Presenting the 2015 Design Excellence Award Winners
Learn more about the First Annual Design Excellence Award and Citation Winners.
View a recap of the event
The winner of the Montgomery County Planning Department’s First Annual Design Excellence Award was announced at an award celebration on October 22, 2015 at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The event was combined with the annual awards celebration of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter.
The celebration brought together urban designers, architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, builders, policymakers, elected officials, design professionals, artists and interested community members from across Montgomery County and the region. A ticketed event, the Awards Celebration was a professional and community networking opportunity. The event included displays of winning submissions, awards presentations and a catered reception.
One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation on the business benefits of design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and a founding partner of Arcadia Land Company.
Christopher B. Leinberger is a land use strategist, teacher, developer,
researcher and author. He is the president of Washington, DC-based LOCUS Responsible Reals Estate Developers and Investors, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a founding partner of Arcadia Land Company.
His most recent book is The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream. Leinberger writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and numerous other magazines. CNN, National Public Radio, Atlantic Cities Channel and the Washington Post, among others, have profiled him.
Leinberger was voted one of the “Top 100 Urban Thinkers” in a 2009 poll conducted by Planetizen, the international urban planning website. He won the 2010 William H. Whyte Urbanism Award from Partners for Livable Communities.
The jury will include accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design. View the jury bios here.
The Montgomery County Planning Department seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design that will represent Montgomery County’s high quality of design to the region, state and nation. Each year, the Department will honor one project that exemplifies the highest qualities of Design Excellence and fosters economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The winning project should express the essential qualities of outstanding walkable, sustainable places at the scale of the neighborhood, block and building. It will illustrate how great design contributes to the community in terms of character, identity and economic value. It will be a project deserving of community pride. This award is an opportunity for your project to be seen widely, particularly in business and professional settings where the best qualities of Montgomery County are promoted.
Entries are being accepted as of Monday, June 22, 2015. The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 21, 2015 at midnight. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning and urban design invited by the Planning Department. The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 22, 2015 during an awards celebration at the Silver Spring Civic Building.
This event will be part of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Chapter annual awards celebration. One of the highlights of the evening will be a presentation on the business case for design excellence by land use strategist Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
The prize is a partnership with the Montgomery Planning Department to promote the winning project as a premier example of Design Excellence in Montgomery County.
This will include a public promotional campaign launched in spring 2016, to include the following:
The jury will be asked to judge entries based on the following:
All submitted materials reviewed by the jury, which are shown above, must not include names of project team members and consultants to guarantee impartial judging. Jury members will recuse themselves from reviewing any project where there is a conflict of interest. Such information will be provided to the public to ensure a transparent process.
A complete submittal will include:
As part of your entry you will be asked to prepare a project description of no more than 500 words.
Describe the program, its purpose, goals, scale and details, such as context and site features. Describe the site’s physical, social and ecological setting. Describe how the project was initiated and how the key design concepts respond to challenges posed by the program and context.
Please use descriptive information, including supporting graphics, to assist the jury in quickly developing a strong understanding of both the general characteristics of the project and how it demonstrates design excellence, ingenuity and livability.
Click this link to access the online entry portal. We suggest copying the entry form to a folder on your desktop and preparing your content first, before entering all the information via the entry portal.
There is no entry fee to enter a project in this awards program if it is already entered in the AIA Potomac Valley Chapter award program.