2020 AIA CA California Awards The American Institute of Architects, California Council, Announces 2 Recipients

2020 AIA CA California Awards

The American Institute of Architects, California Council, Announces 2 Recipients

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—April 30, 2020—The practice of architecture can sometimes be about creating a legacy—either in portfolio or firm culture or contribution to society within other categories. The American INstutute of Architects California (AIA CA) Awards Program celebrates these attributes with the California Awards Program. This year’s recipients were announced at the May 1 virtual  Board of Directors meeting.

Firm Award:

This year’s Firm Award recipient is San Francisco firm David Baker Architects.

This firm was chosen based on not only the quality of their work, but the impact-driven design philosophy they embody. The work they do often leads to the higher cause of helping to solve the housing crisis.

Founded in 1982, this firm continues to have success by maintaining these three core values: sustainability, community, and urbanism.

“There is real quality here, and one can tell  David Baker design is impact-driven which equals work that lends itself to a higher cause,” one juror commented. “To allow an underserved population to live with unity and respect, is beyond commending,” another said. The jury was also impressed with the firm’s focus on diversity and inclusion.

The firm is known in San Francisco to prioritize people over parking and to welcome all with materialty, space and a great front door—none of which are easy feats in the urban sprawl of the Bay Area.

Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award:

This award was created to recognizes a career of dedicated commitment to the built environment and in recognition of significant contributions and accomplishments toward the design and development of healthcare facilities in California. This award recognizes an individual architect’s work, their responses to the challenges of the building type, innovations within the design and construction process, design excellence, and a collaborate spirit.

Robert Kain, AIA (1950 – 2019) exemplified all of the above. He has been recognized for his significant contributions to healthcare design, and the promotion of the value that design brings to everyone involved. “He has done so many things for the healthcare industry, way beyond just the mere design,” one committee member said. Thus, there was a unanimous decision to not only name him as the recipient of this year’s award, but the California Architectural Foundation also honored his memory by naming a new scholarship program after him.

The Robert J. Kain Healthcare Design Education Scholarship, known as The Kain Scholarship, strives to encourage and support architecture students interested in pursuing a career in the design and delivery of hospitals and healing environments. Visit this site for more information.

For more information, contact 916.642.1718, or scalder@aiacalifornia.org.


AIA CA represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California.  Founded in 1944, AIA CA’s mission, in collaboration with local components, is dedicated to serving its members, advancing the value of architects, and improving the quality of the built environment. Today,  AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit www.aiacalifornia.org.


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