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Distinguished Building and Urbanism Awards Program


The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, have organized The American Architecture Awards as away in which to honor the best, new significant buildings and landscape and planning projects designed and/or built in the United States and abroad by the most important architects and planners practicing nationally and internationally.

The American Architecture Awards give an important overview of the current aesthetic direction of today’s commercial, corporate, institutional, and residential work in the United States to the real estate, banking, business, and corporate community, as well as to the press and general public.

The program is one of the Museum’s most important public education outreach initiatives produced throughout the year—to both the Museum’s U.S. and international audience.

The American Architecture Awards are dedicated to the recognition of excellence in architecture and urbanism in the United States.

The program pays tribute to new developments in design and underscores the directions and understanding of current cutting-edge processes consistent with today’s design thinking.

This year’s program honors new (2010-2012) corporate, institutional, commercial, residential architecture, interiors, and urban planning, designed for both built and unbuilt projects alike.

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All submissions must be the work of American architects and architectural firms either working nationally or internationally for projects both in the U.S. and abroad.
International architecture firms headquartered outside the United States are eligible to enter projects built, or to be built, in the U.S. only.


Criteria for submissions includes any commercial, corporate, institutional, or residential building type or urban planning project, built or unbuilt in the U.S., designed since January 1, 2010.

Unbuilt projects are eligible only when a client is named.

Building types and categories are: corporate headquarters and office facilities, retail, hospitality, institutional, health care, government, transportation, educational, and residential and interiors of any kind, including renovations and restorations, and urban planning projects. Previously awarded buildings by the Museum are not eligible.


A jury of recognized design practitioners, business professionals, educators, and critics will review the submissions and select winning projects for awards. Usually the jury takes place abroad.

Previous juries have been held under the auspicious of the following professional associations: The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; The National Association of Finnish Architects; The Lithuanian Society of Architects; and The Norske Arkitekters Landsforbund, and The National Council of Spanish Architects. Each Submission is Juried Anonymously.

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Selected and awarded recipients will be required to prepare either framed drawings or photographic panels and models for exhibition.

The Museum will exhibit the awarded projects in an exhibition format and publish the selected winners either on the Museum’s website or in a catalogue by Metropolitan Arts Press or both.

Previous exhibitions have taken place in Thessaloniki, Greece; Milan, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; Athens, Greece, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Architects, associate architects, clients, developers, landscape architects, planners, contractors, and structural engineers are cited for their individual contributions.


On-line application click here

Mailed in submissions must include the folllowing on one CD: Copy of the on-line application form; fee; and one-page description in MicroSoft; three (3) to five (5) photographs, site plans, floor plans, sections, and elevations. All images must be 300 dpi in .jpeg/ .jpg format and no larger than 4-6 MB. Attach list of additional consultants. Application fee is $300 per project. Checks made payable to Metropolitan Arts Press. Call/email for information regarding electronic transfer.

Please provide photographer credits.
All information must be complete.

Submit to: The Chicago Athenaeum 601 South Prospect Street, Galena, Illinois 61036 Tel: +815/777-4444 FAX: +815/777-2471. Email: info@chicagoathenaeum.org.

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