Presenting the 2020 AN Best of Design Awards winners, part 5

Plinths and Columns

Presenting the 2020 AN Best of Design Awards winners, part 5

The Webster, a sinuous retail outlet in Los Angeles. Designer: Adjaye Associates, Architect of record: Neumann/Smith Architecture (Dror Baldinger)

Commercial—Retail & Mixed Use

2020 Best of Design Award for Commercial—Retail & Mixed Use: The Webster
Designer: Adjaye Associates
Architect of record: Neumann/Smith Architecture
Location: Los Angeles

Transcending the dated transactional experience of most brick-and-mortar retail, this flagship store offers a destination and experience not only for its clients but for the city of Los Angeles. The store takes a sinuous form composed of pink-blush concrete that continues and evolves the Brutalist language of its neighbor the iconic Beverly Center. The design establishes a new public arcade at the entrance that showcases work commissioned by the store. Featuring a digital art wall and sculptural water fountain, this public space creates an unexpected urban oasis and a seamless transition from the exterior to the retail inside. The interior is a pink field punctuated by cast-in-place concrete columns and teardrop-shaped display plinths.

Honorable Mentions

Project Name: Birkenstock Abbot Kinney
Designer: TPG Architecture

Interior of a shoe store
Birkenstock Abbot Kinney. Designer: TPG Architecture (Jenna Peffley)

Project Name: Blu Dot Showroom
Designer: Waechter Architecture

interior of a store
Blu Dot Showroom. Designer: Waechter Architecture (Jeremy Bittermann)

Editors’ Pick

Project Name: Kurimanzutto New York
Designer: David Bers Architecture


2020 Best of Design Award for Commercial—Office: Sideyard
Designer: Skylab
Location: Portland, Oregon

exterior of an office building with crease in the center
Sideyard. Designer: Skylab (Benjamin Benschneider)

A leftover 9,000-square-foot berm space was created when the City of Portland built the one-way Couch Street couplet reconnecting the roadway to the Burnside Bridge. Sideyard is a building designed for the working class, aimed at connecting to public transportation with exclusive pedestrian and bicycle access. It is positioned within the new Central Eastside community envisioned by the Burnside Bridgehead Framework plan. The wedge-shaped building features a new CLT structural system with open, ground-level retail environments geared toward guests and tenants. The workspace above is wrapped in brick, with the building acting as an anchor for the Burnside Bridge and a gateway to the Portland Eastside community.

Honorable Mentions 

Project Name: Catalyst Building
Designer: MGA | Michael Green Architecture
Architect of record: Katerra

exterior ground of an office complex with an arched foot bridge
Catalyst Building. Designer: Design architect: MGA | Michael Green Architecture, Architect of record: Katerra (Benjamin Benschneider)

Project Name: Headspace SM Campus
Montalba Architects

Stairs leading up to a gymnasium
Headspace SM Campus. Designer: Montalba Architects (Kevin Scott)

Editors’ Picks

Project Name: Okland Construction Headquarters
Designer: WRNS Studio

Project Name: Pipefitters Local 537
Designer: SGA


2020 Best of Design Award for Sports: Bromont Summit Chalet
Designer: Lemay
Location: Bromont, Quebec, Canada

People on a ski slope with chalet behind
Bromont Summit Chalet. Designer: Lemay (Phil Bernard)

Located on a site highly exposed to the elements, the humble yet spectacular Bromont Summit Chalet incorporates numerous sustainable strategies and is sensitively integrated with its environment. Delicately placed on the summit, the chalet extends like a simple line on the mountain. The long, articulated volume hugs the shape of the peak, blending with the topography and setting the scene for stunning vistas. Indoors, the project combines the natural warmth of a traditional log cabin with panoramic views of the landscape. The wooden envelope takes on a structural role, and the violent summit winds sculpt a delicate, fluid volume that integrates with the site.

Honorable Mention

Project Name: Chase Center
Pure + FreeForm

A swirling office complex
Chase Center. Manufacturer: Pure + FreeForm (Jason O’Rear/Chase Center)


2020 Best of Design Award for Sports: The Society Hotel Bingen
Designer: Waechter Architecture
Location: Bingen, Washington

Birdseye view of a hotel
The Society Hotel Bingen. Designer: Waechter Architecture (Lara Swimmer)

The Society Hotel Bingen is located in the historic Columbia River Gorge, near the riverfront yet separated by a series of industrial facilities and within a residential setting. Waechter Architecture’s design negotiates the context by maximizing the hotel and spa’s relationship to the natural landscape and using the massing of the new cabin ring and spa building to edit out the middle-ground view. Visitors are presented with a double perspective—a close-up view of the courtyard’s garden and a far view of the landscape—providing a sense of retreat, even in a town setting.

Honorable Mentions 

Project Name: CO-OP Ramen
Designer: Marlon Blackwell Architects

Interior of a ramen restaurant decked out in plywood
CO-OP Ramen. Designer: Marlon Blackwell Architects (Timothy Hursley)

Project Name: Comedor Restaurant
Designer: Olson Kundig
Architect of record: Mc-Kinney York Architects

A cantilevering glass cube
Comedor Restaurant. Designer: Olson Kundig, Architect of record: Mc-Kinney York Architects (Casey Dunn)

Editors’ Picks

Project Name: Bay Point Landing
Executive architect: Woods Architects
Interior architects/designers: OFFICEUNTITLED and JHL Design

Project Name: Verve Roastery Del Sur
Designer: Design, Bitches

Green Building

2020 Best of Design Award for Sports: West-Seattle Net-Zero
Designer: SHED Architecture + Design
Location: Seattle

A slanted steel-clad home
West-Seattle Net-Zero. Designer: SHED Architecture + Design (Rafael Soldi)

The West-Seattle Net-Zero home maximizes efficiency, privacy, and greenery. In 1,500 square feet, the building offers an open-plan kitchen, a living and dining area, a flex office or guest room, two bathrooms, and a garage. The client put forward the Japanese concept of shibui, referring to a restrained, simple, and unobtrusive aesthetic. The resulting home has a strong roof form accommodating a large photovoltaic array. Thanks to an over-insulated and thermal bridge–free envelope and the solar panels on the roof, the home is on track to achieve net-zero energy use. It offers the homeowners whole-house water filtration, in-floor hydronic heating, water-sense-certified fixtures, formaldehyde-free panels in all casework, and the peace of mind of a durable envelope.

Honorable Mentions

Project Name: DC Water Headquarters
Designer: SmithGroup

Aerial of a waterfront boardwalk
DC Water Headquarters. Designer: SmithGroup (Alan Karchmer)

Project Name: King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex
Architects: William Rawn Associates, Architects with Arrowstreet
Lighting designer: HLB Lighting Design

A sloped roof
King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex. Architects: William Rawn Associates, Architects with Arrowstreet, Lighting designer: HLB Lighting Design (Robert Benson Photography)

Editors’ Picks

Project Name: University of Victoria District Energy Plant
Designer: DIALOG

Project Name: Wheaton College Pine Hal
Designer: SGA