ikon.5 architects of Princeton, NJ have been selected to receive two American Architecture Awards for the best new U.S. buildings in 2009. The two projects chosen were The Campus Commons at the State University of New York, New Paltz and the Hockessin Public Library in Hockessin, Delaware.

The American Architecture Awards have become the foremost, prestigious awards programs for public recognition for Excellence in Architecture in the United States both nationally and internationally. The Awards identify the new cutting edge-design direction, urban philosophy, design approach, style, and intellectual substance in American Architecture today.

For the American Architecture Awards 2009 the Chicago Athenaeum received hundreds of submissions by the best and most renowned design firms in the United States and international firms working in the U.S.

This year's jury for awards took place in Stuttgart, Germany with the participation of noted German architecture and design practioners serving as jury members including:

The Campus Commons at the State University of New York, New Paltz is a "crystalline palisade" set between concrete buildings at the campus entrance. Influenced by the strong regional landscape of the Hudson River Valley where it is sited, the forms are drawn from the Shawangunk Mountains to create an exterior sculptural expression of the landscape.

Campus Commons at the State University of New York, New Paltz

The building is a sustainable high performance building designed to provide a healthy and light interior environment and uses several green design elements that make the building sustainable and reinforce the design themes.

In order to structure the "crystalline palisade" a stress skin wall and roof system of exposed steel tubes create a column-free net on which the glazing units are placed. A ceramic-fritted glass enclosure permits transparency while controlling solar gain. The frit pattern is abstracted from tectonic configurations of the stone ledges of the nearby Shawangunk ridge. The contrast of the fritted glass with the adjacent concrete facades differentiates the expansion and makes it unique: a living room and gateway to the campus, an illuminating and transparent jewel.

Another project selected by the jury for an American Architecture Award is Hockessin Public Library, New Castle County, Delaware.

Public Library, New Castle County, Delaware

The Library is a floating glass pavilion in a park. The existing library site is bounded by a major road to the north, parking to the west and wetland to the east, leaving only the possibility for expansion to the south. The south side of the site overlooks a densely vegetated county park but is restricted by a 100-year flood plain within close proximity to the existing library. To avoid this barrier, the expansion cantilevers over the floodplain and projects into the landscaped park.

Joseph Tattoni, AIA, design principal of the project, cantilevered the library expansion over the floodplain to the south, using the adjacent county park as his inspiration. The expansion houses a children's reading room, a floating glass pavilion in a park.

The addition includes a new children's library and a community meeting room. To continue the theme of nature and sustainability Joe Tattoni left the wetlands and floodplain undisturbed and used recyclable materials such as certified cedar and recycled carpet backing, and low consumption plumbing fixtures, Not only do the children gain a reading room, but they also gain a sustainable learning laboratory of their natural environment.

"Our project design teams worked diligently to create a unique architectural response for both clients and site condition. We are thrilled that this year's jury recognized our efforts and our client's aspirations," said Joseph Tattoni, AIA design principal.

ikon.5 architects are known for their award-winning designs for museums, higher education, libraries, performing arts, and corporate offices. Based in Princeton, NJ, ikon.5's practice extends to Louisiana, Arizona, Delaware, and New York.


Kristen Leone