The St. Anthony Hotel hosted the cream of the crop of the city’s architects, designers, and engineers Thursday night to celebrate the American Institute of Architects-San Antonio (AIA-SA) Design Awards. Each year, the ceremony celebrates the “best of the best” in the field and helps increase awareness of the importance of architecture in daily life.

Nearly 50 submissions were received for this year’s ceremony, and were judged by award-winning architects from across the nation – Bob Inaba, Marsha Maytum, and Susan Ubbelohde.

Honors were handed out for projects in several categories. The Honor, Merit, and Citation awards were given to projects for overall excellence, the Committee on the Environment Award for best following the AIA’s 10 guidelines on sustainable design, and the Student Award for the best project from a University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) architecture student.

The 25-Year Distinguished Building Award is given each year to a structure that was completed at least 25 years ago and designed by an architect who, at some point in their career, was a member of AIA-SA. These projects are known for maintaining their “dignity and appeal to this day.”

This year’s winner – Sombrilla Plaza at the UTSA Main Campus – was designed and built in the 1970s, and continues to be a centerpiece of the university’s campus today.

The Tobin Center. Photo by Scott Ball.
Where the old meets the new at the Tobin Center. Photo by Scott Ball.

Mayor Ivy Taylor was on hand at the ceremony to personally announce her selection for the Mayor’s Choice Award, which recognizes outstanding work on publicly funded architecture projects. The award was first given in 2000 by Mayor Howard Peak. The architects behind the 183,000 sq. ft., $150 million Tobin Center for the Performing Arts project – which was completed in 2014 – took home this year’s title.

In a Friday phone interview with the Rivard Report, AIA San Antonio Executive Director Torrey Carlton said that recognizing the Tobin architecture team was the highlight of the evening.

“It was exciting to have Mayor Taylor with us last night,” Carlton said. “She selected the Tobin Center for her award, and it was equally thrilling to see the jurors select that project for the honor award. (The architects) have provided the city with a vibrant center for the performing arts.”

The project was constructed by Seattle-based architecture firm LMN Architects in association with local firm Marmon Mok Architecture.

Guests overlook the crowd gathered in the Tobin Center lobby for opening day ceremonies. Photo by Scott Ball.
Guests overlook the crowd gathered in the Tobin Center lobby for opening day ceremonies. Photo by Scott Ball.

“To have local architects working with important national firms to create a place like that for our community is just bold and visionary,” Carlton said.

See a full list of Thursday night’s winners below. All projects are based in San Antonio, unless otherwise noted.

Honor Awards

  • Mission Branch Library by Muñoz & Co.
  • Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building (Atlanta, Georgia) by Cooper Carry, Lake|Flato Architects
  • Hotel Emma by Jeffrey C. Fetzer, threeArch, LLC
  • Tobin Center for the Perfoming Arts by Marmon Mok Architecture, LMN Architects

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Merit Awards 

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Citation Awards 

  • Olmos Park Residence by Lake|Flato Architects
  • Barrera House by Candid Rogers Architect, LLC
  • Goat Mountain Ranch (Uvalde) by Lake|Flato Architects
  • Indian Springs School (Birmingham, Alabama) by Lake|Flato Architects

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Student Award

  • Chase Alan White for “Ode to Mies”

Divine Detail Awards (Merit and Honor)

Merit Award

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Honor Award

  • House 117 by Candid Rogers Architect, LLC
House 117 by Candid Rogers Architect, LLC. Photo courtesy of AIA-SA.
House 117 by Candid Rogers Architect, LLC. Photo courtesy of AIA-SA.

Committee on the Environment (COTE) Award 

  • Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building (Atlanta, Georgia) by Lake|Flato Architects

The Twenty-Five Year Award

Mayor’s Choice Award

  • Tobin Center for the Performing Arts by Marmon Mok Architects, LMN Architects
https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: The sun sets for opening night at the Tobin Center.  Photo by Scott Ball.

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James McCandless

James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.