The American Institute of Architects has honored the City of Minneapolis Public Service Building with a 2023 Architecture Award. The AIA Architecture Awards program celebrates the best contemporary architecture designed by architects licensed in the United States. Demonstrating the range of outstanding work architects create, the selected projects highlight how buildings and spaces can improve our lives. These projects demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, history, and environmental sustainability.
One of 16 projects to receive the prestigious national award, the City of Minneapolis’s Public Service Building offers a new model of civic design, as well as a new face of public service for the city. The building completes Government Plaza to create a cohesive urban space that brings together seven city departments, 1,100 employees, and the public into one welcoming environment. The lobby’s floor-to-ceiling glass and the use of warm wood and stone convey a sense of openness, transparency, and public accessibility. Developed through a design collaboration between Henning Larsen, MSR Design, the City of Minneapolis, and other public advocates, the building demonstrates how public spaces can better reflect the communities they serve.
In 2019, AIA adopted its Framework for Design Excellence as a set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance. Climate action requires a holistic approach to address the interdependence of people, buildings, infrastructure, and the environment. While awarded projects do not need to address all the measures included in the framework, they do need to highlight how they perform within this context through relevant narratives and metrics when applicable.
This year’s seven-person jury included Ashley Wilson, FAIA, Ashley Wilson Architect; José Leo Arango, Associate AIA, EYP; Randy Deutsch, FAIA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture; Gabriel Ignacio Dziekiewicz, AIA, DesignBridge; Teresa Jan, AIA, Multistudio; Luis Nieves-Ruiz, FAICP, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council; and Zakiya Wiggins, AIA, LS3P.