Patkau Architects of Vancouver has won the first design competition for new construction at the Fallingwater Institute, the site of U.S. master architect Frank Lloyd Wright's landmark home in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The firm's design will serve as the basis for a final design for six sustainable cottages on the Bear Run Nature Reserve that surrounds Fallingwater.
The cottages will expand lodging for the institute's educational programs.
The contest, organized by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which preserves and maintains Fallingwater, called for designs for small, low-maintenance, energy-efficient homes that would become a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of small-scale green housing.
The designs were meant to take advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities, and environmentally friendly building materials.
Each had to include a basic kitchen, a fireplace and a shower, and incorporate recycling of kitchen and grey water for use in toilets.
"In its subtlety, it is provocative and it carries forward the discourse about where architecture can move," the jury said of Patkau's winning design. "Its strength is not just in what is included, but in what is left out."
Patkau shared the 2010 Governor General's Medal in Architecture with Croft Pelletier Architects of Quebec City and Montreal's Menkes Shooner Dagenais for their work on La Grande BibliothÃ¨que de QuÃ©bec, the central library for the province of Quebec in Montreal.
It was Patkau's 12th Governor General's Award.