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 ~ADVANCE~ NEW YORK, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- The Transitional Housing for the Homeless project, designed by the New York office of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), has won a third award, the prestigious Bard Award, presented by the City Club of New York. In bestowing the award, the jury, which visited several of the sites, said: "Judging from the jury's brief encounter with the inhabitants, the architectural solutions seem to be psychologically and socially successful."
 The Bard Awards acknowledge projects which significantly benefit the public while strengthening and improving the neighborhood. The jury cited the buildings as having "an extraordinary level of quality...a sensitivity to proportion, intimacy and scale and variation of types of communal and private spaces attained in spite of a low budget. The exemplary use of brick pattern, of recessed or gridded windows with black steel lintels should provide a physical presence in these neighborhoods that suggests faith and pride in the architecture's ability to serve residential and communal needs."
 Earlier this year the project won its second award, a Citation for Design Excellence from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In 1988 the project received an award for excellence in design from the Art Commission of the City of New York.
 "This has been a very special project for our entire team," says Mr. Michael McCarthy, FAIA, SOM's design partner for the project. "It is not often that we have the opportunity to apply our practice on such a directly personal scale, and we are enormously gratified at the positive response this project has received civically, architecturally, and most importantly, from the users."
 The Transitional Houses are designed to serve two distinct population: families and singles. An innovative design approach, intended to maximize efficiency, centered on designing prototype buildings which would then be customized for their individual site.
 As examples, the units designed for families, while modified for each site, always feature a central entry building containing services and amenities including a medical suite and child care room. The second floor of the entryway contains a large activity room. Two identical housing units emanate from the hub; each has a central staircase, two living rooms and a social worker's office. Living units in flexible sizes accommodate either large or small families. The buildings' exterior brick and signature hipped roofs are reminiscent of traditional residential design. Each contains a playground.
 The singles residences are also designed around a prototype. Each building is organized into smaller "houses" comprised of eight individual rooms clustered around a shared kitchen and a two-story living room. A bathroom is provided for every four rooms. Common facilities are grouped centrally and act as a hinge to accommodate the different site configurations. Dining rooms, located in each building, serve one meal a day. In citing the project, the Jury said: "These 'sub-units' offer a humane alternative to the long, monotonous corridors of cell-like, single-occupancy accommodations found elsewhere."
 When complete, the Transitional Housing for the Homeless project will consist of seven Families Units, and four Singles Units. Nine of the projects are currently complete.
 Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is one of the world's largest architectural firms. The firm has an international, interdisciplinary practice consisting of architecture, engineering, and master planning for projects including multi-family residences, the full range of commercial buildings, hospitals, and other institutional buildings, airports and other transportation facilities, corporate interiors, and public buildings. SOM has received hundreds of awards for design excellence including the first award for architectural excellence ever given to a firm by the American Institute of Architects.
 Other New York City projects designed by SOM include: Worldwide Plaza; the Islamic Cultural Center; Lever House; The Milstein Hospital Building of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and 450 Lexington Avenue, recently completed over the Grand Central Post Office.
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 ~CONTACT: Kathryn B. Hamilton, 212-309-9630, for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill~

CO: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ST: New York IN: SU:

TM-LD -- NY090 -- 0827 11~23~92 21:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1992
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