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May 25, 2011
by Jacqueline Pezzillo Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Annually, AIA Honors and Awards recognize firms and individuals that make “lasting impacts on the places in which we live, work, and play… enriching the profession and human experience,” according to AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. Categories include the Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement, Young Architects Award, Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design, Honorary Members, Associate Awards, Institute Honor Awards for Architecture, and the Twenty-Five Year Award. For a full list of award recipients, click here.

Jury members lauded the 2011 award recipients in each category for their dedication, ingenuity, leadership, and service. Among the NYC projects awarded for design excellence were The Barnard College Diana Center by Weiss/Manfredi, Gowanus Canal Sponge Park by dlandstudio llc, and One Jackson Square by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in collaboration with Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron. AIANY proudly applauded its own Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, for her elevation as an AIA honorary member, and Ernest W. Hutton, Jr., Assoc. AIA, FAICP, for his Associate Award in recognition of his service to the Chapter.

NYC’s Active Design Guidelines, a manual to encourage architects, urban designers, and city agencies to introduce physical activity within the environments they create, was one of five recipients of the Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. David Burney, FAIA, Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Design + Construction (DDC), who also received a Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, accepted the award. A collaboration of the NYC DDC, Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation, and City Planning, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget and AIANY, the publication strives to increase physical activity to improve physical and mental health.

Joining the ranks of the Ford Foundation, the St. Louis Arch, and the Kimbell Art Museum, Boston’s John Hancock Tower, designed by Henry Cobb, FAIA, of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, was awarded the AIA Twenty-Five Year Award for enduring the test of time as an embodiment of design excellence since its completion in 1976. Curtis Fentress, FAIA, a jury member who toured the project prior to its selection, stated that this “holy grail of Modernism” looked just as new as day one and successfully fit into the neighborhood context. Awarded a LEED Gold Existing Building certification in 2010, the 60-story reflective tower continues to occupy a position of prominence in the city and, according to Cobb, it is a persistent and demanding presence in his professional life. When accepting the award, Cobb called the John Hancock Tower resolute, speechless, and its self-denial both a triumph and a tragedy.

Ranging in age, locale, sector and mission, more than 50 projects, individuals, and firms were praised for their embodiment of the core competencies of the practice. Congratulations to all.

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