Behind the Scenes: Meet the 2023 Metamorphosis Awards Judges

retrofit’s fifth-annual Metamorphosis Awards program tapped four architects and a preservation expert as judges: Joel Anderson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, design director, associate principal, Cushing Terrell; Elicia Feasel, preservation project manager, H.G. Christman Construction; James Graham, AIA, Graham Baba Architects; Dana L. Kelly, partner, principal, Bruner/Cott Architects; and Anthony Vivirito, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, associate, The Architectural Team Inc. Each judge was gracious with his or her time and knowledge.

The jury was asked to evaluate each project on the success with which it met its own requirements. They were told to weigh projects individually— not in comparison to others—and choose as many projects as they felt deserving of winning. [Editor’s Note: The judges recused themselves from judging projects in which they and/or their firms were involved.]

Through a judging platform, jurors were able to review entries and score them on their own time. John Riester, retrofit’s publisher, and Christina Koch, retrofit’s editorial director and associate publisher, conducted a Zoom meeting with the judges in August to discuss highest-ranking projects, determine placements of winners and speculate about cover possibilities. Winners were notified in late August.

During the Zoom meeting, the judges underscored the importance of awards programs, like the Metamorphosis Awards. “These awards are a powerful tool. They help get recognition and exposure and make these projects examples for others to emulate,” said James Graham, AIA, Graham Baba Architects.

Dana L. Kelly, partner, principal, Bruner/Cott Architects, echoed Graham’s sentiment: “These awards showcase what is desperately needed all throughout the country, which is taking these underutilized historic buildings and giving them a second chance in their communities.”

Consider showcasing your good work in the 2024 Metamorphosis Awards program, which will open in January 2024.

Joel Anderson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

As a design architect at Cushing Terrell, Joel Anderson puts the end-product at the forefront of his work. Through research, programming, concept development, space planning, building massing, systems integration and material studies, he leads teams to uncover unique design opportunities that bring a distinct character to each project. Drawing inspiration from the environment around him, Anderson’s projects often take a contextual approach, showcasing contemporary construction details and forms that use a regional palette of materials. Cushing Terrell won Metamorphosis Awards in 2022: 1st Place in the Addition category for the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, Mont., and an Honorable Mention in the Mixed Use category for Seattle’s Uwajimaya Asian Market.

Elicia Feasel

Elicia Feasel is dedicated to the importance of historic preservation and sustainability, working as a preservation project manager for H.G. Christman Construction in South Bend, Ind. She is a founding board member of South Bend TradeWorks, a non-profit that formed to help develop tradespeople who work specifically on older building stock and to divert irreplaceable building materials from the landfill. Feasel was selected for the 2022 Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship, which culminated in the inaugural TradeWorks Field School last summer that connected experienced tradespeople with young adults considering career direction. At home, Feasel is the grounds superintendent for her neighborhood, a historic lake retreat founded by settlers in the 1890s, now a conservation easement.

James Graham, AIA

James Graham has been working in architecture for more than 25 years and brings a keen sensitivity and relentless creativity to his projects. Graham excels at leading large collaborative teams through complex projects, and his boundless and contagious enthusiasm for each project results in a fun and exciting design process for the entire team. He seeks out-of-the-box solutions and has an exceptional ability to create social opportunities for a variety of users within an environment. He is committed to the craft of building and is active in the design, construction and craft communities. Graham Baba won in the Transformation/Adaptive Reuse category of retrofit’s inaugural Metamorphosis Awards for Block 41, Seattle.

Dana L. Kelly

Dana L. Kelly is a partner and principal, leading Bruner/Cott Architects’ strategic planning, business development, marketing, public relations and communications teams. Navigating shifts in ever-evolving markets, she identifies new opportunities that generate long-term client value and foster ongoing alliances. Kelly is an active member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Society for College and University Planning, Urban Land Institute, CoreNet New England, Boston Preservation Alliance and Professional Women in Construction. Bruner/Cott Architects earned Metamorphosis Awards in 2022: 1st Place in the Adaptive Reuse category for The Speedway, Boston, and Multifamily 2nd Place for Frost Terrace, Cambridge, Mass. Bruner/Cott Architects makes another appearance this year as the 1st Place winner in Multifamily for Rivermark, Cambridge.

Anthony Vivirito, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Anthony Vivirito is an associate with The Architectural Team (TAT) Inc. He has more than 20 years of design and project-management expertise with a specific focus on multifamily; senior living communities; and state-of-the-art continuum care facilities for independent, assisted and memory care residents. His decisive and thoughtful management style helps achieve desired results for clients, safeguarding design quality and regulatory requirements, as well as adeptly directing schedules and budgets. TAT earned a Metamorphosis Award in 2022: 1st Place in the Multifamily category for Courthouse Lofts and was recognized again this year with a 1st Place award in the Addition category for 100 Shawmut, Boston.

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