The American Institute of Architects is honoring Hill Auditorium, a University venue for world-renowned performers and guest lecturers, for being a masterpiece of renovation.

The University’s Hill Auditorium, along with 35 other recipients, was selected out of 630 submissions for the award. Other winners included the Jubilee Church in Rome and the Chongming Island Master Plan in Shanghai, China.

“The AIA awards are very prestigious.  This is a significant honor that recognizes the preservation work that we completed with this project,” said Diane Brown, spokesman for facilities and operations at the University.

Significant restoration of a wonderful hall, including restoring the house to its original color scheme, made Hill Auditorium stand out from other submissions for the AIA Honor Award, Brown said.

A new air conditioning system, 28 new bathroom stalls and a replaced electrical and ventilations system were among the many improvements to the 91-year-old building. $33.5 million was raised to modify it. Commencing in May 13, 2002 and completed on April 20, 2004, the project focused on modifying the building to 21st century architectural standards. Doing this, along with trying to maintain the building’s 20th century aura, was the most difficult for the architects to do, said Mike Quinn, a spokesman for Quinn Evans Architects — the company in charge of design and preservation.

“The recognition of Hill Auditorium by the AIA is a great accomplishment for the University of Michigan and the city of Ann Arbor,” Quinn said.

The expertise of two major architectural firms, Quinn Evans Architects and Albert Kahn and Associates, Inc., were influential in the Hill Auditorium renovation project.

Hank Baier, associate vice president for the University’s facilities and operations, explained how the renovation project was also the collective effort of many in the city of Ann Arbor. Over $2.8 million was raised by private sources for the renovation.

“We appreciate the efforts of all the men and women within the University and our partners who participated in the restoration and update of Hill Auditorium. Everyone’s hard work, dedication and attention to detail led to spectacular results and this wonderful recognition,” Baier said.

Since 1857, The AIA has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. Members of the AIA adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards. Over 74,000 architectural and professionals make up this organization.

Once a year, the AIA sets out to determine which architectural structures are worthy of national recognition. The AIA Honor Award is the profession’s highest level of recognition in the field. Architectural structures that are considered must demonstrate excellence in exterior and interior architecture and urban design.

The 35 recipients will be honored in May at the 2005 National Convention and Design Expo in Las Vegas.





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