From a new Microsoft campus to a transformed 1919 office building, AIA honors sustainable, innovative spaces

by Brianna Crandall — April 28, 2021 — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored several firms in recent weeks for exceptional designs for sustainable building projects, innovative interior spaces, urban design and original design applications.

The projects boasted a vast array of sustainable and innovative features and aspects, such as:

  • Transforming a 1901 manufacturing facility into a healthy, energy-efficient urban office building while adhering to National Park Service historic preservation guidelines (Market One)
  • Incorporating resilient strategies (blackwater system, thermal storage) during a drought; designing with reduced carbon through reuse and mass timber; and putting wellness, equity, and community front and center for a tech campus renovation and expansion (Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus)
  • Making new space for exhibitions and administrative functions, uniting an original 1919 building with its mid-1960s renovations, and designing custom furniture and reinvigorated public programming space (Vilcek Foundation)
  • Reinventing a university library from a warehouse of books into a place for people, honoring the iconic existing building while showcasing new and future uses and details (Arizona State University Hayden Library)

2021 COTE Top Ten Awards

The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) awarded 10 design projects with its highest honor — the COTE Top Ten Awards — for their significant achievements in advancing climate action.

For the past 25 years, COTE has bestowed the award annually on 10 design projects that have expertly integrated design excellence with cutting-edge performance in 10 key areas. The COTE Top Ten projects illustrate the solutions architects provide for the health and welfare of our communities and planet.

Project submissions are required to demonstrate alignment with COTE’s rigorous criteria, which include social, economic and ecological values. The five-member jury evaluates each project submission based on the effectiveness of their holistic design solution and metrics associated with the 10 measures.

This year’s COTE Top Ten Awards recipients are as follows:

  • Arizona State University Hayden Library Reinvention, Tempe, AZ | Ayers Saint Gross
  • Civitas, Memphis, TN| archimania
  • Lafayette College Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, Easton, PA | Payette
  • Market One, Des Moines, IA | Neumann Monson Architects
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT.nano, Cambridge, MA | HGA
  • Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus, Mountain View, CA | WRNS Studio
  • Rainier Beach Clinic, Seattle, WA | Mahlum Architects
  • Ryerson University Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Perkins & Will
  • The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Atlanta, GA | Lord Aeck Sargent in collaboration with The Miller Hull Partnership
  • University of Washington, Life Sciences Building, Seattle, WA | Perkins & Will

Complete details for each project are available on the 2021 COTE Top Ten Awards page on the AIA website.

In addition to the Top Ten Awards, COTE and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) have selected the COTE Top Ten for Students, honoring exceptional student design projects showcasing innovation in sustainability. View the winning designs on the ACSA website.

2021 Interior Architecture Awards

AIA also recognized seven projects with its 2021 Interior Architecture Awards. The program celebrates the most innovative interior spaces. The five-member jury evaluated entries based on design achievement, including sense of place and purpose, ecology and environmental sustainability and history.

This year’s recipients are:

  • An Historic Shipyard Reincarnation, San Francisco, CA | Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
  • Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance Theater, Atlanta, GA | Trahan Architects/APAC
  • CO-OP Ramen, Bentonville, AR | Marlon Blackwell Architects
  • High Desert Retreat, Mountain Center, CA | Aidlin Darling Design
  • Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School, Seattle, WA | LMN Architects
  • Tanglewood Linde Center for Music and Learning, Lenox, MA | William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
  • Vilcek Foundation, New York, NY | Architecture Research Office

Project details about the 2021 Interior Architecture Awards winners are available on the AIA website.

2021 Regional and Urban Design Awards

In addition, AIA recognized five projects with its 2021 Regional and Urban Design Awards. The program recognizes the best in urban design, regional and city planning, and community development.

The five-member jury evaluated each submission based on how well the design addresses environmental, social and economic issues through sustainable strategies. This includes the ability to collect and distribute resident renewable resources and energies, while enhancing quality of life and promoting social equity.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Beyond Walls, Lynn, MA | Payette
  • Essex Crossing, New York, NY | SHoP Architects
  • Haxtun – Saving Main Street, Haxtun, CO | HDR
  • Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, Boston, MA | Payette
  • Rebuilding a Local Food Economy: Oahu, Hawai’i, Oahu Island, HI | University of Arkansas Community Design Center

Visit AIA’s website for more information on the Regional and Urban Design award program.

2020 Innovation Awards

Lastly, AIA honored two projects in recent weeks with its Innovation Awards, which recognize the exemplary use and implementation of innovative technologies and progressive practices among architects, designers, collaborators and clients. Awarded projects must support the design, delivery and operation of buildings or research in practice and academia.

Recipients for the 2020 Innovation Awards — which were selected by AIA’s Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community — are as follows:

Category: Development of Design or Design-Thinking

  • BHoM Life Cycle Assessment Toolkit | Buro Happold

Category: Holistic Design

  • Catalyst Building | MGA | Michael Green Architecture, Katerra

Complete details for each awarded project are available on the 2020 Innovation Awards page of the AIA website.