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Rocky Hill Architect earns AIA Merit Award

Susan Pikaart Bristol of Rocky Hill was recently awarded the AIA NJ Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture for her project, Garden State Studios.

“The Garden State Studios that we created for the NJIT School of Architecture tests resiliency and sustainability principles with real environmental design challenges” presented in New Jersey neighborhoods, towns, and cities, according to Bristol’s website at

Architect Susan Pikaart Bristol of Rocky Hill


The studios address today’s architectural challenges in the environment, specifically: flooding, post-industrial sites, global warming, historic preservation, Super Fund site re-purposing, suburban sprawl, and changing economies.

The project seeks to fulfill a vision to train NJ’s future architects as leaders in designing sustainable and resilient communities. The design solutions are examples of best practices including the reduction of architectural footprints, sustainable design, mixed use redevelopment, flood plain restoration, adaptive reuse, urban agriculture, resiliency, and green infrastructure.

Bristol is an adjunct instructor at NJIT’s Hillier College of Architecture and Design, named after Princeton’s J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier.

Above: A landscape space and structure for outdoor education designed by Susan Bristol of Rocky Hill (see Despite its simple and artful timber frame design, it performs in a number of ways. The project generates power by PV solar panels, collects rainwater, has a pervious floor, provides shade, accommodates a simple outdoor kitchen, and creates a versatile gathering place. It can be used by multiple ages, in various disciplines and for a variety of purposes from social events to summer camps. ■

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