Hot on the heels of its interior design awards and AIANY design awards, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed the recipients of the 2019 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. Featuring buildings and spaces by US-licensed firms, this year's winners include museums, affordable housing, and the restoration of an American icon.

With the aim of celebrating the best contemporary architecture and highlighting the ways buildings can improve lives, AIA's five judges chose winners based on "significant design achievement, including a sense of place and purpose, ecology, environmental sustainability, and history."

There are a total of nine in all, seven of which are in the US, plus one in Canada and another in Denmark. Some familiar names feature, such as BIG, Adjaye Associates, and Lake | Flato Architects.

We've picked a few highlights below but head to the gallery to see each of the nine recipients of the 2019 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture.

NMAAHC - Adjaye Associates, etc.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was designed by Ghanian British architect Sir David Adjaye, along with Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroup. The museum commemorates black history and culture, and is located on what was the last remaining plot in the National Mall in Washington, DC.

NMAAHC's overall form is inspired by a Yoruban Caryatid, which is a traditional West African wooden column, and its main entrance is conceived as a welcoming porch. It's finished in an ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice that pays homage to the ironwork once crafted by enslaved African Americans. The building boasts some sustainable design too, such as roof-based solar panels and rainwater collection.

Starter Home* No. 4-15 Saint Thomas/Ninth - Office of Jonathan Tate

Located just a block away from the Mississippi River in St. Thomas, New Orleans, Starter Home* No. 4-15 is a continuation of OJT's Starter Home* project, which aims to provide relatively affordable homes to urban neighborhoods that are in the process of gentrifying.

It overcame significant zoning challenges which involved OJT reconfiguring the existing parcels of land to squeeze in a dozen attractive and light-filled modern homes: 10 single-family homes and one two-family residence. To achieve this, the firm maximized every bit of space available and built tall skinny houses, several of which are three stories-high.

Restoration of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia - John G. Waite Associates

The Restoration of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia involved the repair of what is often considered Thomas Jefferson's most significant architectural achievement.

Despite the 200-year-old building's historical value, it was in dire need of restoration, with a leaky roof and poor quality previous work that needed undoing. John G. Waite Associates worked with multiple specialists to replace its roof with a new copper unit and restored the original exterior metal moldings dating back to the 1890s, among other improvements. The interior was overhauled too, with Jefferson's original finishes and architectural flourishes restored on all three floors.

Source: AIA

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