The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it’s grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you.

2016 Building of the Year > Midwest: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building

Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Iowa City, IA

The new Visual Arts Building for the University of Iowa’s School of Art and Art History, which replaced a 1936 building that was heavily damaged by a flood, provides 126,000 square feet of loft-like studio space for all visual arts disciplines by utilizing both traditional techniques and advanced technologies. Alongside Art Building West—also designed by Steven Holl Architects and completed in 2006—the two structures define a visual arts campus for the theorizing, teaching, and making of art. Studios are open and visible to display each discipline’s practice and product, while seven vertical cutouts through the building’s horizontal floor plates maximize natural light and ventilation.

Associate Architect
BNIM Architects

Structural Engineers
BuroHappold, Structural Engineering Associates

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing
Design Engineers

Zinc and perforated stainless-steel exterior skin
RHEINZINK

Glass
Bendheim Architectural Glass

(Courtesy Hedrich Blessing)

(Courtesy Hedrich Blessing)

Honorable Mention: Building of the Year > Midwest: Gordon Parks Arts Hall

Architect: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Location: 
Chicago, IL

(Courtesy Hedrich Blessing)

(Courtesy Hedrich Blessing)

Reinterpreting the neo-gothic architecture of the University of Chicago’s neighboring buildings, the Gordon Parks Arts Hall celebrates the school’s commitment to hands-on learning with rooms designed to produce and present content.

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