AIA Pennsylvania Awards Showcase the Impact of Commonwealth Architects

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects has debuted the 2019 architectural, student, and special award recipients with the 3rd annual Architectural Excellence Awards Broadcast streamed into viewing parties, offices, and homes across the Commonwealth. Last Thursday, November 14th, over 300 viewers from across the state tuned into the pre-produced awards documentary. The broadcast kicked off with a special message from 2019 AIA National President and Pittsburgh native, William J. Bates, FAIA.

View the broadcast in its entirety here

Stream project submissions from participating firms here

Over 50 firms and individuals across Pennsylvania were honored for excellence in design, contributions to the profession of architecture and commitment to the quality of the built environment.

View the gallery of award recipients here


2019’s Architectural Excellence Design Awards recipients were selected by a jury of nationally recognized architects spearheaded by Marlon Blackwell, FAIA of Marlon Blackwell Architects (Fayetteville, AR). Wendy Evans Joseph, FAIA of Studio Joseph (New York, NY) and Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa (Los Angeles, CA) rounded out the jury.

Wendy Evans Joseph confirmed that in honoring design, the awards jury is obligated to look beyond aesthetic beauty to recognize projects that utilize design to provide sustainable solutions to problems that communities of all sizes encounter,  “I think it’s important that all architects have aspirations beyond the individual project that we not only want to solve problems for our clients but we want to set an example for our community as well.”

Three firms were selected to receive the most distinguished architectural excellence award. Two Philadelphia based firms took home Silver Medal honors, ISA for XS House and BLT Architects for the Bourse. Pittsburgh firm, R3A Architecture, received a Silver Medal for Carnegie Mellon University at Mill 19. The remaining 16 projects honored with 2019 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design Awards at the Bronze and Honor levels of commendation were selected from over 140 project submissions.

ISA | 2019 Architectural Firm of Year Award Recipient at the Center for Architecture & Design, AIA Philadelphia Viewing Party

In addition, ten Special Awards were presented including the 2019 Architectural Firm Award honoring ISA. ISA, a Philadelphia-based firm, leverages the opportunities and challenges of its home city to drive a design practice that balances big ideas and real-world constraints in building and research projects that address changing climates, lifestyles, technologies, and urban communities. ISA joins the prestigious rank of previous recipients including Spillman Farmer Architects, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, KieranTimberlake, Erdy McHenry, DIGSAU, and MGA Partners.

As the recipient of the 50 Year Timeless Award, Philadelphia’s PSFS Building was recognized for its unique ability to stand the test of time resonating with the design community and the public alike. The highest award bestowed upon an AIA Pennsylvania member was granted to Sylvester Damianos, FAIA. The Medal of Distinction honors contributions to architecture that transcend local boundaries and have been of benefit to the profession and citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The seven additional Special Awards including the Government Award and the Impact Designer Award can be viewed here.

AIA Pennsylvania also presented seven Student Awards to students from Pennsylvania’s seven NAAB-accredited architecture programs. Students were selected by their faculty for proficiency in both academics and design and readiness to take on the challenges and responsibilities of the work environment in an architecture firm.

16 architecture firms from across Pennsylvania were recognized with the 2019 EPiC Firm Designation for fostering emerging professionals. Firms are vetted for their Architectural Experience Programs (AXP), leadership opportunities, and support offered throughout the ARE testing process.