Stormhouse: BSA Unbuilt Architecture Award (2009)

Stormhouse (2009) aerial perspective V.2

The Stormhouse project was honored with the 2009 Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture award on November 19. Unbuilt architectural designs of any project type were eligible

…including purely theoretical projects and unbuilt client-sponsored projects (buildings, interiors, transportation infrastructure, monuments, etc.—all project types). Projects under construction or otherwise apparently assured of construction are not eligible. There are no geographical or other restrictions on the individuals, teams, firms or institutions eligible to submit and there are no restrictions on the presumed or imagined location of projects. The intent is to invite unbuilt work by practicing design professionals, design educators and design students throughout the world.

Stormhouse (2009)

Stormhouse (2009) Interior

Stormhouse (2009) plan sketch

Stormhouse (2009) plan with globe

Stormhouse (2009) presentation poster

A full-resolution version of the project poster is available here.

There were nine other projects honored:

  • “Republic of Trinidad & Tobago Primary Schools” designed by Morris Architects, Houston TX
  • “ecoFLEX” designed by Shepley Bulfinch, Boston MA
  • “Urban Rack” designed by Moskow Linn Architects, Boston MA
  • “Pop Up Café” designed by XChange Architects, Boston MA
  • “Nordhaven”: The City Regenerative” by FXFOWLE Architects, New York City
  • “Wadi” designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, New York City
  • “Crook/Cup/Bow/Twist” designed by Schwartz and Architecture, San Francisco CA
  • “Lockgrid – city after the periodic blackout” designed by W. Y. Frank Chen, New York City
  • “Tulang Tower” designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, New York City

The jury for the award consisted of Henry Moss AIA (Bruner/Cott & Associates, Cambridge MA); Peter Lofgren AIA (Baker Design Group, Boston MA); Robert Brown IIDA, AIA (CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares, Boston MA); Martha Foss, Assoc. AIA (Maryann Thompson Architects, Cambridge MA); Paul Lukez AIA (Paul Lukez Architecture, Somerville MA); and Matt Oudens AIA (Oudens Ello Architecture, Boston MA). Their assessment with regard to the Stormhouse was forwarded to me:

“This is the house where I wait for the world to come to an end.” Far from supine, this embattled sequence of heroic enclosures (“re-purposed acrylic arena-spectator shielding; insulated hull house grates…”) has the force and focus of a single, personal shout of defiance. Mr. Wadsworth’s board achieves the impact of a strong graphic novel with its mixture of true outrage and hyperbolic comedy. There is wonderful consistency between the tone and imagery of the narrative and the drawings.

And this was of course elaborated upon during the discussion forum appended to the awards ceremony at Build Boston. It became apparent that the phrasing was largely the contribution of Mr. Henry Moss, who furthermore ended the discussion by noting the general ecologically-driven and “green” emphasis of the winning designs. Then he turned to point at me:

…except, of course, for you. You didn’t produce a green project — a post-green one, maybe.