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Washington, January 27, 2012 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the 2012 recipients of the Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design. Selected from over 700 total submissions, 27 recipients located throughout the world will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.


The jury for the 2012 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture includes: Rod Kruse, FAIA, (chair) BNIM Architects; Barbara White Bryson, FAIA, Rice University; Annie Chu, AIA, Chu & Gooding Architects; Dima Daimi, Assoc. AIA, Rossetti; Harry J. Hunderman, FAIA, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.; Scott Lindenau, FAIA, Studio B Architects; Kirsten R. Murray, AIA, Olson Kundig Architects; Thomas M. Phifer, FAIA, Thomas Phifer & Partners and Seth H. Wentz, AIA, LSC Design, Inc. 

8 House; Copenhagen, Denmark

This multi-family residential housing structure contains 475 units that accommodates a variety of residents. The bow-shaped building creates two distinct spaces, separated by the center of the bow which host the communal facilities of 5,300 square feet. The apartments are placed at the top, while the commercial space unfolds at the base of the building. As a result the apartments benefit from sunlight, fresh air and the view, while the commercial spaces merge with life on the street.

41 Cooper Square; New York City
Morphosis Architects

As the new academic building for The Cooper Union, this building was conceived as a vehicle to foster collaboration and cross-disciplinary dialogue among the college’s three schools, previously housed in separate buildings. A vertical piazza—the central space for informal social, intellectual, and creative exchange—forms the heart of the new academic building. An undulating lattice envelopes a 20-foot wide grand stair which ascends four stories from the ground level through the sky-lit central atrium, which itself reaches to the full height of the building.

The Gates and Hillman Centers for Computer Science; Pittsburgh
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

Located on Carnegie Mellon University’s west campus, this building houses four departments of the School of Computer Science. The design required negotiating a series of complex existing site conditions and programmatic pre-requisites. Site challenges included demolition of existing buildings, a large zone of subsurface rock, existing sewer lines that limited the constructable area, and an existing campus spacial hierarchy that had to be respected.

Ghost Architectural Laboratory; Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia
Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited

This project, an architectural education center in the tradition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin is sited on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast, where Samuel de Champlain made his first landfall in 1604. The permanent structures which now occupy the site among the ruins – tower, studio, cabins, barns and boathouse – are, in part, products of the design/build curriculum itself. They provide accommodation for the program and a venue for community events.

Virginia Tech Solar Team

The house is both a dwelling and an exhibition informing the public about issues of alternative energy and sustainability and has been exhibited internationally. The structure is a grid-tied solar powered house based on the concept of ‘Responsive Architecture’. It adjusts to climactic changes and user requirements through automated systems that optimize energy consumption while offering an architecture of delight. As a net-zero energy house employing active and passive systems, it generates more power than it uses over the course of a year.

Pittman Dowell Residence; La Crescenta, California
Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc.

Inspired by geometric arrangements of interlocking polygons, the home is a heptagonal figure whose purity is confounded by a series of intersecting slices. Bounded by an introverted exterior, living spaces unfold in a moiré of shifting perspectival frames. Movement and visual relationships expand and contract to respond to the centrifugal nature of the site and context. An irregularly shaped void defined by these intersections creates an outdoor room whose edges blur into the adjoining spaces.

Poetry Foundation; Chicago
John Ronan Architects

Visitors enter through a garden then move towards the library space, which contains an exhibition gallery that connects the library to the performance space, where visitors can listen to poets read their work against the backdrop of the garden. Public functions (performance space, gallery and library) are located on the ground floor, while office spaces are located on the second level, organized into three areas. The building is configured to allow for views from all spaces out onto the garden. The building’s outer layer of oxidized zinc becomes perforated where it borders the garden, allowing visual access to the garden from the street to encourage public investigation.

Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion; Indianapolis
Marlon Blackwell Architect

This project is the result of a studied relationship between building, land and art, and serves as both a threshold to and a destination within the 100 Acres Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The pavilion is a place of shared resolve where nature and artifice are sensually perceived as one and many; the detail and horizon. The 100 acre park site is born of wildly turbulent natural and cultural phenomena constantly changing the land’s structure, and is a place where one becomes conscious of the residual forms that reveal the creative life force at work in our world.

The Standard, New York; New York City
Ennead Architects

The 18-story hotel straddles the High Line, a 75-year-old elevated railroad line recently developed into a new linear, public park. The two slabs of the building are “hinged,” angled to further emphasize the building’s distinction from the city’s grid and its levitation above the neighborhood. The building responds to its context through contrast: sculptural piers, whose forms clearly separate the building from the orthogonal street grid, raise the building fifty-seven feet off the street, and allow the horizontally-scaled industrial landscape to pass beneath it and natural light to penetrate to the street.


The jury for the 2012 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture includes: Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, (chair), CMB Architects; Robert Allen, Jr., AIA, Metalhouse; Mark Jensen, AIA, Jensen Architects; David Lenox, AIA, University Architect/Dir. Campus Planning, Stanford University and Erick S. Ragni, AIA, MaRS Architects.

ARTifacts; Omaha

Randy Brown Architects

The Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts strives to ignite the creative spark in inner city youth. The design focused on minimal interventions to upgrade the building and provide the new spaces for the facility. The storefront intervention was a three dimensional sculpture of steel plates/tubes which creates windows, seating, facility signage, and the main entrance. The staircase/balcony intervention creates a continuous steel plate walkway that connects the entrance, gallery, library, office and the second floor studios. The library intervention is a meeting and reading space hovering above the gallery defined by a folded wood panel wall/ceiling that frames the artist’s moving backdrop wall.

Children's Institute, Inc. Otis Booth Campus; Los Angeles

Koning Eizenberg Architecture

The adaptive reuse of three industrial buildings created the headquarters for a non-profit organization that assists children and families exposed to violence. The campus is split by an alley with the north site focusing on preschool and early childhood services and the south site anchored around a community center offering educational programs (art, technology, nutrition, and after-school) as well as counseling services. A key part of the process was re-thinking program organization to reveal opportunities for creative and collaborative community engagement.

David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center; New York City

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Wedged into Manhattan’s dense fabric, the 7000-square-foot passageway serves as Lincoln Center’s public visitor facility, welcoming city newcomers and neighborhood residents. Cantilevered canopies announce the presence of the atrium. Visitors enter through large glass doors. They are greeted by 20 foot-high plant walls. Green marble benches, as well as moveable chairs and tables, offer places to rest. A fountain in the ceiling drops thin streams of water into a stone basin. Sixteen occuli pierce the golden ceiling to bring natural light into the double height space. 

HyundaiCard Air Lounge; Incheon, South Korea


This project shifts the paradigm of a traditional lounge by combining lounge, retail and museum programs. Rather than a static place for waiting, it is a dynamic space one passes through to better prepare for the trip ahead. Among the unique features in the lounge are a custom vending machine, fantastic dream-like art movies by Hiraki Sawa, and a personalized flight tracking system. Also, there are two virtual skylights in the black box, both of which move slowly through the color spectrum of the sky. Within the constraint of a small envelope, reflective surfaces provide visual relief while cove lighting plays up the ethereal atmosphere of the space.

Integral House; Toronto, Canada

Shim-Sutcliffe Architects

The project integrates many sustainable features into the site and building. A field of vertical geothermal pipes supplies heating and cooling for the entire project including the main concert hall/performance space for 150 – 200 people. A lush green roof is centrally located and a visual feature from many parts of the project. The vertical wooden fins provide sun shading from the exterior as well as contributing to the acoustical performance of the concert hall/performance space. Materials have been carefully selected for their aesthetic contribution as well as their enduring qualities based on life cycle costing calculations.

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World; Providence

Anmahian Winton Architects

This project, on the campus of Brown University, restores Rhode Island Hall's exterior, and entirely renovates its interior. Translucency of both glass and wood creates varying levels of transparency and daylight between program spaces, encouraging a more interactive dialogue between faculty and student. The project is a leading example of the University's approach to reanimating its historic building fabric and also demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. Rhode Island Hall is the first building at Brown to be certified LEED Gold for New Construction.

Memory Temple; Los Angeles

Patrick Tighe Architecture

The installation proposes a new structural materiality through the use of renewable polyurethane foam. The foam was used as a total building assembly: structure, envelope, and acoustical barrier. Layers of closed cell foam (used structurally) and open cell foam (used acoustically) were combined to make up the wall assembly. A spectrogram of the composition served as a source from which a mapping of frequency was translated into points and vectors. This provided a framework for the digitally modeled three-dimensional surface. The data was then used to robotically carve the interior surface of the volume.

Prairie Management Group; Northbrook, Illinois

Goettsch Partners

Inserted into a single-story, speculative office suite, the 7,500-square-foot facility is organized around three compositional elements: the colonnade, created by the building’s exposed structural steel columns and central ridge beam; full-height glass screen walls; and a custom maple “pavilion.” The simple, classic interior composition of thin glass frames and bold, clear millwork forms rendered in a timeless color palette—all awash in natural light—creates a platform in which the appreciation of fine art, design, and nature enables the client to continue his lifelong passion for creating business value through design.

Record House Revisited; Owings Mill, Maryland

David Jameson Architect

Four decades after this project was featured in the 1969 Record Houses issue of Architectural Record, the current owners revisited the house with several alterations. A truss roof system allowed interior walls to be eradicated, yielding a condition of an unencumbered public and private pavilion linked together by a glass entry node. Floor to ceiling window apertures relating the pavilions could not be experienced within the original floor plan. The purity of the original brick fireplace and skylight ring at the center of the house is exposed and left uninterrupted, allowing for additional connection to the site.

The Wright at the Guggenheim Museum; New York City

Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC

The design solution references the building’s architecture, what Wright specifically called “the primitive initial,” without repeating it. In the process underlying architectural geometries were transformed into dynamic spatial effects. The sculptural forms create a flared ceiling. The undulating walls become comfortable seating. The arced bar and communal table animate the space. The playfulness of these forms offers a dynamic experience for visitors. The space achieves an elegant and dynamic setting for dining that both celebrates the museum and transcends it.

The jury for the 2012 Institute Honor Awards for Regional & Urban Design includes: Bruce Lindsey, AIA, (chair) Washington University in St. Louis; Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, AIA, Catherine Seavitt Studio and Martha Welborne, FAIA, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 

Fayetteville 2030: Transit City Scenario; Fayetteville, Arkansas

University of Arkansas Community Design Center

As a complement to Fayetteville’s 2030 City Plan, this plan independently models a future based on development of a streetcar system. While city planning is generally future-oriented, scenario planning models specific futures from the insistent exploration of a particular driver through “what if” propositions. Scenario planning helps the community envision plausible planning possibilities that would not have emerged from charrettes and similar participation processes.

Grangegorman Master Plan; Dublin, Ireland

Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; DMOD Architects

This plan represents the largest higher-education campus development ever undertaken in the history of the state of Ireland, creating a vibrant new Urban Quarter for Dublin’s north inner city. It will accommodate 422,300-square-meters of academic and residential buildings for the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), along with replacement psychiatric facilities and new primary care facilities for Ireland’s national health care service, the HSE, and new amenities for the local community and the wider surrounding city.

Jordan Dead Sea Development Zone Master Plan; Amman, Jordan

Sasaki Associates, Inc.

This plan encompasses 40-square-kilometers of coastal land along the lowest body of water on earth. The plan lays out a vision and blueprint for fostering a dynamic, robust and sustainable tourism-based economy at the Dead Sea that will become a source of pride and revenue for the Kingdom and set the highest standard for sustainable development and innovative urban design. Critically, the plan establishes a "balanced approach" between development and conservation of this most precious resource. At the same time, it will strengthen local economies and greatly support social infrastructure for nearby existing communities. 

Master Plan for the Central Delaware; Philadelphia

Cooper, Robertson & Partners; KieranTimberlake

The master plan for six miles of the Delaware River waterfront in Center City Philadelphia, based on the Civic Vision which was prepared through an extensive public engagement planning process. The goal of the plan is to provide a practical implementation strategy for the phasing and funding of public realm enhancements to the waterfront, including the locations of parks, a variety of waterfront trails, and connections to existing upland neighborhoods. Specific zoning recommendations to shape private development as well as design guidelines for the public spaces are integral components of this project. 

Miami Beach City Center Redevelopment Project; Miami Beach

Gehry Partners, LLP; West 8; Hines Interests Limited Partnership

This 5.86-acre project consist of New World Center, an innovative facility for music education and performance; Miami Beach SoundScape, an adjacent 2.5-acre public park and event space; and a 556-space municipal parking structure. The project is located on two city blocks previously used as surface parking lots. New World Center is a unique performance, education, production, and creative space with state-of-the-art capabilities, owned and operated by the New World Symphony (NWS). Miami Beach SoundScape is a multi-use park that serves as an urban oasis and a gathering place for cultural and special events. 

Portland Mall Revitalization; Portland, Oregon

ZGF Architects LLP

Extending the entire length of downtown Portland, this plan mixes multiple modes of transportation, stimulates adjacent development and re-establishes itself as one of Portland’s premier civic spaces. The project involved renovation or rebuilding of 58 blocks and 59 intersections while providing exclusive transit lanes for buss and light rail, dedicated lanes for autos and bicycles, enhanced sidewalks for pedestrians, and parking and loading zones. The revitalized Mall combines design character, aspirations, active context, operations and management of a truly great street for the 21st century.

Reinventing the Crescent: Riverfront Development Plan; New Orleans

Eskew + Dumez + Ripple

Hurricane Katrina heightened public understanding that the riverfront in New Orleans is in fact the “high ground” and ripe for possible redevelopment. As such, this plan calls for the East Bank of the city’s central riverfront to accommodate a continuous sequence of public open spaces, and along this sequence establish 15 special environments. Some of these places reinforce and enhance existing public domains, such as improving the riverfront’s Moonwalk and creating a better pedestrian connection between the Moonwalk and Jackson Square. 

SandRidge Energy Commons; Oklahoma City

Rogers Marvel Architects

The master plan for the new headquarters of SandRidge Energy spans multiple buildings, and multiple city blocks, where architecture and landscape architecture weave to balance company needs and civic engagement. The project creates a network of programs to support employees while forming a destination location within downtown. The distribution of programs serves as catalysts to encourage development of adjacent properties and integrate the company into the fabric of the city. Shared outdoor spaces enable employees, their families, and the broader community to enjoy spending time downtown.

About The American Institute of Architects

For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world.

For more information:


2012 AIA Institute Honor Awards recognize excellence in Architecture,Interior Design and Urbanism

Montréal Canada


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