This Local Firm Won 3 Awards at the American Institute of Architects CRAN Awards




RWA Architects was recognized at the 7th annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cincinnati Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Awards Ceremony on Thursday May 7th. 

Since CRAN’s inception in 2009, RWA has received 21 design awards. This year RWA Architects received three awards:  an Honor Award for a Family Room Addition and Remodel in Hyde Park in the Architectural Addition category, an Honor Award for a New House with Old Style in Indiana in the Custom Home category, and an Honorable Mention for a Neo-Classical Garden Folly in the Midwest in the Exterior Environment category.

The Family Room Addition and Remodeling was instigated by a need for more quality space for a family of seven.  The original kitchen, while functional, was rather constricted and did not provide a spot for informal dining, nor a family gathering space convenient to the kitchen. The secondary needs for a mudroom, an adequate garage, laundry room, an additional bedroom, and improved circulation were also met with an integrated addition that appears to be part of the original home.  

A major challenge was providing a proportional opening through an existing masonry bearing wall between the kitchen area and the family room addition. This challenge was met by employing a pinch beam and encapsulating the structural frame in a series of thick, paneled arches that join the two spaces. The much-needed informal dining table is centered on the major arch that frames a view of the fireplace. On the exterior, the new family room fireplace chimney punctuates the end of the existing swimming pool and French doors provide access to the rear terrace, play yard, and pool. 

The jurors noted that the Family Room Addition is a work of “excellent craftsmanship “ and that it “opened the whole house while maintaining the essence of the house.”

The New House with Old Style arose from the client’s request for “a new house that looks old,” but with all the modern conveniences of a new residence.  The owners grew up in this farming community and were ready to return.  The Architects response is a studied design of the massing, materials, detailing, and siting of the late 19th century farmhouses in this Indiana region.  The house is situated in the center of a 125-acre working hay farm.  The driveway winds through the fields and the house is framed by an existing grove of walnut trees.

The central portion of the home reads as the original house with flanking “additions” helping tell a story of work completed over time.  The siting of the pool ties it to the massing of the home and is completely open to the full view of the surrounding acreage.  The house is organized around the central Stair Hall on both floors.  The Dining Room and Kitchen are en suite, framing the view of the back farm.  Custom cabinets and integrated shades are throughout the home.  The first floor Master Bedroom suite includes a Library and a Master Bath with a custom stone trough sink. 

Of this project, the jurors stated that the “brick core with the wings has a sense of evolving over time in a way that doesn’t feel forced,” that the “spaces seem intimate, given the proportions,” and that it is “well done – not overdone – finds the sweet spot.”  

For the Garden Folly, the architect’s task was to provide a grounds keeping space by preserving an existing detached garage, while providing the structure with a character and scale appropriate to the new estate home. The solution was to provide a neo-classical portico from which the owners and their guests may enjoy the fountain and gardens in shaded comfort. Working closely with the landscape architect, the architect designed the folly to provide a backdrop to the linear fountain while screening out the neighboring properties.  

The simplicity of form and detail, close attention to historically accurate proportions, and a palette compatible with the new residence create a pleasing garden retreat belying its essential function as a maintenance facility. 

The Garden Folly was described as fitting the scene of the house and offering a fun “Palladian wild wild west” feeling.