An Iowa sports complex, an Illinois park district facility, a Chicago suburban corporate office, a Minneapolis residence and the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki took top honors at the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) 18th Annual Design Awards, which recognized projects for design and construction achievement.

A total of 38 Presidential, Gold, Silver and Merit Awards were presented in commercial, institutional, residential, renovation, interior and unbuilt categories. Two entries received the President’s Award of Recognition, chosen by ALA President Jeff Budgell for design excellence.

The highest honor, the Don Erickson Presidential Award, went to a condominium building at 747 N. Clark St. in Chicago. The collaborative project with Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson and the Miller Hull Partnership transformed the derelict shell of a failed development into a Mies-inspired building lauded by judges for its black steel structural framing, innovative use of materials and floor plans. The project also received a silver award in the Residential 2 category.

“This year’s winning projects exemplified innovative use of materials, exceptional detailing and simple elegance,” said Joanne Sullivan, ALA Executive Director.

Gold Award winners included: AAR headquarters, Wood Dale, IL, Heitman Architects; Cedar Valley Sportsplex, Waterloo, IA, INVISION Architecture; Glenview Park District Park and Facility Services East, Dewberry; Guggenheim Museum, Helsinki, Finland, Myefski Architects and Sheridan Residence, Minneapolis, MN, Peterssen/Keller Architecture.

Architects, contractors, owners/developers and guests attended the recent award presentation; emcee was ALA Past President Steven Pate, FALA.

ALA 2016 Design Awards entries were evaluated by a panel of judges, including David Genc, AIA, Director of Design at Hirsch Associates, Chicago; Thomas J. O’Connell Jr., ALA, AIA, LEED AP, President and a Founding Principal of Partners in Design Architects, with offices in Riverwoods, IL and Kenosha, WI; Mark Paschke, ALA, AIA, NCARB, Lead Designer at Uihlein Wilson Architects, Milwaukee; Lenore Weiss, founder of Lenore Weiss Studios; and Corey Zussman, ALA, Director of Quality Assurance, Pepper Construction, Chicago.  

The Presidential Award is named for the founder and first president of ALA, Don Erickson (1929 – 2006), who formed the association in 1998, and was a student and protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.

For more information and to see the entire list of winners, visit