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Benjamin Moore Hue® Awards to Be Presented for Exceptional Use of Color in Architecture & Interior Design

Published on 2010-03-11. Author : SpecialChem

NEW YORK, NY -- In a departure from previous years when the Benjamin Moore HUE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to an architect, the 2010 honors will be going for the first time to an interior design firm, Diamond Baratta Design, and its principals William Diamond and Anthony Baratta. The HUEYs, established in 2005 by the iconic American paint company to recognize those in architecture and interior design whose work embodies a passion for color usage, will be handed out to the partners and five other honorees, on Wednesday evening, May 5, at the Museum of Arts and Design, at Columbus Circle. The awards ceremony and reception following are invitation only.

Also due to receive the colorful paint-dropped shape HUE glass sculpture and $5,000 cash prize are Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design, New York, for Residential Interiors; Envision Design, Washington, DC, for Contract Interiors; Amy Wax, Montclair, NJ, for Residential Exteriors; and Allen + Philp Architects/Interiors, Scottsdale, AZ, for Contract Exteriors. These four honorees competed in their categories for the prestigious prize, topping a total of nearly 150 entries from across the country.

A HUE Special Achievement Award will be going to Eikona Studios, Cleveland, OH, for its unique dedication to the restoration and preservation of mural art and masterpieces that grace the walls and domes of American churches, cathedrals and houses of worship.

In casting their votes for Diamond Baratta, the HUE judges noted that the New York City-based interior designers are risk takers who have made color usage an unmistakable and defining signature of their work. The firm follows in the footsteps of three other distinguished color advocates who also have been cited with HUE Lifetime Achievement Awards: Steven Holl,2005; Ettore Sottsass, 2006; and, Legorreta+Legorreta, 2008.

"Benjamin Moore is proud to present HUE to another group of immensely talented and visionary architects and interior designers who have clearly demonstrated their understanding of the power, impact, emotion and vitality that color brings to our world," said Eileen McComb, director of corporate communications for Benjamin Moore. "We applaud these design professionals and their exemplary achievements."

With the addition of this year's six honorees, the HUE roll call of awardees is now 24.

Lifetime Achievement Honoree - Diamond Baratta Design

Few push the envelope on using color as courageously, imaginatively and effectively as William Diamond and Anthony Baratta of Diamond Baratta Design. For nearly 30 years, theirs is a collaboration that has created stylish, engaging and highly livable spaces where clients find the calm, comfort, cheer and/or respite they are seeking.

Pick up just about any major shelter magazine and a Diamond Baratta project undoubtedly occupies its pages, frequently scoring coveted cover spots. Their work is non-conformist and diverse in style but informed by their deep knowledge of and appreciation for past eras of architecture, design, fashion and culture. They are brilliant at reinterpreting historical and classical looks, and very often it is via use of color - an unexpected contrast or untried pairing of hues - that they succeed in creating the spin. In the latest coffee table book that is a monograph of recent work, All American, The Exuberant Style of William Diamond and Anthony Baratta (Pointed Leaf Press, 2009), they are rightfully described as "original, audacious and sassy" and their work reflects this, as well.

Special Achievement Honoree - Eikona Studios Benjamin Moore was compelled to create a special HUE Award category this year - Restoration/Preservation - to recognize the unique and remarkable talents of Eikona Studios. Based in the Tremont section of Cleveland, a well-known hub for local artisans, Eikona's specialty is sacred art and architecture, and its HUE entry included recent examples of worn and aging interiors and murals of three local churches that were literally resuscitated and reinvigorated with paint color. Eikona's founders, Nicholas Loya and Christine Uveges, first worked together in 1981 and have since designed and completed commissions in over 200 churches, public spaces and museums across North America and Europe.

The painstaking artistry represented in Eikona's work is heavenly; and, equally awing is its mastery of creating a precise color palette that successfully brings the art back to life, but with a patina and richness that's in sync with the history of the architecture and space. Cleveland's St. John Nepomucene, which was built in 1902 by parishioners of Bohemian descent, was a project the team completed in 2005 and now is a renewed gem where color is instrumental in "portraying a statement of sacredness...and a new environment of spirituality." Eikona used paint colors to create trompe l'oeil stonework walls and columns, distinctive custom borders and ceiling murals, so the palette was a range of brights, darks and lights primarily in warm tones, along with overhead celestial blues.

"Benjamin Moore has a longstanding commitment to historic preservation," said McComb. "So, we are particularly pleased to celebrate the work that Eikona Studios is doing, and bring to light the contribution it is making to ensure that this vital thread of local community life is strengthened and secured."

The Competition Honorees

Ghislaine Viñas admits that, even as a child, she'd feel a rush of excitement when opening a box of crayons and beholding the choice of colors. That extreme passion for color has been unwavering and is a driving force that permeates her work. Born in the Netherlands and raised in South Africa, Viñas is based in New York City and began her practice in 1999 after receiving her degree in interior design from Philadelphia University. Her work encompasses both residential and commercial and dots the country coast-to-coast.

Viñas has an unerring eye for combining colors that create a definitive personality and mood. For a family's Montauk beach house where the assignment was to provide an antidote to stress-filled Manhattan work life, she applied a palette suggestive of sand and sea to the common living areas, but then imbued individual bedrooms with playfully bold and brilliant tones. In a bachelor pad loft, color was used to help establish a hip, sophisticated ambiance and at the same time defines the boundaries of private areas within the open plan.

Her work is a favorite of top editors and has been published in many leading design and lifestyle publications, including Interior Design, Departures and Frame, among others.

Architect Ken Wilson founded Envision Design in 1999, and it has since grown to become a thriving, diversified and respected practice comprised of 18 architectural professionals with projects throughout North America. The firm's HUEY win is represented by several impressive commercial undertakings where color was effectively used to convey brand identity and to underscore corporate image.

The Recording Industry Association of America, for instance, is the D.C.-based trade group whose mission is to support and promote its members' creative vitality. Vibrant shades of orange, blue, purple and magenta were purposefully employed to communicate the organization's high-octane personality. Moreover, the client required that the space be able to transform from "office-by-day" to "performance venue-by-night," and Wilson credits the paint color choices together with colorful LED lighting in accomplishing this charge. Striking a completely different corporate tone for an Aveda Institute location, also in D.C., Envision relied on a color scheme of oranges, greens and browns that supported the beauty brand's connection to nature while creating a warm, relaxing and soothing atmosphere. Color was the design tool that also helped Envision balance the high-tech environment of National Datacast's headquarters with more humanized qualities. An infusion of blues in work areas yielded a friendlier ambiance. One of Envision's proudest design achievements - and a sustainability benchmark - is the U.S. Green Building Council Headquarters. This 75,000-sq. ft. facility received Platinum LEED-CI certification, earning 94 points, well beyond the 80 required for that level. Five colors of Benjamin Moore's Natura zero-VOC paint were used throughout the space, a palette inspired by USGBC's own graphics. The color was integral in adding visual interest to the predominantly all-white open office landscape, and, of course, the VOC-free formulation of the paint contributed to the sustainability goals.

Amy Wax is the first professional color consultant to snag a HUE Award. A student of color theory with a B.F.A. from Syracuse University, she combined her educational background and family ties in real estate to create her own business, Your Color Source Studios, Inc., which offers color advice to homeowners and building and design professionals.

Among the residential exteriors that helped earn Wax her HUEY is a Victorian style house in her hometown of Montclair, NJ. It is richly colored in a base historic hue, with trims treated sparingly to more whimsical colors that draw the eye to the finessed details characteristic of the architectural genre. In the same community, she transformed a glaring white stucco three-story by using a mossy green base with terra cotta and brown trims. The resulting makeover is a charmer that is suggestive of an Arts and Crafts Movement style design.

Allen+Philp Architects/Interiors, was established in 1976 by founding partners Kenneth Allen and Mark Philp. The practice focuses primarily on hospitality and urban mixed-use developments where color and its use are an integral part of the language, process and personality of every project.

Hotel Valley Ho, an Allen+Philps restoration project, dazzles once again in the Scottsdale sun with vivid planes of contrasting bright colors a distinguishing trait. The mid-century architecture of the resort-it was originally designed by local architect Edward I. Varney and opened in 1956-has an appropriately hip southwestern vibe. Its new guestroom tower is a beacon of color, with vertical walls of checkered tile patterns in alternating shades of oranges, blues, and greens. A+P also dipped into a colorful palette of red plus warm earthy tones for the design of Trader Vic's, a new freestanding restaurant addition to the Valley Ho property. Color was the primary tool, as well, for welcoming guests at the street corner entry. Bright red steel beams extend from the exterior terrace bar into the interior bar, enlivening both spaces. Color also plays a significant role in an overseas project by the firm. The Solobre Golf Resort is on a mountain top on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, and the chosen palette takes its cues from the surrounding vistas of desert and mountainside, with sandstone, red clay, rust and gray tones mingling with deep nocturnal blues and watery blue-greens.

About The 2010 HUE Judges:

As it has in the past, Benjamin Moore enlisted a panel of renowned and respected leaders in the realm of design and fashion to serve as HUE judges. This year's jury included Thomas R. Krizmanic, AIA, LEED AP, a principal of STUDIOS Architecture, which was a 2008 HUE honoree; Reed Kroloff, director, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum; Mayer Rus, design and culture editor of The Los Angeles Times Magazine; Essie Weingarten, founder and president of Essie Cosmetics, Ltd.; and, Tim Wisgerhof, former creative director, Saks Fifth Avenue and now head of his own firm, TwoSeven, Inc.

About Benjamin Moore:

Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883. One of the country's leading manufacturers of premium quality residential, commercial and industrial maintenance coatings, its products are distributed via a network of independent paint and decorating retailers throughout North America. Benjamin Moore has been a longstanding steward of the environment with a relentless commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices plus the ongoing development of the most eco-responsible formulations possible. Its portfolio of Green Promise® products continues to grow and includes Aura, an über-performance low-VOC paint; Natura, the true zero-VOC interior paint, remaining zero in any color, any sheen; and EcoSpec zero-VOC paint for commercial interiors. Benjamin Moore ranks as one of the top 35 GREEN Companies in the U.S., according to GreenBiz.com from an Eco-Insights survey conducted by Earthsense with more than 30,000 respondents.

Source: Benjamin Moore

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