2018 Young Architects Award Recipient

Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

An articulate architect and mentor, Pascale Sablan, AIA, is only the 315th black female architect to receive licensure in the United States. With a passion for design that took root long before she began to practice, Sablan seeks excellence and humanity in all of her projects while providing a resounding voice for the issues facing women architects and architects of color.

Last year Sablan joined New York City’s S9 Architecture as a senior associate. Previously she had been an associate at the New York’s FXFOWLE Architects for more than a decade. As a member of FXFOWLE’s design team, she contributed to a number of commercial, cultural, and residential projects in the U.S., Asia, and the Middle East. In Boston, Sablan played a critical role—from concept through construction administration—for 888 Boylston Street, a 425,000-square-foot addition to the Prudential Center Complex. The LEED Platinum building is a landmark in sustainability and the highest-performing speculative office building in New England.

Sablan’s work has garnered a number of awards and honors, including the AIA New York/Center for Architecture Emerging Professional Award in 2014. A year later she was named National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) member of the year. Through her guidance as president in 2016, the New York Coalition of Black Architects was named NOMA Chapter of the Year and has since enjoyed a membership increase of more than 25 percent.

Throughout her involvement with NOMA, Sablan has developed programs to educate and empower minority architects. Her chapter’s Project Pipeline introduces elementary school students to architecture, sending design professionals to visit New York City schools. The program also offers financial assistance to one student and one recently licensed professional each year. Additionally, Sablan revamped NOMA’s collaborations with AIA New York’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the results of which were illustrated in the recent exhibition Sablan curated at the Center for Architecture, “Say It Loud: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA|NOMA.”

Deeply committed to strengthening the profession and ensuring its future success, Sablan lectures regularly at colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Georgia Tech University, Pratt Institute, and Parsons School of Design. A regular participant in the ACE Mentor Program, she worked with students to design a new school campus in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, replacing what was devastated in the 2010 earthquake. Their efforts there were recognized with a NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design (Unbuilt).

Dedicated to developing a more humane society, Sablan has a passion for architecture and social responsibility that is unsurpassed. While her many accomplishments speak for themselves, her prominent voice for women and architects of color is perhaps the most important one.


Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA (Chair), LML Consulting, Washington, DC

Raymond "Skipper" Post, FAIA, Post Architects, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Edward Vance, FAIA, EV&A Architects, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada

Peter Kuttner, FAIA, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts

John Castellana, FAIA, TMP Architecture, Inc., Bloomfield Hill, Michigan

Evelyn Lee, AIA, Savills Studley, Oakland, California

Image credits

Pascale Sablan - main image

Pascale Sablan

Pascale Sablan - image 1

Pascale Sablan

Pascale Sablan - Say It Loud

Cameron Blaylock