2021 Honor Awards for Design Excellence


Juried by: AIA Seattle

Karen Braitmayer FAIA
Studio Pacifica Ltd.

Joe Herrin AIA
co-founder & principal

Grace Kim FAIA
Schemata Workshop, Inc.

Whitney Lewis Lockhart Assoc AIA
project designer

Vikram Sami AIA, BEMP, LEED AP
director of building performance
Olson Kundig

Jury Overview

The jury acknowledged the submissions were of high quality and demonstrated a significant investment by the local municipalities in their public library system, and noted the numerous adaptive reuse projects as indicative of the region and intentions toward sustainability: re-use before recycle.

The jury was sensitive to the use and incorporation of technical components and how they informed sustainable solutions to create low impact, sustainable and universal design that’s rooted in humanistic place and space making. Incorporating project realities of scope, budget and people, the panel sought to reflect on design excellence by establishing whether the projects excelled at combining aesthetic with building performance and could make deep long-lasting impact with synergies between the built form and the community impacted. As a result, the projects recognized by the panel demonstrated elevated awareness of clarity and craft, technical acumen and a level of sophistication that was restrained, understated and above all served as catalysts of change to the architectural landscape.

Although not premiated for awards, certain projects are worthy of mention. The Swift Factory was an exemplar of the BSA’s desired impact on social equity: successfully integrating community vision in the thoughtful revitalization of the existing structures. The Central Library did a great job broadening access for all and engaging the public realm; universal design played a pivotal role in unifying the two existing buildings and vastly improving the wayfinding. Brookside Apartments caught the jury’s attention with its ambitious landscape-restoration efforts, and Jefferson Park Apartments set a benchmark for future revitalization of a large public-housing project.

We encourage future submissions and panels to richly demonstrate the community engagement and diversity that informs your design. We sought projects that illustrated the backstory of the design drivers and the inclusion of all users in the life of the building.