2013 Honor Awards Winners

Fourteen projects recognized for design excellence

SEATTLE, November 4, 2013– The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle chapter hosted the annual 2013 Honor Awards to celebrate excellence in design. Award-winning projects, announced at a packed event at Benaroya Hall, served as powerful demonstrations of the outstanding caliber of design that is consistently produced by Washington-based architects and designers.

From over 130 submittals, the jury chose award winners from two categories – built and conceptual. Across the spectrum of project types, the jury applauded the winners for embracing the challenges associated with their projects as a vehicle for achieving that rare alchemy in design that is sensitive to context, material and the environment; inspirational in its aims; playful in its means; and capable of reinventing space in a way that both honors its past and gestures towards its future.

Explore the winning projects below or view all submittals in the Online Gallery (link!).


Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun. The project was applauded for its inventive scale, integration of green building systems, and exploration and understanding the site and ecosystem at the ground, tree canopy, and sky levels. It’s sustainability at its highest executed by a perfect collaboration between architects and engineers. Sustainability Treehouse “captures the wonder of the forest and the architecture is a wonder in itself.”

Garage by Graypants was unanimously well-received by the jurors as a project that is “in between architecture and art” and pushes how we define indoor and outdoor spaces. The transformation of a post World War II garage was very simple yet complex in the layers it revealed and the way it was reinvented with transparency. The jury was struck by the design team’s ability to gain so much by deploying a set of deceptively simple gestures. Space and light, new and old, and domestic and outdoor appeared to be the architect’s principal devices.

Cleveland Civic Core: Burnham Mall, Cleveland Convention Center & Medical Mart by LMN Architects. The jurors exclaimed that it is “One simple gesture that does everything right.” The jury applauded the clear mastery of design across scales as every element was executed with rigor and excellence. From the grand gesture to the city, to the careful consideration of how each component affected the adjacent street, to the interior detailing of the public spaces, the project synthesized the discrete elements to achieve something “very pure.”

The Octahedron by Frankenstein Inc. in collaboration with LMN Architects was celebrated not only for the use of new technology and fabrication tools, but also for the simplicity of its construction, materials, and the fabrication process. Most of all, the project’s commitment to playfulness and interaction with the public demonstrated not only a mastery of the tools, but, more importantly, gestured at the unique opportunities they open for architects in the future. It’s a perfect project that is “not only about connection with itself, but also about connection with the community.”

Odegaard Undergraduate Library by The Miller Hull Partnership. The jurors were struck by how the modification of a 1970’s building improved the architecture by highlighting the elements that are social. Most notably, the jury celebrated the architect’s defining choice to remove the original massive staircase to focus on the core of the building to bring community and technology in the foreground. A few sophisticated choice materials were used to hold the project together. It is a successful interior project ‘that becomes part of a much larger context.”


Kicking Horse Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Canyon Barn by MW | Works Architecture + Design
[storefront] by Olson Kundig Architects
River Structures by Paul Hirzel
Pike Station by atelierjones

South Park Food Bridge by David Dahl & Nicole Tsen Lew
Thresholds by Frances Nelson & Bradly Gunn
ShoWare Center by LMN Architects
Technology Access Foundation | Bethaday Community Learning Spaceby The Miller Hull Partnership

The three-person jury included Stella Betts (Levenbetts), Manuelle Gautrand(Manuelle Gautrand Architecture) and Virginia San Fratello (Rael San Fratello). The event was moderated by Rob Corser AIA, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington. Co-Chairs for the 2013 AIA Seattle Honor Awards were Mona Johnston, Associate AIA, of LMN Architects and Steve McKay, Associate AIA, of DLR Group.

The program was sponsored by: Schuchart, schuchart/dow, Swenson Say Fagét, Lane Powell, DCI Engineers, Turner, ABKJ Inc., Arup North America LTD, Cary Kopczynski & Company, Berntson Porter & Company PLLC, Coffman Engineers Inc., Coughlin Porter Lundeen, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Malsam Tsang Engineering, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Nucor Steel, Peterson Sullivan LLP, Sellen Construction/Sellen Sustainability, Shannon & Wilson Inc., Thomas Fragnoli Construction, Vetrotech Saint-Gobain, and WSP.

In-kind contributors: Inform Interiors LLC, Inn at the Market, Leslie Riibe Graphic Design, and Sellen/Sellen Sustainability.

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