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Excellence in Design, Excellence in Craft, Medal of Honor and Educator Awards presented

Friday, September 27, 2013   (0 Comments)

Excellence in Design, Excellence in Craft, Medal of Honor and Educator Awards presented at AIA Iowa Award Celebration 


Des Moines, Iowa (September 27, 2013) – The American Institute of Architects, Iowa Chapter (AIA Iowa), announced the recipients of the 2013 AIA Iowa Excellence in Design Awards, the 2013 AIA Iowa Excellence in Craft, the AIA Iowa Medal of Honor and the Educator Awards during an Award Celebration held Thursday, September 26, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. These awards recognize the exceptional design of Iowa architects and emphasize the importance of the profession in communities. 


The 2013 AIA Iowa Awards Celebration took place in conjunction with the AIA Iowa Annual Fall Convention held Thursday and Friday at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The 2013 Convention, "Feedback," is focused around the importance of mentorship to the development of a strong architectural profession which has a tremendous impact on neighborhoods, communities and cities today and into the future.  





Five merit awards were given to four architecture firms, including OPN Architects, PLaN Architecture, ASK Studio and INVISION Architecture. 

  • OPN Architects (Des Moines) was recognized for their work on the Delta Dental Insurance headquarters in Johnston. The building was noted as having "Straightforward, confident, and elegant resolution.”
  • PLaN Architecture (Sioux City) received an award for their work on IBC Insurance in Sioux City. The jury said, "The renovation transformed the original building, which had no particular distinction, into a new building of interest and distinction.” 
  • ASK Studio (Des Moines) was recognized for their work on the Park Shelter in Urbandale. The structure is "open, public, and in some respects delicate."
  • INVISION Architecture (Des Moines) received an award for the University of Iowa Dental Education Building in Iowa City as well as an award for the City of Muscatine Fire Department in Muscatine. The jury noted that the University of Iowa Dental Education Building "conveyed a warmth and delicateness not necessarily native to cast concrete structures.” The City of Muscatine Fire Department "attained a clear and civic dignity commensurate with its purpose.”




Three architecture firms, OPN Architects, Substance Architecture, and Neumann Monson Architects, were all given the 2013 AIA Iowa Excellence in Design Honor Award for their designs. 


  • OPN Architects (Cedar Rapids) received an Honor Award for Paramount Theatre Restoration in Cedar Rapids. This was "clearly an extraordinary restoration project” according to the jury.
  • Substance Architecture (Des Moines) was given the Honor Award for the Principal Riverwalk Hub in Des Moines. The jury felt "this building seems to elegantly grow out of its site.”
  • Neumann Monson Architecture (Iowa City) was recognized for the University of Iowa Transportation Center in Iowa City. "The Transportation Center addresses the typological and functional requirements successfully.”




RCS Millwork and Slingshot Architecture in Des Moines received the 2013 AIA Iowa Excellence in Craft Award for Exile Brewing Company. "The quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail is at its best in the near seamless transitions between past and present, existing and new.”  2013




Pete Goché received the 2013 AIA Iowa Educator Award. Goché is Studio Director at Goché Inclusions, LLC and Adjunct Professor at Iowa State University, Department of Architecture. The purpose of the AIA Iowa Educator Award is to recognize an Iowa educator within or outside the profession for his/her contributions to architectural education in Iowa.   




Paul Mankins, FAIA, with Substance Architecture in Des Moines, received the 2013 Medal of Honor Award. The purpose of the AIA Iowa Medal of Honor is to recognize an AIA Iowa Member for distinguished service to the profession of architecture. 


Mankins has exemplified architectural excellence throughout his career by advancing the profession through his role as a designer, mentor, leader, educator and advocate. Mankins has been recognized with over 40 Honor and Merit Awards for design from the Central States Region, Iowa, and San Francisco Chapters of the American Institute of Architects, as well as honors from AIA National. 


About AIA Iowa

Since 1857, the American Institute of Architects has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. AIA Iowa, headquartered in Des Moines, is a statewide affiliate of the national AIA with 967 members. AIA Iowa members express their commitment to excellence in design and are proactive in the design of livable communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. 


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