Tag: design awards

Exceptional Residential: AIA East Bay

in: ARCCA Archives / 0 Comments

[Originally published 1st quarter 2006 in arcCA 06.1, “Imbedded Knowledge”]


  • Regan Bice Architects, Crumpacker Residence, San Francisco. Merit Award. Photo by Joshua McHugh.

In Autumn 2004, The American Institute of Architects, East Bay launched Exceptional Residential: Bay Area Regional Design Awards (ExRes), a Bay Area design awards program offered every other year. What sets ExRes apart from other design award programs is that it is open to residential projects only, and those projects can be submitted by anyone: architects, design professionals, self-designing home owners, and so forth. ExRes requires only that the projects be located within the Bay Area.

Since many of the construction projects in the region are residential in nature, one would assume a large proportion of design award winning projects would also be residential. And, while we see juries awarding affordable housing and mixed-use projects, the number of single-family homes selected is always low. It’s not because of a lack of design excellence in these so-called “jewel-boxes”; it is usually because juries have a communal sense towards awarding projects that serve the greater good of our communities.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, our homes are a defining element of the fabric of our community. Recognizing this, the AIA East Bay leadership decided to highlight residential design excellence through an award program of its own. “The AIA East Bay knows it’s important to honor exceptional residential design that exemplifies what Bay Area living is about,” explains John Nelson, AIA, 2004 AIA East Bay President, “More importantly, the AIA strives to inform the public of the impact good design has on our lives. ExRes aims to do just that by examining what we all have in common: a living space.”

Equally important, the program is open to the public. In 2004 a number of the projects entered were submitted by residential designers and homeowners, groups that do not often have the opportunity to enter AIA awards programs. “While many awards programs tend to be exclusive, ExRes honors first-class residential design—no matter who was responsible for the vision. Most times, an architect is behind design excellence, but when the person is outside of the profession, we need to applaud their success,” asserts Nelson.

The ExRes 2004 jury (David Miller, FAIA; Larry Scarpa, AIA; and Lisa Findley, AIA) recognized projects ranging from a unique Airstream trailer to 60,000 square feet of affordable housing infill. Speaking on behalf of the jury, David Miller, FAIA, said, “Each of the twelve residences selected for an award uses a different approach to create a sense of home. Whether the project is affordable housing, single-family renovation, or mixed use, they each demonstrate an attitude toward issues and ideas. Focusing on good design, they offer experimental and clear solutions to critical issues.”

The AIA East Bay has grown more than 60 percent in the past two years, largely due to the fact that its membership highly values the role of the residential architect and sole proprietor in the profession. Exceptional Residential: Bay Area Regional Design Awards is one of the many programs this chapter uses in educating the public on the importance of design excellence in building and renovating homes.



The Amazing arcCA Design Award Guide!

in: ARCCA Archives / 0 Comments

[Originally published 3rd Quarter 2007, in arcCA 07.3, “Comparing Awards.”]

For the benefit of the ambitious or the merely curious, arcCA presents this handy guide to awards programs. Our primary source has been James P. Cramer and Jennifer Evans Yankopolus’s The Almanac of Architecture and Design 2007 (Atlanta: Greenway Communications, 2007), which provides a robust record of happenings in the profession. We have supplemented the awards cataloged there with others of which we have become aware by opening our emails and snail mail and generally being in the know, as it were; and we’ve visited the websites for each award to find out more. The list is divided into two broad categories: national and international awards, and state and regional awards. We have limited ourselves to awards programs that accept building-scale projects. Accordingly, we list some urban design awards but no planning awards, which seem always to deal in larger scales of development.

Within the national and international awards, we categorize awards programs by building type and other things, but of course categories often overlap. The largest portion of the list concerns awards for individual projects, and these are annotated with the award website and brief description (where readily available). Quotation marks indicate that we found the text on the program’s website, but the reader should be aware that we may have changed the order of sentences or condensed or omitted phrases without noting it.

At the end of the national and international section, we list awards that are for bodies of work—the AIA Gold Medal is an example. For these, we give the name only, supplemented where necessary by an explanatory phrase.

We have illustrated a few of the awards, concentrating on California winners, but avoiding projects that have recently appeared in the pages of arcCA. The selections are by no means intended as a second level of judgment; they are arbitrary and editorially convenient, merely. Of course, criteria and availability may change, and we make no claim to completeness.

[Editor’s note: Awards and links given here were current at the time of print publication.]


National and International Awards

Design Awards, General

AIA Honor Awards (Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urban and Regional Design)
“The Institute Honor Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity to elevate the general quality of architecture practice, establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architecture practice.”

Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) (Environments category)
“The IDEAS (International Design Excellence Awards) program is the premier international competition honoring design excellence in products, ecodesign, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Entries are invited from designers, students and companies worldwide. Winning entries . . . receive press coverage in BusinessWeek magazine and businessweek.com as well as in hundreds of newspapers and networks, including CNN, NBC, PBS, CNBC, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the general design press.

P/A Awards
“Every year, five respected members of the design community sit down in a room for two days to determine the current meaning of the words ‘progressive architecture’ and select projects that fit their definition.”


Design Awards, Building Type


Exhibition of School Architecture Awards (AASA)
“The Shirley Cooper Award is presented to the project that best meets the educational needs of its students. The Walter Taylor Award is presented to the project that best meets a difficult design challenge. The jury, at its discretion, will award citations to other projects of distinction. Recipients of these awards are recognized annually at the AASA National Conference on Education.”

Learning by Design Awards
“Learning by Design showcases outstanding educational facilities, from innovative and sustainable school solutions to efficient college dorm rooms that are more like home, representing the best collaborations between architects and education leaders.”

SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture Awards
“This juried competition is open to all professional service providers and institutions that have prepared designs for two year and four year colleges, universities, academic medical and research centers, public or private institutions of any size in any country.”


Federal Buildings

GSA Design Awards
“The GSA Design Awards Program is held every two years to honor “the best of the best” of the federal projects designed and constructed by GSA. The program has a broad number of categories that encompass virtually every way design professionals contribute to the quality of the federal workplace and leave an enduring imprint on America’s built environment. The entries are juried and selected by professional private sector peers.” (biennial)



Healthcare Environment Award
Sponsored by Contract magazine, in association with The Center for Health Design and Vendome Group LLC, to recognize innovative, evidence-based design that contributes to the quality of healthcare. Categories: Acute Care, Ambulatory Care, Long-Term Care, and Health and Fitness facilities that show a demonstrated partnership between clients and design professionals and seek to improve the quality of healthcare. First-place winners will be awarded up to two complimentary registrations for the annual HEALTHCARE DESIGN conference in the fall. Winners and Honorable Mentions receive a specially designed award at the conference and Winners are published in Contract magazine.”

Modern Healthcare/AIA Design Awards
“The Design Awards program recognizes excellence in the design and planning of new and remodeled healthcare facilities. The program is open to all registered architects and accepts submissions of all types/sizes of patient care-related facilities.”



Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design
“The Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design is the premier interior design competition for the hospitality industry. It is held in conjunction with the International Hotel/Motel &Restaurant Show® (IH/M&RS). The 2007 Awards are sponsored by Interior Design magazine and HOTELS magazine and have a total of eight categories, which will give worldwide properties and design firms opportunities to showcase their skills and design expertise.”

Hospitality Design Awards
James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Award http://jamesbeard.org/awards Criteria: “Beautiful functional design that seamlessly melds the setting and theme of the restaurant environment.” Eligibility: “Any restaurant or design project that was completed or redone in North America within the last three years (2004–2006 for the 2007 awards).”



AIA Housing Awards (Housing PIA of AIA)
“The AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community established this awards program to emphasize the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource. The categories are (1) One and Two Family Custom Residences, (2) One and Two Family Production Homes, (3) Multifamily Housing, and (4) Special Housing.”

AIA/HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award
“The Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community of the AIA, in conjunction with HUD, recognizes excellence in affordable housing architecture, neighborhood design, participatory design, and accessibility. Good design is a cornerstone of thriving homes and communities of all incomes and backgrounds. These awards demonstrate that design matters, and provide examples of important benchmarks in the housing industry. The categories of the program include, (1) Excellence in Affordable Housing Design, (2) Creating Community Connection Award, (3) Community-Informed Design Award, (4) Housing Accessibility – Alan J. Rothman Award.”

Best of 50+ Housing Awards
“The NAHB 50+ Housing Council, which has promoted excellence in the 50+ housing industry for the past 15 years, presents gold and silver awards in 58 categories to current and on-the-boards projects from across the country. Design categories cover a range of product types such as active adult, aging in place, assisted living, continued-care retirement community, for-sale condominiums, rental apartments, and renovated 50+ housing. Winners are also honored for excellence in marketing strategies focused on the mature market. Special Judges’ Awards for Innovation are also presented to projects that demonstrate extraordinary creativity and insight.”

John M. Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing
“The John M. Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing was established in 2004 by the principals of the Boston architecture firm of Goody Clancy to recognize and honor the decades of creative commitment John Clancy FAIA brought to the planning, design and construction of multifamily housing for the diverse populations of our nation at all income levels.”

residential architect Design Awards
“Architects and designers may submit residential projects in the following categories: Custom Home, 3,500 square feet or less; Custom Home, more than 3,500 square feet; Renovation (residential remodeling and additions); Multifamily Housing; Single-Family Production Housing, detached; Single-Family Production Housing, attached; Adaptive Re-use (end use must include residential); Campus Housing; Architectural Interiors (residential); Affordable Housing. Other building industry professionals may submit projects on behalf of an architect or designer.”

World Architecture News (WAN) House of the Year Award



Library Buildings Awards
“To encourage excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries, the AIA and the American Library Association/Library Administration and Management Association created this award to distinguish accomplishments in library architecture.” (biennial)

Library Interior Design Award
“The biennial awards honor excellence in library interior design, incorporating aesthetics, design creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives. Ten winners, two projects of merit, and one honorable mention were selected from more than 100 projects submitted from throughout North America.” (biennial)


Religious Buildings

Religious Art & Architecture Design Awards
“The Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards program is co-sponsored by Faith & Form Magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects. The Awards program was founded in 1978 with the goal of honoring the best in architecture, liturgical design, and art for religious spaces. The program offers three primary categories for awards: Religious Architecture, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, and Religious Arts.”


Retail Design

SADI Awards
“The SADI Awards is a self-nominating awards program that recognizes outstanding architectural achievement in retail environments, honoring retail designs that successfully balance form and function to create imaginative environments for consumers.” Sponsored by Retail Traffic magazine and the AIA.



Emporis Skyscraper Award
“The Emporis Skyscraper Award selects the best new high-rise buildings of the world which were completed in the recent year. The award is being presented for the design of the buildings and their functionality.”

International Highrise Award
“The competition is organized by the City of Frankfurt / Main. The International High-rise Award is donated by DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, the central fund arm of the Sparkassen Financial Group, for a building that stands out for its particular aesthetic appeal, its pioneering design, urban integration and sustainability as well as innovative technology and economic feasibility.”


Theater Design

USITT Architecture Awards
“Sponsored by the USITT Architecture Commission, the Architecture Awards Program honors excellence in the design of theatre projects. They were created in 1994 to recognize architects for superior design work, to increase the interest of architects in USITT, to promote USITT to a larger audience, and to provide resource material for USITT members on contemporary theatre.”


Design Awards, Material or System

Lighting Design Awards
“The IALD encourages submissions of all types and sizes. There is no minimum or maximum number of awards granted. Awards of Excellence and Merit will be based on points earned for both aesthetic and technical design achievement. Recognition in the form of a Special Citation may be given for a particularly innovative aspect of a project’s lighting design. The grand prize, IALD’s Radiance Award, will be presented to the project that is judged among all submittals to be the finest example of lighting design excellence.”

R+D Award
www.architectmagazine.com – select “R+D Award”
“New technologies are revolutionizing the process and product of architecture. To celebrate advances in building technology, ARCHITECT and Hanley Wood proudly announce the R+D Awards. The awards honor innovative materials and systems at every scale—from HVAC and structural systems to curtain-wall and ceiling- panel assemblies to discrete building materials such as wood composites and textiles. The R+D Awards are purposefully open to building technologies of all types, in order to encourage the broadest possible dialogue among architects, engineers, manufacturers, researchers, students, and designers of all disciplines.”

Tucker Design Awards
“Sponsored by the Building Stone Institute and recognized as one of the most prestigious architectural design awards in the country, the Tucker Design Awards honor those who have achieved excellence in the incorporation and use of natural stone.”

Wood Design Awards
“The Wood Design Awards program is the only North American program that aims to foster growth in the quality of architectural practices by recognizing achievements in wood architecture.” Presented by the Canadian Wood Council.


Design Awards, Sustainability

AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
Judged on a set of ten metrics: Intent & Innovation, Community, Site, Bioclimatic Design, Light & Air, Water, Energy, Materials, Long Life, and Feedback.

BSA Sustainable Design Awards
“Any built project of any type anywhere in the world by any design professional anywhere in the world is eligible.”

ED+C Excellence in Design Awards
Environmental Design + Construction magazine’s . . . Excellence in Design Awards recognize commercial spaces and offices, institutional facilities, government buildings, multi-use residential buildings and single-family residential homes that clearly demonstrate a commitment to green building and sustainable design.”

Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction
“The Holcim Awards (main) competition is open to participants of every age for projects at an advanced stage of design with a high probability of execution. The competition celebrates innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects from around the globe and provides prize money of USD two million.”

IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environments Awards
“The Smart Environments Awards recognize distinction in interiors that integrate design excellence, human well-being, and sustainability.”

National Green Building Awards
“NAHB honors individuals, companies and organizations that are ‘bringing green to the mainstream,’ by transforming green design and construction practices. Award categories include: Green Building Program of the Year; Advocate of the Year; Outstanding Green Marketing Program; Green Project of the Year – Single Family; Green Project of the Year – Multifamily; Green Project of the Year – Development; Green Project of the Year – Remodeling.”

Phoenix Awards
“Created in 1997, this prestigious award honors individuals and groups working to solve critical environmental challenges of transforming blighted and contaminated areas into productive new uses. The awards are open to any individual, group, company, organization, government body or agency. Criteria for The Phoenix Awards focus on the magnitude of the project, innovative techniques, solutions to regulatory issues, and impact upon the community.”

SBIC Exemplary Sustainable Buildings Award
“The Exemplary Sustainable Building Awards recognize commercial, residential, and government buildings that demonstrate the successful application of the whole building approach; it is open to all building professionals.”

Show You’re Green
“The AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community select “Show You’re Green” projects as examples of outstanding housing that is both affordable and green. The selected projects demonstrate how regional, geographic, climatic, and cultural influences generate different responses to unique needs.”

Sustainable Design Leadership Awards


Design Awards, Historic Preservation

National Preservation Awards
“Each year the National Trust celebrates the best of preservation by presenting National Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in historic preservation.”

NTHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
“The HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation recognizes organizations and agencies for their success in advancing the goals of historic preservation while providing affordable housing and/or expanded economic opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate- income families and individuals.”


Design Awards, Interiors

ASID Patron’s Prize
“The Patron’s Prize honors those who support and/or promote quality interior design, and is given on an annual basis as merited. Eligible parties include individual clients (residential and commercial), organizations, government bodies, foundations, media and museums that have significantly supported and/or promoted quality interior design.”

Annual Interiors Awards (Contract magazine)

Design for Asia Awards
“The DFA Award is presented to companies from around the world that have generated business success through great design that impacts Asia. The Award is dedicated to promote design excellence. It also seeks to raise awareness amongst businesses and the public alike, that good design is an essential component in business success and the enjoyment of life.”

Interior Design Competition
“To recognize and reward outstanding interior design, and to encourage new ideas and techniques in the design and furnishing of interior spaces. Honoring Outstanding Design in the Following Categories: Commercial, Government, Health & Institutional, Hospitality, Residential, Retail.”


Design Awards, Other Special Criteria

Aga Khan Award for Architecture (design for the Muslim world)
“The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established in 1977 by His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture as expressed through architecture. Its method is to seek out and recognise examples of architectural excellence, encompassing concerns as varied as contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, restoration, reuse, and area conservation, as well as landscaping and environmental issues. Through its efforts, the Award seeks to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.” (triennial)

“The BIM Awards program accepts submissions from practitioners globally based on Building Information Modeling using advanced methodologies or processes. The program will judge submissions according to these general criteria: quantified benefits in cost, schedule, or quality; interoperability between software applications; effective team collaboration; “moving the ball forward” in terms of process change; cultural change; “return on value” (value achieved for the project divided by value expended in the effort).”

AR Awards for Emerging Architecture (architects and designers under 45)
“Conceived in 1999 by the Architectural Review, the Awards are intended to bring international recognition to a talented new generation of architects and designers up to the age of 45. The awards have attracted entries from more than 80 countries and from every inhabited continent. The awards are supported by Buro Happold and InterfaceFLOR.”

AGC Aon Build America Awards (awarded to the contractor)
“The competition is open to all AGC general contractor and specialty contractor members working as prime contractors. Awards will be considered for new construction and renovation work.”

Business Week/Architectural Record Awards (collaboration and the achievement of business goals through architecture)
“Organizations use architecture and design to market their products and services, illustrate their commitment to sustainability and/or a culture of design, and attract qualified personnel, giving them a healthy and attractive environment to work in. Good design can help a company do its job better and can help it redefine itself. This program honors the architects and clients who best utilize design to achieve such strategic objectives. Recipients will be featured in Architectural Record and BusinessWeek magazines, read by over 5 million business and design professionals.”

Charter Awards (New Urbanism)
“The Charter Awards are one of the most respected urban design awards programs internationally. The awards seek to recognize exemplary efforts to plan and build according to the Charter of the New Urbanism.”

Cityscape Architectural Review Awards (design for the emerging world)
“Cityscape and the Architectural Review have teamed up to organise the most prestigious architectural awards platform for the emerging world. The Awards recognise and reward excellence in Architecture and Design from the emerging regions of the Gulf States, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America and South and East Asia (excluding Japan, New Zealand & Australia) and Latin America.”

Dedalo Minosse International Prize for Commissioning a Building (client)
“The Dedalo Minosse is a biennal prize that celebrates the value of the project and highlights the importance of commissioning, which is often neglected in the discussion on architecture, forgetting that a good quality building can be realized only if there is a good fusion between the architect and the client of the work. Promoted by ALA–Assoarchitetti together with the international architecture and design magazine l’ARCA.

EDRA/Places Awards (place design and planning)
“EDRA/Places awards recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design, and reflect the related missions of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) and Places. Entries represent the full breadth of environmental design and related social science activity, including architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design, interior design, public art, lighting design, graphic design, environmental psychology, sociology, anthropology and geography.”

European Prize for Urban Public Space
“The European Prize for Urban Public Space is a biennial competition that aims to highlight the importance of public space as a catalyst of urban life, and to recognise and foster investment by public administrations in its creation, conservation and improvement, while also understanding the state of public space as a clear indicator of the civic and collective health of our cities.”

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards
“The Waterfront Center Annual Awards Program is a juried competition to recognize top-quality urban waterfront projects, comprehensive waterfront plans, outstanding citizen efforts, and student waterfront work.”

National Design-Build Awards
“To be considered for a design-build award, projects must demonstrate successful application of design-build principles including collaboration in the early stages of the project and the acceptance of single-entity risk. The project must be completed both on-time and on-budget and without litigation. Winning projects are honored for their advanced and innovative application of total integrated project delivery and finding unique solutions for project challenges.”

Palladio Awards (traditional design)
“The Palladio Awards Program is designed to honor outstanding achievement in traditional design. The Program recognizes individual designers and/or design teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment through creative interpretation or adaptation of design principles developed through 2,500 years of the Western architectural tradition.

Twenty-five Year Award
“The test of time is used to single out the executed projects that receive this award. They must have been completed 25 to 35 years ago and must be projects (in the United States or abroad) designed by an architect licensed in the United States.”

Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence
“ULI Awards for Excellence define the standard for real estate development practice worldwide. In its 29th year, the awards program is the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development. The awards recognize the full development process of a project—construction, economic viability, marketing, and management— as well as design.”

Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design
“Established in 1986, the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design is the foremost award recognizing achievement in this field. The Prize is awarded every two years [by the Harvard Graduate School of Design] to recognize excellence in urban design with an emphasis on projects that contribute to the public realm of a city and improve the quality of urban life.”


Design Awards, Body of Work

American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award for Architecture
American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Architecture
American Academy of Arts and Letters Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize
AIA Architecture Firm Award
AIA Gold Medal
AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture
AIA Whitney M. Young Jr. Award (professional responsibility toward current social issues)
AIA Young Architects Award
Arthur Ross Award (Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America)
Auguste Perret Prize (International Union of Architects (UIA) for work in applied technology)
Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts
ASID Designer of Distinction Award
CSI Environmental Stewardship Award
Contract magazine Designer of the Year
Crowninshield Award (historic preservation)
Green Building Leadership Awards
IIDA Star Award
Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award (extraordinary contributions to tall buildings and/or the urban environment)
National Design Awards (Architectural Design category)
National Medal of Arts
Places Placemark Award
Praemium Imperiale (Japan Art Association)
Pritzker Architecture Prize
RAIA Gold Medal
RAIC Gold Medal
Ralph Erskine Award (projects and initiatives that benefit the less-privileged)
RIBA Royal Gold Medal
Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture
Russel Wright Award (outstanding design for the general public)
Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize (town planning and territorial development)
Sir Robert Matthew Prize (improving the quality of human settlements)
Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award
Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal
Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture (Thomas Jefferson Foundation and University of Virginia)
UIA Gold Medal
Vincent J. Scully Prize (National Building Museum)
Wolf Prize for Architecture


State and Regional Awards

Design Awards, General

AIA California Council Design Award for Architecture
“There are several subcategories that fall under Awards for Architecture. These categories are only for internal filing purposes and an award may not be given in each sub category. They include: Commercial; Institutional or Educational; Residential; Multi or Single Family Residences; Mixed-Use; Historic Preservation; Adaptive Reuse/Renovation; Societal Advancement; and Other.”

AIA California Council Design Award for Interior Architecture
“The AIACC Honor Awards for Interior Architecture acknowledge the excellence of building interiors. The intent of this awards program is to draw attention to the broad diversity of completed interior architecture. Entries may be large or small in scope and may involve renovation, adaptive use, or new construction.”

AIA California Council Design Award for Regional and Urban Design
“The purpose of the AIACC Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design is to recognize distinguished achievements that involve the expanding role of the architect in urban design, city planning, and community development.”

AIA California Council 25-Year Award
“The test of time is used to single out the executed projects that receive this award. They must have been completed 25 to 50 years ago.” California Construction’s Best of California http://california.construction.com “California Construction presents Best Of California, an extensive, year-end profile of the most intriguing projects completed in the past year. Best of California has established itself as the premiere showcase of a wide range of outstanding projects in the state. The award event honors the entire development, consultant, design and construction team.”

Gold Nugget Awards
“The oldest and largest program of its kind, Gold Nuggets honor creative achievements in architectural design and land use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects. Entries come from 14 Western states and international entries are now accepted for all countries. Gold Nugget winners share one common denominator: excellence and innovation in addressing complex design/build issues. The competition is sponsored by PCBC and BUILDER, a national magazine of the housing industry.”


Design Awards, Sustainability

Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration Design Awards
“Resource efficiency, responsibility for the environment, human productivity, quality of life— all are essential benefits of well-designed buildings. The Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration Design Awards, cosponsored by the American Institute of Architects, California Council, annually recognizes professionals who achieve such results in their designs.”


Design Awards, Building Type

AIA/Sunset Western Home Awards (Single-Family Residences)
“The biennial Western Home Awards program, cosponsored by the AIA and Sunset since 1957, is the oldest such program in the country. It spotlights outstanding residential design in the 13 Western states and western Canada.”

C.A.S.H./AIACC Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Awards (K-12 Public Schools)
“The Design Awards recognize built and unbuilt school facility projects in California. The award criteria reflects the mission and values of C.A.S.H./AIACC.”


Design Awards, Materials and Systems

Concrete Masonry Design Awards
“The Concrete Masonry Design Awards Program recognizes and encourages outstanding architectural design that incorporates the use of concrete masonry. The program recognizes the Designers, Builders, Craftsmen, Structural Engineering Firm, Concrete Masonry Supplier, and the Owners. This annual program is sponsored by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada (CMACN) and co-sponsored by AIA California Council.”


Design Awards, Body of Work

AIA California Council Firm Award
“This award is the highest honor the AIACC bestows on an architecture firm. The award recognizes firms who have: consistently produced distinguished architecture for a period of at least 10 years; contributed to the advancement of the profession in at least 3 of the following areas: design, research, planning, technology, practice, preservation or innovation; promoted continuing collaboration amongst individuals; produced work that has transcended a (single) specific area of expertise and have made connections between areas; developed a culture which educates and mentors the next generation of architects.”

AIA California Council Maybeck Award
“Honoring an individual California architect for outstanding lifetime achievement in producing consistently distinguished design. The Maybeck Award recognizes outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over a period of at least 10 years. The award is intended to honor the individual rather than the firm. The basis for the award is the quality of the body of work, consistently designed, during one’s career.”



2014 AIACC Design Awards Program Announced

in: Awards / 0 Comments

This year marks the 32nd anniversary since the inauguration of the state-wide American Institute of Architects, California Council’s, Design Awards Program. And this year entries will be judged a bit differently.

Submittal guidelines now include metrics for resource efficiency and resilience. Each entrant is now required to submit an Energy, Water, and Resource Efficient Design Metrics form. This an important exercise in order to best prepare architects for the near future, as Sustainability will be a standard for which design award programs are measured.

What is important to remember is these new requirements do not change the integrity of the program as it still strives to recognize projects that inspire architectural design thought and exhibit formal, technological and spatial innovations.

Deadline to register is Jun. 13; to submit: Jun. 27 July 3. For more information, click here.

Since 1982, AIACC has celebrated outstanding architecture through this program, and takes great pride in recognizing excellence in design.


2013 Design Award Winners Announced

in: AIACC / 0 Comments

Award Recipient Gallery

Interior Architecture
Small Projects
Urban Design

From a cantilevered residence that plays tricks with the eye, to an inner-city charter school and over to a geology museum in China, all the recipients of this year’s awards have a unique spin on how they contribute to the environment and increase the value of design.

Since 1982, The American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) has celebrated outstanding architecture through the AIACC Design Awards program. Once again, The AIACC proudly recognizes excellence in architecture and design, announcing the recipients of this year’s Design Awards competition and celebrates the value of design.

The awards program includes architecture, urban design and sustainability and each has their own jury.

Design Awards Jury

Gabrielle Bullock, AIA – Perkins + Will
Merrill Elam, AIA – Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
Vivian Lee, AIA – Edmonds + Lee Architects
Jenna McKnight – Architizer Magazine
Ronnette Riley, FAIA – Ronnette Riley Architect

Urban Design Awards Jury

Brian Fletcher, ASLA – Callander Associates
Frank L. Fuller IV, FAIA – Field Paoli Architects
Mia Lehrer, FASLA – Mia Lehrer + Associates
Maria Ogrydziak, AIA – Maria Ogrydziak, AIA Architect
Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP – City of West Hollywood
Andrew Spurlock, FASLA – Spurlock Poirier

Sustainability Awards Jury

Stephan Castellanos, FAIA – California Commission on Disability Access
Diane McClean, AIA – Southern California Edison
David Kaneda, PE, AIA – Integrated Design Associates, Inc.
Dan Heinfeld, FAIA, LEED AP – LPA

The caliber of all work submitted was very high—even the submittals which did not make it to the final rounds received oohs and ahhs and accolades.

Following is a list of all the winners. Check back soon for a featured gallery of all winning projects.

2013 Awards for Architecture

Honor Awards
GreenDot Animo Leadership High School, Los Angeles BROOKS + SCARPA
NYC Multifamily, New York NMDA, Inc
Health Sciences Education Building, Arizona CO Architects
Buck Creek Residence, Big Sur Fougeron Architecture
Merit Awards
Center for Manufacturing Innovation Metalsa CIDeVec,
Monterrey Mexico
Broadway Housing, Los Angeles Daly Genik
UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Oncology Center,
Santa Monica
Michael W Folonis Architects
UC Davis Health System Parking Structure, Sacramento Dreyfuss & Blackford
Venture Capital Office Headquarters, Menlo Park Paul Murdoch Architects
University of California, Berkeley Biosciences Building, Berkeley SmithGroupJJR
28th Street Apartments, South Los Angeles Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.
Flip House, San Francisco Fougeron Architecture
Adobe Systems Utah Campus, Lehi, Utah WRNS Studio
Cedars Sinai Medical Center Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion, Los Angeles HOK
Wild Beast Pavilion, Valencia Hodgetts + Fung
Dapeng Geology Museum and Research Center,
Shenzhen, China
lee + mundwiler architects
Hallidie Building, San Francisco McGinnis Chen Associates, Inc.
eHouse, Tel Aviv, Israel Axelrod + Stept Architects
West Hollywood Affordable Housing, West Hollywood Patrick Tighe Architecture
Yin Yang House, Venice Brooks + Scarpa

2013 Awards for Interior Architecture

Merit Awards
Grupo Gallegos Creative, Huntington Beach Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Skid Row Housing Trust Management Office, Los Angeles Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Heavybit Industries, San Francisco IwamotoScott Architecture
One Kearney Lobby, San Francisco IwamotoScott Architecture
Gensler Office, Los Angeles Gensler

2013 Awards for Small Projects

Honor Award
Voussoir Cloud, SCIArc Gallery, Los Angeles IwamotoScott Architecture
Merit Awards
[C]SPACEPAVILION, London, England Synthesis Design + Architecture / Nex Architecture
PDU – Portable Dining Unit, San Rafael EDG Interior Architecture + Design
Montrose Residence, Montrose Warren Techentin Architecture
The Offices of Buck O’Neill Builders, Inc., San Francisco jones | haydu

2013 Awards for Urban Design

Merit Awards
Xiasha New Economic Business Park, Hangzhou China Woods Bagot
Nanhu New Country Village Master Plan, Jiaxing, China Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
The Willowbrook MLK Wellness Community Vision and Campus Plan, Los Angeles Gensler

2013 Awards for Sustainability

Honor Awards
GreenDot Animo Leadership High School, Los Angeles BROOKS + SCARPA
Yin Yang House, Venice BROOKS + SCARPA
Sweetwater Spectrum Community, Sonoma Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos EHDD
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters, Agoura Hills ZGF Architects LLP
Merit Awards
Campus Center at the San Diego County Operations Center, San Diego RJC Architects
Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Metalsa CIDeVec, Monterrey, Mexico BROOKS + SCARPA
Lands End Lookout and Visitor Center, San Francisco EHDD
AT&T The Foundry, Palo Alto Gensler
Los Gatos Library, Los Gatos Noll & Tam Architects
Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments, Oakland Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

2013 Design Awards – Call for Entries

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Attention California architects! It is time again to recognize the very best architecture in California for the 2013 AIACC Design Awards. Awards will be conferred in five categories: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urban Design, Small Projects and Sustainable Design. Open to AIA members and non-members, projects built in California or to California architects’ projects outside the state, this program provides the most successful way to communicate the value of design to the public.

There have been several changes to the program in 2013

  • The Sustainable Design category. All awards are eligible to submit additional documentation for consideration for a special award.
  • The 25 Year Award: nominate your favorite project that has made a significant and lasting impact on your community. The submittal package no longer required and there is no fee to enter!


Registration Deadline: May 9, 2013
Submittal Deadline: May 23, 2013
Final Jury Meeting: Mid July

Awards Celebration: October 2013 (specific location TBD)

The 2013 Design Awards Jury will review all entries.

Gabrielle Bullock, AIA – Perkins + Will
Merrill Elam, AIA – Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
Vivian Lee, AIA – Edmonds + Lee Architects
Jenna McKnight – Architizer
Ronnette Riley, FAIA – Ronnette Riley Architect


Nominate for the 25-Year Award

Download the Submittal Guidelines

Download the Project ID Forms


Interior Architecture Award – Bar Agricole, San Francisco, CA

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Photo © Matthew Millman

With a name inspired by the farmhouse rums of the French Caribbean, Bar Agricole embodies both the urban and the agricultural. Designed by Joshua Aidlin, founding partner of Aidlin Darling Design, the restaurant is both down-to-earth and sophisticated in its approach to food, drink, and the dining experience.

As a primary spatial gesture, the existing long, tall warehouse interior is given a sense of intimacy and scale by a wooden “hull.” The hull is crafted of reclaimed whiskey barrel oak, milled into thin strips and lapped in a scale-like texture. Delicate glass sculptures descend from skylights above the hull, puncturing through the wood ceiling and distributing daylight throughout the dining room, while promoting both natural ventilation and passive cooling. Their airy and fluid lines are formed by warped pyrex cylinders, fused into curvaceous glittering volumes that float gently overhead.

The restaurant’s bars, banquettes, and service spaces are arrayed as furniture-like objects within this interior volume. Two bars, made of board-formed concrete and recycled 100-year-old barn beams, are anchors of space and activity. Contrasting their orthogonal geometry are the sinuous banquettes, also of cast concrete. In the banquettes, however, the concrete is a seemingly impossible one-inch thick ribbon, achieved using a new Ductal concrete. More recycled wood, here riddled with wormholes, warms the concrete for the sitting body and links the booths with the overall project palette.

Photo © Matthew Millman

The dining experience does not end at the perimeter of the building envelope. Through a deep steel and glass facade, the dining room connects out to a courtyard and biodynamic garden. Homegrown organic herbs for artisanal cocktails are harvested from a series of raised beds, which directly adjoin outdoor dining tables—reconnecting the city dweller to earth and agriculture while providing respite from the urban streetscape.

The construction uses durable and sustainable materials, fabricated either on site or within a 15-mile radius of the site, to achieve the greatest effect in a minimal and efficient manner. The restaurant is located within a LEED Gold building and benefits from the base building’s solar arrays and living roof. Bar Agricole achieved LEED CI Platinum certification.

After earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati, Aidlin founded a furniture design studio that later expanded to incorporate architectural design. His work explores the principles of design for multi-sensory human experience through a broad range of project scales. Aidlin’s dedication to design is augmented by his lifelong interest in the arts and by his strong sense of responsibility towards the environment.

Photo © Matthew Millman


Design Awards Celebration

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Celebrating the innovations of California Architects and to highlight exceptional design in our communities, the AIACC recognized the 2012 Design Award recipients at SCI-Arc on Thursday – Nov 8, 2012. The goal of this presentation was not only to honor quality design and recognize people for their outstanding contributions and service to the profession, but to engage in a meaningful dialogue about our role in shaping communities.

The program featured several awards programs – click on each for a complete list of recipients.

  • Design Awards – acknowledging outstanding built projects
  • Urban Design Awards – which recognizes distinguished achievements that involve the expanding role of the architect in urban design, city planning, and community development.
  • Residential Awards – which recognize and celebrates outstanding achievements in residential architecture and design from Californian firms and architects
  • 2013 Council Awards – which are the highest achievement awards bestowed on a group or individual. They include the Distinguished Practice Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Firm Award
  • The Nathaniel A. Owings Award – (sponsored by the California Architectural Foundation) which recognizes projects by individuals or groups that demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in the reconciliation of nature and the built environment.

Want to see who was at the party?
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Special thanks to Andersen Windows and Doors and Titan AEC for sponsoring and supporting the 2012 Awards Program.


Announcing the 2012 Residential Award Recipients

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The AIACC is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Inaugural Residential Awards. A total of nine projects were selected and awarded in three categories honor, merit and citation.

Honor Award Category

Merit Award Category

Citation Award Category

Special Acknowledgement was bestowed upon Studio EA for the 747 Wing House.

The prestigious jury consisted of architects, designers, and critics from California and Seattle, WA.

  • Mary Johnston, FAIA, Johnston Architects
  • Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Kundig Architects
  • Elizabeth Ranieri, FAIA, Kuth/Ranieri Architects
  • Anni Tilt, AIA, Arkin Tilt Architects

The award recipients will be acknowledge at the upcoming awards ceremony on November 8, 2012, at SCI-Arc, located at 960 East 3rd Street, WM Keck Lecture Hall, Los Angeles. Winners will be awarded in conjunction with AIA California Council’s Design Award and Council Award recipients.


2012 Design Award: Golden Gate Branch Library

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In November 2000, San Francisco voters approved a $105.9 million bond measure to upgrade branch libraries throughout the City. Bay Area Paulett Taggart Architects (architecture) and Tom Eliot Fisch (interiors) were selected with a goal to strengthen communities by bringing every neighborhood branch up to building and disability access standards, thus transforming them into environmentally sustainable, 21st century libraries. The project won a 2012 Honor Award from the AIA California Council.

Nestled in the City’s Cow Hollow neighborhood, the project is one of seven Carnegie branch libraries to benefit from San Francisco’s Branch Library Improvement Program. Designed by Ernest Coxhead in the Beaux Arts style, the elegantly curved basilica structure was built in 1918. The $4.2 million Golden Gate Valley Branch Library rehabilitation, completed in October 2011, brings a historic jewel into contemporary library use as a safe, accessible, technology-rich, LEED Gold public resource, while preserving its historic integrity for future generations to enjoy.

Golden Gate Branch Library

Photo © Bruce Damonte Photography

The rehabilitation involved accessibility, life safety and systems upgrades, façade restoration, and a complete interior renovation consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties. A small modern addition, which provides accessibility, sits adjacent to the existing structure but remains distinct from the historic language of the original architecture. The architecture of the addition incorporates contemporary materials and elements that share the tonal warmth of the building’s original terra cotta and provides a complementary counterpoint to the historic building.

Challenges of the project included the seismic upgrade of the building. Moment frames had to be designed to minimize any change in the appearance of the interior of the building and carefully dropped into place from above by crane. A second design challenge was the intersection of new and old, where the addition surrounds the historic building’s southwest corner. Their solution was to preserve the existing building corner by showcasing it as an interior element within a new, two-story space, which accentuates the coming together of the historic and the modern.

Photo © Bruce Damonte Photography

Sustainability was an important issue in this rehabilitation. As this is an historic building, materials were restored, cleaned and reused wherever possible, and systems upgrades were done for energy efficiency. Solar photovoltaic panels were also added to the south sloping roof, which is located at the back of the building and thus not visible from the street.

This award-winning project was a joint venture headed by Bobbie Fisch, a partner at Tom Eliot Fisch, and Paulett Taggart, FAIA, of Paulett Taggart Architects. Taggart was raised in Boston and the Netherlands. She received her B. Arch. from University of Oregon and M. Arch. from Harvard University. She has a staff of nine who specialize in community facilities and affordable housing.

Left: Paulett Taggart, FAIA
Right: Bobbie Fisch

Growing up, Fisch lived in many places: Virginia, New Jersey, New Mexico, Iowa, and Okinawa. She attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her firm of 23 employees specializes in interior architecture and programming for practice areas that include workplace and healthcare.

To view this award winning project and other 2012 Design Award recipients click here.


The Maybeck Legacy

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As this year’s award winners are revealed, we take a look back at the past winners of one of the most prestigious Design Awards: the Maybeck Award, which honors individual Californian architects for their outstanding bodies of work over ten years or more. Since 1992, only fourteen architects have been selected for the Maybeck. Who are they, and what is their legacy in California?

Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957) was a visionary creative force in California architecture. After spending the early years of his career at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1890s, working as the school’s first professor of architecture, he opened a San Francisco practice focused mainly on homes and churches. Among his many acclaimed buildings that have stood the test of time are the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Berkeley and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Maybeck Award Recipients

Joseph Esherick, FAIA
William Turnbull Jr., FAIA
Edward C. Bassett, FAIA
Ray Kappe, FAIA
Pierre Koenig, FAIA
Frank Gehry, FAIA
Mario Ciampi, FAIA
Craig Hartman, FAIA
Charles Davis, FAIA
Daniel Solomon, FAIA
Rob W. Quigley, FAIA
George Homsey, FAIA
Thom Mayne, FAIA
Steven Ehrlich, FAIA

Jonathan Segal, FAIA, Recognized by Residential Architect Magazine

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design awards, San Diego

The Charmer - Jonathan Segal, FAIA, Architect - Photo courtesy of Matthew Segal

The Charmer, San Diego, designed by Jonathan Segal, FAIA, has been named 2012 Project of the Year by Residential Architect magazine. Other California winners are Aidlin Darling Design, Ehrlich Architects, Brooks + Scarpa, Push, Warren Techentin Architecture, and Minarc. Read about them here.


Celebrating Leadership in Design Excellence: Recognizing Ed Ong, FAIA

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In an organization where “design” is paramount, leading the group which recognizes the very best can be a challenging undertaking. 2011 Design Awards Program Chair, Edmond Ong, FAIA, stepped forward to shepherd the program; managing the sometimes “political” process, the diversity of experience and viewpoints of the jury, and the over 350 entries, Ed’s efforts showcased the very best of the architectural profession in California.

Ed was recently recognized at the AIACC’s annual Awards and Installation Celebration by President Anne Laird-Blanton, AIA. During the presentation, Anne spoke of the “value of design” and commented on Ed’s leadership and role in this important AIACC program. “(Ed)…you have helped confirm the architects’ role and responsibility to society on a larger scale. Through consensus building with fellow committee members you invited critical comment and critique and built a successful and engaging program. Your dedication on behalf of the AIACC, the architectural profession, and to Design is deeply appreciated and recognized.”

Planning for the 2012 Design Awards Program is underway. The Call for Entries will be issued mid-March and submittals due in May 2012.


What is the Value of Design?

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Often, we only notice design when there’s something wrong with it—when we get our fingers caught in a door handle or our new cell phone gets poor reception. When things work well, we don’t have to think about them. They become a seamless part of our lives. No wonder that the value of design is recognized primarily in the breach.

The disappointing cell phone shows that design is about relationships, like the one between how you hold the phone and how the phone holds a signal. What is true of a phone is true of a building: its design is about relationships, not just “looks.” It’s about how look and feel, use and comfort, stability and durability come together to support one another. How light shapes space and space shapes light—and how light and space together suggest where we’d most like to sit. During the years of cheap energy, we were lazy about these things. No need to consider natural light; just add more bulbs! That’s a simple-minded way of thinking, just adding things up: frame a structure, add some walls, add a roof, add some windows and some lights and some fans—and just add up their costs, as well. But what if you arranged the windows so you didn’t need so many lights and fans? Design gets the parts working together, so the whole gives better performance for less money.

There are less tangible benefits, too, like the delight that people find in good buildings. And, believe it or not, delight can translate directly into dollars. In 2002, arcCA (Architecture California), the quarterly journal of the American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC), asked twenty-one non-architects from many walks of life what they thought about architects and architecture. The headmaster of a private middle- and high-school for boys recorded these thoughts:

“Thirty years ago, we were trying to build a functional academic building for the least cost on a limited campus. The result was useful, but it did not excite either donors or students. I was never congratulated for its low square foot costs or for the building itself. Fifteen years later, we spent a record amount on a grand athletic facility by a firm that specialized in such facilities. They convinced us that its openness and other somewhat expensive features would draw students into higher levels of participation. They were correct, and it also drew donors, excited by its promise. It has generated student activity ever since. I do not remember its square foot cost and am never asked.”

John Peterson, relates a similar story about the new home his firm, Peterson Architects, designed for San Francisco’s Homeless Prenatal Program in 2005. In The Power of Pro Bono (NY: Metropolis Books, 2010), he writes, “Months after we completed our work, Martha Ryan, the founder and executive director of Homeless Prenatal, told me a story. The organization had a long-term funder who had given on the order of $30,000 annually. The funder came for a visit to the new facility, walked around, and liked it very much. That person called the next day and said, ‘Please make your application this year for ten times the historic amount . . . .’ Martha firmly believes it was due to the design of the new facility.”
Leading for-profit businesses recognize the same benefits. Apple Inc. is an example, with its crisp, inventive retail stores, many of which have won AIACC design awards. While the “value” of design is sometimes difficult to quantify, it still remains an integral part of what architects bring to the process. So keep up the good work and the AIACC will continue to advocate for the “value of design” on your behalf.