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The American Institute of Architects has selected nine projects for the 2009 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture

The types of projects range from cathedrals to trend-setting residential projects, but all of them have a tremendous impact on the social and physical fabric of the communities they serve, AIA says. 

Here’s a list of the 2009 winners: 

Project: Basilica of the Assumption, Baltimore
Architecture Firm: 
John G. Waite Associates, Architects PLLC
Details: Restoration of the Basilica of the Assumption (also known as the Baltimore Cathedral), a major architectural landmark and masterpiece of the Federal style, removes a century and a half of obscuring alterations to bring back Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s concept of luminosity and spatial configuration. The now fully functioning cathedral again serves the people of Baltimore while reclaiming one of America’s most brilliant architectural designs, by its first professional architect; one that greatly influenced the development of the country’s architecture.

Project: Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, Calif.
Architecture Firm: 
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Details: The Cathedral of Christ the Light resonates as a place of worship and conveys an inclusive statement of welcome and openness as the community’s symbolic soul. The glass, wood, and concrete structure ennobles and inspires through the use of light, material, and form.

Project: Charles Hostler Student Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Architecture Firm:
Details: The Hostler Center integrates social gathering spaces for students and faculty with sports facilities, a theater, and underground parking. Challenging the idea of a single large-scale building and similarly scaled open plaza, the project instead proposes multiple building volumes interconnected into a continuous field of habitable space by its gardens and green roofs.

Project: The Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago
Architecture Firm: 
John Ronan Architects
Details: This 74,000-square-foot youth center, located in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, demonstrates a commitment to social progress in providing a constructive environment for area youths to spend their after-school hours. The center provides support for the programs of a 300-member drill team/performance group for children of ages 8 to 18 and provides space for various youth educational and recreational programs for disadvantaged children to better their chances of success in life.

Project: Horno³: Museo del Acero, Monterey, Mexico
Architecture Firm: 
Grimshaw Architects
Details: Horno3: Museo Del Acero comprises a full restoration of a once-derelict 1960s blast furnace. The abandoned furnace structure and cast hall are the centerpiece of the museum, housing an interactive exhibit that brings the old furnace to life, allowing visitors the unique experience of touring inside this piece of industrial history.

Project: The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, New Orleans
Architecture Firm: 
Details: The challenge was to transform a rigidly compartmentalized and environmentally inefficient building into a dynamic, sustainable new university center. Only the existing concrete structure was retained, saving roughly $8 million in construction cost. The project was successfully completed for $189/SF, 14 months after Hurricane Katrina. Many of the sustainable design strategies used (canopies, shutters, balconies, and fans) were adapted from climate-responsive architecture traditional to New Orleans.

Project: The New York Times Building, New York City
Architecture Firm: 
Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFowle Architects
Details: The New York Times Building incorporates many transcendental themes in good architecture—volume, views, light, respect for context, relationship to the street—with a design that is open and inviting, providing its occupants with a sense of the city around them.

Project: Plaza Apartments, San Francisco
Architecture Firm: 
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Details: Located on a prominent corner in an improving San Francisco redevelopment area, this new, mixed-use project provides permanent housing for the chronically homeless as a pilot project of Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Dept. of Public Health’s “Housing First” program, which is a cornerstone of the city’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. The sustainably designed 9-story building provides 106 highly efficient studio apartments with on-site mental and physical health services for the residents.

Project: Salt Point House, Salt Point, New York
Architecture Firm: 
Thomas Phifer and Partners
Details: Constructed of elegantly efficient and economical materials, this 2,200-square-foot house in New York’s Hudson Valley is sited on a meadow with views to a small private lake. The house is carefully sited to take advantage of the prevailing summer breezes. Strategically placed operable windows and ventilating skylights allow the breeze to flow through the home.

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