Street level daytime exterior of the entryway of a historical brick building. The building features a white trim entryway with "New Hampshire National Bank" lettering above the doorway.

We received the 2022 Rick and Duffy Monahon Award for Design Excellence in Architectural Restoration and Preservation from AIANH for our work on 3 Pleasant Street, a historic mixed-use property in downtown Portsmouth, NH. 3 Pleasant Street was one of nine projects honored by AIANH’s Design Awards program this year; award-winning projects were selected in part using the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, which considers design excellence as well functionality, sustainability, building performance, creativity and client goals.

In 3 Pleasant Street, “new and old exist in a sympathetic way,” the panel of five jurors noted in their 2022 award statement. “The new rooftop addition was conceived in a wonderful way by being set back from historic building facades and being crafted in a contrasting but complimentary form. This does what the architects set out to do: create a dynamic sense of place in downtown Portsmouth.”

Fronting Market Square, 3 Pleasant Street comprises the first phase of Brick Market, a project creating a dynamic sense of place in downtown Portsmouth. Dating back to 1794, the 23,992-square-foot red brick building—originally 16,918 sf with an added 7074 sf of new construction—has been a public market, a town hall, Portsmouth’s city hall and a bank. The high-ceilinged, street-level space houses Toscana Italian Chophouse and Wine Bar; architecturally preserved features include large arch-top windows throughout the first level and a bank vault transformed into a wine cellar. Upper floors are now modern office spaces, some with wood-wrapped beams and high ceilings. The copper-topped ellipse accesses roof-top decks featuring panoramic views of North Church and Market Square. Unobtrusive photovoltaic solar panels on the roof offset the building’s energy use and blend in with surrounding architecture. Landscaped sidewalks—granite pavers accented by concrete “waves”— run along both sides of the building, animating its outdoor spaces.

The Rick & Duffy Monahon Award for Design Excellence in Architectural Restoration and Preservation promotes outstanding and exemplary historic preservation projects as defined by their sensitivity to a historic structure and its surrounding environment; the quality of architecture, workmanship and materials; the degree of challenge; and community support for the project.

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