Twenty-five Year Award

The Twenty-five Year Award is an architecture prize awarded each year by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to "a building that has set a precedent for the last 25 to 35 years and continues to set standards of excellence for its architectural design and significance".[1] The Twenty-five Year Award was first presented in 1969, and has been handed out every year from 1971 onward, with the exception of 2018. In 2019, the prize was awarded to the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates.

Twenty-five Year Award
2019 award recipient, the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery
Awarded forLong-term excellence in American architecture
CountryUnited States of America
Presented byAmerican Institute of Architects
First awarded1969
WebsiteOfficial homepage

The project receiving the award can be located anywhere in the world, but must be designed by an architect licensed in the United States. Only five buildings outside of the United States have received the award, one each in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France; and two in London, England. New York City has the most awards at five, while Boston, Chicago, New Haven, and Washington, D.C., are all tied in second with two awards each.

Buildings to which Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen has contributed have received six awards, tied with the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Louis I. Kahn has been honored five times. Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright have received this award four times, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe the firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners have each had three of their buildings honored. Of the 49 projects that have received this award, only three, the Eames House, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery, had women as contributing architects.


The Twenty-five Year Award can be awarded to any type of architectural project and may be either a single structure or a group of structures that compose a larger whole.[1] Winners have included monuments, such as the Gateway Arch and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and groupings of buildings, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Most buildings nominated for this award are new structures but one winner, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, was a substantial renovation of warehouses into a festival marketplace.[2]

For a project to be eligible to win the Twenty-five Year Award, it must have been built between 25 and 35 years before the year of the award. It must also have been designed by "an architect licensed in the United States at the time of the project’s completion". This means that the award candidate can be anywhere in the world, but must have been designed by a licensed American architect, such as the Fundació Joan Miró in Spain.[1]

To be nominated the project must be in a "substantially completed form" as well as "in good condition". Potential candidates must not have been altered substantially since they were built. Change of use is allowed by the rules, but the "original intent" of the structure must still be intact.[1] These changes of use include reorganization of interior space. This was taken into account with the Price Tower, which when built was a mix of offices and apartments, but when awarded, had only one apartment remaining.[3] The award is presented at the AIA National Convention each year.[4]

Nomination procedure

"Any AIA member, group of members, component, or Knowledge Community" is allowed to nominate a project for the Twenty-five Year Award. A project may be nominated multiple times, as long as it still complies with the eligibility requirements. Nominees are judged by today's architectural standards in their function, execution, and creativity. The project and its site are judged together, with any changes in context taken into account.[1]

Award recipients

The "Year" column, which indicates when the building won the award, links to an article about the year's significant architectural events.

Year Building(s)
Image Architect(s)
1969 Rockefeller Center
New York City
Reinhard & Hofmeister; Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray
1971 Crow Island School
Winnetka, Illinois
Perkins, Wheeler & Will; Eliel & Eero Saarinen
1972 Baldwin Hills Village
Los Angeles
Reginald D. Johnson; Wilson, Merrill & Alexander; Clarence S. Stein
1973 Taliesin West
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Frank Lloyd Wright
1974 Johnson and Son Administration Building
Racine, Wisconsin
Frank Lloyd Wright
1975 Philip Johnson's Residence ("The Glass House")
New Canaan, Connecticut
Philip Johnson
1976 860880 North Lakeshore Drive Apartments
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
1977 Christ Lutheran Church
Saarinen, Saarinen & Associates; Hills, Gilbertson & Hays
1978 Eames House
Pacific Palisades, California
Charles and Ray Eames
1979 Yale University Art Gallery
New Haven, Connecticut
Louis I. Kahn
1980 Lever House
New York City
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
1981 Farnsworth House
Plano, Illinois
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
1982 Equitable Savings and Loan Building
Portland, Oregon
Pietro Belluschi
1983 Price Tower
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Frank Lloyd Wright
1984 Seagram Building
New York City
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
1985 General Motors Technical Center
Warren, Michigan
Eero Saarinen and Associates with Smith, Hinchman & Grylls
1986 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York City
Frank Lloyd Wright
1987 Bavinger House
Norman, Oklahoma
Bruce Goff
1988 Washington Dulles International Airport Terminal Building
Chantilly, Virginia
Eero Saarinen and Associates
1989 Vanna Venturi House
Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
Robert Venturi
1990 Gateway Arch
St. Louis
Eero Saarinen and Associates
1991 Sea Ranch Condominium One
The Sea Ranch, California
Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker
1992 Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, California
Louis I. Kahn
1993 Deere & Company Administrative Center
Moline, Illinois
Eero Saarinen and Associates
1994 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Deer Isle, Maine
Edward Larrabee Barnes
1995 Ford Foundation Headquarters
New York City
Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates
1996 United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel
Colorado Springs
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
1997 Phillips Exeter Academy Library
Exeter, New Hampshire
Louis I. Kahn
1998 Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth
Louis I. Kahn
1999 John Hancock Center
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
2000 The Smith House
Darien, Connecticut
Richard Meier & Partners
2001 Weyerhaeuser Headquarters
Federal Way, Washington
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Fazlur Rahman Khan
2002 Fundació Joan Miró
Barcelona, Spain
Sert Jackson and Associates
2003 Design Research Headquarters Building
Cambridge, Massachusetts
BTA Architects (formerly known as Benjamin Thompson & Associates, Inc.)
2004 East Building, National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.
I.M. Pei & Partners, Architects
2005 Yale Center for British Art
New Haven, Connecticut
Louis I. Kahn
2006 Thorncrown Chapel
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
E. Fay Jones
2007 Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington, D.C.
Maya Lin, designer; Cooper-Lecky Architects, architect of record
2008 The Atheneum
New Harmony, Indiana
Richard Meier & Partners
2009 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Benjamin Thompson & Associates
2010 The Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
2011 John Hancock Tower
I.M. Pei & Partners
2012 Gehry Residence
Santa Monica
Gehry Partners LLP
2013 Menil Collection
Renzo Piano Building Workshop LLP
2014 Washington Metro
Washington, D.C.
Harry Weese
2015 Broadgate Exchange House
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
2016 Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, California
2017 Grand Louvre – Phase 1
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
2018 No award
2019 Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery


Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates

See also



"Twenty Five Year Award Recipients". American Institute of Architects. Retrieved July 3, 2013.

  1. "Twenty-five Year Award". American Institute of Architects. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  2. Campbell, Robert. Two urban drawing cards are now in limbo. The Boston Globe. December 21, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  3. AIA honors Wright tower. Milwaukee Journal. May 8, 1983. p. 5. Retrieved July 1, 2011
  4. John Hancock Tower in Boston selected to receive AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Archinnovations. January 19, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011

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