Since 1982, The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC), has celebrated outstanding architecture through the AIACC Design Awards program. Beginning in 2007, the AIACC began including urban design projects in the Awards program. The purpose of the AIACC Awards for Urban Design is to recognize distinguished achievements that involve the expanding role of the architect in urban design, city planning, and community development. The awards seek to identify projects and programs that involve public participation and contribute to the quality of the urban environment. These include urban design projects, planning programs, civic improvements, environmental programs, and redevelopment projects.
This year, the AIACC proudly recognizes and celebrates excellence in urban design, announcing the recipients of the annual Urban Design Awards. The AIACC’s esteemed Urban Design Awards jury comprised Brian Fletcher, ASLA; Frank L. Fuller, FAIA; Cathy Merrill, ASLA; Maria Ogrydziak, AIA; Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP; and Andrew Spurlock, FASLA.
Three Merit Awards were given for Urban Design. The recipients, followed by the Awards jury’s comments on their entries, are:
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Shanghai, China)
Architect/Firm: Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
Description: Undertaken as a part of a regional master plan developed by the City of Shanghai, the previously cleared and partially developed site includes primary roads, underground utilities, a network of waterways and a number of related planned and constructed research facilities. The context of existing and planned research and urban features set the stage for the visioning of a new academic environment that is both connected to its surrounding context and developed to have its own sense of identity and place.
Jury comments: “This intriguing campus design brings its student population together and shows strong promise of sustainability. It creatively integrates agriculture while maintaining a connection to city life.”
Butte Legacy Project & Montana Science & Natural Resources Education Center (Butte, Montana)
Architect/Firm: Place Architecture
Description: This urban design project meets the desire to create an education center, research facility, and interpretive area for a critical examination of damaged natural resources focused on developing innovative technologies that will lead the way for a global restoration economy. The $200 million legacy project is made up of approximately 100,000 square feet forming an iconic “living building” project.
Architect/Firm: Interstice Architects
Description: Located along the San Francisco Bay, Horseshoe Cove is the historical site for a new highly visible public infrastructure project that proposes repair of the San Francisco Bay ecosystem through specific nature species farming and broad-based community involvement.
Jury comments: “This project creates green infrastructure in an ecological infill site, educating visitors and bringing visibility to the area. Thoughtfully researched, it addresses the whole ecosystem and creates an excellent prototype that could be repeated elsewhere.”
The AIACC congratulates the Urban Design Award winners on their impressive accomplishments.