World-Class Architects & Designers Discuss “Winning” Entries for Newman Awards

Colorado has an impressive display of architectural beauty, much of which harkens moments of luxury, classicism, and rustic comfort. It is this architecture that holds the region’s history and appeal. But how do great architectural designs like the ones Colorado is known for, come to fruition? We asked the jury of the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s 2014 Robert & Judi Newman Awards for Excellence in Classical & Traditional Design to share with us what they are looking for in award winning projects.

Jurors Michael Imber, Suzanne Tucker, and Dr. Mark Gelernter

The 2014 Newman Awards jury consisted of Michael Imber, FAIA; Suzanne Tucker, ASID; and Dr. Mark Gelernter, Professor of Architecture and Dean, University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Architecture. They joined honorary jurors, Robert and Judi Newman in reviewing over 40 submissions in the categories of Commercial, Civic & Institutional Architecture, Residential Architecture, Interiors, Landscape Design, History & Journalism, Artisanship, and Student Award.

The jurors review submissions for the 2014 Newman Awards

When asked “What is it that you are looking for to deem an entry an award recipient?” the word cohesiveness came up time and time again. The jurors stressed the importance of having a complete and cohesive submission in all aspects, even down to the small details like lettering. Just as significant, is that the submission is well executed in the traditional design language and approach.

Each juror offered up ideas on what recipe other architects and designers might follow to have their design stand out from the rest:

Suzanne Tucker: Look at the submission logically and at what will have the most impact. Consider the story behind the project, use the best photography, and present the project in a way that flows clearly and logically.

Michael Imber: Focus on the ideas that reinforce the project and make it better. Being able to go back, edit, and clarify what is important about the project, and understanding what goes into the process to make the whole project shine.

Dr. Mark Gelernter: A design jury values: 1) The overall appearance of the submission – all of the details need to be pulled together in one composition or dominant idea. 2) Plans that are organized and clear, with a logical way of walking through the space. The less successful projects are those that are not pulled together as a harmonious whole.

The judging process for the 2014 Newman Awards

With more submissions this year than last, it is evident that there is a rising tide of interest in contemporary classicism throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Dr. Gelernter, who served on the jury for a second year in a row, noticed a wider range of traditional design languages being used with more confidence across all award categories this year. The level of the student submissions showed particular promise. The thoughtfulness, understanding of history, attention to detail, and overall execution of the student work made the jurors excited for the future of architecture in Colorado.

A Pre-Award Honorary Gala will be held on Thursday, August 21, 2014 from 4:30–7:30 pm at the Materials Marketing Showroom, located within the Denver Design District, where all submissions for the 2014 Newman Awards will be on display. Winners of the Newman Awards will be recognized at an evening ceremony held on September 17, 2014 in Denver. Details for both events can be found on the Rocky Mountain Chapter website.

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