco Public Library, an adaptive reuse of an industrial “tilting wall structure” [that] was once used to make rocket ships, ”says the company, inspired by the Dogtrot-style houses of the surrounding Blackland Prairie, which have a breeze path through a small cabin. Gensler’s design would add a new volume to an existing building in Frisco, Texas, adding entrances where the new and old crowds meet, just as Dogtrot Houses have entrances on either side of their breezes. The project’s site plan also includes extensive landscaping to recreate part of the almost completely destroyed local prairie ecosystem.

Reproduction of the Converse Guest House proposal by Eric GonzalesConverse Guest House owned by Eric Gonzales, a winner of the AIA Dallas 2020 Unbuilt Awards (Eric Gonzales / Courtesy of AIA Dallas)

Eric Gonzales’ Converse Guest House, who had previously won the “Island Thermal Springs Guest House” competition, planned two cottages in a sensitive location for a resort in North Iceland. In the design, two one-story, wood-clad buildings with nine square grid plans stand side by side at an angle, while long promenades come towards them through the rough Nordic landscape.

Rendering of the Batu Hotel by 5G StudioBatu Hotel by 5G Studio, one of the winners of the AIA Dallas 2020 Unbuilt Awards (5G Studio / Courtesy of AIA Dallas)

5G Studio’s Batu Hotel, the People’s Choice Award winner, envisioned a 28-story tower in the Indonesian countryside, and the jury suspected that the proposal’s dreamy images of misty mountains and atmospheric, spalike interiors won over the voting audience .

In a post-award discussion, the judges emphasized the importance of exploring bold ideas in design, especially in the age of COVID-19 and acute climate change, and recognized the Unbuilt Awards’ role in highlighting ideas that push the boundaries of the profession and lead the world into a better future.

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