2020 Young Architect 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.

Fiercely dedicated to strengthening the profession through his integrity and commitment, Christopher Lujan, AIA, is a natural leader and exceptional architect. His ability to articulate solutions facing the profession makes him an ideal spokesperson for AIA chapters across Nevada and the profession as a whole.

Lujan received his master’s of architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received the Fielden Medal for Academic Excellence in Architecture and the UNLV College of Fine Arts Most Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year. In addition, he received the AIA Henry Adams Fund Award of Merit for Excellence in the Study of Architecture. Before his graduate studies, Lujan received his bachelor of arts from the University of New Mexico. During his time there, he worked for the school’s residence life program, engaging with the student population in a number of roles through social and educational programming. He remains a proud alumnus of both universities and returns regularly to serve as a mentor, lecturer, and visiting juror.

In 2007, Lujan joined Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects in Henderson, Nevada, where he is currently an associate principal. He has worked on a wide range of complex projects—from government and commercial to transportation and educational facilities—which are marked by their inclusion of balanced daylighting, strong formal expressions, and bold colors. His work is found across Nevada, the Southwest, and southeastern China.

Lujan’s leadership and involvement with AIA is equal parts mentorship, philanthropy, and advocacy. When then-Nevada State Senator Steven Horsford requested that AIA Las Vegas develop guidelines for diversifying the state’s economy as it recovered from the recession, Lujan conducted such thorough and incisive research on multimodal transportation that it was included verbatim in the resulting publication. As a member of AIA Nevada, he serves as the State Government Network representative and is a member of AIA’s ArchiPAC Emerging Professionals Committee. His keen interest in legislative advocacy has strengthened the profession, and he has encouraged legislators to support the next generation of design professionals.

While his commitment to the Las Vegas design community is significant, the most impressive example of his leadership may be found in his work with St. Baldrick’s Foundation. In support of childhood cancer research, Lujan recruits Las Vegas architects to join his Bald by Design team and raise funds for the foundation by publicly shaving their heads. Last year, largely due to his efforts, his team became one of the most financially effective in the country, reaching its goal of raising over $1 million.

Indisputably passionate, Lujan demonstrates an uncompromising dedication to his community. The sincerity of his actions show the public that there is much more to an architect than formal training and talent.Fiercely dedicated to strengthening the profession through his integrity and commitment, Christopher Lujan, AIA, is a natural leader and exceptional architect. His ability to articulate solutions facing the profession makes him an ideal spokesperson for AIA chapters across Nevada and the profession as a whole.

Lujan received his master’s of architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received the Fielden Medal for Academic Excellence in Architecture and the UNLV College of Fine Arts Most Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year. In addition, he received the AIA Henry Adams Fund Award of Merit for Excellence in the Study of Architecture. Before his graduate studies, Lujan received his bachelor of arts from the University of New Mexico. During his time there, he worked for the school’s residence life program, engaging with the student population in a number of roles through social and educational programming. He remains a proud alumnus of both universities and returns regularly to serve as a mentor, lecturer, and visiting juror.

Jury

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

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

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

Roger Schluntz, FAIA, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Frances Halsband, FAIA, Klimet Halsband Architects, New York, New York

Lora Teagarden, AIA, RATIO Architects, Inc.,  Indianapolis, Indiana

Image credits

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O'Gara - Bissell

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Tom Bonner

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Art Domagala

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Tom Bonner

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Jeff Green