2021 Design Excellence Awards

The Montgomery County Planning Department is seeking to recognize exceptional architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism that makes a difference in people’s lives and represents the county’s highest quality of design to the region, state and nation. This year, Montgomery Planning will hold its fifth Design Excellence Awards competition to honor this work.

Great design can offer creative solutions to the challenges we face every day, from social inequity to climate extremes. The Montgomery County Planning Department seeks to recognize exceptional architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism that makes a difference in people’s lives and represents the County’s highest quality of design for the region, state and nation. This year, the Department will hold its fifth biennial Design Excellence Award competition to honor this work with three award categories:

  • Buildings, Site and/or Urbanism Design Excellence Award
  • Exceptional Multi-Family Housing Award
  • Public Project Award

The top award recognizes an exceptional building, urban design and/or landscape that represents built excellence which enhances the public realm and promotes a stronger and sustainable community through physical design. Another top award will be given to honor extraordinary multi-family housing that impacts the larger community through greater human connections, health, resilience, and accessibility to all. This multi-family housing winner will exemplify design excellence by making lives better for those who live there now and into the future. A third top award will be given to a public project that exemplifies the best qualities of design that support the public realm, community-building, and place-making. This winning public project design will bring beauty as well as social, economic, and environmental value to its community. All winning designs will help promote great urbanism no matter where their location is within the County.

The three winning projects should demonstrate the essential qualities of outstanding walkable, sustainable places at the scale of the neighborhood, block and/or building. They should be integral to the surrounding public realm of the pedestrian, bike and street networks. They should be the buildings and places that people love and will fight to preserve well into the future. All three award winners will illustrate how great design contributes to the community in terms of character, identity, and economic value. These awards provide the opportunity for the winning projects to be seen widely, particularly in business and professional settings where the best qualities of Montgomery County are promoted.

The deadline for submissions was July 19, 2021. The 2021 Design Excellence jury will now review the submissions and pick winners.

This year’s jury consists of:

  • Matt Bell, FAIA – Principal at Perkins Eastman, Washington, DC
  • Tom Canfield, AIA – City Architect, City of Alexandria, VA
  • Luanne Greene, FAIA – President of Ayers Saint Gross, Baltimore, MD
  • Jair Lynch – President of Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners, Washington, DC
  • Trini Rodriguez, AICP, AIA, ASLA – Principal at Parker Rodriguez, Alexandria, VA

The Design Excellence Awards will be presented on the evening of October 21 at Celebrate Design 2021. This event will be held at the M-NCPPC’s new Wheaton headquarters at 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902. It will be held in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley Chapter annual design awards celebration.

Last Updated: October 7, 2021