The Chicago chapter of the AIA (AIA Chicago) has announced its annual Design Excellence Awards. The 2016 recipients were honored at Designnight 2016, the chapter’s largest annual event, with over 1,000 attendees from Chicago’s architecture and architecture-related fields.
The Design Excellence Awards are divided into four categories: Distinguished Building, Divine Detail, Regional & Urban Design, and Interior Architecture. Each category has its own jury, who choose from hundreds of entries. Each category is divided into three levels of awards: Honor Award, Citation of Merit, and Special Recognition. This year a Lifetime Achievement award was also presented to Ron Krueck, FAIA and co-founder of Chicago-based firm Krueck + Sexton Architects.
This year’s Honor Award recipients included firms large and small. The top award for Regional & Urban Design went to UrbanLab for its Changde City Master Plan, in Changde, China. SOM and Adrian Smith + Gorden Gill Architecture took Citations of Merit for projects in Sydney, Australia, and Pullman, Chicago. Multiple Honor Awards were given for the Divine Detail Award, with Studio Gang taking home two awards in the category for its Writers Theater in Glencoe, Illinois and City Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side. Krueck + Sexton Architects, John Ronan Architects, and Optima DCHGlobal, Inc. were also presented with Honor Awards in the category. Studio Gang’s Writers Theater was also an Honor Award winner in the Interior Architecture category, joined by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects and von Weise Associates.
The most coveted awards of the night, the Distinguished Building Awards, was given for four projects. Optima Sonoran Village by David Hovey & Associates Architect, Inc., in Scottsdale, Arizona, was honored, notably for its facade, which integrates a vertical landscape system. JAHN took home an Honor Award for its Doha Convention Center, located in Doha, Qatar. Perkins+Will’s Case Western Reserve University/Tinkham Veale University Center, and Sasaki and Ross Barney Architects’s Chicago Riverwalk were also honored.