BNIM Earns Five Awards for Excellence in Design and Craft

BNIM Earns Five Awards for Excellence in Design and Craft

Des Moines architecture firm BNIM received five design awards on Thursday during the annual AIA Iowa convention, including the only Honor Award for Excellence in Design, the highest project design award of the event.

Honor Award, Excellence in Design 

Westport Presbyterian Church – Kansas City, MO

“Architecture is a conversation between generations. As architects, we build something of our time, in context with older buildings of their time. They talk to each other, and we get to experience that.” The jury loved the respect paid to the historic fabric and the boldness of the new construction.


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Merit Award, Excellence in Design

University of Iowa, Seamans Center for Engineering Arts and Sciences,  South Annex Addition – Iowa City, IA

“The idea of Miles Davis comes to mind: ‘If you have a clear idea, and you are aware of your context, just play the note.’ This building just played the note — simple form and parti, with clear circulation and a collection of spaces that felt alive and connected. It is a timeless building that is also of its time.”

Makers Quarter Block D – San Diego, CA

The jury loved the clean lines of the expressed concrete slab and the interplay of concrete as a muted gray material with metal as a boldly colored material. The jury also appreciated the play between the restraint of the south elevation and the dynamism of the elevations with the operable shades.

Metropolitan Community College, Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology – Omaha, NE

“The design was driven by a simple parti, connecting well to the rest of the campus. A lot of inspired detailing was required to achieve this simple parti, so of course, it wasn’t so simple after all.” The jury loved that a building about innovation didn’t feel the need to communication a false visual strategy that might be considered innovative in 2018, but not in 2028.


Merit Award, Excellence in Craft

University of Iowa, Visual Arts Building (with Steven Holl Architects) – Iowa City, IA

The jury appreciated the idea of a diaphanous skin as an initial gesture driving the form, then taken all the way through construction. It was always focused on achieving a skin that shimmered and shifted in a remarkable way. 

This year’s jury included: Dan Maginn, FAIA; David Miller, FAIA, with Miller Hull; Brandon Dake, AIA, with Dake Wells; Elizabeth Amirahmadi, AIA, with International Architects Atelier; Wendy Ornelias, FAIA, with Kansas State  University; Jennifer Yoos, FAIA, with VJAA.

Since the firm was established, BNIM has garnered more than 500 awards for leadership and design excellence.