Last night, the most innovative personalities in architecture and design joined forces with the biggest names in fashion, business, and art to celebrate the winners of the 2014 A+ Awards. In its second year, the gala once again proved to be the industry’s most glamorous event, while also offering a necessary stage for recognizing the most exciting projects the world over.
Highlights from the Architizer A+ Gala
Bjarke Ingels and Martha Stewart
"There's a lot of bad architecture out there. And then there's some good architecture. But tonight? Tonight's about great architecture," gushed grande dame of the design world, Martha Stewart, on the red carpet at Highline Stages, joining other VIPs including Venice Biennale US Pavilion curator Eva Franch i Gilabert, design darling Alexis Bittar, Rafael de Cardennas, and SHoP Architects' Chris Sharples.
Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner & Ben Prosky
The crowd mingles below the Architizer A
Davina & Dror Benshetrit
The evening offered a rare instance in which such idea-makers as PIN-UP’s Felix Burrichter, the New Museum’s Karen Wong, and FREE's Fernando Romero mingled among heavyweights of real estate like Michael Shivo and David Berry, all while rubbing shoulders with the best and brightest designers, from Jurgen Mayer-Herman and Karim Rashid to Monique Péan and David Benjamin.
Cecilia Alemani, Massimiliano Gioni & Karen Wong
David Benjamin of The Living
Benjamin himself was recognized with the Architecture + Technology Award, presented by the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 designer, Ralf Groene. "At The Living, we have the mission of experimenting with the architecture of the future. There's no greater honor than to be recognized by Architizer, which is the future of architecture," said the MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program-winning Benjamin as he accepted the A+ statuette.
Hugh Broughton and Michael Wright
The crowd was decidedly international, as winners flew to New York from all over the world for the landmark event. "I'm so incredibly honored," exclaimed the UK-based architect Hugh Broughton upon receiving the A+ Art and Science Award with collaborator Michael Wright of AECOM, presented by Cadillac’s Craig Bierley. Among the scores of jet-setters in the room were the team of Lisbon-São Paulo-based Guedes Cruz Arquitectos, GENETO’s Asako Yamashita in town from Kyoto, and Ábaton, who caught a red-eye from Madrid..
Amanda Burden presents the A+ Award for Firm of the Year
Bjarke Ingels celebrates with BIG
Denmark-native and honorary New Yorker Bjarke Ingels was recognized with the Firm of the Year award. "As a city planner I draw shapes and envelopes, but architects bring them to life," described the award’s presenter, Amanda Burden, former director of the New York Department of City Planning. Whereas, Ingels’ remarked on a different note, "Architizer throws some kick-ass parties."
Caroline James and Arielle Assouline-Lichten
The ceremony was heightened by a stirring presentation of Denise Scott Brown receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for herself and partner Robert Venturi. Caroline James and Arielle Assouline-Lichten, Scott Brown's champions, introduced her acceptance speech — remarking on the importance of collaboration, and dismissing the notion of the genius architect. Denise Scott Brown chimed in, "There is no immaculate conception of ideas, collaboration is the secret."
Karim Rashid and Andrew Cogan
In recognition of the importance of collaboration in design practice, Andrew Cogan of Knoll was handed the Architecture + Collaboration award by Karim Rashid. "Design and architecture are obviously about collaboration – nobody does it alone," said Rashid, underscoring the renewed attention the awards shined upon the preeminence of product design. Cogan spoke to the notion that design informs all aspects of our lives, from a Knoll office chair, to entire city quarters. Former dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning, Mark Wigley, presented Robert Wennett with the Patron of the Year Award for his ambitious architectural initiatives in real estate development.
Craig Bierley, Global Advertising Director, Cadillac
Amid the presenting of accolades, guests sipped beverages courtesy of Perrier, explored the A+ winners on the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in the Microsoft Lounge and lavished over a mint edition of the Cadillac ELR.
Eva Franch i Gilabert mingles with friends
Following the awards ceremony, VIP guests stepped into a waiting queue of Cadillac ELRs and rode to the Standard Hotel, ascending to the Top of The Standard aerie. From the perch in the Meatpacking District, late night revelers clinked champagne flutes and took in breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, studded with A+ winning projects.
Architizer would like to extend special thanks to the sponsors of the A+ Gala: The Wall Street Journal, WSJ. Magazine, Microsoft Surface, Autodesk, Cadillac, Perrier, and The Standard.
Photos by Billy Farrell Agency and Jenna Bascom Photography.