This year's AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture reflect a diverse range of typologies, including a rowing boathouse (by Anmahian Winton Architects) , an airport (by Gensler), a mausoleum (by HGA Architects and Engineers), and a museum (by Belzberg Architects). The other dominant theme is adaptive reuse, from CannonDesign's library to ZGF Architect' station. 

For more on each project from our ARCHITECT Project Gallery, click the link on the project name.

Albert Vecerka

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, New York

Client: “We wanted a brilliant, transformative new structure with dynamic design and outstanding functionality seamlessly integrated into our complicated, century-old 52-acre site.” —Scot Medbury, president, Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Jury: “It is a ribbon of building, integrating roof, pedestrian experience, and city context.”

Benjamin Benschneider

King Street Station, Seattle
ZGF Architects, Portland, Ore.

Client: “We simultaneously wanted to restore the station’s historic features while modernizing its systems so that the building reflects its past but is also well-positioned for the future.” —Ethan Melone, major projects division, Seattle Department of Transportation

Jury: “An incredible transformation of an important civic landmark, and one that reinforces Seattle’s commitment to sustainable design and to preserving our historical and cultural heritage.”

Maris Mezulis

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Campus, Waterloo, Ontario
KPMB Architects, Toronto

Architect: “The design, inspired by universities in the Oxbridge style, is based on a vision for a ‘vibrant sanctuary’ in the form of an academic courtyard building, enclosed by a glazed cloister, with a bell tower. By including a variety of lounge, study, and breakout areas throughout the campus, the concept encourages a high level of interaction and collaboration between faculty and students.” —Fred Kuntz, vice president of public affairs, CIGI

Jury: “The building feels humble, yet sophisticated. It reinvents ways of using light; it uses the reflection off of the white masonry walls to illuminate the space. The sustainable program and design are well integrated.”

Peter Vanderwarker

Harry Parker Boathouse, Brighton, Mass.
Anmahian Winton Architects, Cambridge, Mass.

Client: “We wanted the building to communicate openness and accessibility to the public, so we wanted long, airplane hanger–style doors, parallel to the water, so the boats would be fully visible, and a pathway connecting the boathouse to a larger public park system.” —Bruce Smith, president, Community Rowing

Jury: “The design purpose is clearly conveyed by borrowing from the nomenclature of oars and regattas.”

Matthew Millman

Jackson Hole Airport, Jackson, Wyo.
Gensler, San Francisco

Architect: “Our concept considered the building as a simple, understated foreground within the beautiful landscape. We wanted a rich dialogue between the interior and exterior—the terminal needed expansive views to both the east and west. And we aimed to distinguish the Jackson Hole Airport from typical airport aesthetics through its regional design, materials, and intimate scale.”—Brent Mather, AIA, design director and senior associate, Gensler

Jury: “The rusted steel, wood, and stone are great material choices that produced a regionally inspired solution.”

Iwan Baan

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Los Angeles
Belzberg Architects, Santa Monica, Calif.

Client: “We wanted a vessel for memory and a dynamic home for Holocaust education at the heart of the Los Angeles Jewish émigré community, in a public greenspace where Holocaust survivors have long gathered to share their stories. To honor them, we needed a dignified, contemplative exterior—one respectful of the park it’s nestled in, the lives it honors, and the sorrowful history it was built to teach.” —Samara Hutman, executive director, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Jury: “The concrete work is beautiful. Although the project is curvilinear in form, the more basic structure is a very rigid grid. Given the nature of this museum’s mission, the experience of it should be unusual, and this design makes it so: The amorphous geometry reinforces the unsettling journey through the museum.”

Dwight Eschliman

The Pierre, San Juan Islands, Wash.
Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle

Architect: “We wanted the architecture to be embedded into the landscape. It was one of those rare moments as an architect when you’re allowed to explore the intersection between the landscape and a building’s interior. Our aim was to make the two seamless.” —Tom Kundig, FAIA, principal and owner, Olson Kundig Architects

Jury: “This project is a beautiful design response to a beautiful setting. It has a fascinating medieval-modern feel; exquisitely crafted.”

Tim Hursley

St. Louis Public Library, Central Library, St. Louis, Mo.
CannonDesign, St. Louis, Mo.

Client: “The St. Louis Public Library treasured its magnificent building and wanted the matchless faÇades and monumental spaces thoughtfully restored. But we needed more than a beautiful, historic museum of architecture. Cass Gilbert’s great Renaissance palace had to be reborn as a state-of-the-art library of our time, with all the complex systems and diverse services a modern library requires. It had to be efficient and effective. It had to be brilliant. Above all it had to reflect our own time and open itself up to the St. Louis of today.” —Waller McGuire, executive director, St. Louis Public Library

Jury: “The restored building is lovely, bright, and it maintains the Cass Gilbert glory. It is well detailed, restrained, and bold all at once.”

Michael Moran/OTTO

Quaker Meeting House and Arts Center, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.
KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia

Client: “We wanted to transform our Eisenhower-era gymnasium into a timeless Quaker meeting house and arts complex—a space that would be both the physical and spiritual center of campus life.” —Ellis Turner, associate head of school, Sidwell Friends School

Jury: “Fascinating use of light and molding of space. Beautiful reinterpretation with a sensitive vernacular touch.”

Paul Crosby

Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, Minneapolis
HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis

Client: “We were seeking a mausoleum that was unique and spectacular, but we didn’t want it to dominate the landscape. We wanted it to be in harmony with the cemetery, and HGA Architects achieved that.” —Ron Gjerde Jr., president, Lakewood Cemetery

Jury: “The sculpting of natural light in this project is beautiful. The materials are absolutely striking. There is not one false note to this building.”


SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Ga.
Sottile & Sottile, Savannah, Ga., and Lord Aeck Sargent, Atlanta

Client: “We wanted to emphasize sustainability and historic preservation in both the SCAD curriculum and the museum itself, which reuses the remains of the oldest extant antebellum railroad depot in America, and showcases prominent features like the Savannah gray bricks and original heart pine timbers.” —Ally Hughes, director of university communications, Savannah College of Art and Design

Jury: “The architects salvaged as many materials as they could, and they fit them into the new building without being false to the finished product. Lovely reinvention of a ruin into an art museum; sensitive reuse, yet clean break with the past.”