The Chicago office of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will has been honored with five awards for outstanding architecture by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago chapter. The awards, presented as part of the 60th annual Design Excellence Awards competition on Oct. 23, included three Honor Awards (the program’s highest distinction) and two Citation of Merit awards. The three Honor Awards were the most a single firm received at this year’s event, with Perkins+Will also earning the distinction of being awarded in all Design Excellence categories. Together, the awards recognized a wide array of national and international work from the firm’s higher education, interior design, branded environments, corporate and commercial, and civic and cultural practice areas. The competition drew entries from 94 firms, with 25 receiving awards.
The following Perkins+Will-designed buildings earned Honor Awards:
• Distinguished Building – U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Situated on the St. Elizabeth’s National Historic Landmark Campus, Chicago Architect magazine, the official publication of AIA Chicago, noted that the 1.2 million sq. ft. building “forms a network of interconnected cascading quadrangles that are woven into the surrounding fabric.”
• Interior Architecture – Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The 89,000 sq. ft. building combines public spaces, quiet study areas, student organization offices, and spaces for community functions, and was commended by one award juror as “a strong piece of architecture that brings the open space inside.”
• Divine Detail – The Shanghai Natural History Museum in Shanghai, China. Specially called out was the iconic, multi-layered cell wall inside the museum representing the cellular structure of plants and animals – “one of the few built works that successfully illustrates how complex organic geometries such as a cell can be built as fully function building elements,” noted Chicago Architect.
Two Perkins+Will-designed buildings were awarded the Citation of Merit:
• Interior Architecture – Newell Rubbermaid Design Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. With its large group work areas and Innovation Lab, Huddle Rooms and Immersion Rooms, the building “fosters collaboration between teams of designers to develop new products for a company known for its consumer brands,” Chicago Architect noted.
• 10-Year Award – Contemporaine in Chicago, Ill. The residential, retail, and parking building in Chicago’s River North was honored in a new AIA Chicago category for buildings with “performance and lasting impact.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for the design teams who envisioned and saw to fruition these award-winning projects,” said Perkins+Will’s Gina Berndt, managing director for the Chicago office. “The praise we received for these projects was humbling, and it further conveyed that the work we do is indeed outstanding and held to the highest regard amongst our peers.”
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