May 20, 2014
AIA-NJ has awarded Princeton, N.J.-based architectural design firm Studio Hillier with a Merit Award in the Built category for its creative transformation of 190 Witherspoon Street into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient design studio.
“Studio Hillier exhibited keen vision, revitalizing a once decaying building into an aesthetically and structurally stunning space,” said Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “With a clear dedication to energy efficiency, the Urban Trifecta project is a marvelous example of how New Jersey’s architects can introduce new life to our buildings and communities in imaginative ways.”
Once home to a warehouse and garage structure, the central component of 190 Witherspoon Street now houses Studio Hillier’s state-of-the-art storefront architectural design studio. The Urban Trifecta, as the project is known, is rounded out by two residential-turned-commercial structures flanking the studio.
Designed to meet LEED Gold standards, Studio Hillier designed the Urban Trifecta to draw daylight from three large clerestories on its roof, providing approximately 80 percent of the studio’s lighting needs. The rooftop also produces electricity through photovoltaic solar arrays, with surplus energy redirected back to the grid. The dramatic design creates a bright, shimmering atmosphere during daytime hours.
“The architect as developer is not such an oddity as it once was. We are in it for the value we create,” noted Barbara Hiller, founding partner at Studio Hillier. “For many small towns, this kind of investment and the regeneration it stimulates will have existential meaning.”
The AIA-NJ Annual Design Awards program recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: Open (meant for any building type), Residential, Historic Preservation and Interior Architecture. Projects are further designated as either Built or Un-built. To be eligible, projects must be either located in New Jersey or designed by an AIA-NJ architect. Submitted projects are evaluated during the organization’s annual Design Conference by a group of distinguished architects from throughout the country.
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