Architizer’s A+Awards celebrates every type of architectural achievement around the globe. No project is too obscure or a firm too small to receive the credit they deserve and the chance to submit to the A+Awards. After all, we know all too well — as Steven Holl recently told Architizer in an interview — that architecture is not easy. “It’s very hard to get a building up,” he said. “If someone gets a good building up, let’s all bow down and say thank you.”
The finalists and winners recognized for the fifth annual A+Awards are this year’s most influential visionaries in the industry. Their concepts and projects are not only structurally innovative and aesthetically impressive, they are also changing the world and the lives of the people that interact with them.
This year, in addition to the category winners, we’re honoring six firms and designers whose vast portfolio of work is arguably the best in the business and pushing the industry toward new heights. Meet Architizer’s A+Awards 2017 Honorees below.
Left: Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture; photo by Alan Karchmer for Adjaye Associates; Right: Photo by Alex Fradkin
Firm of the Year: Adjaye Associates
One architect who is well on his way to becoming a household name is Sir David Adjaye, the man at the helm of the firm behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Ghanaian British architect works from offices in both New York and London, producing civic, commercial, residential and exhibition projects around the world with diverse materials and unique color palettes.
Their recently completed Sugar Hill Houses in Harlem created a new mixed-use typology for affordable housing, complete with a museum space, community facilities, offices and apartments. Adjaye Associates is also known for its furniture design and innovative contributions to the contemporary art scene. In 2015, they designed an atmospheric temporary museum for Venice Art Biennale.
Left: Photo by Franck Juery; Right: Le Cargo by Studio Odile Decq; photo by Roland Halbe
Lifetime Achievement: Odile Decq
French architect, artist and academic Odile Decq has achieved extraordinary success since founding her firm, Studio Odile Decq, in 1978. Her whimsical style and persona match her unparalleled designs, which feature bold geometries and eye-catching façades. Her pioneering work in architecture includes Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art, a restaurant for Paris’ Opera Garnier and a tech incubator completed last year.
Decq has also been a long-time advocate for women in design, social justice, equality and sustainability in architecture. She was awarded the 2016 Jane Drew Prize by the Architects’ Journal. From 2007-2012, Decq served as the head of the architecture department at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture and recently opened her own radical architecture university in Lyon, the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture.
Left: House Chiapas by Tatiana Bilbao Estudio; Right: Photo by Roberto Sánchez Courtesy Milenio
Impact: Tatiana Bilbao
Mexico City-based architect Tatiana Bilbao is considered one of the premiere contemporary architects and urban planners designing for the developing world. Her highly-acclaimed work in affordable housing, specifically her sustainable housing prototype designed to address Mexico’s housing shortage, is changing the way the world thinks about low-cost residential living.
Her groundbreaking projects include a stunning, light-centric funeral home in Mexico, a botanical garden in Culiacán, a biotechnology facility for a university in Monterrey and a pavilion designed for Jinhua Architecture Park in collaboration with Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei. Bilbao is currently working on a housing complex as part of a masterplan by Herzog & de Meuron in Lyon, France set to open later this year.
Her socially-engaged, economical work has garnered her international recognition and continuous commissions. The New York Times called her “Mexico’s most elegant architect.” In 2014, she received the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. Bilbao is currently a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture.
Right: Photo by Lars Kruger; Left: Supermarket of the Future by Senseable City Lab; photo by Michele Versaci
Advocate: Carlo Ratti
A designer whose name has featured on several lists ranking the world’s most influential people, Carlo Ratti is a leading thinker in developing technology to advance cities. He’s an Italian engineer, architect, inventor and academic and the director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, the team behind the revolutionary Supermarket of the Future. In 2004, Ratti founded his architectural practice Carlo Ratti Associati in Turin, Italy.
Ratti has been named one of WIRED’s “50 People Who Will Change the World” and Fast Company’s “50 Most Influential Designers.” His work bridges the gap between high-profile architecture and urban planning with the latest innovations in digital technologies. A big proponent of smart cities and buildings, he regularly speaks and writes on the potential technology has to socially empower urban dwellers.
Ratti currently serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Cities and as an advisor on Urban Innovation to the European Commission. His projects have showcased at the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Biennale, Expo Milano and the Science Museum, London among others.
Left: Islamic Cultural Center; Photos Courtesy Buro Koray Duman
Emerging Firm: Buro Koray Duman
Recently featured as part of PIN-UP’s “New Power Generation,” Buro Koray Duman is a research driven architectural practice based in New York City that is on the cutting edge of design today. The small firm was established in 2013 by Turkish architect, Koray Duman and has since has picked up major projects including the convention-busting Islamic Cultural Center in New York.
The studio was featured in the December/January issue of SURFACE for their work in creating galleries, artist and retail spaces for Richard Prince, Design Within Reach and Diane von Furstenberg. Buro was also a Jury Winner in the Factories + Warehouse category in this year’s A+Awards for the Artist Foundation, a master plan for 250 acres of land in upstate New York which includes a studio, gallery, library, visitor center and more.
Left: Michael Perry, DJI Director of Strategic Partnerships; Right: DJI's Phantom 4 in action; Photos Courtesy DJI
Product: DJI Drones
DJI Drones is a top market and innovation leader in drone technology that is revolutionizing the design and tech industry. Based in Shenzhen, the company has opened offices in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong since its start in 2006. The company has grown from a single office to 6,000 employees worldwide and is currently valued at $10 billion USD.
DJI’s products are used by developers, architects, engineers and urban planners in efforts to advance and restructure workflow within the industry. They assist in site 3D imaging and modeling, photogrammetry and creating CAD compatible terrain maps, construction monitoring and documentation as well as building inspection detailing. Drones offer new data previously inaccessible to the industry — data that is need to successfully create accurate and reliable designs. DJI provides this opportunity at an affordable cost.