October 12th, 2011 | Culture

Stiles, Morse take home architecture awards

Ezra Stiles dining hall.
Ezra Stiles dining hall. Photo by Emilie Foyer.

Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges have been awarded the Gold Medal from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Stiles Master Steven Pitti enthusiastically announced in an email to the students and associates of Stiles today.

Pitti’s email shared a statement from Stephen Kieran, the head architect of KieranTimberlake, the firm which directed the renovation of Morse and Stiles. According to Kieran, “[the Gold Medal] is the highest honor that can be awarded.”

Kieran went on to explain how it is atypical for a renovation project to win the Gold Medal, since such high honors usually go exclusively to new structures.

Pitti also attached notes from the American Institute of Architects’ explanation for the award, which commended the renovation for adding so artfully to the work of the renowned Eero Saarinen ARC ’34.

“The creation of a whole new world of subterranean experience of bold, robust new places and forms allows the new architecture to coexist in harmony with the well-known Saarinen canvas,” the report stated.

The report went on to specifically congratulate the architects on their keen attention to contemporary living needs in redesigning the residential floors of the colleges, calling these spaces “highlighted and enhanced by the lyrical additions.’

Pitti took the opportunity to share that the Morse-Stiles renovation has been designated as a finalist at the World Architecture Festival, which will take place in Barcelona the first week of November.