PLY Architecture's Shadow Pavilion Awarded AIA 2010 Small Project Practitioners Award at AIA National Convention

The AIA Small Project Practitioners Design Awards were presented at a breakfast meeting June 10, 2010, at the AIA National Convention in Miami to nine firms in three categories. Among the award winners, PLY Architecture’s Shadow Pavilion received an award in the category of Small Project Objects. Craig Borum, architecture associate professor, and Karl Daubmann, associate professor of architecture and art and design, are PLY’s principals.

The awards represent small firms and sole practitioners across the country, showcasing the breadth and depth of work produced.

This is the second award presented to PLY for Shadow Pavilion, which was developed by Karl Daubmann with funding from the 2009-2010 Research Through Making Faculty Research Grant Program. The Research Through Making program at University of Michigan Taubman College competitively awards faculty funds for the production of a research or creative project that is predicated on MAKING.

Shadow Pavilion was designed to explore the paradox of a perforated structure where the removal of material makes a structure lighter and weaker. The pavilion is both a structure and a space made entirely of holes.

The pavilion surface is made with over 100 aluminum laser cut cones that vary in size. Beyond testing the limits of sheet aluminum, the cones act to funnel light and sound to the interior space, offering visitors a space to take in the views and sounds of the surrounding landscape. Organizational schemes for the cones investigated the logic of phyllotaxis which, in botany, describes a plant’s spiral packing arrangement of its elements and as applied to the pavilion the concept limited the form but strengthened the structure.

“The project examines the boundary between the “art” and its “application,” which has always been an existential crisis within architecture,” said Dean Monica Ponce de Leon, founder of the Research Through Making program at Taubman College. “In Shadow Pavilion, Daubmann blended creativity, technology, design, and research through the act of making. Daubmann acknowledges MAKING as the common denominator that cuts across the imaginary boundaries between design and research.”

AIA Small Project Practitioners Award recipients were announced in the following three categories:

Architecture in the Public Interest

  • Small Project Award to Tonic Design for Art as Shelter, Raleigh, NC
  • Award of Merit to North Studio at Weslyan University for SplitFrame, Portland, OR

Small Project Objects

  • Small Project Award to PLY Architecture for Shadow Pavilion, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Awards of Merit to Mark Ryan Studio for Plug-in Satellite Office at the ASU Herberger College of Fine Art, Phoenix, AZ; Eskew+Dumez+Ripple for Prospect. 1 Welcome Center, New Orleans; and to Slade Architecture for Puptent, New York City.

Small Project Structures

  • Small Project Awards to Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture for East Village Studio, New York City; and to Johnsen Schmaling Architects for Salve Staff Canteen, Milwaukee, WI
  • Awards of Merit to Intrinsik Architecture for Kevin Mundy Memorial Bridge, Bozeman, MT, and to Griffin Enright Architects for Band-Nomadic Café, Los Angeles, CA