2017 Excellence in Design Awards

AIA Maryland Celebrates Excellence in Design at Annual Awards Celebration

Members, their clients and consultants, architectural students and professors, along with their colleagues gathered on September 28th at Greencourt Innovation Center in Rockville to recognize the outstanding architectural achievements of AIA members and architectural students. AIA Maryland President, Brenden Frederick, AIA presented the architectural awards to the students, architects, building owners, and general contractors for their outstanding design during the awards ceremony.

The jury from AIA Portland selected 20 professional projects and 2 student projects for recognition and awarded The Center by Ziger/Snead Architects our Public Building of the Year award. See our jury and listen to their comments here.

AIA Maryland wishes to thank all participants for their contributions to this annual program. The winning projects are shown below and you may view all the entries in the 2017 Gallery and the Student Design Awards.

2017 Professional Project Winners:


Project: The Center
Architect: Ziger/Snead Architects
Owner/Client: Jubliee Baltimore
Contractor: Southway Builders
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: The selection process for Building of the Year was tough… after discussing all the projects deserving recognition for design approach and design resolution, it was not immediately clear that a single project was significantly distinguished from the pool of candidates in terms of aesthetic and technical achievement. This circumstance led the members of the jury to consider broader criteria. What were the client’s objectives: private gain or public investment? What was the role of the project in the community? What was the role of the architect and client together in pursuit of this objective? Did the role of the architect extend beyond design and into areas such as cultural programming and the economic sustainability of the project?

For these reasons, the jury selected “The Centre” as Building of the Year. The Centre signifies two important accomplishments, each of which represents an area in which architects are finding new turf and new trends. First, the project creates a home for new institutions in a city center context that are usually associated with a campus. In this case, the architects designed the renovation hand-in-glove with spaces for programs shared between Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Art, and spaces for a new film institute and jewelry studio serving the community. Second, the project illustrates the ways in which landmark restorations and adaptive re-use projects use architecture as a kind of curator for organizations and culture. The Center is a fine example of restoration and reprogramming that adds value to urban areas that will benefit from investment in people, activity, and better design. Congratulations to the client, architect and tenants as team.


Project: Maison Defensive
Architect: Uekman Architects, LLC
Owner/Client: Confidential
Photographer: Paul Burk

Jury: This was one the jury’s favorite projects and was elevated to the top of our list quite quickly in the deliberations. The way in which the project transformed the existing house and site with strong clear formal operations and elegant detailing was quite impressive. All of the decisions made by the architect were well thought out and served a clear idea about how the clients wanted to live, and realized the greatest potential of that idea. One juror noted, “this is architecture.”


Project: Sagamore Pendry Rec Pier Hotel
Architect: Beatty Harvey Coco Associates Architects
Owner/Client: Sagamore Development
Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Photographer: Kevin Weber

Jury: The jury was truly inspired by this commercial adaptation.  The consideration of the existing elements and the tasteful treatment of the interior ornamentation showed restraint and care. The insertion of clean, modern, understated elements updates the purpose and use while pulling from a useful, industrial aesthetic of steel and glass. The main entry lobby that recesses from the front façade creates a beautiful transition space and the placement the courtyard between the old structure was exceptional and elevated this project to Honor Award level.


Project: Salisbury University Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons
Architect: Ayers Saint Gross & Sasaki Associates, Inc.
Owner/Client: Salisbury University and University of Maryland System
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
Photographer: Jeremy Bittermann

Jury: The jury was very impressed by this project. The building has been thoroughly well considered at every scale – from it site planning allowing it to become the link between the campus and the city, to its refined details. Of particular note to the jury was the various scales and spatial conditions the building presents to its users. The central atrium space – The Commons – which serves as the heart of the campus and the smaller more intimate niche spaces represent the way the building quite skillfully responds to the various conditions of its site and program. It is a truly beautiful and well crafted building that respects its neo-Georgian context while being very much of its time.


Project: The Moelis Family Grand Reading Room at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center at the University of Pennsylvania
Architect: Gensler
Owner/Client: University of Pennsylvania
Contractor: Clemens Construction Company, Inc.
Photographer: Brad Feinknopf

Jury: The jury was unanimous in its praise of this project. The consistent and thorough approach to the design has lead to a beautiful space utterly suited to its function. The Reading Room’s mural, coupled with its acoustic properties and the design of the space, is heroic—creating depth, texture, color, and relief. The well-executed piece not only functions as art but also serves a technical, and necessary, purpose. The finishes and furniture selections are simple, yet dignified.


Project: Wake Forest School of Medicine
Architect: Gaudreau, Inc.
Owner/Client: Wake Forest University
Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Photographer: Tom Holdsworth

Jury: This project did not jump off the page for the jury… at first pass, it was difficult to understand where the architecture was, and how the scope of the project did or did not impact the entire complex that it anchors. On further study, however, it slowly became clear that this project represents a wonderful example of spatial editing, program assessment and analysis, and compelling use of existing spatial resources. The manner in which the architects populated the old warehouse with a very complex and contemporary set of demanding space-types is fluid and natural. The atrium is cut in with confidence by removing existing floor slab and the code issues for enclosing multi-story atriums are handled with elegant material choices and detailing. It is an understated and timeless approach to bringing the healing arts into a building with a provocative history.


Project: R.House
Architect: PI.KL Studio
Owner/Client: Seawall Development
Contractor: Hencken & Gaines
Photographer: PI.KL Studio

Jury: R.House is bold, robust and delightfully combines two distinct personalities: one is urban, gritty and super-graphic, and the other is urbane, upscale and somewhat genteel. This is not an easy combination and the architectural choices are thoughtful and intentional in achieving this mix. The architects identified key zones and gave each zone a signature spatial structure and design treatment so that the experience of the whole complex has just the right amount of variety. There are also very effective extensions of the building in the form of canopies, covered foyers and planters that bring interest to the sidewalks around the building and extend the life of the building out to the street.


Project: Baltimore Jewelry Center
Architect: Alexander Design Studio
Contractor: Constantine Commercial Construction, Inc.
Photographer: Mitch Allen

Jury: Compared to a diamond in the rough, the jewelry center was applauded for both its program, and for serving its community. Paired with the unfinished existing space, the gallery displays in the entrance corridor feel true to the space.


Project: Home on the Intracoastal Waterway
Architect: Gardner Architects, LLC
Contractor: Beachwood, Inc.
Photographer: John Cole

Jury: The jury was quite taken by the clarity and sensitivity of this project. The clarity of plan and the rigor of its vernacular yet modern sensibility all spoke to a response born out the unique qualities of the site. In fact, the jury noted that it’s hard to imagine this house anywhere but on this site.


Project: Friends School of Baltimore, New Performing & Visual Arts Center
Architect: Ziger/Snead Architects
Owner/Client: Friends School of Baltimore
Contractor: A.R. Marani, Inc.
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: This is a beautiful renovation and addition project, one that truly revitalizes the existing performing and visual arts facility. The jury was particularly struck by the attention to detail and craft, which has lead to an exquisite auditorium space.


Project: Baltimore Museum of Art Major Rennovations
Architect: Ziger/Snead Architects
Owner/Client: Baltimore Museum of Art
Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: Museums are known to have a complicated client profile: multiple stakeholders representing operations, collections, conservation, facilities, and donors. On top of that, BMA is a beautiful neoclassical building that is essentially part of the collection itself. This project appears to deftly negotiate this context, with discreet, sensitive and limited interventions that have a wide variety of benefits across the board. Improved circulation and way finding is provided, without reliance on signage, but rather by simply connecting spaces and opening new routes. New surfaces, lighting, staircases, and customer touch points are refined, elegant and they support the art collection by remaining visually neutral yet clear and functional. The jury hopes the project ages gracefully with the Pope building.


Project: Tucker Hall, College of William & Mary
Architect: Cunningham | Quill Architects
Owner/Client: College of William & Mary
Contractor: Donley’s LLC
Photographer: Chris Cunningham

Jury: The way the design team transformed a building of tremendous historical significance – while (greatly) respecting that very legacy – impressed the jury. We appreciate the strategies by which the building is opened up, as well as the ways the section and section perspective drawings communicate this lightness and airiness. The commitment to recycling building materials factored in our decision making. The lecture hall ceiling is delightful.


Project: Compton Bassett Chapel Repair and Restoration
Architect: Davis Buckley Architects and Planners
Owner/Client: Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Contractor: Brawner Builders
Photographer: Michael Venture

Jury: The jury finds this an exquisite repair and renovation project. An impressive technical achievement given the challenges of working with idiosyncratic brick details and bond timbers made all the more meaningful given that the project served as a learning tool for a university-level historic preservation program. We are sympathetic to the term “diligence” included in the submission description – it is an apt descriptor.


Project: The Jean and Sidney Silber Green Education Center
Architect: Ziger/Snead Architects
Owner/Client: Parks & People Foundation
Contractor: Modular Genius
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: The practical and open demonstration nature of this project caught the jury’s attention.  The collaborative design process and the nature of achieving a modern expression that relates to the vernacular of the existing historic park structures was successful. The multiple deployments – constructed, exhibited and finally, physical placement on the site –  provides proof of concept for well-designed, flexible and mobile structures.


Project: Court House
Architect: Foundry Architects
Owner/Client: Confidential
Contractor: Primos Contractors
Photographer: Stacy Zarin Goldbert

Jury: Despite it being a response to budget, the entry court is a strong element of the success of this project. The screen and gate allow presence on the street by aligning the façade expression. We really loved the contrasting, bold colors that add a playful aspect to the house. The flow of space from one room to the next and from inside to outside expand the living spaces within the small house and lot. The dark wood on the exterior creates a beautiful palette with the dark sashes and clean lines of the new window systems. Well designed and well crafted.


Project: Sterling Branch Library
Architect: Grimm + Parker Architects
Owner/Client: Loudon County Public Library & Loudon County Government
Contractor: Marion Construction
Photographer: Sam Kittner

Jury: This project was praised both for its interior design and also for the program in an abandoned storefront. The booths located along the storefront worked with the exterior, and help create the illusion that the space is not actually located in a strip mall. The skylights are an effective addition with the deep floor plate, and we all wanted to hang out in the jelly bean reading nooks!


Project: SNF Parkway
Architect: Ziger/Snead Architects
Owner/Client: Maryland Film Festival
Contractor: Southway Builders
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: The design decision to keep the building’s space’s rich existing layers, coupled with newly integrated signage and wayfinding, was executed with restraint and elegance. The interior palette’s bold colors blend nicely, and are a fitting contrast to the existing elements.


Project: Open Works
Architect: Cho Benn Holback + Associates, a Quinn Evans Company
Owner/Client: BARCO
Contractor: Southway Builders
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: This project is democratic – not just because of the program, which is to insert a community maker-space into an under-utilized warehouse shell. The project is democratic because it judiciously applies its resources even-handedly and fairly across the entire parcel, building, and built-out interior. The result is complete and satisfying, and every part of the experience from parking, to visiting the cafe, to using the shop feels safe, organized and in support of the Open Work mission. The project is a great example of doing a lot with a little. And despite the architects’ restraint with go-to low-budget design moves, the new logo graphics and mural on the exterior wall are spot-on.


Project: Baltimore Center Stage
Architect: Cho Benn Holback + Associates, a Quinn Evans Company
Owner/Client: Baltimore Center Stage
Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Photographer: Karl Connolly

Jury: The modern glass vestibule acts as a funnel, carrying visitors from old to new. The design both embraces and celebrates the existing patina, and the “roughness” of the carpet works.  This entry’s before and after imagery tells a compelling story.


Project: DC Water Headquarters
Architect: SmithGroupJJR
Owner/Client: DC Water and Sewer Authority
Contractor: Skanska
Renderings by SmithGroupJJR

Jury: The jury was struck by the attention to expressing environmental concerns in a way that will educate the public. The placement and distribution of the colored glass opens in the center and then densifies along the edge, protecting the interior space along the greater solar exposures. The site approach results in a sensual form that creates an easy edge along the waterfront. The jury applauds this bold expression in a public infrastructure project.



Category: Undergraduate, Upper Level Design
OBX Boatcraft Center
Zachary Souders
School: North Carolina State University

Jury: The jury finds the project compelling spatially and formally and well executed overall. There is a distinctive atmosphere to the proposal. The style and composition of drawings are attuned to the nature of the building, the activities within, and the character of the site. The study models are impressive for their diversity, and the final model is exquisite. There is evidence of consistency and tenacity in the design process.


Category: Graduate, Upper Level Design
Strengthening Democracy Through Transparency: Connecting the Public and State at the NSA
Daniel Reynolds
School: The Savannah College of Art and Design

Jury: A very challenging project and program to take on, and we greatly appreciate the courageous approach taken by the designer as well as the high level of execution. The idea of “the surveillance landscape” and an approach characterized by filtered transparency led to animated discussion on the part of the jury. The quality of the text and diagrams complements and informs the final architectural proposal.