3 practices have been honoured in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Awards as the best in American architecture design. SHoP Architects, the Architecture Research Office and Michael Maltzan were each celebrated in the awards first launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council. The winners will now be involved in a series of public programs, lectures, roundtables, and workshops based on the vision and work of the award winners.
SHoP Architects, a 60-person practice, was founded by its five principals in 1996. SHoP has been a leader in the transformation of intricate theoretical design into easily understood construction models by rethinking architectural practice. This think tank has pushed the designer’s realm past form making and into software design, branding, real estate development, construction and the co-development of new sustainable technologies. "As both practitioners and educators, their commitment to challenging the entire process of building has proven to a generation of architects that beauty and technological proficiency are not mutually exclusive," reads the awards statement.
Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky founded Architecture Research Office in 1993. ARO practices an architecture of engagement. Their work connects people with places. It communicates ideas clearly in a consistent language. It frames city life as well as natural beauty. Ideas about site, program, and daily activity are conveyed through its use. Their work was commended as: "Compelling to look at, appealing to touch, this architecture is as sensuous as it is intellectually rigorous. With every undertaking Architecture Research Office seeks to elevate the value of our physical and social world".
Michael Maltzan is the founder and principal of Michael Maltzan Architecture, a firm that creates progressive, transformative experiences through the concentrated exploration of movement and perception, charting new trajectories for architecture, urbanism and the public realm. The Los Angeles-based practice engages the increasingly complex reality of our information-driven culture, crafting intimate spaces of individual experience interwoven with the kinetic experience of the city beyond. Through a focused belief in architecture’s role in the contemporary city, these projects create new connections and catalyze change in a range of programs and contexts from single family residences to office towers, from institutions including MoMA and JPL to Skid Row.