April 1, 2016
SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design through its second annual Design Excellence Award. Developers, property owners and their design teams are invited to submit built projects that contribute to improving the quality of physical environments throughout the County.
The call for entries opens on Thursday, May 12, 2016 and closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department.
Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence initiative.
The winner will be recognized on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter.
Project Eligibility for Award
Projects eligible for the award include both private and public structures and spaces located within Montgomery County that were built within the past 10 years and are currently occupied and in use. The submitted projects should express the essential qualities of outstanding walkable, sustainable places at the scale of the neighborhood, block and building. They should illustrate how great design contributes to the community in terms of character, identity and economic value. Review the 2015 winner and citations.
Purpose of Design Excellence Award
Montgomery County is one of the country’s most successful and well run counties, and its stature should be reflected in the excellent architecture, urban design and landscape architecture of its buildings and spaces. Design excellence is becoming increasingly important as the amount of available land for development in the County is shrinking and building density is increasing. The highest quality design is important to sustain a thriving and attractive County with buildings, public spaces and neighborhoods that are worthy of its deserving residents and workers.
The Planning Department’s annual Design Excellence Award, launched in 2015, is intended to inspire architecture, landscape architecture and urban design of the best possible quality in Montgomery County, and increase the public awareness of this world-class design excellence.
October 2016 Awards Ceremony
The winner of the annual Design Excellence Award will be recognized at an awards celebration co-hosted by the Planning Department and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Chapter on October 20, 2016.
The winning project will be celebrated by the Montgomery Planning Department as a premier example of Design Excellence in Montgomery County through a promotional campaign and will be presented by Department leadership at conferences and public events.
2016 Design Excellence Award Jury
The jury is composed of accomplished and highly regarded practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design, as follows:
Elinor Bacon has more than 35 years of experience in housing and community development in the public and private sectors. In 2002, she established Washington DC-based E.R. Bacon Development to focus on urban infill, mixed-use development, affordable housing and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Prior to starting her firm, Bacon led the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC), a quasi-public entity established to spur economic development throughout the District, particularly in neighborhoods of need, and administered the federal Hope 6 Program under HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. She was the co-recipient, with Ray Gindroz, of the Seaside Prize from the Seaside (Florida) Institute in 2004.
Shalom Baranes is the founding principal of a Washington, DC-based architecture firm recognized for its design excellence. Shalom Baranes Associates has won more than 120 awards for projects involving both new construction and renovation. Baranes is the recipient of the 2015 Centennial Award, the highest honor given to a practicing architect by the Washington chapter of the AIA. His current work includes some of Washington, DC’s largest residential and mixed-use projects, including The Yards at Southeast Federal Center, Burnham Place at Union Station and the new headquarters for the US Department of Homeland Security.
Stephanie Bothwell, a Washington, DC-based city and town planner, and a landscape architect, focuses on sustainable landscapes that support the creation of community. Bothwell founded and directed the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Livable Communities and worked for Boston’s neighborhood open space, housing and transportation redevelopment programs. She served on the Board of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is the co-founder of its DC chapter.
Yolanda Cole is senior principal and owner of Hickok Cole Architects in Washington, DC. She has more than 30 years of experience in projects ranging from large-scale, mixed-use developments to small commercial interiors. Cole is widely recognized for spearheading research and innovation in the profession through the cultivation of a collaborative practice. She is a past president of AIA | DC and is currently on the Advisory Board and Governance Committee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) District Council and is Chair of Mission Advancement.