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2019 AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Awards

Call For Entries - Entry Deadline: September 6, 2019

Enter A Project

The annual AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design Awards program recognizes excellence in architectural design by AIA Baltimore members and AIA members with projects in AIA Baltimore’s region. Built and unbuilt projects submitted by AIA members are judged by a distinguished jury of AIA architects.

New in 2019 – Special Recognition Award for Exceptional Detail

At the jury’s discretion, an exceptional detail in a project submission to any category (with the exception of unbuilt projects) will be given a special recognition award.


Design Awards may be given to built or unbuilt architecture, interior architecture, adaptive reuse, planning, renovation, restoration and urban design projects. Architectural projects eligible for submission include, but are not limited to: details, images of models, building segments and renderings.

Eligible projects:

  • Built/Unbuilt projects designed by AIA Baltimore licensed architect members anywhere in the world. (Exception: Projects considered for Good Design = Good Business must be located in the Greater Baltimore area.)
  • Unbuilt projects designed by Associate AIA members of AIA Baltimore.
  • Built/Unbuilt projects built in AIA Baltimore’s region designed by AIA members of other chapters.
  • Built/Unbuilt projects completed on or after January 1, 2014 and not having previously received an award from AIA Baltimore.

There is no limit to the number of projects that may be entered by a firm, and all materials included in submissions must be cleared for public reproduction. Entries must be submitted jointly by the architect and client and must credit all members of the design and construction team. If an architect of a firm is not the sole designer of the project or has been a member of a joint venture team, all participants contributing substantially to the design must be given credit, regardless of professional discipline.

Entry Fee

  • AIA Architect Members: $125 per project entry
  • Assoc. AIA Members: $45 per project entry (Unbuilt only)


Friday, September 6, 2019: Submissions and Entry Fees are due by 11:59pm EDT. Entrants will submit all entry forms and uploads and then submit the entry fee payment to complete the submission. Entry fee payments may be made by credit card in the awards submission portal when the project is ready for final submission. No late entries will be accepted!

September 20, 2019: Jury Review at AIA New Orleans

Friday, October 18, 2019:  Design Awards Celebration

Entry Categories

Special Recognition Awards

At the jury’s discretion, special recognition will be given for the following:

The size, scope, category or cost of a project in no way limits its eligibility or level of award.


All entries will be judged using the following criteria:

1. Design Excellence 
Does the design elevate the human experience while addressing the project’s practical needs?

2. Sustainable Design / Resiliency 
Does the design take a progressive approach to advancing the missions of sustainability and/or resiliency?

3. Community Impact
Does the design provide significant improvement to its social or physical setting?

Winning Entries & Publicity

Award winners will be notified by email. Winners are requested to notify their Client, General Contractor/Construction Manager and Consultants of the project's award and are encouraged them to attend the awards celebration on October 18. Winners are asked to refrain from publicizing their award until after the celebration.

Winners in each category will be required to create a project board. Winning project boards will be on display at the awards event and included in a traveling exhibit the following year. More details about board design will be sent to winners. DOWNLOAD BOARD TEMPLATE .PSD

AIA Baltimore will promote the winning projects on our website and in our publications. A press release will be sent to the local media.

Submitting a Project

A complete submission for each project includes the following:

  1. Completion of the online SUBMISSION FORM 
  2. IMAGE FILES - 3-8 digital images with captions and photographer credit for each image
  3. PROJECT/JURY PDF (10MB, 11 pages max)
  4. PRESENTATION PDF (6MB, 3 pages max)
  5. Payment of Entry Fee

Online Submission Website

To begin your application, go to: http://mdaiaawards.secure-platform.com/a. All submission forms, file uploads and payment of fees will be handled through the online submission site. You can save your work as you go and return to the site as often as needed but not after finalizing and submitting the submission.

Once an entry is completed for a project, the entire project submission may then be submitted to another Maryland chapter awards program without re-entry or uploading. Simply check the box: “I Want to submit this project to another Chapter Awards Program” on the last page of the form when you are ready finalize your submission.

Entrants must conceal all references to the architecture firm name or design team members on all materials submitted for jury review. Identification of authorship within the Project/Jury PDF will disqualify the submission. Project PDFs must be in landscape orientation with a page size of 8 1/2" x 11", may not exceed 10MB total (all pages combined), and shall conform to the following requirements:

  • An anonymous PROJECT/JURY PDF presentation file for jury review and evaluation purposes only.
  • A PRESENTATION PDF presentation file for public presentation purposes.

Image Files ─ (3-8 Images, jpg)

Provide no more than 8 images (10MB max per image) for use during the awards, on the AIA Baltimore website, and for publication. The jury will not see these files.  List photo file names, captions and photographer credit for each image in the submission portal where indicated. Two of the images are to be of high resolution of the best representation of the project - one exterior photo and one interior photo. The two high resolution images should be at least 300 dpi and 8'x10” and labeled: 1) Project Name_high res ext and 2) Project Name_high res int.Subsequent images must be a maximum of 6” x 9” at 150 dpi for horizontal images, and a maximum of 6” x 7.5” at 150 dpi for vertical images.

Project/Jury PDF ─ (10MB, 11 Pages Max)

Entries shall conform to the following requirements:

  •  The total size of each entry PDF may not exceed 10MB of data.
  • Each submission may contain a maximum of 11 pages. At your discretion, submit individual images on separate pages or, arrange multiple images in a layout on a single page.
  • Each page must be 8 1/2" x 11" in landscape orientation. An easy way to produce your PDF file is to create your presentation in PowerPoint and then save the file as a PDF.
  • Use this naming convention for the Project/Jury presentation file: JPDF_ProjectName.pdf
  • Please remember you must conceal references to the architecture firm or team members in the PDF submitted for jury review. Identification of project authorship within the Project/Jury PDF, including the file naming convention and photo credit, will disqualify the submission.

First Page: Project Description and Introduction:


  • Combination of text and images with 12pt. minimum font size, formatted and designed at the entrant’s discretion.

Project Information:

  •  Project Name
  • Project Location (City, State, if applicable)
  • Project Category
  • Project Summary describing the site, program, and solution. As part of this synopsis, discuss key design aspects (intent, concepts, and contextual relationships), technical aspects (structure, materials, mechanical systems, etc. where informative), and the social, environmental or other benefits of the project to the public and its users. This summary is intended for publication.

Subsequent Pages (2-10):  Visuals
Include Images along with additional succinct annotation. The format and design of the pages are at the entrant's discretion maintaining 8 1/2" x 11" landscape orientation.

  • Please include photographs, drawings, floor plans, elevations, sections, renderings and graphic images as necessary to provide a clear understanding of the extent and quality of the finished project. A site plan is required. Photographs should depict the whole project with views of each exposed exterior façade and each room of the project, as appropriate. Exterior views are optional for interior projects.
  • Label images with suitable titles and captions. Photographer credit on the images used in the Project/Jury PDF is permitted except those identifying the firm and/or team members.
  • Renovations, restorations, additions and conversions should present before and after photographs. For projects involving changes to existing structures, documentation of original conditions is highly recommended. Process sketches that communicate the development of the project and/or its construction are encouraged.
  • Indicate the project’s physical context or site character through graphics and/or imagery.
  • Unbuilt projects should include floor plans, elevations, sections, renderings, graphic images, and/or site plans as necessary to provide a clear understanding of the project. If client-commissioned, include photos of the site location.

Supplemental Information for the Jury (End Page):

This page is for optional information you may wish to share with the jury only. Include additional project information that is not already covered in the Jury PDF. Examples may include technical information that may be useful to the jury such as: project requirements and restrictions; project outcomes and results; historic preservation considerations; energy considerations; construction costs; and project size in square feet.


Select three images that best represent your project. Selected images of all entries will be displayed during the Design Awards Celebration, and images of award-winning entries will be displayed during the Awards Ceremony.

Prepare Presentation PDF in the following format:

  • The total size of PDF—all three pages combined—may not exceed 6MB of data.
  • Three pages maximum.
  • 10” x 7.5” in landscape orientation and developed as a PDF presentation file.
  • On each page, add project title, firm name, firm logos or other identifiers as desired. 
  • Use this naming convention for Presentation PDF file: PPDF_FirmName_ProjectName.pdf

Have questions? Contact Nathan Dennies at ndennies@aiabalt.com or 410-625-2585 (x102)

Enter A Project