Korean-American architect Kyu Sung Woo, whose eponymous firm is located in Cambridge, Mass., has won the 2008 Ho-Am Prize in the Arts. The prize recognizes South Koreans who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of culture and the arts through their creative efforts. Woo, whose built works include the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland, Kan., and the Whanki Museum in Seoul, is the first architect to win the prize. Since 1991, the Ho-Am Prize, created and funded by the Samsung Corp., has been awarded annually to five Koreans living in the country or abroad; the award's categories are science, engineering, medicine, the arts, and community service. Winners receive a medal, a laureate diploma, and 200 million won (about $200,000).

A recent study by the AIA finds that the number of U.S. counties with green building programs has grown from eight in 2003 to 39 in 2008, an increase of almost 500 percent. “Local Leaders in Sustainability: Green Counties,” released in July, looked at the 200 most populous counties in the nation, which represent a little more than half of the U.S. population.

Six buildings have made the short list for the 2008 Stirling Prize, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects: Royal Festival Hall, by Allies and Morrison; Westminster Academy, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Manchester Civil Justice Centre, by Denton Corker Marshall; Accordia, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Maccreanor Lavington, and Alison Brooks Architects; Bijlmer Arena Station, by Grimshaw and Arcadis; and Nordpark Cable Railway, by Zaha Hadid Architects. The winner will be announced on Oct. 11.

Gensler has hired Andrew Caruso as the firm's first director of intern development. Caruso, who has spent the past year as president of the American Institute of Architecture Students, will manage the firm's intern program, scholarships, and relationships with universities.

Los Angeles architect Dan Meis has merged his firm with global design and consulting firm Aedas. Beginning this month, Meis Architects will be known as Aedas LA.