Round House named for 2004 AAIA award

Wednesday, November 10, 2004
The Round House, one of Eureka Springs' most unusual buildings, has brought owners Jon and Twyla Pease, and architects Tom Johnson and Larry Troillett awards for design, reconstruction and renovation from the Arkansas Chapter of The American Institute of Architects for 2004. CCN/Mary Jean Sell

Johnson Troillett Architecture of Eureka Springs has been named for an Honor Design Award for the renovation of The Round House on North Main.

The award was presented Friday evening, Nov. 5, during the Annual State Convention of the Arkansas Chapter of The American Institute of Architects at the Fort Smith Convention Center.

Tom Johnson and Larry Troillett attended the convention and picked up the award.

Included in the award are certificates for owners Jon and Twyla Pease and Round To It, the construction company formed to do the reconstruction. Sam Utter was construction supervisor.

Preceded by two days of seminars and receptions, the awards banquet was attended by more than 400 architects, allied members and their guests.

The Design Awards program seeks to honor works of distinction of AIA Arkansas members and to draw public attention to examples of outstanding architecture.

The 2004 AIA Arkansas Design Awards were selected by a jury of practicing architects from Louisville, Kentucky.

The jurors' words for this project were "interesting" and "well done."

They were impressed with the clarity of delineation between old and new and of the inventiveness of how the structure of the new is inserted into the existing round stone shell.

One juror commented that this project was obviously the product of "a heck of a lot of thought" and all agreed it should be recognized as an Honor Award winner.

Purchased in 1998, the owners planned to utilize the building as a work studio and gallery with living quarters leased to a single tenant.

The work studio was to include office and meeting space along with design and production space for needlework crafts.

The living quarters were to be adequate for a husband and wife with accommodations for overnight guests adjacent to the studio spaces.

Due to the condition of the structure, the owners required that only the existing limestone walls be included in the final project.

Additional space was added to the structure affording architects Johnson and Troillett the opportunity to complete the tripartite form of the structure and bring light into the interior spaces.

Interior steel columns were located to accommodate parking at the basement level.

Beams were glued and lag bolted together with hand hammered custom square washers and square head bolts.

The structure is expressed with black paint contrasting with the lighter colored woods and accentuates the radial roof framing.

"It was a difficult a project as we could have drawn," Johnson said Monday afternoon. "Everything was curved. It took a lot of hand tooling and craftsmanship to do everything."

Projects are submitted in five categories, with the possibility of three levels of awards: Honor, Merit and Citation Awards.

Honor Awards are granted for overall design excellence. Merit Awards are granted to projects worthy of recognition because of their design quality.

A Citation award may be granted to one project submitted in the open category in recognition of creativity and design possibilities.

After lengthy, careful discussion and consideration of all projects submitted that the Kentucky jurors chose these award winners.

The design experience of the panel included a wide variety of building types and each had received previous awards for their personal work. The jurors for this year's awards were K. Norman Berry, FAIA, Michael Koch, AIA and J. Richard Kremer, FAIA.

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