2017 Red Diamond Achiever Awards: And the Winners Are In
Without further ado, here are the six winners of Marvin Integrity's 2017 Red Diamond Achiever Awards.
As I blogged about earlier this year, I was asked to be one of four judges for Marvin Integrity’s Red Diamond Achiever Awards program. Earlier this summer, along with fellow judges Lou Manfredini, Christine Marvin, and Shawn McCadden, I sifted through hundreds of submissions from architect and builders, judging the following:
- Why they choose Integrity Windows and Doors for the project.
- Challenges they overcame during the design or building phase of the project.
- Unique materials or functionality incorporated in the project.
- Unique requirements for this structure (energy efficiency, performance in extreme weather, etc.) and how they met these needs.
- Exceptionally creative or out-of-the-box thinking that solved a challenge.
- And, of course, photos of the homes.
I have just a couple of quick comments, before getting to the winners. First, judging was fun. I am, after all, the design editor at Fine Homebuilding, and I enjoy looking at homes of all styles, from all around the country, and in all different price ranges. And the folks at Marvin make the work of judging pretty easy with a contest management system where we rate each project on a simple numbered scale and have the opportunity to make comments. The system then tallies the points given by each judge, adds them together, and the winners are identified.
I won’t say which of these projects I was more or less in favor of, but I will say that of the six, there’s an even split—a couple that I felt strongly about, a couple that I felt lukewarm toward, and a couple that I’m not fond of at all. I can’t help but to think that if part of the process had been a discussion of the finalists, I could have swayed my fellow judges toward some other excellent projects. But who knows—maybe I would have been persuaded in surprising directions too. Either way, the debate would have been fun, and I’ll be sure to suggest that we do that next year if I am invited back as a judge.
Last thing: If you enter next year’s awards—and you should—take the submission process seriously. From one project to the next, the effort put toward entry varied from nothing more than a couple photos to photos of a higher quality in addition to a few paragraphs about each of the criteria listed above. I was much more inclined to consider a project with thorough responses than one with just photos, even when they were beautifully shot by professional architectural photographers. The truth is that it’s not that hard to design a stunning house when there are no constraints. But tug on that design a little bit, and it often falls apart. On the other hand, even a design that leaves an odd first impression can become interesting and smart when the challenges and their solutions are understood.
So, without further ado, here are the six winners.
The homeowner wanted a mixture of roof styles to prevail on their new home, so the front of the house looked completely different from the rear. In addition, the owners were initially striving for a one-story ranch home, but the lot size did not provide enough space to incorporate all the square footage needed to build their dream home. Ultimately the design called for the main level to be the entertaining and living space, with all the storage, mechanicals, and guest/kids bedrooms on the second floor. Integrity Windows and Doors were ideal for this project for several reasons … most importantly, Nebraska experiences a lot of hail storms and the Integrity exteriors provide the look of a steel-clad window with a durability that won’t be damaged by severe storms.
With three small children and active parents, this family was ready to build a home with room to grow and play. The main floor of this modern farmhouse-style residence spans east to west, maximizing solar exposure to the south with large Integrity Casement & Awning and Double Hung Windows. The bright and open-concept plan provides clear site lines from the kitchen through the living and dining rooms, terminating in the screen porch. With its bold New England forms, functional plan, and durable low-maintenance materials, this Brunswick, Maine, home will serve this family well for many memorable years ahead.
Priestley + Associates Architecture
Owls Head, Maine
Two existing, traditional white-clapboard houses were connected with a distinctly fresh, contemporary addition of about 1500 sq. ft. for this unique project. The two-story addition was positioned to afford outstanding ocean views, as well as create ample gallery and hanging space for the owner’s art collection. Adding to the success of the project was the clean design and sharp detailing of the Integrity® Wood-Ultrex Windows and Doors. They were a great fit for the home’s contemporary aesthetics and the pricing fit nicely with the owner’s modest budget.
MODERN CEDAR ADDITION
Jon Hensley Architects
Spending time in their serene and secluded backyard has always been an integral part of each day for this young family of four. But the majority of windows in the house faced toward the street, and the only access to the backyard was through a single patio door in the kitchen. The owners decided to renovate their existing house and create an addition that would seamlessly connect old and new, inside and out. The addition consists of three spaces: a master suite, a dining room, and a screened-in porch, each of which boasts expansive windows from Integrity. The addition is a dramatic counterpoint to the existing house and transforms the living space from within.
SOUND BEACH HOUSE
GF55 Architects, LLP
Sound Beach, N.Y.
With stunning views, this waterfront home, situated 110 ft. above the seashore on Long Island Sound in Sound Beach, New York, is exposed to very strong winds, rain, snow, and other natural elements. As a result, the windows and doors required high-tensile and flexural-strength properties, energy efficiency, and long-lasting durability. The major focus was protecting the home and its structure from the elements while maximizing light and water views. Integrity Sliding Patio Doors and a variety of Integrity windows were used exclusively for their ability to stand up to the harsh coastal climate. There are large windows on the north façade and a sliding patio door opens up to an extended midlevel deck, which allows for great panoramic views.
Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
The owners wanted to have a contemporary design for their home, but with an exterior that also fit into the surrounding beach community. They wanted their home to be comfortable for just the two of them, but also accommodate visiting friends and family comfortably. In addition, they requested not only the usual elements of a beach home—spaces devoted to the enjoyment of ocean breezes and panoramic views—but for their home to function as a gallery for their collection of modern art. The interior of the home was designed to reflect calmness and minimalism in order to be subservient to art and ocean views through Integrity Windows and Doors.