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The 2019 awards will honor multifamily housing along with top-quality buildings, public spaces and landscapes in the county

Design excellence requires balancing the functional goals and artistic vision of a building, a space or a landscape to serve and inspire people. In Montgomery County, design excellence is about elevating architecture and urban design to make the mundane more compelling and create streetscapes and spaces that enhance human interaction in rural, suburban and urban settings.

Design excellence is becoming increasingly important in Montgomery County as available land for development is shrinking, densities in our centers are increasing and the need for attractive buildings, parks and public spaces. Quality design is now more urgent as competition for the best and brightest residents and businesses in the region continues to intensify. These challenges present great opportunities to create attractive, safe and sustainable places to live, work, shop and play.

  • 2017 Design Excellence Winner – Holy Cross Hospital Silver Spring – by SmithGroup
    2017 Design Excellence Winner – Holy Cross Hospital Silver Spring – by SmithGroup

To raise the quality of design throughout the county, the Montgomery County Planning Department launched its comprehensive Design Excellence initiative in 2015. The program has grown to include a design awards competition, upgraded design guidelines, a design advisory panel to review new development in Bethesda and a greater emphasis on design excellence through our project review process. We want to be better without losing those qualities that make Montgomery County great.

Currently, the Montgomery County Planning Department is accepting submissions for the 2019 Design Excellence Awards. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on July 11, 2019. The fourth Design Excellence Awards program seeks to honor projects that enhance the strength, appeal and vitality of our county. We want to honor the places and spaces that people love.

This year, we will recognize design excellence in two categories. The first award will highlight exceptional buildings, landscapes and urban designs and their contributions to enhancing the public realm. These designs will promote strong community character through sustainable, innovative and place-sensitive architecture.

The second award will focus on exemplary multifamily housing that embodies design excellence and enhances the lives of those who live there and within the greater neighborhood.

This year’s winners will be honored at our biannual awards celebration. Together, with the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Montgomery Planning will be hosting this year’s awards celebration at AMP at Strathmore in North Bethesda on Thursday, October 17, 2019.

Montgomery County has long been revered as one of the country’s most dynamic and desirable places to live work and play. Not only is our Design Excellence Awards event a chance to shine a bright light on those projects that make Montgomery County great, but an opportunity to get inspired, mix and mingle with county leaders, designers and community developers, and continue to support the vitality of Montgomery County.