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4 Award-Winning Small Spaces

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The results of the American Institute of Architects' 11th annual Small Project Awards are in—and Dwell has the scoop on the smartest spaces under 1,000 square feet.
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  Small House in an Olive Grove
Geyserville, California

The owners of this one bedroom house, designed by Cooper Joseph Studio and located on an agricultural property, wanted an energy-efficient building that utilized views of the surrounding valley and integrated with the rustic countryside. At a mere 850-square feet, the house is anchored into the steep hillside with a series of concrete retaining walls. The site strategy incorporates cascading decks embracing the slope, relating the inside and outside at every level. Photo by Elliot Kaufman.
    Small House in an Olive Grove Geyserville, California The owners of this one bedroom house, designed by Cooper Joseph Studio and located on an agricultural property, wanted an energy-efficient building that utilized views of the surrounding valley and integrated with the rustic countryside. At a mere 850-square feet, the house is anchored into the steep hillside with a series of concrete retaining walls. The site strategy incorporates cascading decks embracing the slope, relating the inside and outside at every level. Photo by Elliot Kaufman.
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  Small House in an Olive Grove by Cooper Joseph Studio

Zinc with redwood screens form a warm gray palette that works with the northern California seasonal foliage.  The same soft tones bathe the interior spaces with limestone floors and stained oak cabinetry. Photo by Elliot Kaufman.
    Small House in an Olive Grove by Cooper Joseph Studio Zinc with redwood screens form a warm gray palette that works with the northern California seasonal foliage. The same soft tones bathe the interior spaces with limestone floors and stained oak cabinetry. Photo by Elliot Kaufman.
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  Ground, Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

The new Ground cafe, at Yale's Marcel Breuer-designed Becton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), serves not only to create social cohesion among faculty and students of the engineering school, but also to encourage interaction between and among members of other departments in the university. In the design, Bentel and Bentel Architects engaged the unadorned poured-concrete volume of this former seminar room by layering a palette of walnut planks, perforated aluminum, and cleft bluestone over the walls, floor, and ceiling of the space. Photo by Eduard Hueber/Arch Photo.
    Ground, Yale University New Haven, Connecticut The new Ground cafe, at Yale's Marcel Breuer-designed Becton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), serves not only to create social cohesion among faculty and students of the engineering school, but also to encourage interaction between and among members of other departments in the university. In the design, Bentel and Bentel Architects engaged the unadorned poured-concrete volume of this former seminar room by layering a palette of walnut planks, perforated aluminum, and cleft bluestone over the walls, floor, and ceiling of the space. Photo by Eduard Hueber/Arch Photo.
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  Ground at Yale University by Bentel and Bentel Architects

The original concrete surfaces are intentionally visible through, and are highlighted by, the veils of the material intervention out of respect for Breuer's unique exploration in his design of the textural possibilities of a single material. Photo by Eduard Hueber/Arch Photo.
    Ground at Yale University by Bentel and Bentel Architects The original concrete surfaces are intentionally visible through, and are highlighted by, the veils of the material intervention out of respect for Breuer's unique exploration in his design of the textural possibilities of a single material. Photo by Eduard Hueber/Arch Photo.
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  Head in the Clouds Pavilion
New York City

StudioKCA's Head in the Clouds Pavilion on New York's Governors Island comes out of the desire to create a "place to dream in the city of dreams." Made from 53,780 recycled plastic bottles (the amount, thrown away in New York City in 1 hour) it is a space where visitors can enter into and contemplate the light and color filtering through the 'cloud' from the inside, out. Photo by Chuck Choi.
    Head in the Clouds Pavilion New York City StudioKCA's Head in the Clouds Pavilion on New York's Governors Island comes out of the desire to create a "place to dream in the city of dreams." Made from 53,780 recycled plastic bottles (the amount, thrown away in New York City in 1 hour) it is a space where visitors can enter into and contemplate the light and color filtering through the 'cloud' from the inside, out. Photo by Chuck Choi.
  • 
  Head in the Clouds Pavilion by StudioKCA

Used empties were repurposed, with gallon jug pillows forming the exterior, while water bottles filled with water line the interior so that no foundation was needed. Photo by Chuck Choi.
    Head in the Clouds Pavilion by StudioKCA Used empties were repurposed, with gallon jug pillows forming the exterior, while water bottles filled with water line the interior so that no foundation was needed. Photo by Chuck Choi.
  • 
  Starlight
New York City, New York 

Cooper Joseph Studio netted another AIA small spaces award for this site-specific light sculpture in the Museum of the City of New York, which ignites the majestic circular stair at the heart of the museum’s historic interior. Conceived as a perfect circle in elevation, the sculpture is in dialogue with stair so that old and new are joined in one experience. Photo by Ed Hueber.
    Starlight New York City, New York Cooper Joseph Studio netted another AIA small spaces award for this site-specific light sculpture in the Museum of the City of New York, which ignites the majestic circular stair at the heart of the museum’s historic interior. Conceived as a perfect circle in elevation, the sculpture is in dialogue with stair so that old and new are joined in one experience. Photo by Ed Hueber.
  • 
  Starlight by Cooper Joseph Studio

As visitors move up and down between floors, a dynamic array of radiating patterns of light points is generated by the optical effects inherent in the geometry of a uniform spatial grid. Photo by Ed Hueber.

See all the Small Projects winners for 2014 at AIA.
    Starlight by Cooper Joseph Studio As visitors move up and down between floors, a dynamic array of radiating patterns of light points is generated by the optical effects inherent in the geometry of a uniform spatial grid. Photo by Ed Hueber. See all the Small Projects winners for 2014 at AIA.

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