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American Institute of Architects Awards Charles W. Hostler Student Center.

Summary: Charles W. Hostler Student Center was one of nine international projects to receive the prestigious 2009 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

American Institute of Architects Awards Charles W. Hostler Student Center

Charles W. Hostler Student Center was one of nine international projects to receive the prestigious 2009 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The center's architectural design was recgnized for its "non-hierarchical synthesis of architecture and landscape to create a set of richly varied and environmentally diverse spaces for people to gather at all hours," as described by the awarding body. Charles W. Hostler Student Center was designed by James Associate Architects, with associate architect Samir Khairallah and Partners.

"This award brings recognition to the professionalism of AUB's Facilities Planning and Design Unit team, working in close cooperation with the architects of Vincent James Associate Architects, as well as to the aspirations of the University to create a world-class campus in the heart of Beirut. Congratulations to all involved in this remarkable achievement," said President Peter Dorman when commenting about the award.

American Institute of Architects is a leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners. Established in 1857 and based in Washington DC, AIA is known for recognizing individuals and institutions for their outstanding achievements in architecture, and the annual Institute Honor Awards for Architecture of the American Institute of Architects is a good example of such honors. The AIA jury reviewed over 500 projects submitted for this award this year.

AIA's weekly newsletter, AIArchitect of June 9, 2009 mentions that the "The selections focus on structures in which forms tread lightly on the earth." It also says that the recipients of the award "share a commitment to offering sanctuary for building users."

"The award recognizes excellence in architecture and is the AIA's highest design award for completed projects," added AUB's Vice President for Facilities Samer Maamari. "Also, it further acknowledges the dedication of and the quality service delivered by our staff who worked tirelessly to make this project possible," he added.

"The Charles Hostler Student Center brought major enhancement to AUB Campus and has become the heart of student activities on the lower campus. The green belt of the AUB Campus recognized, with its lush greenery, combined with the vegetation of the rest of the campus, is a stark contrast to the rest of Beirut and viewed by all as a green oasis inside a dense urban fabric; now we have complemented this oasis with a jewel named the Charles Hostler Student Center," described Maamari.

Named after former ambassador and AUB alumnus Charles W. Hostler, the student center opened its facilities for use on May 23, 2008.

The Center's facilities comprise health and fitness rooms, an indoor 25-meter long swimming pool, a multi-use gymnasium, three basketball courts, indoor soccer and handball courts, two squash courts, student activity rooms, a refurbished track and Green Field, a 280-seat auditorium, a cafe, an internet room, and an underground parking area for around 200 cars.

Located on AUB's lower campus and overlooking the Corniche, the Center's complex, whose groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 5, 2004, is entirely smoke-free. It also possesses an environment-friendly design that minimizes heat and cooling needs by recycling water, and employing energy-efficient lighting.

The remaining eight recipients of 2009 National Honor Awards of the American Institute of Architects include the Basilica of the Assumption (Baltimore Cathedral), Baltimore, designed by John G. Waite Associates, Architects PLLC; The Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, with associate architect Kendall/Heaton Associates for Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland; HornoA: Museo del Acero, Monterrey, Mexico, designed by Grimshaw Architects with associate architect Oficina de Arquitectura for Museo del Acero, A.C.; Plaza Apartments, San Francisco, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, with associate architect Paulett Taggart Architects for Public Initiatives Development Corporation; Salt Point House, Salt Point, N.Y., designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners for Cristina Grajales and Isabelle Kirshner; The Gary Comer Youth Center, Chicago, designed by John Ronan Architects for The Gary Comer Youth Center; The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, New Orleans, designed by VJAA, with associate architect Wayne Troyer Architect for Tulane University; and The New York Times Building, New York City, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop with associate architect FXFOWLE for Forest City Ratner Companies.

2009 Al Bawaba (

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Date:Feb 17, 2009
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