Call for Entries to 2017 Design Excellence Award Competition for Buildings and Landscapes and Open Spaces Closes on July 27

July 7, 2017

Design Excellence Award Logo

Developers, architects, landscape architects, urban designers and property owners invited to submit top quality, completed projects in Montgomery County to annual award competition

SILVER SPRING, MD –The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is holding its third annual Design Excellence Award competition with the call for entries now open through July 27, 2017.

This year, the Planning Department will recognize work in two categories, one for buildings and their sites, and another for open spaces and landscapes. Developers, property owners and their design teams are invited to submit completed projects that contribute to improving the quality of physical environments throughout Montgomery County. Submit to the 2017 Design Excellence Award.

Learn more about the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Design Excellence initiative.

The selection of the two Design Excellence winners will be made independently by an outside jury of accomplished professionals. The winners will be recognized on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event will also include the annual awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter.

Project Eligibility for the Two Design Excellence Awards

Projects eligible for the buildings and their sites award, and the open spaces and landscapes award must be private and/or public structures and spaces located within Montgomery County that were built within the past 10 years and are currently occupied and in use. The submitted projects should express the essential qualities of outstanding walkable, sustainable places at the scale of the neighborhood, block and building. They should illustrate how great design contributes to the community in terms of character, identity and economic value. Review the 2015 and 2016 winners and recipients of jury citations.

Purpose of Design Excellence Award

Montgomery County is one of the country’s most successful, educated and prosperous counties, and its stature should be reflected in the excellent architecture, urban design and landscape architecture of its buildings and spaces. Design excellence is becoming increasingly important as the amount of available land for development in the county is shrinking and population and building density are increasing. The highest quality design is important to attract and retain our region’s best businesses and employees, and to sustain thriving and attractive communities with buildings, public spaces and neighborhoods that are worthy of deserving residents and businesses.

The Planning Department’s annual Design Excellence Award, launched in 2015, is intended to inspire public, civic and development leaders to create architecture, landscape architecture and urban design of the highest possible quality in Montgomery County, and increase the public awareness of this world-class design excellence.

2017 Design Excellence Award Jury

The jury comprises accomplished and highly regarded regional and national practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design, as follows:

Andrew Altman is a national recognized leader in urban planning and transforming cities. He is currently the co-founder of Fivesquares Development, a real estate development company based in Washington, DC that is focused on innovative urban and transit-oriented projects. Fivesquares was selected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to redevelop the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station area and has partnered with Whitman-Walker Health to redevelop its site in DC.

From 2009 to 2012, Altman was the Chief Executive Officer of the London Olympic Park Legacy Company in London, England. As CEO, he led the master development of the largest regeneration project in the United Kingdom to position the 600-acre Olympic Park for its post-game use as a new international growth center.

Before being recruited to London for the 2012 Olympics, Altman was the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning for the city of Philadelphia under Mayor Michael Nutter. He chaired the Delaware River Waterfront Development Corporation and the City Planning Commission. Altman previously served as Washington, DC’s Planning Director and was the founding CEO of the Anacostia Waterfront Development Corporation.

Jeff Lee, FASLA,
is the President and Founding Principal of Lee and Associates, Inc. headquartered in Washington, DC. He received the Presidential Citation from the American Institute of Architects for leading the design team for the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon. In 2007, he became the first Korean American to be inducted into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows.

During his 30 years of practice, Lee has designed ecological and sustainable solutions that promote stewardship of land, waterways, cities, gardens, parks and public realm. His deep commitment to the history and culture of natural and built places has produced many award-winning projects throughout the world.

After working on projects throughout Asia and Middle East during the 1980s, Lee returned to the US to launch his own firm in Washington, DC, and immediately gained attention for significant projects, such as the Finnish Chancery; Korean Embassy Residence; International Culture & Trade Center: Ronald Reagan Building; Fort Belvoir Community Hospital; and recently completed City Center.

Suzane Reatig, FAIA, founded her practice in 1989 with the strong conviction that a small office can be creative, socially responsive and still prosper. Reatig has developed projects of great sensitivity in neglected urban areas that have helped to revitalize these neighborhoods. Expressing a contemporary use of materials and an intuitive understanding of modern structure and space, her bold designs reflect our time while still addressing the basic needs of her clients. These projects include churches, multi-family residential buildings and townhouses.

Reatig has received numerous national and international awards, and her work has been extensively covered in newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Architectural Record. She has been a featured speaker at the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) national convention and the National Building Museum. Reatig is a frequent presenter at local AIA meetings and a mentor to aspiring AIA fellows, providing the opportunity to share her vision with other architects.

Eric D. Shaw
was appointed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve as Director of the DC Office of Planning January 2015. As director, Shaw manages a staff of 75 who are responsible for neighborhood and systems planning, urban design strategies, data and mapping, historic preservation and development review. He represents the DC mayor on several federal and regional planning bodies, and is a strong advocate of equitable development, innovative community engagement and community-led implementation of plans.

Before joining the Bowser administration, Shaw was the Director of Community and Economic Development for Salt Lake City where he was the lead city official on place- based and development policy. In that job, he managed high profile projects, including a new citywide engagement program, the restructuring of the small business loan program and updates to nine city plans, including the city’s general plan.

Shaw led planning efforts in post-Katrina Louisiana as the Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Vice President of Programs and Policy for Foundation for Louisiana. He has also worked in the public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in Silicon Valley and Miami.

John Francis Torti, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is President of the Silver Spring, MD-based Torti Gallas + Partners. The firm’s focus on the “architecture of real estate” has provided an important catalyst for transformation in numerous cities and suburbs around the world. Current projects include the revitalization of the former Walter Reed Medical Center, Rockville Town Center and Alice Griffith neighborhood in San Francisco.

With offices in Washington DC, Silver Spring, Tampa, Los Angeles and Istanbul, Torti Gallas has focused its practice on transit-oriented, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhoods. Torti and his partners have built a firm that understands the inextricable tie between urban design and architecture for clients and communities. The firm has received more than 100 national and international design awards over the past 15 years.

Torti began his career by working with the National Capital Planning Commission on numerous designs to rebuild Washington, DC after the 1968 riots. He was also a principal of an architecture firm in the Midwest, director of a non-profit housing and community development corporation, and a principal with CHK Architects and Planners, which is now Torti Gallas + Partners.