2020 Honor Awards Winners

SEATTLE, November 16, 2020—The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle chapter hosted the 70th annual Honor Awards for Washington Architecture on November 16 to celebrate excellence in design.

The distinguished jury included Marsha Maytum, FAIA, LEED AP (LMSA), Pascale Sablan, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP (Beyond the Built EnvironmentS9ARCHITECTURE), and Tatiana Bilbao (Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO). Co-Chairs for the 2020 AIA Seattle Honor Awards were Kevin Snook AIA (ZGF Architects) and Ming-Lee Yuan (Olson Kundig).

From 103 submittals, the jury chose 20 award winners from three categories – built, conceptual, and research & innovation. This was the third year of the Research & Innovation category, recognizing strides in research and innovation coming out of our region, elevating our communities’ awareness of advancement in architectural practice. This was the fifth year of the Energy in Design Award to commend projects that have made quantifiably significant strides in energy reduction while also maintaining the highest qualitative design caliber.

In addition to the awards, it was the third year of the Young Voices Selection (YVS), a program with the aim to engage and elevate the voices of young designers through direct participation and representation in AIA Seattle’s Honor Awards for Washington Architecture. The three YVS panelists were Molly Evans (Olson Kundig), Marquesa Figueroa (SRG Partnership), and Higinio Turrubiates (Integrus Architecture).

Across the spectrum of project types, the jury acknowledged the strong design culture represented in our region and were so impressed with the “beautiful and inspired projects that are committed to sustainability and tackling social issues, engaging with the projects communities while also solving site relationships elegantly and simply.”

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to our esteemed jury and Honor Awards Committee! 
Missed the live show? You can catch the replay over on our YouTube channel!


TheBurkeMuseumGallery_01.jpgThe Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture by Olson Kundig is Washington’s oldest museum – turned inside-out. The jury admired the building’s personification of architecture and spatial justice and applauded the designers, the design team, and all the community leaders and members who participated in the designing and execution of this incredible project.


Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center - Honor Award 2020, by Signal Architecture + ResearchCottonwood Canyon Experience Center by Signal Architecture + Research is an Experience Center marking time in a rural canyon landscape. The jury appreciated that this project embeds all the values that architecture should promote in a very simple, beautiful, orchestrated way. They also noted that it’s a place for social interaction with the possibility of understanding the history, the very core root of this place, while making exactly the space for connection with others and with nature at large.


Hugo House - Honor Award 2020, by NBBJHugo House by NBBJ was founded as an urban writer’s retreat. The jury appreciated the way in which this project maintains the important, somewhat eccentric, community spaces that are in our cities and finding new places for them to thrive. The project was beautifully executed, taking simple, durable, cost-effective materials and elevating those materials to a thing of beauty with great creativity and unexpected moments in the design.


Wagner Education Center at the Center for Wooden Boats - Honor Award 2020, by Olson KundigThe Wagner Education Center at the Center for Wooden Boats by Olson Kundig is a new front door for a beloved Seattle organization that celebrates the area’s maritime heritage. The jury appreciated how the project’s description is stated, as a building, as a functional armature. The word “armature” evoked a space that holds things together. This space holds the connection of the community and the physical connection between the city, the downtown, and the lake, and most of all, the heritage, cultures, and traditions of boat making in the area.



The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design by The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP is a Living Building Challenge project at Georgia Tech designed to foster environmental education, research, and a public forum for community outreach. The jury appreciated that the project’s mantra – More wood, less carbon – was exposed, expressed, and celebrated through incredible design and observed that a project that performs and gives back to the earth can also be a beacon of beauty and design excellence.


Byrd Barr Place by SHKS Architects (Conceptual)
Lincoln High School by Bassetti Architects
Past Present Future: a tense balance by Novaby (Research & Innovation)
Staying Power by Framework Cultural Placemaking and City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (Research & Innovation)
The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design by The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP


Goldendale State Park Observatory by Patano Studio Architecture
Little House/Big Shed by David M. Van Galen, AIA
Olympic High School by Sundberg Kennedy Ly Au Young Architects


Seattle City Light Denny Substation by NBBJ

To view all of the 2020 submissions, visit the:

Click here for online gallery


The 2020 Honor Awards for Washington Architecture left us with a lot to celebrate! We had a blast on the red carpet for our first-ever virtual live event celebrating 20 award winners and our greater design community.

Now, we are thrilled to share the first-ever AIA Seattle Honor Awards Catalogue!

In this publication, you will find…
– A letter from fashionable co-hosts and Honor Awards Committee Co-chairs Kevin Snook and Ming-Lee Yuan;
– The full list of submitted projects and firm names for this year’s awards;
– A closer look at the Energy in Design Award and the 17 qualifying projects;
– Hallmark spreads for each awarded project, including juror quotes for the winners of Award of Honor, Energy in Design, and Award of Merit;
– Features from our 2020 Honor Awards sponsors highlighting their relationship to the Honor Awards and more!


Special thanks to our 2020 Honor Awards Sponsors:2020 Honor Awards Sponsors


To view all of the 2020 Honor Awards submissions, visit the Online Gallery.