James Stewart Polshek (Aislinn Weidele)
The Gold Medal recognizes an individual or pair of architects whose work has influenced the profession. A former dean of Columbia GSAPP and founding partner of James Stewart Polshek Architect (now Ennead Architects), he led the restoration of Carnegie Hall in 1987, as well as the design of the Newseum/Freedom Forum Headquarters, completed in 2008, and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, pictured at top.
Snow Kreilich Architects (Image via AIA)
Snow Kreilich Architects earned this year’s AIA Architecture Firm Award, the top award the organization gives to practices in the United States. Known for its work in and around the Twin Cities, the firm is perhaps best known for designing humanistic ports of entry for the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection in Maine and Minnesota.
Snow Kreilich’s U.S. Land Port of Entry in Van Buren, Maine, 2016. (Paul Crosby)
“This is an architecture of use and convenience, permanence, and beauty, deeply rooted to its place, and constructed of materials choreographed in an emotive way, with poetic qualities that move us deeply,” architect Marlon Blackwell said in a letter supporting the firm’s award nomination. “Their body of work is distinguished by a restrained formal elegance and a refined minimal tectonic sensibility while avoiding the nostalgic and technological excesses of our discipline. Indeed, they see architecture as a material practice and a cultural act born of a sensual pragmatism.”
Snow Kreilich and Polshek, the 74th recipient of the medal, will be fêted at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City. Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams and San Francisco–based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects took home honors in their respective categories last year.