In 2008, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) initiated the first annual AIA/AAH National Healthcare Design Awards program. Continuing the AIA’s legacy of celebrating outstanding works of contemporary architects, the new awards program showcases the best of healthcare building design and health-design-oriented research.

“Collectively, the 2008 winning projects exhibit conceptual strength and address aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns, as well as the requisite programmatic functional and sustainability concerns of a healthcare facility,” says national jury chair Dan Noble, FAIA, FACHA. “Individually, the specific design solutions create ideal healing environments for patients, staff, and visitors, while contributing to an improvement in the urban landscape in which they are located.

“We encourage everyone to submit innovative healthcare projects in the 2009 competition. As the only healthcare awards program affiliated with the AIA, this competition allows us to celebrate healthcare Architecture, emphasizing design excellence in planning and concept, as well as poetic design and pragmatic construction—unlike any other awards program in the nation.”

This year the jury selected four winning entries from more than 127 award submissions received. Projects are submitted in one of four categories:


Category A: Built, Less than $25 million (construction cost)

Category B: Built, More than $25 million (construction cost)

Category C: Unbuilt

Must be commissioned for compensation by a client with the authority and intention to build

May include both projects and master plans

Category D: Innovations in Design Research, Built and Unbuilt

The Innovations in Design Research, Built and Unbuilt category is intended to recognize outstanding design and/or functional planning components of a design or research project. The successful entries will demonstrate a unique and innovative design solution and meet the set of metrics the solution was set out to achieve. As such, the submission may be a built or unbuilt project, or a particularly innovative area within a project. It may also be a research project or study that can illustrate an innovative approach to planning and design.

Healthcare Design 2008 November;():4