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Design Firm Receives Award For Historical Preservation Project At Duke Farms

Philadelphia, Pa.-Based Firm Leads New Environmental Mission, Earning LEED Certification for Historic Farm’s Orientation Center and Orchid Range.

Press release submitted by Antenna Group. 

HILLSBOROUGH – The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has awarded Philadelphia, Pa.-based design firm VITETTA Architects and Engineers with an Honor Award in the Historical Preservation category for its design and adaptive reuse of the Duke Farms, a 120-year old estate and public park in Hillsborough, N.J.

“VITETTA’s work on Duke Farms typifies AIA’s commitment to the preservation of valuable historic structures, sites and places,” said Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “The firm has infused the project with 21st century sustainable infrastructure while retaining its rich 120-year history and character.”

VITETTA’s undertaking at Duke Farms consisted of two LEED-certified rehabilitation projects: the adaptive reuse of a Farm Barn to become the site’s main orientation center, and the renovation of a Lord and Burnham conservatory structure that now serves as a learning place with brand new orchid display gardens. As part of the Duke Farms’ new environmental mission, the project includes a 640-killowatt ground-mounted solar array of 3,120 panels designed to provide 100 percent of the electrical power for the orientation center, along with 56 geothermal wells to aid in heating and cooling for surrounding offices, and an onsite constructed wetlands wastewater treatment plant.

 Developed by James Buchanan Duke in 1893, Duke Farms is home to several public exhibits, including indoor and outdoor display gardens with a variety of noteworthy trees, exotic plants, and educational displays. Since reopening in 2012, more than 500,000 guests have visited the Farms.

“We're excited to receive this prestigious award from the New Jersey chapter of the AIA,” said Nan Gutterman, project manager at VITETTA. “ It is believed that this is the first historic glass structure in the United States to receive LEED Platinum certification, which is an especially significant achievement.”

“I want to specifically thank Michael Holleman, AIA, who originally designed the project, but passed away before its completion. It was his vision and collaboration with Duke Farms that made the project a success.”

The AIA-NJ Annual Design Awards program recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: Open (meant for any building type), Residential, Historic Preservation and Interior Architecture. Projects are further designated as either Built or Un-built. To be eligible, projects must be either located in New Jersey or designed by an AIA-NJ architect. Submitted projects are evaluated during the organization’s annual Design Conference by a group of distinguished architects from throughout the country.

About AIA and AIA New Jersey
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and allied professionals. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architecture profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has 2,000 members in six local sections. For more information, please visit www.aia-nj.org.

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