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2014 Birmingham Accolade Award winner, Joel Blackstock

The American Institute of Architects has a long tradition of recognizing individuals for their outstanding achievements in support of the profession of architecture and the AIA.  Consistent with this statement, the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Chapter AIA established the “Birmingham Accolade Award” in 2006 as the highest honor the Chapter can bestow on one of its members, indicating peer recognition of exemplary achievement or service to the Chapter, profession, or society.   A jury composed of Executive Committee members and representatives from the general membership met to discuss this year’s nominees.

This year’s Accolade Award winner has done so much for the Birmingham area in his professional career. Through the years of working on projects that have forever changed the City and surrounding areas, Joel Blackstock has earned a reputation for being a visionary for the City, a great listener to his clients’ needs, dreams and desires. As you drive into the city from any direction, observing the skyline and its surroundings, you will see the structural legacy he has left– from office buildings, to healthcare facilities, to government housing. A small measure of proof of his passion and influence on revitalizing, restoring and preserving Birmingham can be seen on more than 30 blocks throughout the downtown area.

Congratulations to Joel!! He received an original Brad Morton sculpture designed specifically for the Birmingham Accolade Award.



2014            SAVE THE DATES

AIA Save the Dates

July 21 – August 22 AIA Birmingham 3rd Annual Photography Competition
Call for Entries open now!
Deadline for entries is August 22
View the call for entries here
August 10 Urban Sketchers: Vulcan Park
2:30 p.m.
1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209
Contact for more info.
August 19 AIA/SEA August Chapter Meeting – 1 HSW/PDH
“Incorporating 21st Century Technology in Your Concrete Design”
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Alabama Concrete Industries Association
Social Venture (View map)
5529 1st Ave S, Birmingham AL 35212
$10 for members, $20 for non-members (Fish Fry)
RSVP to by August 15
September 3 Auburn University Urban Studio Open House
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
221 20th Street North, Birmingham AL 35203
On the SE corner of 20th Street N and 3rd Avenue N
September 9 AEC Mega Meeting – 1 LU
Emerging A/E/C Industry Trends
The Club, Inc.
1 Robert S Smith Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209
Exhibit Hall Open: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Lunch: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Speaker: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Cost to attend: $35
Register at
Alabama Center for Architecture Save the Dates
October 16  

2014 ACFA/AIA Golf Tournament
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
View golf brochure here


Thanks to our 2014 Design Awards Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors

Bar Sponsors

Sajjadieh Engineering Group
Whitaker & Rawson



Design Awards 2014: Opportunity 

“As we adapt to doing more with less through increased efficiencies and innovative practices, we are reminded that value is achieved through hard work, critical thought, and earnest commitment. The resurgence of Birmingham is part of a growing momentum that we must continue to cultivate through thoughtful design and community engagement. Moving forward may we listen to the needs of the community with keen ears; may we recognize potential with visual acuity; and may we continue to be an active agency that creates OPPORTUNITY.”

Design Awards was fantastic this year! We have had many attendees tell us the food, venue and entertainment were the best yet, and we agree! More than 150 architects, engineers, landscape architects and contractors gathered to party at the Alabama Theatre. What a beautiful venue to celebrate Birmingham architecture and design! Our ceremony was emceed by local comedian Chris Davis—we were told we should sign him for a 10 year contract!

Thanks to everyone who entered, everyone who attended and everyone who sponsored—we hope you had an unforgettable evening!

Please see all the entries and winners HERE | Photos from the event can be viewed HERE

The Jury

As you know, the jury this year was held at the Haworth showroom in Chicago. The jurors were:
Patricia Natke, AIA

  • Founding Partner of UrbanWorks
  • A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign,
  • Part Time Professor at IIT School of Architecture for the Advanced Design Studios
  • Chaired the National AIA Diversity Committee
  • She represented the City of Chicago at the International Expo in Osaka, Japan.

Dan Wheeler, FAIA

  • A 1981 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design,
  • Launched his own firm, Wheeler Kearnes Architects, in 1987.
  • In 2008 he was named by the Chicago Tribune a Chicagoan of the Year.
  • Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 1992
  • Served as Interim Director of UIC’s School of Architecture and also for the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

David Woodhouse, FAIA

  • Received his architectural degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • In 1987, he founded his firm, David Woodhouse Architects
  • Recognized as AIA Chicago’s Firm of the Year in 2007
  • His firm recently won a national competition to design the Daniel Burnham Memorial in Chicago.
  • His projects have earned numerous design awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois

Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, AIA

  • Design Director, Regional Design Leader and Tall Buildings Practice Area Leader at Gensler in Chicago
  • 17 years of experience on projects in the United States, Europe and Asia
  • Winner of 1999 United Nations Competition in Architecture for “Integrating Elderly People in Society”
  • Spent 2 years working on the Shanghai Tower with Gensler from 2008-2010—will be second tallest building in the world when completed in 2015

The Winners

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Congratulations to…
Commercial Category
HONOR— KDag designs in collaboration with Appleseed Architecture – Brick & Tin
“This small restaurant’s clear plan shows the design is under control. The architect used lovely materials and nice details to complete the space.”

Renovation / Adaptive Reuse
MERIT – Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds – Integrated Medical Systems
“This adaptive reuse project encompasses good daylight and successful interiors to create a warm working environment, which can be challenging for a warehouse.”
MERIT—Williams Blackstock Architects – UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
“The architect’s thoughtful concept, great use of daylight and clean aesthetic contributed to the successful design.”

HONOR – Dungan and Nequette Architects—Anderson Residence
“The great interior qualities, nice details and good scale make this home a success.”
MERIT—Design Initiative—Red Mountain Dwelling
“The design has a nice composition and warm interiors with the choice of wood, and it is a good use of sustainable principles.”

HONOR—Simonton Swaika Black Architects – W. Warner Williams Water Resource Park
“The project had successful elevations and good proportions, and the overall site elements are well composed.”
MERIT – TurnerBatson Architects – University of Alabama Huntsville Charger Union
“The architect handled the complicated program elements with competency and executed good site scale with connections to the larger campus.”
MERIT—Barry Davis Architects – Hoover Miracle Field
“The jury thought the Architect had a good choice of materials, and they appreciated the social impact of the project, as well as the nice and simple design. This project showed that architecture does not have to be heavy handed to have an impact.”

HONOR—Dungan and Nequette Architects – Anderson Residence
“The detail is nicely thought through.  The staircase beautifully breaks the box, and brings an elegance to the design."MERIT—Appleseed Architecture – Whitmire Lofts
“The color and pattern of the façade are interesting, and the weathering quality is well-composed.”

Under $300,000
HONOR—bDot Architecture – The Clubhouse
“The jury stated the design was resourceful and beautifully situated in the landscape. They also appreciated the interaction of light and material, during the day and especially at night.”

HONOR—bDot Architecture – Transportation Node
“The jury loved that this project was multi-modal. It is well thought out and interesting, but very practical and could easily be real.”

MERIT—Gresham, Smith and Partners – REV Birmingham Third Avenue Revitalization
“This project shows a great overall social impact on the urban fabric.”



Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Ai Corporate Interiors
Alabama Lighting Associates/Phillips
Alabama Power Company
Boral Brick
Gallery Services
Jenkins Brick

Silver Sponsors Bronze Sponsors

AFS Repair
Alabama Concrete Industries Association
Ron Blank & Associates
Belcher South/ Stanley Security
Bell Co. Inc
Block USA
Business Interiors
Camacho Associates, Inc.
Continental Building Products
Division 2-4
Duro-Last Roofing
Edmonds Engineering
Gewin Tucker & Associates
Hagerman & Co.
Lighting Solutions
Marvin Windows
McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge
Parrot Structural Services, LLC
Office Environments
The Mell Group
Robins & Morton
Sain Associates
Sherwin Williams
Sherwood Cox Photography
Sto Corp.
VW Gallerie at V&W Supply

American Gypsum
Bhate Geosciences
Brasfield & Gorrie
Coral Industries
Engineering Design Technologies, Inc
European Kitchen of Al.
Firerock Products, LLC
LBYD Civil & Structural Engineers
Lighting Partnership
Mullins Building Products
National Cement Company of Alabama
Patterson Pope