Interior Architecture is the design of human experience. When done well, interior design creates a sense of place and purpose, makes health and well-being a priority, and achieves its aims sustainably. To honor this important role interior spaces play in our built environment, the AIA recognizes the most innovative projects each year with their Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture. In 2019, projects ranging from the renovation of a leading rehabilitation facility to the design of a two Michelin star restaurant have been recognized for their inventive design solutions and ability to meaningfully impact our daily lives and experiences. Below, take a look at the winners.
Apple Store; Upper East Side, New York City
by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Project Description: A comprehensive adaptive reuse of one New York City’s overlooked treasures, this project transforms the nationally registered U.S. Mortgage & Trust Company Building on the city’s Upper East Side into a cutting-edge technological hub. Wrapped in a sanctuary of classical elegance, Apple customers replace those who visited for their banking needs and an architectural jewel shines once again.
Design Office; Austin, Texas
by Alterstudio Architecture
Project Description: By rehabbing a shabby warren of small rooms filled with lay-in ceiling tiles and permanently closed mini blinds, this architect’s office reinvigorates the ground floor of the historic Cambridge Tower, a 15-story condo building located between the University of Texas at Austin campus and the Texas State Capitol. Ultimately a personal endeavor, this office allows the architect to present its work to the public while demonstrating the collaborative work effort that is key to the firm’s success.
Project Description: Atop the south tower of Hyundai Capital’s global headquarters in Seoul, this 6,250-square-foot assembly space hosts large training sessions, employee functions, and company-wide meetings for the South Korean financial powerhouse. The new venue straddles art and architecture, manipulating each user’s perception of materials, light, and space.
New United States Courthouse; Los Angeles, California
by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Project Description: To represent the ideals of the U.S. justice system, this federal courthouse on a prominent block in downtown Los Angeles relies on the intersection of site, program, sustainability, and security. The end result of a process initiated in the late 1990s by the General Services Administration, the project has modernized the Central District of California and addresses the security shortcomings of its predecessor.
Noma; Copenhagen, Denmark
by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Project Description: On a site between two lakes near Copenhagen, this new restaurant occupies a former military warehouse once used by the Royal Danish Navy to store sea mines. Now an intimate culinary garden village, Noma deepens the existing relationship between client and architect, and greets guests with a new menu and guiding philosophy.
Optimo; Chicago, Illinois
by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Project Description: In Chicago’s historic Beverly neighborhood, a 100-year-old decommissioned firehouse is now the LEED Silver certified workshop and headquarters for Optimo, a producer of handmade hats with a cult following across the globe. Bolstering the company’s production capacity by a factor of 10, its new home further cements its dedication to local hiring and training.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab; Chicago, Illinois
by HDR | Gensler | Clive Wilkinson Architects
Project Description: A top destination for adults and children living with the most severe conditions, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab has redefined the ways in which science and care coexist. In Chicago, this 1.2-million-square-foot facility reshapes the future of rehabilitation in its role as a translational research hospital where clinicians, scientists, and technologists work together in shared spaces to discover and apply new approaches to care in real time.
St. Pius Adoration Chapel and Prayer Garden; New Orleans, Louisiana
Project Description: Envisioned as a quiet sanctuary for individual prayer, this new addition to the St. Pius campus in New Orleans is a subtle sculptural element that complements and contrasts with the adjacent 1960s church. The project was realized through a true community effort led by parishioners, who conceived of the idea and funded it with a robust capital campaign.
Studio Dental II; San Francisco, California
by Montalba Architects
Project Description: In San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, this modern office is a brick and mortar location for a dentist who previously served the surrounding community through a mobile office. Reflecting the client’s progressive practice, it plays an active role in the revitalization of one of the city’s more troubled neighborhoods.
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