Hammer & Hand unveils “perFORM 2014: A House Design Competition”

The design competition will support emerging architectural professionals’ exploration of high design and high performance building.

As a construction company that does no design in-house (we’re “traditional” in that sense), nearly every Hammer & Hand project involves collaboration with an independent designer.  We’ve been fortunate to partner with some of the most talented architects in the Pacific Northwest over the years, and during that time high performance building has become a larger and larger part of our portfolio.

We’ve noticed a false dichotomy.

Many folks who love great design assume that  “high performance” means “ugly,” while many proponents of super-efficient buildings assume that “high design” means “wasteful.”

These notions didn’t come from nowhere, of course.  Early green buildings were often earthy-crunch DIY affairs, built by earnest folks with little or no design training.  Many modernist jewel boxes, like the beautiful Philip Johnson Glass House, pay little or no attention to energy performance.  And even today we’re feeling growing pains as we learn how to design and build great, sustainable buildings (see Lloyd Alter’s article on the subject).

But thanks to advancements in building science, window technology, architectural training, and more, high performance building and high design can now support one another.  Our recent experience with Holst Architecture on the Karuna House is one example.

perFORM 2014 design competitionSo we’re very excited to be launching “perFORM 2014: A House Design Competition.”  The competition, presented by Hammer & Hand with guidance from advisor Rob Peña, will showcase how high performance building and high design can go hand-in-hand, staking the claim that by fusing the two we can create houses of unsurpassed beauty and efficiency.

Emerging architectural professionals (students and interns) will submit designs for a single-family house in Seattle that achieves a specified, low-load energy use intensity.  A panel of Pacific Northwest architects, educators and builders will judge entries based on resourcefulness, replicability, and beauty.

The perFORM jury includes:
• Jim Graham, Graham Baba Architects
• Sam Hagerman, Hammer & Hand
• Gladys Ly-Au Young, Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects
• Robert Peña, Integrated Design Lab, UW
• Jeffrey Stuhr, Holst Architecture

First and Second place winners in the categories of Student-Individual, Student-Group, and Intern-Individual will receive cash awards and publication.  Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2014.

For more information or to register visit: https://hammerandhand.com/perform/design-competition/.  And please help us spread the word!

– Zack (Connect with me at +ZacharySemke)

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