Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

Practicing ArchitecturePracticing Architecture

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community



AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Awards Recognize Innovative Screens and Scrims

At the top of a deep field of award-winning buildings, two AIA Chicago Distinguished Building award recipients are geographically worlds apart (Chicago and Angola), but share a common strength: shaded scrims and sunscreen roofs. The Poetry Foundation’s scrim is a gentle veil, the Angola University’s roof sunshade a muscular space-creating gesture. These were included in just one of four categories; the others were for Interior Architecture, Divine Detail, and SustainABILITY Leadership, recognizing a total of 39 projects.


Distinguished Building Honor Award

The Poetry Foundation in Chicago, designed by John Ronan Architects. Jury comments: The transparency of the exterior screen is not for its own sake, but a veil that really reveals the purpose of the building with the books seen inside. They’re establishing an intimate public space in an urban environment, which is kind of rare. It’s transcendent. Image courtesy of Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.

Distinguished Building Honor Award

Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda, Angola, designed by Perkins + Will. Jury comments: It doesn’t shy away from strong architectural expression.  The message is really good, but so is the aesthetic.  It&rsquops hopeful and bold.  It’s forward looking.  Image courtesy of James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

1999 K Street in Washington, D.C., designed by Murphy/Jahn. Jury comments: It has a modern elegance. It boils down to the essence of a corner building in that city. Image courtesy of Rainer Viertlboeck, Rainer Viertlboeck Architekturfotografie.

Distinguished Building Citation of Meri

Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park, Kans., designed by Perkins + Will. Jury comments: It fits with the Great Plains landscape, where you’re constantly looking out towards shapes in the distant landscape. The site planning was intelligent, as was the sectional development of the complex itself. Image courtesy of James Steinkamp, Steinkamp Photography.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

Bucktown Three in Chicago, designed by Studio Dwell Architects. Jury comments: There’s very skilled detailing going on here. There’s just enough play between the indoors and outdoors to create a sense of drama, but overall it presents a very elegant building and interior. Image courtesy of Marty Peters, Marty Peters Photography.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

CTA Morgan Station in Chicago, designed by Ross Barney Architects. Jury comments: It raises the functional program of an El station to an admirable level of civic quality. The overall translucency gives it a vibrancy both day and night. Image courtesy of Kate Joyce, Kate Joyce Studios.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

Facebook Prineville Data Center in Prineville, Ore., designed by Sheehan Partners, Ltd. Jury comments: There’s a clear organizational strategy and simple, but elegant, material articulation. Image courtesy of Jonnu Singleton, Jonnu Singleton Photography.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

Nine Square in Chicago, designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects. Jury comments: They know they have sharp materials and they use them well. Image courtesy of Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

Richard J. Daley Library IDEA Commons in Chicago, designed by David Woodhouse Architects. Jury comments:  They respected the original Brutalist structure while distinguishing themselves from it.  This is a nice example of what a lot of architects are dealing with now–taking buildings from the 1960s and 1970s that are very robustly built and the bones are good, but then how do you bring them forward to accommodate new programs and new mission? Image courtesy of Christopher Barrett, Christopher Barrett Photography.

Distinguished Building Citation of Merit

University of California San Diego, Rita Atkinson Residences in La Jolla, Calif., designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates. Jury comments: 

There’s a sense of scale control to break down a large building into several levels of articulations. And that’s both for the formal aspect of the building as well as for the planning of the landscape and outdoor areas. Image courtesy of Nic Lehoux, Nic Lehoux Photography.

Back to AIArchitect January 25, 2013

Go to the current issue of AIArchitect


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy