CLEVELAND, Ohio – Familiar names dominated the 2018 Design Awards of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the leading national organization for the profession.

The organization announced Friday that it handed out 15 awards, of which 13 were for buildings or plans. 

Of that number, DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky of Cleveland took five awards, and Vocon, also of Cleveland, won four.

Westlake Reed Leskosky won the architecture Honor Award, the highest award granted, for the firm’s renovation of the 1918 Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, CO.

Vocon won the interiors Honor Award for its design for the new Forest City Enterprises headquarters at Key Tower in downtown Cleveland.

Other winners included Jonathan Kurtz of JKURTZ Architects, and Bialosky Cleveland. 

To see all the winning entries would require some travel. Five of the victorious projects are scattered from Colorado to Flint, MI, and Washington, D.C., indicating that local designers are doing some of their best work far afield of Cleveland.

In all, architects and interior designers submitted 68 projects in categories including architecture, interior architecture, and “makers.” 

The latter category is intended, as the AIA said in a news release, to focus on “detail, originality of the design, innovative use of materials, execution of the concept through craft.” 

The AIA honored the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority with its Client Commitment to Cleveland Award for engaging “local architects to forward visible landmark projects that enhance and improve the quality of life for Northeast Ohio residents and our visitors.” 

The organization also gave James D. Cowan, Jr., an architectural intern at ThenDesign Architecture in Cleveland, its Activism Award.

Cowan earned the award, the AIA said, for “making architecture accessible and relevant to the public, while both educating and learning from the broader community.”

The awards were handed out Friday at the newly renovated Westin Downtown Cleveland. The organization said that 500 attended.

The keynote speaker was Matthew Kreilich, a partner of Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects and chairman of the awards jury in the design competition.

What follows is a complete list of the 13 awards for specific projects, with selected juror’s comments provided by the AIA chapter:

Honor Award, Architecture:

Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Modernization, Grand Junction, CO.

Firm: DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky

Owner: U.S. General Services Administration, Rocky Mountain Region

“The modernization of the historic (1918) Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse preserves the building’s historic character while transforming the landmark into one of the most energy-efficient, sustainable buildings in the country.” Jurors noted that the 41,562-square-foot building earned a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s 

The renovated 1918 Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, CO., Photo: Kevin G Reeves