The Odds-on Favorite for next AIA Firm of the Year Award

August 15, 2003 · by DesignIntelligence

For 2003 it is most likely that another small to mid-size firm will be named if the patterns and cycles remain as they have over the last 50 years...

The Odds-on Favorite for next AIA Firm of the Year Award

Last year the AIA named the Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle as the National Architectural Firm of the Year. The mid-size firm was the first from the Pacific Northwest region since Zimmer Gunsul Fransca Partnership was selected in 1991.

In the last 10 years the other mid-size firms selected have been Polshek Partnership (NYC), Cambridge Seven (Boston), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (PA), Beyer Blinder Belle (NYC), Kliment and Halsband Architects (NYC), Centerbrook (CT), and Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunk Associates (IA). During that same time period Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback (GA), Gensler (CA), Perkins and Will (IL), and SOM (IL) were the large firms selected to receive the award.

For 2003 it is most likely that another small to mid-size firm will be named if the patterns and cycles remain as they have over the last 50 years. Unofficial leading contenders are expected to include Lake Flato (TX), Moore Rubble Yudell (CA), Goody Clancy Associates (MA), Ross Barney + Jankowski (IL), SASAKI (MA), Schwartz Silver (MA), Leo A Daly (NE), and HGA (MN).

SOM (1962 and 1996) has won the Firm of the Year Award twice. Other leading contenders most often mentioned to receive the award for the second time are: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson Abbot (1973 from MA), Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer (1981 from NYC), Kallman, McKinnell & Wood (1984 from MA), and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (1990 from NYC).

Larger firms of significance who have been often discussed but not yet been selected include: RTKL, NBBJ, Frank Gehry and Associates, HOK, and Michael Graves and Associates. Firms of the Year who have won the most AIA National Honor Awards over the last 10 years include in order:

1. SOM,
2. Polshek Partnership,
3. Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer,
4. Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunk, and
5. Richard Meier and Partners.

If trends repeat themselves there will be two to three mid-size size firms selected for every large firm named. The next recipient will be announced by the AIA in December. The Award is generally given annually with just two exceptions since 1962.

—Counsel House Research

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