December 18, 2023
Daniel Roche | The Architect’s Newspaper
Photo by Justin Maconochie
“The greenest building is the one that is already built.” This mantra, alongside four decades of design excellence, earned Quinn Evans Architects the 2024 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The firm—with offices in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Detroit; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Richmond, Virginia; and Madison, Wisconsin—has been recognized by the AIA for demonstrating a commitment to sustainable design, adaptive reuse, and social empowerment.
To date, some of Quinn Evans’s most notable preservation projects include Michigan Central Station in Detroit, the Michigan State Capitol building, the renovation of Gyo Obata’s 1976 National Air and Space Museum, and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The firm’s recent built works include Varina Library in Virginia and the Conservation Pavilion at the Smithsonian Institution Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1984 by the firm’s namesakes Michael Quinn and David Evans, the AIA applauds Quinn Evans for operating at the intersection of stewardship and inclusion. “Quinn Evans has a four-decade-long history of redefining preservation as it has restored hundreds of the country’s cherished buildings and sites,” AIA said in a statement. “While the firm’s deep commitment to this important aspect of the profession is unrivaled, it continues to transform the discipline to address our most pressing modern challenges: climate change and social inequity. Quinn Evans was among the first firms to demonstrate that sustainable design can and must be incorporated into existing and historic buildings, and it continues to advance preservation as a method of social empowerment.”
The AIA also recognizes Quinn Evans for being one of the first offices in the U.S. to embrace adaptive reuse and community work on Main Streets throughout the country. The office also played a prominent role in encouraging architects to study pre-fossil fuel era buildings as inspiration for contemporary designers looking to build a greener built world.
“As a long-standing and prominent member of the preservation community, Quinn Evans understands the puzzle of preservation as few others do,” said Elizabeth McClure Hallas, 2023 chair of the AIA Historic Resources Committee Advisory Group, in a letter nominating Quinn Evans for the award. “They embrace complexity through a collaborative spirit, integrated design, and innovation to consistently deliver excellence. Their role as thought leaders and advocates ripples across the profession with broad impacts and positive change on the built environment, communities, and the profession.”
This year’s jurors included Anne Hicks Harney, Long Green Specs; Kjell Anderson, LMN Architects; Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Morphosis Architects; Amy Slattery, Odimo; Megumi Tamanaha, ARO; Roderic Walton, Moody Nolan; Korey White, DLR Group; and Taryn Williams, SGH.