Design Awards

Key Dates

Award Ceremony: Tuesday, September 25

Location: Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH)
3400 S Main St.
Houston, TX 77002

Publication Sponsor


Submission guidelines

The AIA Houston Design Awards program recognizes design excellence in architecture, residential architecture, interior architecture, restoration/renovation, and urban design. Criteria to be used by the jury include quality of design, resolution of the program idea, sustainable responsibility, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.

Projects located in the Houston metropolitan area designed by an architect registered in the US, or projects, regardless of location, designed by an architect registered in Texas practicing in the Houston metropolitan area. Built projects must have been completed after January 1, 2011 except for special requirements in the Urban Design category. On projects where construction is phased, only completed phases are eligible. Where one firm is not the sole author, all participants in the design work must be credited on the Entry Form. AIA Houston reserves the right to disqualify any entry not submitted in accordance with the rules.

If there are architectural elements that were pre-existing on the project and designed by another architect, that architect should be identified on the entry form. For instance, an addition to an existing building should identify the architect of the existing building where practicable and should clearly delineate for the jurors the addition from what existed before the project.

Built Projects
Built projects may be submitted for recognition in the following six categories. The jury may move a project to a different category. LEED, AIA COTE guidelines, or other demonstrable environmental response should be included with each entry and will be considered in judging.

Architecture Greater Than 50,000 SF

Architecture Less Than 50,000 SF

Residential Architecture
Residential projects include single-family houses and multi-family projects up to 20 units. Large scale apartment or condominium projects must be submitted under Architecture.

Interior Architecture

Restoration, renovation, or rehabilitation to existing buildings including adaptive reuse. A non integrated addition to an existing building should be submitted under Architecture.

Divine Detail
Recognizes architectural ingenuity in the use of a particular material, detail, or building technology.

Urban Design
Urban Design projects must have an active client. Submittals may include urban design projects, planning programs, civic improvements, environmental programs, and redevelopment projects. Portions of the project must be under implementation; however, the whole project need not to be completed. Project Description must include implementation schedule.

Unbuilt Projects
On The Boards
This category is for unrealized or uncompleted work for an active client.

This category is for conceptual work not for an active client.

Student submissions are welcome, but must have a faculty sponsor.

All entries must be anonymous. Your name and/or firm name should not appear anywhere except where indicated on the entry form. For every entry, please prepare the following:
1. One project presentation PDF

  • A PDF file containing a maximum of 20 pages, with a file size no larger than 20 MB. 4:3 aspect ratio is recommended. Submittals may not contain transitions, sound, animation, video clips, panorama movies, hyperlinks, or links to other files. Images must be a minimum of 150 DPI.
  • Do not identify architects or designers in the file name or on any image.
  • Preexisting architectural elements not designed as part of the project, but visible in the images, should be clearly marked as preexisting and the prior architect should be credited.
  • For all projects, except Interior Architecture, include a site plan or aerial photography.
  • All plans and elevations should be clearly marked with a north arrow or directional identification.
  • For Renovation/Restoration projects, indicate pre-existing conditions with plans and/or photographs.
  • For Interior Architecture projects, include floor plans and one exterior photograph of the building for reference.

2. One project image

  • A 8" x 10", 240 DPI image. The image will be used for the Design Awards Publication, in which all submittals will be published.

3. One project description

  • No more than 300 words or 1700 characters. The description should include program requirements, sustainability goals, and design solutions.