Image in modal.

At the 2023 edition of the AIA Conference on Architecture, kicking off today in San Francisco, the St. Louis chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced the winners of the AIA National Photography Competition, which is open to all registered architects in the United States, AIA associates, and students enrolled at accredited architecture schools. The jury for the 2023 judging panel included Julie Snow, design principal and CEO of Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects; RECORD publisher Alex Bachrach, and Professor Ila N. Sheren, assistant professor in the department of Art History and Archeology at Washington University in St. Louis. Cash prizes were awarded to the first, second, and third place winners as well as the recipient of the Al Fuller Prize, which recognizes photographic excellence in capturing a subject based in the U.S. This year, a new award category was introduced that exclusively honors student submissions. 

Selected from over 1,000 submissions, this year’s first place prize went to Shardul Patil, a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for his photograph capturing a young boy mid-belly flop into a pool of water in Mumbai. New York City-based David Rolland received second prize for his shot of a waterfront pumping station in Chandigarh, India, and Michael Wilkes of La Jolla, California, came in third place for a photograph featuring the juxtaposing textures of a wooden house adjacent to a gnarled tree. The Fuller Award was awarded to Glenn Goldman of Tenafly, New Jersey, for an upwards-looking portrait of the Statue of Liberty, and the Student Award went to Justin Kaczender of the University of Southern California for capturing a hummingbird perched on a skyscraper’s balcony. 

See below for this year’s competition-winning photographs as well as the jury’s selection of ten outstanding submissions honored with merit awards. 

First Place: Leap of Faith by Shardul Patil

Mumbai, India

Leap of Faith Shardul Patil AIA St Louis.

Leap of Faith taken in Mumbai by Shardul Patil. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Second Place: Pumping Station by David Rolland

Chandigarh, India

Pumping Station David Rolland

Pumping Station taken in Chandigarh, India, by David Rolland. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Third Place: Tree House by Michael Wilkes

Carmel, California

Tree House Michael Wilkes

Tree House taken in Carmel, California, by Michael Wilkes. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Fuller Award: Holding the Torch by Glenn Goldman

New York City

Holding the Torch Glenn Goldman

Holding the Torch taken in New York City by Glenn Goldman. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Student Award: Humming Bird by Justin Kaczender

Los Angeles

Humming Bird Justin Kaczender

Humming Bird taken in Los Angeles by Justin Kaczender. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Merit Awards: 

Pumping Station David Rolland

Space within a space taken in Bangalore, India, by Harshini Varanasi. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis


Transfixed taken in San Francisco by John Stinson. Photo courtesy AIA St Louis


In Situ taken in Rangárþing eystra, Iceland, by George Hallowell. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Pumping Station David Rolland

Pondering Density taken in Nazaré, Portugal, by Russel Ver Ploeg. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Pumping Station David Rolland

 Gathering Leaves taken in Chandigarh, India, by Steven House. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis


A Lonely Place taken in Lobo, Texas, by Robert Meckfessel. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis


Figure Ground taken in St. Louis by Qian Huang. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Pumping Station David Rolland

 Grain Photo 2 taken in Williston, North Dakota, by Aaron Dougherty. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Pumping Station David Rolland

Plastic Invasion taken in Santa Rosa, California, by Michael Wilkes. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

Pumping Station David Rolland

Runaway taken in New York City by Nicole Dosso. Photo courtesy AIA St. Louis

See last year's winners here and read more about this year’s awards and next year’s competition at the St. Louis AIA Chapter’s website.