Business Week and Architectural Record announce the winners of the 12th annual "Good Design is Good Business" Awards. An urban park in Houston, a law office in London, and a university restaurant in Los Angeles are among the winners. In terms of program, location, and budget, the 2009 recipients are notably diverse.
The awards program recognizes projects with innovative architectural strategies that help businesses achieve specific goals. The jury, which consisted of members of the editorial staff of both magazines, attempted to gauge the success of each project’s “business case”—a series of quantitative and qualitative measurements of building performance. Factors considered included employee productivity, construction costs, and reduced overhead, among other criteria.

Eight projects received this year’s Award of Excellence:

  • Architecture of Discovery Green in Houston, Texas, designed by PageSoutherlandPage and Hargreaves Associates
  • Autodesk, AEC Headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, designed by KlingStubbins
  • Barbie Shanghai Store, in Shanghai, China, designed by Slade Architecture
  • Eversheds Law Offices in London, England, designed by Woods Bagot
  • Hawks Boots Sustainable Manufacturing Facility in Duluth, Minnesota, designed by Salmela Architect
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre in Ontario, designed by Stantec Architecture
  • The Lab Gastropub in Los Angeles, California, designed by AC Martin
  • Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, designed by Meyer Scherer & Rockastle

Four projects were awarded Citations for Excellence:

  • East Harlem School in New York, New York, designed by Peter L. Gluck and Partners
  • Gregg’s Cycles in Bellevue, Washington, designed by Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare Headquarters in Yarmouth Port, Massachussets, designed by designLAB
  • Southbrook Vineyards in Niagra-On-The-Lake, Ontario, designed by Diamond and Schmitt

The projects were chosen from a competitive pool of nearly 100 submissions. The 12 winners will be recognized at an October 7 ceremony in New York City during the Architectural Record Innovation Conference. They also will be featured in BusinessWeek and in the November 2009 issue of Architectural Record.

Reena Jana, BusinessWeek’s innovation department editor and jury member, was impressed by the projects in three different areas: “One was promoting employee productivity and collaboration through design, with things like fewer sick days and higher productivity. The second was brand reinvention through architecture, which shows ways to adjust to shifting marketplaces in industries like retail and technology. Third, in this time of transition, it was impressive to see that many of the strongest entries had the larger effect of revitalizing the cities or regions in which the companies were headquartered.”

Also on the jury was Robert Ivy, editor in chief of Architectural Record. He noted the high quality of submissions this year, which he found surprising considering the economic downturn. He adds: "We were pleased to see a large number of projects in which clients and architects were collaborating to create designs that differentiated their facility, their culture, and their identities from the norm."

Editor's Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the location of Peterborough Hospital. It is in Peterborough, Ontario.