June 30 is the deadline for submitting work for the Fifth Annual Bulfinch Awards, established in 2009 by the New England Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Eligible for the award are works in New England by architects with offices in New England – Connecticut (except for Fairfield County, which is in the New York chapter), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
This year’s 11 categories (expanded from eight last year) are:
- Residential (New construction over 5,000 square feet).
- Residential (New construction under 5,000 square feet).
- Residential Restoration, Renovation or Addition.
- Landscape Architecture.
- Interior Design.
- Student Portfolio.
More information about the awards, fees for their nomination, guidelines for their presentation to this year’s jury, and the awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, may be found at the chapter website’s Bulfinch page.
Works that win in this year’s 11 categories will be of classical design, which for the purposes of the competition includes other traditional styles, such as Victorian, Shingle or others that bear relation to Greco-Roman classicism. Classical is today a subset of traditional architecture, but classical gave birth to all subsequent traditional forms of building and design. It arose not only in Greece and Rome but also in other ancient cultures. Classical and other traditional forms include not only buildings and landscape but works of art and craft that were once part and parcel of architecture.
Because the chapter hopes to promote classical architecture in the public square, works in the categories of commercial, institutional and civic/ecclesiastical have been teased out of what last year was a single category. Since most people choose their houses by themselves in a free market, rather than by committee as with most architecture in the larger categories, residential architecture does not need the sort of “help” needed to build traditional office buildings, libraries, shopping malls, museums, town halls, academic buildings, churches and the like in the face of what amounts to suppression by the modernist architectural establishment. The chapter wants more major works of classical and traditional architecture to be built, and thus hopes to promote that end by offering more opportunity for such works to win a Bulfinch Award.
This year, as well, for the first time there are categories for sketches to promote the lost art of drawing by architects and other designers, and for portfolios to bring future classicists into the field’s expanding system of practice and reward as early as possible.
To learn more about the ICAA chapter and national organization, visit the chapter’s web site at www.classicist-ne.org.