Superb American design celebrated with AIA Architecture Awards
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has revealed the recipients of its annual Architecture Awards. The prestigious prize highlights 11 outstanding projects this year, including an energy efficient US Embassy in the UK, a flexible events space in New York City, and the renovation of Seattle's iconic Space Needle.
Featured in the AIA 2022 Architecture Awards are the finest new buildings by firms licensed in the US. Though the buildings themselves don't actually have to be located in the US to qualify, all but one of them is this year, with the exception being the US Embassy in the UK.
"The 2022 Architecture Award program celebrates the best contemporary architecture and highlights the many ways buildings and spaces can improve lives," said the AIA. "The nine-member jury selects submissions that demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, history, and environmental sustainability."
We've highlighted a few standout projects that caught our eye (see below), but be sure to head to the gallery to check out each of the 11 buildings featured in the AIA 2022 Architecture Awards.
The Shed, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a remarkably ambitious project located on NYC's Hudson Yards mega-development, close to other high-profile works like Heatherwick Studio's Vessel.
The building measures 200,000 sq ft (roughly 18,500 sq m), and reaches a height of 120 ft (36.5 m). Its interior layout provides gallery space, a theater, a rehearsal space, and more. Likened by its designers to gantry cranes found in shipping ports, a section of its exterior shell moves horizontally along a series of wheels, enclosing a nearby open-air plaza to turn it into an additional events space. The entire process takes around five minutes to complete.
The US Embassy in London, by Kieran Timberlake, measures 518,050 sq ft (48,128 sq m) and reaches a modest height of 65 m (213 ft). Its glazed facade is partially wrapped in an eye-catching transparent plastic covering that's shaped to reduce solar heat gain and glare, while still enabling staff to enjoy the view of the Thames and allowing lots of daylight inside.
The sustainable design is extensive and includes daylight-responsive lighting and shades, roof-based solar panels that reduce its draw on the power grid, ground-source heat pumps for efficient heating and cooling, and a rainwater capture system for use in toilets and irrigation.
With its Century Project at the Space Needle in Seattle, Olson Kundig expertly handled the delicate task of renovating one of the USA's most iconic towers.
Having originally opened in 1962, the 184-m (605-ft)-tall observation tower had received several ill-conceived renovations over the decades. Olson Kundig put this right with the addition of the world's first rotating glass floor on one level. There are also new floor-to-ceiling glass barriers and glass benches installed on the observation deck one floor above, as well as a new interior decor throughout the tower.