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BusinessWeek/Architectural Record Awards 2009

There may be signs that the slumped economy is perking up, but many companies are still struggling. In times like these, it’s critical that we champion design and illustrate its value, and the recipients of the 12th annual BusinessWeek/Architectural Record Awards do just that. From a hospital in southern Ontario to a park in downtown Houston, this year’s eight winners and four finalists — all projects completed within the past four years — reveal that architecture is more than a grand gesture. A well-designed space can help a company increase revenue, decrease operational costs, and boost employee morale, among other benefits. Judging by this year’s entries, clients are getting the message. Our jury of editors evaluated an exceptionally competitive pool of nearly 100 submissions from around the globe. Selecting the winners was tough. In the end, we chose a diverse group of inspired projects that clearly demonstrate that good design is a wise investment. As the economy starts to recover, many are questioning what architecture will look like in a post-recession world. The work featured here — projects that put business goals first — might offer some clues.

 

Jenna M. McKnight

Autodesk AEC Headquarters

Autodesk AEC Headquarters
KlingStubbins
When Autodesk decided to move to a speculative office building, executives knew the fit-out would not be a routine corporate interiors project.

Photo © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Barbie Shanghai Store

Barbie Shanghai Store
Slade Architecture
A six-story temple devoted to a diminutive icon cost less than $10 million and is the first flagship store in the world designed just for Barbie and related products.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Discovery Green

Discovery Green
PageSoutherlandPage and Hargreaves Associates
This 12-acre public park has helped energize Houston’s east side, turning a less fashionable part of town into a family-friendly neighborhood.

Photo © Chris Cooper Photography

Eversheds Law Offices

Eversheds Law Offices
Woods Bagot
This contemporary space, deemed a new benchmark for the legal profession, is a radical shift from the typical cellular office plan.

Photo © Richard Townshend

Hawks Boots Sustainable Manufacturing Facility

Hawks Boots Sustainable Manufacturing Facility
Salmela Architect
For only $63 per square foot, the architects renovated a building, added a second-story cantilevered office, and inserted discarded material into the landscape to create artificial hills.

Photo © Peter Bastianelli Kerze

The Lab Gastropub

The Lab Gastropub
AC Martin
This clever new gastropub on the USC campus has been a big hit with students, local residents, and downtown professionals.

Photo © Art Gray Architectural Photography

Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Stantec Architecture
Residents often visit this hospital’s rooftop terrace café, even when they don’t need medical care.

Photo © Richard Johnson Photography

Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus

Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus
Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle
The architects had several guiding principles for this 285,000-square-foot project. For starters: Preserve the buildings’ scars.

Photo © Lara Swimmer Photography

 

Citations
Gregg’s Cycles

Gregg’s Cycles
Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers
To give this relatively small store a street presence, the architects created a large, attention-grabbing facade, with dozens of bicycles seemingly stuck to the glass.

Photo © Pro Image Photography

International Fund for Animal Welfare Headquarters

International Fund for Animal Welfare Headquarters
designLAB
Built on a former brownfield, IFAW’s new home draws about 50 visitors each week and has heightened the organization’s profile in the community.

Photo © Peter Vanderwarker

East Harlem School

East Harlem School
Peter L. Gluck and Partners
For this nonprofit charter school, the architects created a stimulating environment for students and staff.

Photo © Erik Freeland

Southbrook Vineyards

Southbrook Vineyards
Diamond and Schmitt
In a district teeming with wineries, a bold design helps a new organic winery distinguish itself from the pack.

Photo © Tom Arban

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