Custom Detail / Merit Award
There are architectural details that solve problems and close the gaps between bigger pieces of structure, and there are those that also manage to distill the whole philosophy of a project. This column-cum-door jamb—in a renovation that joined three small 1960s apartments into one—is among the latter. Four lengths of steel angle, their open sides filled with mahogany quarter-rounds, back up together without quite touching. The slot formed along one axis sandwiches a steel tube that supports a kitchen counter. The other axis accepts two pocket doors that close off the kitchen from the dining area. The alliance of discreet elements in a single, multipurpose assembly reflects the nature of the project itself, which joins existing spaces into a series of flexible and changeable configurations. "It sort of celebrates the convertible nature of it all," says architect Mark McInturff. Our judges were drawn to the detail's machine-like quality, which one called, "kind of fussy, in a beautiful way."