For the first time in its 50-year history, HDR’s Princeton architecture studio has received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey 2017 Firm of the Year award.

“This is a significant honor, and I want to congratulate and thank everyone who has made it possible for us to be recognized in this way,” said Managing Principal Eric Jaffe. “All of us are very proud of this accomplishment.”

With around 200 employees, the Princeton architecture studio represents diverse multidisciplinary services including architecture, engineering, interior design, lighting design, planning, sustainable design and marketing. There are also professionals in the office at all levels who are atypical in a design firm such as industrial engineers, social scientists, clinicians and data analysts. “What this means,” said Jaffe, “is that we have an office culture that is informed by diverse perspectives and robust dialogue.”

That culture embodies an “exceptional commitment to advancing the standards of the architecture profession,” said client Timothy Lizura, president and COO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Client Peter J. DiRocco, director, facilities &engineering at Bristol-Myers Squibb, credits the Princeton team for “transforming not only (our) buildings and property, but our way of doing business. The process your team established and followed allowed our many stakeholders to feel like they were ultimately part of the overall solution.”

According to George Fellner, AIA, AIA Connecticut president and jury member, all of the applicants demonstrated a high degree of major architectural accomplishments and professional, technical and community-based attributes. “We congratulate the selected award recipients for their distinguished excellence involving their professionalism, extensive backgrounds and diverse involvement, as well as their clear commitments to the community,” he said.

Other recent AIA New Jersey awards for the Princeton architecture studio include two 2017 Design Awards for Concord Cancer Hospital and Proton Therapy Center and Kolos Data Center. Both received the Merit Award, Unbuilt.