2022 Urban Design Award Recipients Announced by AIA California

Three winning projects span the country, articulating visions that advance forward-leaning concepts at multiple scales—from a regional re-think to a multimodal connector to a community playground.

For images of winning projects and full jury comments, click here
Or use this URL: https://site.aiacalifornia.org/honor-the-work/urban-design-awards/

Sacramento, California – November 10, 2022—The AIA California announced the three winners of its 2022 AIA California Urban Design Awards today, offering a fascinating glimpse at reclaiming and reinventing urban landscapes.

Honor Award recipient Hartford 400 a river-centered vision-plan for Connecticut’s capital is an ambitious plan to re-think riverside in an east coast city from Suisman Urban Design “An excellent plan for the heart of Hartford, envisioning unifying and livable strategies,” said the design competition’s jury. “It reimagines the next generation of cities. [It] solve[s] the problems of the previous generation of urban planning.”

The large-scale plan orchestrates three transformative urban infrastructure projects including treatment of an elevated freeway in its path: “River Road” caps an obstructing freeway and floodwall to provide access to riverfront parkland; “Midtown” replaces a massive and wasteful highway interchange with a new walkable riverfront district; “The Hartline” converts a divisive rail and highway trench into a lateral urban greenway.

Merit Award recipient Sacramento Valley Train Station Plan, designed by Perkins&Will, adds vitality to a regional mobility hub in California’s capitol, re-setting a 31-acre site that includes an existing train station and tracks to be a framework for a new district will establish a common ground that can capture and reflect the unique character of Sacramento.

“The new transit concourse becomes the beacon of life for this Transit Oriented Design, providing jobs and vital connectivity from the other side of the ‘tracks,’” said the 2022 Urban Design Awards jury, who noted the designers faced a further challenge to create connectivity between the train station and tracks set at a distance. The plan was also commended for its “holistic approach towards energy and the environment as well as land use” which “makes for a tangible implementable proposal.”

A third Urban Design Award recipient, Merit Award winner Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground, is set amidst one of San Francisco’s most dense and culturally rich neighborhoods. The project, the only of the three winners to be built as of yet, is a comprehensive renovation of a Chinatown beloved playground by CMG Landscape Architects with Jensen Architects. It seamlessly merges landscape and building functioning and connection at multiple levels, from street to roof and serves users from children to seniors.

“Land is very scarce in San Francisco and for this design team to make an “oasis” for children in a concrete jungle is a game changer,” declared the jury who also noted how artfully the architects handled project challenges. “It’s a complex urban project—how it handles the relationship between the sidewalk and the internal parts of the building and the building envelope is very clever. Proof of its success is that it’s built and being used.”

“We are delighted and honored to recognize and honor this wonderful work with 2022 AIACA Urban Design Awards,” said Rona Rothenberg, FAIA, the 2022 AIA California President. “Each project advances AIA California’s strategic goals and objectives, vision and mission, from excellence in sustainable urban and regional planning to well-designed, resilient communities from which we come, and to which we return and collaborate.”

AIA California’s Urban Design Awards recognizes excellence in the creation, improvement, and sustainability of our physical environment by Architects and Landscape Architects.

Urban Design is defined for the Awards Program as “the realm of physical design encompassing master planning, landscape architecture, and conceptual architectural design.” This definition includes research and the design of spaces at all scales, from places between buildings to regional master plans.

The jury for this year’s awards program was composed of: Frank Fuller, FAIA –
Principal, Urban Field Studio; Stephanie Landregan, FASLA – Program Director
UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture; Mia Lehrer, FASLA – President, Studio-MLA; Stephanie Reich, AIADesign & Historic Preservation Planner, City of Santa Monica; and Hessam Vakili, AIA – Director of Design & Development, TAIT & Associates, Inc.

For images of winning projects and full jury comments, click here

Or use this URL: https://aiacalifornia.org/2022-urban-design-award-recipients/


Contact:  Tibby Rothman, Hon. AIA|LA
Communications Director, AIA California

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