Building of the Year: Midwest

Building of the Year: Midwest

For AN’s third annual design awards, seven jurors gathered in New York to review nearly 500 projects submitted by architects and designers.

The jury included Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Nicholas Koster, project manager at Snøhetta; Chee Perlman, editor and curator of Chee Company; Ana Garcia Puyol, computational designer at Thornton Tomasetti; Ali Tayar; founder of Parallel Design Partnership, Terence Riley, founding partner at Keenan/Riley, and Mimi Zeiger, AN’s west coast editor.

In each category, a winner and an honorable mention were selected, although there were a couple of ties. Over the coming days, we will be posting their selections in the 21 categories.

Building of the Year Winner

Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Wight & Company
Location: Chicago 

The Chinatown Branch Library provides a much-needed public gathering place geared toward inclusive community activities and technology-based learning. Exterior vertical shading fins juxtapose an ultra-transparent, high-performance glass curtain wall that maximizes visibility. The building’s south-facing entrance and softened triangular shape reference Feng Shui design principles and resonate with the community’s values. All spaces connect to a central atrium based on a traditional Chinese courtyard plan. To ensure maximum flexibility, there are very few enclosed spaces. A colorful mural, done in marker and paint by artist CJ Hungerman, captures the neighborhood’s history and focuses the space.

“The Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch is relevant to the community and has great architectural execution—by far the best in the category.”

—Nick Koster, Snøhetta

Honorable Mention

Building of the Year: Midwest
Project: The Forum
Architect: Studio 804
Location: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS