Crème de la Crème

Our Buildings of the Year and other Best of Design Awards-winning projects

Architecture Best of Design Awards National
2016 Building of the Year > Midwest: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building. (Courtesy Iwan Baan)
2016 Building of the Year > Midwest: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building. (Courtesy Iwan Baan)

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it’s grown to 26 exciting categories. As in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN Senior Editor 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. 

Scroll below to see this year’s winners! Click through to see plenty of images, the honorable mentions, and why the jury picked each project. We’d like to congratulate the winners and hope you can submit your work for consideration next year. (See the rest of our Year in Review 2016 articles here.)

2016 Building of the Year > Midwest: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building by Steven Holl Architects

2016 Building of the Year East Grace Farms SANAA

2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA. (Courtesy Dean Kaufman)

2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA


2016 Building of the Year Southwest USAF Academy Center

2016 Building of the Year > Southwest: U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development by SOM. (Courtesy Magda Biernat)

2016 Building of the Year > Southwest: U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development by SOM

SFMOMA Expansion by Snohetta

2016 Building of the Year > West: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion by Snøhetta. (Courtesy © Henrik Kam)

2016 Building of the Year > West: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Expansion by Snøhetta

2016 Best of Design Award-winning Landscape > Private: Modern Vineyard by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture. (Courtesy Chris Leschinksky)

2016 Best of Design Award-winning Landscape > Private: Modern Vineyard by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture. (Courtesy Chris Leschinksky)

2016 Best of Design Award in Landscape > Private: Modern Vineyard by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

2016 Best of Design Award in Architectural Lighting > Outdoor: SteelStacks Campus by L'Observatoire International. (Courtesy Halkin Mason Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award in Architectural Lighting > Outdoor: SteelStacks Campus by L’Observatoire International. (Courtesy Halkin Mason Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award in Architectural Lighting > Outdoor: SteelStacks Campus by L’Observatoire International

2016 Best of Design Award for Young Architects: Steven Christensen Architecture. (Courtesy Steven Christensen Architecture)

2016 Best of Design Award for Young Architects: Steven Christensen Architecture. (Courtesy Steven Christensen Architecture)

2016 Best of Design Award for Young Architects: Steven Christensen Architecture

2016 Best of Design Award in Facade: Vagelos Education Center by DS + R with Gensler. (Courtesy Iwan Baan)

2016 Best of Design Award in Facade: Vagelos Education Center by DS + R with Gensler. (Courtesy Iwan Baan)

2016 Best of Design Award in Facade: Vagelos Education Center by DS+R with Gensler

2016 Best of Design Award in Building Renovation: The Strand American Conservatory Theater by SOM. (Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

2016 Best of Design Award in Building Renovation: The Strand American Conservatory Theater by SOM. (Courtesy Bruce Damonte)

2016 Best of Design Award in Building Renovation: The Strand American Conservatory Theater by SOM

2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325 by DDG. (Courtesy of March)

2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325 by DDG. (Courtesy of March)

2016 Best of Design Award in Digital Fabrication: XOCO 325 by DDG

Sensory Pavilion Dirt Works Studio

2016 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Sensory Pavilion by Dirt Works Studio, University of Kansas. (Courtesy Dirk Works Studio)

2016 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Sensory Pavilion by Dirt Works Studio, University of Kansas

2016 Best of Design Award for Temporary Installation: Rounds by SPORTS. (Courtesy Nick Zukauskas)

2016 Best of Design Award for Temporary Installation: Rounds by SPORTS. (Courtesy Nick Zukauskas)

2016 Best of Design Award for Temporary Installation: Rounds by SPORTS

2016 Best of Design Award for Lighting > Indoor: Planned Parenthood Queens by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design. (Courtesy Michael Moran)

2016 Best of Design Award for Lighting > Indoor: Planned Parenthood Queens by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design. (Courtesy Michael Moran)

2016 Best of Design Award for Lighting > Indoor: Planned Parenthood Queens by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Residential: Clinton Hill Courtyard House by O'Neill McVoy Architects. (Courtesy Michel Arnaud)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Residential: Clinton Hill Courtyard House by O’Neill McVoy Architects. (Courtesy Michel Arnaud)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Residential: Clinton Hill Courtyard House by O’Neill McVoy Architects

2016 Best of Design Award for Landscape > Public: Lower Rainier Vista & Pedestrian Land Bridge by GGN. (Courtesy GGN)

2016 Best of Design Award for Landscape > Public: Lower Rainier Vista & Pedestrian Land Bridge by GGN. (Courtesy GGN)

2016 Best of Design Award for Landscape > Public: Lower Rainier Vista & Pedestrian Land Bridge by GGN

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Retail/Hospitality: In Situ by Aidlin Darling Design. (Courtesy Matthew Millman)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Retail/Hospitality: In Situ by Aidlin Darling Design. (Courtesy Matthew Millman)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Retail/Hospitality: In Situ by Aidlin Darling Design

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Workplace: Square, Inc. HQ by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. (Courtesy Matthew Millman)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Workplace: Square, Inc. HQ by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. (Courtesy Matthew Millman)

2016 Best of Design Award for Interior > Workplace: Square, Inc. HQ by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Multi-Unit: 400 Grove by Fougeron Architecture. (Courtesy William Timmerman Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Multi-Unit: 400 Grove by Fougeron Architecture. (Courtesy William Timmerman Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Multi-Unit: 400 Grove by Fougeron Architecture

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Single Unit: Underhill by Bates Masi + Architects. (Courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Single Unit: Underhill by Bates Masi + Architects. (Courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

2016 Best of Design Award for Residential > Single Unit: Underhill by Bates Masi + Architects

2016 Best of Design Award for Urban Design: Chicago Riverwalk, Phase 2 by Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki Associates. (Courtesy Kate Joyce Studios)

2016 Best of Design Award for Urban Design: Chicago Riverwalk, Phase 2 by Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki Associates. (Courtesy Kate Joyce Studios)

2016 Best of Design Award for Urban Design: Chicago Riverwalk, Phase 2 by Ross Barney Architects and Sasaki Associates

Nine Drawings Seven Models

2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Digital: Nine Drawings, Seven Models. (Courtesy NEMESTUDIO)

2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Digital: Nine Drawings, Seven Models by NEMESTUDIO

2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Analog: Welcome to the 5th Facade. (Courtesy Olson Kundig)

2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Analog: Welcome to the 5th Facade. (Courtesy Olson Kundig)

2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Analog: Welcome to the 5th Facade by Olson Kundig

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Reuse: National Sawdust by Bureau V. (Courtesy Floto + Warner)

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Reuse: National Sawdust by Bureau V. (Courtesy Floto + Warner)

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Reuse: National Sawdust by Bureau V

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Restoration: The Cotton Gin at The Co-Op District by Antenora Architects. (Courtesy Brian Mihealsick Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Restoration: The Cotton Gin at The Co-Op District by Antenora Architects. (Courtesy Brian Mihealsick Photography)

2016 Best of Design Award for Adaptive Restoration: The Cotton Gin at The Co-Op District by Antenora

2016 Best of Design Award for Civic Institution: Architecture of Buffalo Bayou Park. (Courtesy Albert Vecerka, Esto Photographics)

2016 Best of Design Award for Civic Institution: Architecture of Buffalo Bayou Park. (Courtesy Albert Vecerka, Esto Photographics)

2016 Best of Design Award for Civic Institution: Architecture of Buffalo Bayou Park by Page

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > In the Drawers: University of Miami Student Housing Master Plan, Phase 1. (Courtesy CO Architects)

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > In the Drawers: University of Miami Student Housing Master Plan, Phase 1. (Courtesy CO Architects)

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > In the Drawers: University of Miami Student Housing Master Plan, Phase 1 by CO Architects

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > On the Boards: The Menokin Project. (Courtesy Machado Silvetti)

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > On the Boards: The Menokin Project. (Courtesy Machado Silvetti)

2016 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt > On the Boards: The Menokin Project by Machado Silvetti

How Synthesis Design + Architecture and Formlabs crafted this year’s Best of Design Awards Grand Prize. (Courtesy Formlabs)

How Synthesis Design + Architecture and Formlabs crafted this year’s Best of Design Awards Grand Prize. (Courtesy Formlabs)

How Synthesis Design + Architecture and Formlabs crafted this year’s Best of Design Awards Grand Prize

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