The Building Stone Institute (BSI) has awarded this year's Tucker Design Awards to 10 architectural firms who exhibited excellence in concept, design and construction with natural stone. The awards were presented on May 21, 2004 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

First presented in 1977, the Tucker Design Awards are in honor of the late Beverly R. Tucker, Jr., past president of the BSI, which was founded in 1919. The Institute is an international trade association, whose membership includes leading natural stone quarriers, fabricators, dealers, importers, exporters, installers and restorers of all types of natural stone.

Judging of the 24th Tucker Design Awards took place on February 23, 2004, also at the Palmer House Hilton. Distinguished jury members included:

James I. Nagle, FAIA, Nagle Hartray Danker Kagan McKay Penny Architects, Ltd.
Peter Lindsay Schaudt, FAAR, ASLA, Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture, Inc.
Randolph E. Guillot, AIA, OWP/P Architects

The following is a showcase of the award-winning projects:

Non-Residential Winner: The Keystone Building

The 940,000-square-foot Keystone Building houses the offices of four state agencies in Harrisburg, PA, and was designed by Bernard J. Cywinski, a principal of the Bohlin Cywinski Jackson architectural firm. The primary objective of the project was to provide a healthy workplace of the future for state government services employees, while taking environmentally conscious efforts to conserve energy.

In order to accomplish this task, the exterior was designed with deep window setbacks and vertical limestone fins to reduce glare and energy use. Other protection methods include energy efficient glazing, a well insulated building envelope, effective use of thermal mass, extensive natural daylight balanced with task and ambient indirect lighting systems, and the use of sustainable and recycled materials and non-toxic products and finishes. The tinted glass walls in the office wings framing the atrium provide natural light to the surrounding office areas and offer a pronounced visibility of the offices to the public.

The plaza level serves many public functions as it encompasses primary meeting rooms, library and exhibit spaces, an employee dining facility and a day care center. Limestone and granite surfaces extend into the interior where they are augmented with maple wood in the most public areas. The office wings look down into the atrium from above a limestone wall punctuated by the entrances, interior window openings, limestone piers and stone benches. The benches have carved, contoured limestone backs and honed-finished Woodbury granite seats. Granite detailing flanks the reception area, extending as a wall behind the honed-finished Woodbury granite information center. The diffused light that cascades through the atrium from the fritted glass roof plays softly on the surface of Laurentian Green granite pavers of the floor, which have both flamed and honed finishes.

Respecting the past but looking to the future, the Keystone Building fills the site to optimal density and volume and remains appropriate in its context. By reestablishing urban edges, harmonizing with adjacent building heights and configurations, and reinforcing traditional patterns of movement, the project fully integrates with the community of buildings of the Capitol Complex.

Architect: Bernard J. Cywinski, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Wilkes Barre, PA.

Located on the historic campus of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, rests the new Admissions and Career Services Center, a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building that houses the offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Career Services. The center completes the enclosure of the historic Chapel Quad, creating a new and graceful entry to the College.

The Admissions and Career Services Center is the building that greets first-time visitors to the school, so therefore, must make a powerful first impression and, at the same time, efficiently serve its various functions and harmonize with the existing campus. Sited adjacent to the iconic campus Chapel, an extraordinary Gothic limestone building, the project also preserves an important grove of mature trees, while separating the new quad from the open recreational fields below.

All materials used in the $11.5 million building convey a sense of substance, tradition and warmth. The wood and glass pavilion of the top floor is ordered by a regular pattern of limestone piers. The rhythm established by the piers and their detailing reflect the Chapel's Gothic buttresses and form a cloister-like edge for the quadrangle, while providing transparency and views to the rest of the campus. The green slate roof of the new building complements the roof of the Chapel. Vine-covered trellises soften the entrance side of the pavilion. Non-Residential Winner: Carl and Ruth Shapiro

Campus Center at Brandeis University.

Brandeis University has recently added to its campus, a 65,000-square-foot center, which is home to numerous student organizations, as well as a bookstore, library, café, recital hall and 249-seat theater.

Designed by Charles Rose Architects of Somerville, MA, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Center, like other buildings on campus, is clad in limestone. For the center's south building and facade, and the public entryway, architects used Cenia limestone with a flamed finish.

By combining the limestone with pre-patinated copper panels, which clad the exterior of the center's north side, and some copper cladding on the south building, the architects were able to attain the rich texture and sculptural volume that they were seeking in their design.

Since Brandeis is atypical in its layout (it lacks the traditional campus quad), the architects were challenged by the lack of an obvious site for the campus center. For two reasons, they resolved to locate the Shapiro Center at the physical center of campus. First, it serves the center's purpose of enhancing student life; and, second, it serves as a symbol that students are the focal point of university life.

The construction of the building was made possible due to the generous gift of Carl and Ruth Shapiro.

Architect: Charles Rose, Principal, Charles Rose Architects, Somerville, MA

Stone Installer/Supplier: Kenneth Castellucci & Associates, Inc., Lincoln, RI.

The lower floors reflect the facades of the original buildings that line the “Long Walk” with their split-face brownstone cladding and honed brownstone trim, and their more opaque faces punctuated by discrete window openings and slender limestone fins.

The interior spaces of every level carefully reveal views of the campus and evoke the spirit of the school. The corridors are paved with the same Bluestone that is used for the exterior terrace and entrance paving. The massive brownstone fireplace that anchors the center of the building gives the Admissions and Career Services Center an ambiance of a comfortable living room.

As part of an interconnected series of college quads of diverse landscapes, the Chapel Quad has always been distinguished by its quality of dappled shade. Michael Vergason Landscape Architects of Arlington, VA, collaborated on the siting of the building and focused on restoration of the quad where a new entry drive slips through a mature grove to provide passenger drop off at the Admissions Office.

With extraordinary support from the client, Trinity College, the architects were able to design a building that elegantly resonates with its neighbors, while defining the edge of an historic quadrangle and carefully structuring spaces that enable activities for Admissions and Student Services.

Landscape Architect: Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Arlington, VA

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Residential Winner: House in Blue Mountains, Eastern Pennsylvania

At the edge of a hillside forest facing the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania rests a 12,000-square-foot timber frame and limestone house positioned around a square limestone courtyard.

Upon implementation of the project, architects from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson envisioned the plan of the house as if it had grown out of an old stone courtyard sited upon natural stone outcropping. To replicate this effect, architects created a seemingly natural extension of exposed limestone bedrock that extends under a stonewall from the entry drive into the courtyard.

The choreographed sequence continues as large, irregular-shaped limestone paving pulls one through mahogany gates into the inner stone courtyard. In the courtyard, the limestone bedrock steps down to form naturalistic ledges that merge with the Bluestone paving of the floor.

Laminated Douglas fir columns and beams ring the courtyard, adding another layer to the entry sequence. The timber columns are free-standing on two sides, but support the roof over the glazed circulation hall of the upper level living areas along the south and east sides of the perimeter. Along the north entry wall, protruding limestone corbels support a Douglas fir roof beam and a shade trellis. Limestone corbels along the upper edge of the courtyard wall also support the low-pitched roofs that extend over the glazed corridor. Terne-coated standing seam stainless steel roofs, weathered to a slate gray, outline the central stone courtyard and the car court. Just under the roof overhangs, clerestory windows provide balancing light to the upper level living areas.

Centering on a view of the mountain, two massive limestone chimneys flank the entrance to the south pavilions, echoing the limestone of the inner courtyard. Rising high over the living space roofs, the chimneys mark key positions within the main pavilions of the house, providing fireplaces for living and dining areas on the upper level and bedrooms on the lower level. On the interior, large limestone hearths front the chimneys. Along the outer south face, the wood framing and glass of the main living pavilions contrast with the solidity of the paired limestone chimney masses.

On the lower level, a long linear pool and covered Bluestone-paved terrace extend direct views toward a distant birch grove. The placement of the chimneys and pool was determined early in the design process, directing the house's open face toward the sun and rural valley. The clients, who frequently entertain guests and enjoy comfortable year-round living in a private and undisturbed natural setting, find that the house perfectly suits their lifestyle.

Architect: Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Wilkes Barre, PA

Residential Winner: Sinquefield House

On a wooded limestone bluff overlooking the Osage River in the rolling Ozarks of Missouri, rests the 22,000-square-foot Sinquefield House, which is the first project in a series of developments to establish a rural retreat, conference center and ecological preserve. Set amidst more than 1,000 acres of working farmland, the house is the centerpiece of the scheme, and was designed to act as the center of operations for the preserve.

The new facilities were developed in a way that would cause minimal disruption to the natural terrain and farm operations, while surrounding woodland and meadows undergo stages of restoration.

The north-south orientation of the building and the deep embedment of the lower levels in natural rock reduce energy requirements. Heating and cooling are produced by an extensive “groundsource” well system that transfers constant ground water temperature to heat pumps distributed in attic spaces. Space heating efficiently combines radiant slab and forced-air systems.

Lined by arcades on three sides, the courtyard functions as the most public interior space and as the entrance to most other spaces. A glass enclosure exposes interior spaces from all sides providing long sightlines to connect distant points. In winter, an overhead glass door shelters the central portal to allow circulation around the courtyard.

Communal activities are centered in the east wing. The gallery/living room extends the farthest, along a clearing that runs parallel to the axis of the house, and its windows frame a view of the river's southern arc. The dining room pushes into the woods, slanted mullions in the windows tilting with the tree trunks beyond. In the billiard room, glass corners give non-axial views to the outside and back into the house.

Building form and materials were used to emphasize the various purposes of each of the spaces and heighten the awareness of difference. Dualities -- communal/private, open/closed, opaque/transparent, above/below, heavy/light -- are emphasized. This encourages comparison and allows users to prefer certain places for group activity or solitude. The stone front and lower story anchor the building to the rock on which it was built. Tennessee Mossy Stacker stone veneer in an uncoursed, roughly square pattern was used to visually unify differing construction materials -- concrete, c.m.u. and steel framing -- and, on three sides this battered stone base lifts the light, wood-clad, mostly single-story envelopes of the composition above the sloping site.

On the east, thick stonewalls of Tennessee Mossy Stacker stone veneer drop off the bluff to enclose a mezzanine exercise room and a lower level swimming pool. The pool space rises from an entrance at the lower end of its folded ceiling to look out to a grove of stone piers that support the wood and glass forms projecting above it. A natural limestone bank supports a stairway of rough stone that links the lower garden with the central courtyard.

The Sinquefields find the “farm” deeply restorative. Used year-round by an extended family, youth groups and educational institutions, its design reflects ideas about social interaction and the experience of nature. Visitors to the house can explore the natural features of the property from a network of roads and trails that lead to overlooks, rock formations, glens of old growth and limestone springs.

Architect: Barton Phelps and Associates, Los Angeles, CA

Landscape in a Non-Residential Site Development Winner:

McCaw Hall -- Kreielsheimer Promenade, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA

June 2003 saw the completion of a spectacular 20,000-square-foot public plaza in the heart of Seattle's performing arts district. Designed by landscape architects Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Shannon Nichol, Kreielsheimer Promenade serves as a dramatic entrance to the recently renovated McCaw Hall (home of the Seattle Opera), and as a conduit between Mercer Street and the Seattle Center campus -- also home to Seattle Center and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

From the beginning, architects worked to blend interior and exterior spaces by focusing on materials, color and light. Thirty-foot-tall mesh scrims suspended across the Promenade are illuminated and bathe the area in colored light. The walkway underneath -- comprised of three tilted panels of stone paving sloped toward McCaw Hall's interior lobby -- is covered in a 1⁄4-inch-thick sheet of water. The stone panels (in essence, three shallow pools), each 48 feet long, “are designed to be brilliant,” whether wet or dry, according to Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. The walkway is pedestrian friendly, and invites the public “to move across the stone surface and water, interacting with the reflected light from the scrims and sky.”

The stone also works to create the appearance of the Promenade as a natural extension of the Opera House's interior lobby. The quartzite is “harmonious with the interior terrazzo and exterior cast-in-place concrete,” explained the architect. The five-story serpentine glass wall affords outsiders clear views into the Grand Lobby and insiders clear views to the Promenade.

When choosing the stone, the landscape architects sought material that highlighted “the nature of the Pacific Northwest environment” and the region's “diverse qualities of light.” They chose Green Mountain Mist, “a very distinctive quartzite.”

According to the landscape architects, the quartzite's light tone, soft green color and “reflective nature” interact with the water, giving off “sparkle with silvery light during the day.” At night, the stone “becomes a canvas for the bold color and light projected on the scrims.” They also needed a stone that could “complement the soft greens and silvers of the Promenade's plant palette, sharing cool-green foliage tones and blue flower colors.”

While the dramatic lighting goes a long way toward creating an appealing environment at night, the architects were challenged with the same task for daytime visitors to the Promenade. They understood this could be realized with particular finishes on the stone elements, including walking and seating surfaces.

They cite the natural cleft finish of the quartzite for the aesthetic and practical success of the material. “The natural cleft has a texture that provides a safe walking surface under both wet and dry conditions, creates the delicate rippling of the water and a more comfortable experience for the bench surface.” In sunlight, the texture of the natural cleft finish “creates a glimmered effect on the dry surfaces,” explained Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.

In order to “reinforce the simple, clean geometry of the site,” architects contrasted the natural cleft finish with the honed surfaces on the sides of the stone benches along the Promenade.

Because it is durable and has a low absorptive rate, the quartzite meets the performance requirements of a heavy-traffic area, such as the Promenade. It is easily maintained, repels staining and withstands powerful water pressure when cleaned.

Landscape Architect: Shannon Nichol, Design Partner, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd., Seattle, WA

Stone Contractor: Synergism, Seattle, WA

Residential Winner: Tilted Stone Courtyard, Albuquerque, NM

The Tilted Stone Courtyard faces the Jemez Mountains, and rests on a plane that slopes downward towards the Shadow House's “passage,” which spans the length of the residence and is flanked by various rooms. According to Architect Antoine Predock, the sloped courtyard allows the sound of water rushing over it to “charge the living spaces” -- specifically the living and dining rooms that frame it.

For the project, Predock chose Antique Salmon granite, which he explained, “once formed the roads and alleys of medieval villages of South China. It was salvaged from the Three Rivers Gorge Dam project, [and] shows character from centuries of human and animal traffic, tannins of indigenous vegetation and minerals in the ground water; all contributing to its natural patina.”

The use of natural elements for a project plays a critical role for Predock, and they are represented in the Shadow House. The foyer of the residence contains an earth floor, reminiscent of “the early settlers' earth floors,” and a concrete fireplace houses “the element of fire” and represents a “counterpoint to the earth and water.”

Predock describes the Shadow House, where the Tilted Stone Court resides, as “a journey through the desert, bridging sunrise and sunset, water and fire, earth and sky.”

Predock notes that “some surfaces have texture marks, [and] in other instances, wear has removed texture, leaving the upward face smooth, polished by centuries of foot traffic.”

Architect: Antoine Predock, Principal-in-charge, Antoine Predock Architect, Albuquerque, NM

Stone Installer: Kenderdine Construction Co., Inc., Algodones, NM

Stone Supplier: Rhodes, Ragen & Smith, Seattle, WA

Landscape in a Residential Site Development Winner: Tupelo Farm, Charlottesville, VA

Owners of the 1870s farmhouse property in Albemarle County, VA, had a mission to create an outdoor environment that befitted the farm's history, incorporated local craftsmanship and materials, and provided modern practicalities. Charlottesville Landscape Architects Nelson Byrd Woltz and Thomas Woltz, were hired to accomplish this feat for the Tupelo Farm project.

A distinguished characteristic of the farm is that the architects drew on the landscape's unique backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, nearby streams, indigenous vegetation, and local farming history. There is a visual connection to these features as well as “geologic and hydrolic” associations, as described by Nelson Byrd Woltz.

The men chose to use Precambrian granite and greenstone since they are the primary components of the Blue Ridge. They placed the stones on a diagonal axis “across the terrace and into the landscape” to parallel the lay of the mountain range. To foster utilitarianism, greenstone boulders also are used for seating.

Dry-stack walls, built with Eagle Ridge fieldstone from the Shenandoah Valley, also serve as outdoor seating while they “evoke the traditional property boundary markers typical of Central Virginia,” stated the architects. The walls contain electrical receptacles and high-speed Internet hookups so that the terrace can be used “as an outdoor workspace.”

Blue, gray and green Bluestones are incorporated into stepping stones, coping and terrace paving. Nelson Byrd Woltz likes the way it “contrasts with the rougher qualities of the fieldstone,” and for how it “adds a contemporary feel to the terrace and walks.” They also selected it for its color. The carefully arranged stones were cautiously selected “to blend with the fieldstone walls.”

Regionally derived materials were selected not only because of their association with native geology and the typical native landscape, but also because the architects sought “to employ local masons, thereby sustaining traditional craftsmanship. Traditional craftsmen were asked for innovation in form, while furthering century old craft traditions.”

In addition to the gardens and dry elements of the landscape design, the project's water designs are extraordinary examples of melding past and present and of connecting the landscape to the larger natural world surrounding it. There is a granite water source basin used for garden irrigation and a fountain and spillway that mimics the local natural waterflow from spring to stream to pond. According to the landscape architect, “The fountain's source emanates from a hand-carved granite basin located axially to the indoor kitchen's stone sink. Water pours from a bronze scupper at the source through the stone wall. The scupper is an abstraction of early hand pumps, and was constructed at a local forge.”

This type of precise artistry found in Tupelo Farm's local masons, stonecutters and bronze workers -- in conjunction with the expertise of their landscape architect -- demonstrates how age-old techniques remain viable and relevant for today's purposes.

Landscape Architect: Thomas Woltz, CLA, ASLA, Nelson Byrd Woltz, Charlottesville, VA

Stone Installers: Pleasants Masonry, Charlottesville, VA

Pete Pleasants and Michael Beasley

Stone Suppliers: Luck Stone, Ruckersville, VA

Restoration and Renovation Winner: Princeton University Chapel, Princeton, NJ

Princeton University's Chapel recently underwent a two-phase renovation that included a complete restoration and cleaning of all exterior stonework. One of the many challenges associated with the project was locating a source of the original stone -- Pennsylvania sandstone in a random ashlar pattern.

According to the architects, Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch, Architects (FFM&G) of Princeton, “The 'Roaring Run' sandstone was thought by suppliers no longer to be commercially available.” Eventually the design team located a quarry in central Pennsylvania where the exact stone was still obtainable. It was “handpicked,” claims FFM&G, “to match the range of colors found at the Chapel and tooled on site to match the existing [stonework].”

In addition to the sandstone, Indiana limestone trims the basilica-like structure and more than 60 freestanding carved limestone pinnacles line its facade. Limestone also appears in the chapel's sculptural door heads and borders.

In the case where the chapel's pinnacles needed replacing, original limestone was used rather than cast stone or alternate materials. In the case where original stone details could be improved upon, the restorers did so in a number of ways such as “adding wash surfaces, reducing the number of vulnerable joints through creative design and carving, and slightly increasing the thickness of units where pins were prone to corrosion due to water infiltration.”

On site, stone craftsmen carved limestone Dutchmen to replace “losses in engaged stones, which were decorative, vulnerable to water infiltration or in an overhanging location,” according to the architects.

Technological advancements played a significant role in the restoration because the project team was able to create computerized drawings from the originals, allowing them to examine a “stone-by-stone delineation of the limestone trim.” They also maintained a database that “included every freestanding unit of limestone and every repair method to arrive at a schedule of quantities.”

Architect: Michael J. Mills, FAIA, Partner in charge, Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch, Archictects, LLC, Princeton, NJ

Stone Installer: Masonry Preservation Group, Merchantville, NJ

Stone Supplier: Delaware Quarries, Lumberville, PA

Restoration and Renovation Winner: Tweed Courthouse, NY

In 1999, architects from John G. Waite, Associates began the comprehensive restoration of the Tweed Courthouse, one of New York City's greatest civic monuments. They developed a phased program that involved more than 100 separate contracts and hundreds of workers. Due to the extensive work and the two-and-a-half year period they were given, the architects and construction manager established full-time offices on the site. The restoration of the exterior stonework alone, which included carving and replacing more than 1,000 pieces of stone, was one of the largest masonry restoration projects in the U.S.

Structural problems were corrected, missing or damaged ornamental elements were replaced, and minor aesthetic repairs were made. Much of the ornamental and hand-carved stonework remained intact, with only structurally deficient elements replaced. The overhanging marble cornice composed of stones that each weighed 2.5 tons had suffered the most severe damage; several hundred feet were removed and replaced with Georgia White Cherokee marble. The new marble was fabricated by machine and details were hand-carved to replicate the originals. They were attached to the building with 6-foot-long threaded stainless steel rods.

The Corinthian capitals of the four columns and 12 pilasters on the primary facades had suffered extensive deterioration and many acanthus leaves and other carved elements were removed in the 1940s as a safety precaution. Replacement elements were roughly carved on site and finished in place, with each capital varying slightly to reflect the individuality of the original craftsmen.

Another major component of the exterior restoration was the reconstruction of the staircase on the north elevation. In the 1940s, these stairs had been truncated to accommodate motor vehicle traffic. In 2000, the city approved plans to narrow the street again in order to restore the monumental primary entrance. The staircase of granite treads with marble cheek walls was rebuilt to exact historic configuration. New granite, Sterling Gray from Elberton, GA, fabricated and supplied by Granite Importers of Vermont, and new marble from Georgia Marble Co. was used.

Stone replacement pieces came from Massachusetts, Georgia and Vermont. Approximately 50 blocks of Sheffield marble were secured from the former Briggs Quarry in Sheffield, MA, the quarry that originally supplied stone for the building. Though Briggs went out of business when the Tweed scandal was exposed, 50 blocks had been quarried for use in the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., and were left in place when it closed. They were trucked to Georgia for fabrication. A small amount of stone used for Dutchmen was salvaged from sections of the building scheduled for replacement. However, because of the large quantity of stone required for the restoration, the architects had to locate a source for new stone. They sought sources of similar marble across Europe, Asia Minor and North America. Extensive research, including five-year-long weathering tests, determined that Georgia White Cherokee marble from the Georgia Marble Co. of Tate, GA, provided the closest match. Stone carvers and workshops in Georgia, Vermont, New Jersey, Ontario, Canada, and New York City provided stones.

The newly restored Tweed Courthouse is once again a significant landmark, and has developed into an important new public facility for New York City.

Architect: John G. Waite Associates