With spring 2013 right around the corner, the winners of the 2012 Philadelphia Emerging Architecture Prize are coming out of hibernation and ready to blossom. The award, called “PEAPrize” for short, was created in 2007, and is given annually to younger firms who’ve demonstrated “high-quality design and thinking within the Philadelphia region.” The 2012 award belongs to Austin+Mergold, a multi-disciplinary firm based at 1236 Pine Street.
The PEAPrize is awarded through a juried portfolio submission. Joshua Otto, the Prize Coordinator and an architect himself, explains, “[this year's] jury appreciated the breadth of A+M’s design and research, punctuated with comments like ‘inventiveness, sense of humor, thoughtful moments, experimentation.’” One project in particular, Parkview, in suburban Carlisle, Pennsylvania, drew specific attention for achieving the developer’s goals and budget while subtly veering from typical cul-de-sac stock.
On whether or not Parkview, or any other recent projects, elevated their firm above their competition, Jason Austin explains, “our firm was founded on the premise that we would take on various scaled projects in various contextual conditions (i.e. urban, suburban, and rural) as a way of utilizing our multi-disciplinary design backgrounds—trying to understand how to best sculpt our practice—and find an appropriate market niche. As a result, we feel that understanding our collection of work is the strongest representation of our practice.”
With that in mind, a collection of their work will be on public display at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street, beginning Monday. The exhibition also features the work of up and comers Boxwood Architects, FISHTANK PHL, Ramla Benaissa Architects, and Stanev Potts Architects. The opening is Monday, March 18th, from 6–8pm, and features a lecture by Austin+Mergold. The exhibition runs through Friday, April 12.
For more information, and to sign up (registration is free), visit AIAPhiladelphia.org.
About the author
Bradley Maule is co-editor of Hidden City. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, a four hour train ride from 30th Street Station on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian. He lived in Philadelphia from 2000–09, during which time he created and operated Philly Skyline. After a three and a half year vacation in Portland, Oregon, he's back, bearing brotherly love. Follow him on Instagram @mauleofamerica.