About AIA Chicago
The Chicago chapter of The American Institute of Architects was founded in 1869 and represents nearly 3,000 licensed architects, architectural interns, and allied professionals in Illinois.
Letter from Peter Schlossman, AIA, president of AIA Chicago
The pursuit of beauty is one of architecture's highest callings, and one reason why many of us have dedicated ourselves to the profession. Defining and creating beauty, however, can be an elusive task. The architectural process has many varied and potential pitfalls, but after all that a project must undergo to come to fruition, obtaining recognition by a jury of your peers can be equally challenging. The world places many demands on its architects, and the rewards we earn are not always substantial. In this environment it is important that we take time to recognize the excellence for which we, as members of AIA, collectively strive. More
The fifty-one year old archive of the Design Excellence Awards program is a living history of our chapter's view of the world, our take on current industry trends, and a reflection of our social priorities and our corresponding design responses over time. This year AIA Chicago adds forty-one new winners to its storied history of design excellence awards, and I can safely say that the winning does not come easy. The process of executing any good project requires an enlightened owner, a rigorous architectural and engineering team and a deftly managed construction crew, but even the benefit of such a team does not guarantee a successful or award-winning outcome. The process of executing a project worthy of excellence is far less tangible. This special edition is our yearly testament to the extreme dedication and art of those few projects and the teams behind them that reach the level we deem excellent.
The teams that define architectural beauty for us each year are our design award juries. They are selected to be diverse geographically and ethnically, as well as by gender and design backgrounds. This year's juries were no exception. They worked hard, endured lengthy deliberation, and in the end selected a fine set of projects that represent the best thought and design recently accomplished in Chicago. I thank each of them for their dedication to the art of design and for their imprint on the legacy of this award program.
Our award program this year recognizes our best local architects, but is also meant to be a tribute to the fine architecture in Chicago being done by architects living outside of our city. For the first time, beginning this year, the Design Excellence program is open to them. It is the goal of AIA Chicago to recognize all the great work in the city and to have that greatness become the new threshold for excellence in design. Another new feature of this year's awards is the addition of the Urban Design Award. This award will rotate with the Sustainable Design Award and Unbuilt Design Award, on a yearly basis, or as demand and circumstances dictate. One last change to our program was to extend the eligibility timeframe for projects. Our hope is that these changes will invigorate and expand the potential for this program in future years.
Chicago architects are producing some of the nation's finest work, and I hope this presentation is an adequate tribute to their accomplishments. This year's Design Excellence Award winners constitute the finest work in our city, accomplished through the hard work of many owners, contractors, and architects with the able assistance of their engineers, consultants and photographers.