The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Palm Beach has named LEO A DALY Firm of the Year, honored two of the firm’s South Florida projects with Design Excellence Awards, and recognized Ignacio Reyes, AIA, with a Gold Medal Award.


The AIA Firm of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in design, community services, education, and service to the profession and the AIA by an architectural firm with projects, accomplishments and service over a period of at least 10 years.


LEO A DALY, an international firm with offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, has been a significant contributor to the culture and identity of South Florida for almost 50 years. Recent notable projects including Florida Atlantic University College of Engineering, Palm Beach State College Public Safety, and the Palm Beach County convention center.


“We are grateful to the AIA for the honor of being named as the Firm of the Year. It serves as recognition of our dedicated staff of professionals and their commitment to excellence built upon our culture of service and quality,” said Bill Hanser, AIA, Managing Principal of the West Palm Beach office.


Two architectural projects heavy on innovation received Design & Honor awards shared by the West Palm Beach and Miami offices.


The recently completed Emergent Technologies Institute (ETI) at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers earned the Design Excellence Award of Merit – Civic Institutional. The first completed project in a master-planned Innovation Hub development, ETI pairs university students and and private-sector researchers in the incubation of green technologies.


“ETI marries cutting-edge lab design with modern creative pedagogy, encouraging the cross-pollination of diverse perspectives that is crucial for new ideas to grow,” said Ron Wiendl, AIA, Director of Design for LEO A DALY West Palm Beach.


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Innovation Center, currently under construction in Miami, received an Unbuilt Award of Merit – Non-Residential. The Innovation Center is designed to increase the velocity of design for the cruise giant through virtual reality simulation and a collaborative workplace design.


“This is truly a state-of-the-art facility. A three-story virtual-reality simulator will allow Royal Caribbean’s New Build group to rapidly innovate by studying a virtual 3D model of their cruise-ships in an immersive, 360-degree environment,” said Rafael Sixto, AIA, Managing Principal for LEO A DALY Miami.


Jury comments said, “The clarity and strength of the initial design sketch was riveting. The interior is striking and contemporary, and the design of the refueling area is particularly noteworthy.”


The Gold Medal Award for Ignacio Reyes, AIA, Director of Business Development, recognizes his profound impact on the profession over an extended period of time. It is the highest award that AIA Palm Beach can bestow on a member.