The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Birmingham Chapter held their annual design awards ceremony recognizing excellence in architectural design on Thursday, July 28 at The Fennec. Read on to meet this year’s winners and find out why they were selected for the prize.
Excellence in design
This year’s awards included 58 entries that were judged based on each entry’s design qualities. The jury choosing each winner was composed of architects from AIA’s Chicago chapter.
The annual AIA Awards are presented in four different categories—Honor, Merit, Citation and People’s Choice. Drum roll please… here are the winners from each category:
The Honor Award is presented to the highest level of recognition, presented to a project that exceeds the criteria set forth by the jury. Here are the winners:
Gulf State Learning Campus, ArchitectureWorks
Juror Comments: “The campus arrangement is designed lovely, it allows each building to be unique, without taking away from the whole. Each building appears to rest softly upon the sand, and blend in with the landscape.”
Chestnut Residence, ArchitectureWorks
- Juror Comments: “By recycling an aging home, the architect was able to enrich the value to the community. The vernacular forms are simply designed, while maintaining the existing masonry.”
Sand Mountain Park Amphitheater, Chambless King Architects
- Juror Comments: “Clean, simple, straightforward—really works with the concept of the park as a whole. Excellent use of materials, lovely graphics.”
Auburn University Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory, Chambless King Architects
- Juror Comments: “Simple and elegant plan, loved the intersecting masses, the massing felt right for this one. The use of colors and materials blended well here, with color-coded utilities in opposition to the natural and toned down colors of the rest of the space.”
The Merit Award is presented to a project that meets the jury’s requirements for design excellence. Here are the winners:
The Kelly Hotel, Fifth Dimension Architecture & Interiors
- Juror Comments: “Thoughtful restoration of a landmark building. Great re-investment in downtown design and downtown life, the library suite was beautifully restored.”
Telegraph, Williams Blackstock Architects
- Juror Comments: “A pleasant distribution of working opportunities. Great use of natural light, suited well for a modern office. Great use of height”
The Citation Award is presented to a project which has specific features the jury felt compelled to recognize. Here are the winners:
Mercantile on Morris, Creature
- Cited for the Interior Plaza
- Juror Comments: “Beautiful intervention of spaces.”
Modern Moorish, Jeffrey Dungan Architects
- Cited for Interior Detailing
- Juror Comments: “Beautifully detailed stairs, love the bold forms and shapes.”
Direct Communications, Barrett Architecture Studio
- Cited for Exterior Upgrades
- Juror Comments: “The simple move creates two similar but uniquely powerful entrances with minimal disruption to the existing. This is sure to improve the community.”
Children’s of Alabama-Lee Building Parking Deck, Williams Blackstock Architects
- Cited for the Exterior Screen on the Deck
- Juror Comments: “It’s intriguing to have a parking deck that doesn’t look like a parking lot. The scale of sense of place created with the exterior lighting is very enjoyable.”
A special aspect of this year’s competition was the people’s choice category, where the public voted online to choose a winner. Out of more than 3,860 votes, the winning project is UAB Optometry, Birchfield Penuel & Associates, with an impressive total of 518 votes.
View the award winners
AIA’s Birmingham chapter has about 330 members of licensed architects, interns and affiliates. Their goal? To promote good design and quality in the practice of architecture.
Learn more about AIA Birmingham here and take a look at the winning designs.
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