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May 27, 2010

Vancouver based, Patkau Architects win Fallingwater contest

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Patkau Architects of Vancouver has won the first design competition for new construction at the Fallingwater Institute, the site of U.S. master architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark home in southwestern Pennsylvania. The firm’s design will serve as the basis for a final design for six sustainable cottages on the Bear Run Nature Reserve that surrounds Fallingwater. The cottages will expand lodging for the institute’s educational programs.

The contest, organized by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which preserves and maintains Fallingwater, called for designs for small, low-maintenance, energy-efficient homes that would become a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of small-scale green housing. The designs were meant to take advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities, and environmentally friendly building materials.

The second-place winner of the competition is Phoenix, Ariz.-based Wendell Burnette Architects, and Olson Kundig Architects of Seattle, Wash., has been chosen as the third-place winner.

Each had to include a basic kitchen, a fireplace and a shower, and incorporate recycling of kitchen and grey water for use in toilets. “In its subtlety, it is provocative and it carries forward the discourse about where architecture can move,” the jury said of Patkau’s winning design. “Its strength is not just in what is included, but in what is left out.”

Patkau Architects was among six firms chosen by a preliminary selection committee to participate in a Design Competition of Ideas supported through a grant from The Fine Foundation. Participants developed designs for low-maintenance, energy-efficient cottages that should create a sense of community and become a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of small-scale green housing. In addition to using environmentally friendly building materials, the firms’ designs took advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities to minimize environmental impacts. Each included a basic kitchen, fireplace and shower, and incorporated recycling of kitchen and grey water for use in toilets.

The designs of the six firms will be displayed in an exhibit, Design Competition: New Cottages at Fallingwater, at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center, from June 12 – August 22, 2010. The firms are:

“¢ Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Arkansas
“¢ Wendell Burnette Architects, Phoenix, Arizona
“¢ MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia
“¢ Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle, Washington
“¢ Patkau Architects, Vancouver, British Columbia
“¢ Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, Montreal, Quebec

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