The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) voted today for Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) to receive the 2017 AIA Architecture Firm Award.  The AIA Architecture Firm Award, given annually, is the highest honor the AIA bestows on an architecture firm and recognizes a practice that consistently has produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years. Over the course of three decades, San Francisco-based LMSA developed an impressive portfolio of highly influential work that advances issues of social consciousness and environmental responsibility and will be honored at the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.

Firm principals William Leddy, FAIA, Marsha Maytum, FAIA, and Richard Stacy, FAIA, began collaborating in 1983 with the belief that architecture is the synthesis of poetics, economics, technologies, and has always been embedded in the firm’s culture. Dedicated to addressing issues of resource depletion, climate change, historic preservation, and social equity, LMSA and its leadership clearly demonstrate that architects can help their communities adapt to a complex and rapidly changing world.

To that end, the firm’s proficiency in diverse building types – from affordable housing to the adaptive reuse of historic structures – has been recognized with more than 140 design awards and are only one of three firms to have ever received eight AIA COTE Top Ten awards. A small, nimble firm comprising 21 dedicated designers who believe deeply in the transformative power of architecture, the firm’s work demonstrates design with purpose as it develops model solutions to meet crucial challenges.

LMSA’s Plaza Apartments became San Francisco’s first permanent housing for the formerly homeless. The firm’s vigor coupled with the city’s innovative public housing project led to dignified housing with on-site health and social services for 106 chronically homeless people. Designed in association with Paulett Taggart Architects and clad in wood-resin panels, the building boasts a pinwheel plan on the upper floors that floods corridors with daylight while Integrated Universal Design strategies far exceed Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Across the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, the Ed Roberts Campus is one of the first buildings of its kind in the nation – a community center serving and celebrating the Independent Living / Disabled Rights Movement. This two story building located at a regional transit hub features an iconic red helical ramp that welcomes people of all abilities to the second floor while it expresses the values of universal design to the general public.

“Their passion for addressing some of the profession’s thorniest issues including regenerative design, universal access, social equity and housing for the most disadvantaged has been consistent and impressive,” wrote Bob Berkebile, FAIA Emeritus, in his letter supporting LMSA’s nomination.

LMSA is the 54th AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient. Previous recipients of the AIA Firm Award include, LMN Architects (2016), Ehrlich Architects (2015), Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (2014), Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (2013), VJAA (2012), Lake| Flato (2004), Gensler (2000), Perkins & Will (1999), Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (1994), and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1962).