Interfaith Design Awards

Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum - outside

AN EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE LAKEWOOD CEMETERY GARDEN MAUSOLEUM IN MINNEAPOLIS, Part of the portfolio of Joan Soranno, FAIA, the 2018 recipient of the Frey award. ARCHITECT: HGA

Interfaith Design is a 5,000+ member knowledge community of the American Institute of Architects. Interfaith Design encourages and supports excellence in the design of worship spaces and their accouterments. It is an association of professionals whose primary interest is religious facilities in a broad array of traditions. We value an interfaith forum for the exchange of ideas relating to religion, art, and architecture.

Interfaith Design has a family of awards programs: Edward S. Frey Award, named in memory of Rev. Dr. Edward S. Frey; the Elbert M. Conover, offered in memory of Dr. Elbert M. Conover, both managed by AIA Honors & Awards. And lastly, the Religious Art and Architecture Design Award, managed by Faith & Form magazine and co-sponsored by the Interfaith Design Knowledge Community, honors the best in architecture, liturgical design and art for religious spaces.

Edward S. Frey Award

Places of worship have long stood as emblems of artistic, spiritual, and architectural expression. The AIA Interfaith Design Knowledge Community sponsors the Edward S. Frey Memorial Award, which recognizes architects for their contributions to religious architecture and support of the allied arts.  

The award is named in memory of Rev. Dr. Edward S. Frey, who inspired architects to foster spiritual values in design and served as the Executive Director of the Commission on Church Architecture for the Lutheran Church of America.

Elbert M. Conover Award

Places of worship have long stood as emblems of artistic, spiritual, and architectural expression. The AIA Interfaith Design knowledge community sponsors the Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award, which recognizes non-architects for their contributions to religious architecture.

The award is offered in memory of Dr. Elbert M. Conover who, after 11 years in the ministry, served as director of the Bureau of Architecture of the Methodist Church in 1924. He became the first director of the Bureau of Church Building and Architecture, National Council of the Churches of Christ of the United States of America.

Religious Art and Architecture Award

The Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards honors the best in architecture, liturgical design and art for religious spaces. The awards program is co-sponsored by Faith & Form magazine and Interfaith Design.  For submission details, visit Faith & Form >

Edward S. Frey Award

The Edward S. Frey Award is open to architect members of the AIA who have demonstrated a passion for and dedication to quality worship and sacred spaces, fostered spiritual values, and promoted a cross-denominational community focused on religious arts and architecture.

For example, these members may have built several well-designed churches, temples, mosques or other structures.

Elbert M. Conover Award

The Elbert M. Conover Award is open to all non-architects who have demonstrated a passion for and dedication to quality worship and sacred spaces, fostered spiritual values, and promoted a cross-denominational community focused on religious arts and architecture. Recipients must have worked with architects during the design and construction of religious projects—for example, helping to secure funding and support for sacred spaces.

Image credits

Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum - outside

Paul Crosby Photography