June 2014

by Rebecca Falzano, Managing Editor

Every two years, the Maine chapter of the American Institute of Architects holds a design awards program to honor the stellar spaces architects are designing here in Maine. Interestingly, the jurors who select the winners are always architects from outside the state—usually in a geographic region with a climate similar to Maine’s. This year’s AIA Maine Design Awards jury was composed of a handful of celebrated Montreal architects, a group who could surely be sympathetic to the challenges of designing and building here. The jurors chose six winning projects, which we are thrilled to share with you in our Honoring Architecture story (page 108). 

Awards often evoke superlatives like “best,” but we think hearing what the jury had to say about the winning designs is far more interesting. Time and again, they applauded control and restraint, eschewing ornamentation, excess, and overdesign. They celebrated smart use of light and scale, and, always, a connection to nature. Occasionally they were surprised by wonderful juxtapositions of order and randomness. They appreciated siting on sensitive sites, and how the individual parts of a project work together as an ensemble. Energy efficiency was, of course, commended. And in at least one case, the like-minded Canadian jury loved the way a house could close up tight for the winter.


We hope you enjoy this issue filled with Maine architecture—the award-winning projects, as well as those well-designed homes that win the hearts of the people who inhabit them.

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