Great public architecture embodies the identity and values of a society. The Award for Excellence in Public Architecture recognizes architects in the public and private sectors who design distinguished public facilities; and public officials, or other individuals, who advocate for the design excellence of public spaces.

Below is high-level information about the program criteria to help you determine if you are a good fit for the Public Architecture Award program. For full criteria and guidelines, please refer to the submission guide in the Resources tab.


• Category One: U.S. licensed, private sector architects with a portfolio of public facilities

• Category Two: U.S. licensed, public service architects

• Category Three: Public officials or other individuals

Note: If a candidate’s experience is relevant to multiple categories, they should select the category that they feel will support the stronger case for selection.


Any AIA Member in good standing, AIA Components, and AIA Knowledge Communities may make nominations for the Award for Excellence in Public Architecture.

Nominator responsibilities

If your nominator is an individual, they must affirm that neither they nor their firm employs unpaid intern architects, including working students (as defined in Section 11.0 of the AIA Rules of the Board).

Nominators are required to write a letter of support for the candidate that introduces the submission. Nominators also assist the candidate by acting as a point of contact for the reference writers and providing guidance as needed.


Recognition for this program typically includes the following elements but may be subject to change. Recipients will receive additional information about this cycle’s recognition benefits with their selection notification.

  • promotional recognition in AIA communication channels.
  • invitation for the recipient or a recipient representative to attend selected Honors & Awards event celebrations, commonly held during the annual AIA Conference on Architecture

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