Architizer’s A+Awards — a worldwide program designed to recognize the globe’s best architecture and products — was born in 2012 on the back of one key belief: that great architecture is for everyone. For too long, discussions about architecture were stuck in an echo chamber occupied by architects, architectural critics and academics who would exchange thoughts on the built environment while 99 percent of those who inhabit it every day remained on the sidelines.
It was crucial, then, to create an awards program that would engage the public like never before. Using the power of the internet, social media and a wealth of other platforms, the A+Awards was designed to bring architecture to the masses in this modern digital age while getting the best designers on the planet the recognition they truly deserve.
Today, it is the world’s biggest architectural awards program.
As Architizer invites entries for the 9th Annual A+Awards before the Final Entry Deadline of April 23rd, we take a look back at how far this pioneering program has come and the very exciting road it is headed on this year. Hold on to your hats — this is the epic tale of how great design grabbed the spotlight …
Thanks to a partnership with PVBLIC, in May 2015, A+ winning architecture was given its most exciting platform yet: Times Square’s iconic billboards.
9 Years of Amazing Architecture
It all began on October 9, 2012, when Architizer founder Marc Kushner announced a different kind of competition, declaring: “Enough with that echo chamber where architects tell other architects which architects they like. The industry needs to break out, and the A+Awards are designed to do it.” And so it did. In its first year, the A+Awards launched with over 200 jurors from the world of architecture, design, technology and development. With 87 big winners and a host of attendees including hugely significant cultural figures from President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia to fashion designer Thom Browne, the A+Awards had already peaked the interest of many, all across the globe.
The following year, A+Awards for building-products were introduced, giving an unprecedented stage for manufacturers and brands to have their products celebrated on a global stage. In doing so, the A+Awards effectively foreshadowed the Architizer that we are so proud to be today: a platform for cross-disciplinary community and a powerful tool for architects to research building-products. With each passing year, more submissions and an ever-increasing media presence have made the A+Awards the largest awards program of its kind for the built environment.
Last year, the A+Awards attracted 400,000 public votes from more than 100 countries and territories, along with entries from over 100 nations and over 200 total winners. Fueled by special features on Architizer Journal and an audience of millions on social media, total media impressions for winning projects topped 300 million. This number continues to grow at an amazing rate, and the potential for further expansion in the digital era is incredibly exciting for architects, their clients and us, here at Architizer.
2021: Celebrating Architecture Everywhere
Last year’s program will be a challenging year to top, but with new ideas and fresh collaborations, we’re ready to make this the best A+Awards yet! Here are some highlights to look out for this year:
+ Going Global
This year, the A+Awards program is going truly global. In order to give your spectacular work the spotlight it deserves, we will be using our beautiful blog Architizer Journal and our social media following of more than 4 million people to give your projects more international exposure than ever before. In doing so, the awards will be more accessible and meaningful to local communities, worldwide.
+ A Bigger, Better Book
To wholeheartedly enact our goal of going global, we will also be creating a larger hardbound book in partnership with The Monacelli Press, one of the world’s top specialist publishers of architectural works. Bigger and increasingly encyclopedic in its nature, the 2021 edition of “The World’s Best Architecture” will serve as an evergreen resource and echo Architizer’s larger goal of educating architects to create better buildings, better cities and better worlds. Enter now for a chance to be included in today’s most comprehensive guide to the globe’s finest architectural projects.
+ New Categories
Last but not least, the 2021 A+Awards features fresh new categories that not only recognize stunning design work around the world, but also the emerging innovations of architects responding to the most pressing challenges of today. This year’s timely new categories include awards for Architecture +Health, Architecture +Environment, Architecture +New Technology and Architecture +Low Cost Design — read more about the new and highly sought-after Plus Awards here.
The 9th Annual A+Awards program is completely accessible to all architects, with two awards dedicated to each category. One is awarded on votes cast by our list of over 250 amazing jurors, a stellar line-up of luminaries from the worlds of design, technology, media, business and more, while the other is decided by hundreds of thousands of votes from the general public. Each of these awards is considered equal in importance, and both are decided wholly by counting the votes.
2021 can be your year! Enter before April 23rd to be a part of this international movement and have your work celebrated among today’s most innovative architecture across every part of the globe.
Top image: Al Musalla – The Mosque – Al Hosn Area by DCT Abu Dhabi, 2020 A+Award Jury Winner in the Architecture +Ceilings category.