The A+Awards consist of three categories. The Typology Categories celebrate traditional building types. The Plus Categories recognize the link between global issues and the structures that society builds. The Product Categories acknowledge that symbiosis between products and building.
Architects do a lot of things — signage, branding, presentations, conferences —but at the core of our profession, we make buildings and spaces. The Typology Awards honor this core function. To be recognized amongst the best is an incredible achievement worthy of praise — and perhaps a bit of bragging. Entries must be built or conceptualized within the past three years.
- Apartment – This category awards the best overall design and architecture of a built apartment.
- Private House (XS <1,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built private home smaller than 1,000 square feet.
- Private House (M 1,000-3,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built private home sizing between 1,000 and 3,000 square feet.
- Private House (L >3,000-5,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built private home sizing between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet.
- Private House (XL >5,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built private home larger than 5,000 square feet.
- Multi Unit Housing Low Rise (1-4 Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built multi-unit residential complex 1 to 4 floors tall.
- Multi Unit Housing Mid Rise (5-15 Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built multi-unit residential complex 5 to 15 floors tall.
- Multi Unit Housing High Rise (16+ Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built multi-unit residential complex taller than 16 floors.
- Residential Interiors – Interior architecture of a built residential project.
- Unbuilt – Private House (S < 3,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best concepts for unbuilt private homes smaller than 3,000 square feet.
- Unbuilt – Private House (L >3,000 sq ft) – This category awards the best concepts for unbuilt private homes larger than 3,000 square feet.
- Unbuilt – Multi-Unit Housing (S <10 Floors) – This category awards the best concepts for unbuilt multi-unit housing schemes smaller than 10 floors.
- Unbuilt – Multi-Unit Housing (L >10 Floors) – This category awards the best concepts for unbuilt multi-unit housing schemes taller than 10 floors.
- Coworking Space – Co-working spaces are spatial solutions within the model of the sharing economy. This category awards innovative built spaces where companies or individual entrepreneurs share quarters with one another.
- Office Building Low Rise (1-4 Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built office building 1 to 4 stories tall.
- Office Building Mid Rise (5-15 Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built office building 1 to 4 stories tall.
- Office Building High Rise (16+ Floors) – This category awards the best overall architecture of a built office building taller than 16 floors.
- Office Interiors (<25,000 sq ft) – Interior architecture of a built office space smaller than 25,000 square feet.
- Office Interiors (>25,000 sq ft) – Interior architecture of a built office space larger than 25,000 square feet.
- Retail – Best overall design and architecture for built spaces dedicated to retail, such as branded stores and flagships.
- Shopping Center – Best overall design and architecture for built shopping centers and malls.
- Pop-ups & Temporary – The best architecture for a built pop-up or temporary installation.
- Mixed Use – Innovative architecture for a built architectural complex with multiple and combined functions, whether residential, commercial, institutional, cultural and more.
- Factories & Warehouses – This category awards the best overall design and architecture of a built complex that acts as a factory or warehouse.
- Showrooms – Best overall design and architecture for a built commercial showroom.
- Unbuilt Commercial – Any unbuilt architecture with a commercial function, such as an office space, a space for retail, a showroom, a factory and more.
- Hotels & Resorts – Best overall design and architecture for a built hotel or resort.
- Restaurants – Best overall design and architecture for a built restaurant.
- Bars & Nightclubs – Best overall design and architecture for a bar or nightclub.
- Health Care & Wellness – Innovative built spaces dedicated to health care and psychological and physical well-being.
- Unbuilt Hospitality – Any unbuilt architecture dedicated to the hospitality industry.
Sports & Recreation
- Stadium / Arena – Innovative architecture of a stadium or arena where audiences can view sporting events.
- Recreation Centers – A recreation center can be an indoor track, pool or sports center dedicated to practicing sports and spending leisure time exercising. This category awards the most innovative design and architecture for built recreation centers.
- Unbuilt Sports & Recreation – Any unbuilt architecture dedicated to the sports & recreation industry, including training centers, stadiums, arenas and more.
- Museum – Best overall architecture of an entire museum complex.
- Gallery – Best overall architecture of a gallery space.
- Hall / Theater – Innovative built architecture of a hall or theater.
- Pavilions – This category awards the best overall design and architecture of a built cultural pavilion.
- Religious Buildings & Memorials – Built architecture dedicated to the practice of religion or remembrance.
- Unbuilt Cultural – Any unbuilt architecture with a cultural function, such as museums, galleries, temporary pavilions, religious or memorial complexes and more.
- Kindergartens – Innovative built spaces for kindergarten education.
- Primary & High Schools – Innovative built spaces for primary and high school education.
- Higher Education & Research Facilities – Innovative built spaces for higher learning and research, such as universities, laboratories and research centers.
- Libraries – This category awards innovation in the design and architecture of a built library.
- Government & Municipal Buildings and Police & Fire Stations – This category awards the best overall design and architecture for built complexes that act as a seat or meeting place to any rank of the government.
- Unbuilt Institutional – Any unbuilt architecture dedicated to educational, governmental and other institutional entities.
Landscape & Planning
- Landscape Design – Public – This category awards the best design for a built public park.
- Landscape Design – Private – This category awards the best design for a built private garden.
- Unbuilt Masterplan – Any unbuilt masterplan for an architectural system.
- Transportation Infrastructure – Any built architecture dedicated to transportation infrastructure, such as parking structures, airports, bus & train stations, ports & marinas and more.
- Unbuilt Transportation – Any unbuilt architecture dedicated to transportation infrastructure, such as parking structures, airports, bus and train stations, ports and marinas and more.
Architecture touches everyone at multiple scales. At the largest scale, The Plus Awards celebrate how architecture is capable of responding to global issues, shifts in technology and our evolving society — these are the Concept Categories. At the smallest scale, architecture is tactile; nearly everyone in the world touches architecture every day. The Detail Category celebrates innovative features and material applications. Entries must be built within the last three years.
- Architecture +Art – Collaborations with artists and buildings made for specific art installations are just some of the ways that architecture interfaces with the artists and their creations. Submit projects that engage art and the built environment.
- Architecture +Branding – Creating an innovative retail environment has changed the consumer brand’s perception of the power of architecture. Submit projects that deal with the built environment and branded experiences in innovative ways. Only a project’s relationship to branding will be judged in this category.
- Architecture +Collaboration – Architecture is an inherently collaborative field, but some projects push this remarkable attribute to new heights by reaching out of their own field to professions far and wide. Submit projects that are the result of new types of collaborations – only the collaborative element and its result in the project will be evaluated for judging this category.
- Architecture +Color – While architects are notorious for their monochrome palettes, this category celebrates those who dare to use color within their designs to bring new light to their projects. Submit projects that utilize color in new and innovative ways. Only a project’s relationship to the color scheme will be judged in this category.
- Architecture +Community – Emphasizes the critical role of collaboration throughout the design and building process, considering political, social and cultural stakeholders that surround a project. Submit projects where the community is key to the work.
- Architecture +Engineering – Behind every great piece of architecture is superb engineering. Collaboration between the two fields create buildings that achieve the seemingly impossible. Submit projects that push the boundaries of architecture through engineering.
- Architecture +Humanitarianism – Millions of refugees across the globe, due to global conflict or natural phenomena, are forced to leave their homes and live in low-quality, temporary housing. This category celebrates those projects and architects that use their skills and passions to bring vital hope to communities in need.
- Architecture +Landscape– Landscape and architecture have always been closely intertwined. This category celebrates innovative designs that create natural environments. Projects can include courtyards, rooftop gardens, public and private parks and other outdoor public green spaces.
- Architecture +Learning – Architecture can be a powerful tool for exchanging knowledge, whether through the environment it provides to a community or with design solutions that facilitate the learning process. Submit projects that respond to changing means of knowledge sharing.
- Architecture +Light – Projects that deploy light in a substantive and innovative manner. Only the use of light and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Living Small– The world is urbanizing and as a consequence cities are looking for new models of density. Submit projects that take on the idea of life within a small footprint. The judges will be looking for innovation within this area for judging.
- Architecture +Models & Rendering – Before a project is built, countless renderings and models are created to best communicate the concept of the overall project. This category, discounted to encourage young architects and students to enter, celebrates the detailed work and communicative aspect of models and renderings created for particular projects. Only the quality of the renderings or models will be judged in this category.
- Architecture +Photography & Video – The architectural photographer is crucial to the representation of a project to an international audience. Thanks to social media and the ease of sharing images, a building no longer exists on a single physical site but is propagated around the globe through photographs and videos. Submit images or videos (or both) that capture a single architectural project.
- Architecture +Prefab – Prefabricated design is not a new concept but has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. This category celebrates projects that are manufactured off-site, in advance, and then shipped and assembled on site.
- Architecture +Preservation– Preservation of existing buildings – of all typologies – requires a unique architectural disposition and a specialized skill-set. Submit projects that preserve and enhance the existing built environment.
- Architecture +Renovation – For decades, architects and interior designers have been involved in renovating, preserving and adapting existing buildings to accommodate new use, and effectively recycling an outdated building. Submit projects that reuse existing infrastructure or buildings for new uses. Only the renovation aspect of the project will be considered in this category.
- Architecture +Sustainability – Sustainability is a concept that acknowledges the need to provide regenerating resources for future generations. In architecture, sustainability is demonstrated by providing design solutions to control the social, economic and environmental footprints of a project. Only the project’s sustainability performance will be judged in this category.
- Architecture +Technology – This category celebrates building designs and architectural practices that express innovation through their use and application of new technologies. Submit projects that utilize new technologies to design for a particular environment, form or performance.
- Architecture +Urban Transformation – Cities across the globe are adapting to greater urban populations by revitalizing abandoned infrastructure, creating new public spaces out of neglected areas and building new ways for the world’s citizens to live more densely within existing urban fabric. Submit projects that contribute to urban development and change. Only the transformative aspect of projects will be eligible for this category.
- Architecture +Workspace – The way we work is changing with the advent of shared work spaces, open offices, live/work setups and much more. Submit projects that take on the concept of ‘new workspace’. Only the project’s innovative design of the workspace will be considered for judging.
The detail category celebrates the innovative features and material applications.
- Architecture +Brick – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of brick. The use of brick and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Concrete – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of concrete. The use of concrete and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Facades – Façades are both a building’s skin and the visual element most powerful in attracting the eye of the passerbys. This category celebrates projects in which the element of the façade stands out as a central feature of the overall architecture.
- Architecture +Glass – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of glass. The use of glass and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Metal – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of metal. The use of metal and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Stairs – This category celebrates projects in which the element of the staircase stands out as a central feature of the overall architecture.
- Architecture +Stone – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of stone. The use of stone and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Wood – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of wood. The use of wood and its effects will be considered in judging.
- Architecture +Furniture new – Projects in which the furniture stands out as a central feature of the overall architecture, as well as collaborations between architects and furniture designers. Furniture does not need to be architect-designed to qualify.
- Architecture +Acoustics new – Projects that display a substantive and innovative use of acoustic panels or sound-focused materials. Aesthetics and functional impact of acoustic products will be considered in judging.
Every architect and designer knows it takes spectacular products and materials to make their designs a reality. Here we present the categories that speak to design solutions that matter most to architects. Products can be entered into multiple categories, but must be available to market by time of entry.
- Brick Claddingnew – Exterior cladding and building envelope products made from brick or masonry, including panel brick.
- Glazing Systems & Facades – All architectural, low-e, birdsafe and switchable/dynamic glass, as well as framing systems, supports and fittings for curtain walls, structural glazing, storefronts and interior walls.
- Green Walls & Roofsnew – Roofs and vertical walls or systems that are partially or completely covered in vegetation.
- Metal Claddingnew – Exterior cladding and building envelope products made from metal, including siding, panels, and rainscreen systems.
- Stone Claddingnew – Exterior cladding and building envelope products made from stone, including panels and rainscreen systems.
- Terracotta Cladding new – Exterior cladding and building envelope products made from terracotta, including siding, panels and rainscreen systems.
- Roofs new – All manner of roofing materials including tiles, shingles, solar and waterproofing systems.
- Windows & Doors – Openings include doors, windows, roof windows/hatches and skylights (both fixed and operable); door, window and skylight hardware including latches, handles, locks, cranks, hinges and pivots. Window covering and shading hardware is also accepted in this category. (Please submit window-shade textiles into the Fabric & Textiles category, however.)
- Wood Claddingnew – Exterior cladding and building envelope products made from wood, including siding, panels and shingles.
- Cabinetrynew – All built-in cabinetry for kitchen and bath settings including vanity cabinets, cook island cabinets and medicine/mirrored cabinets. This category also includes entire kitchen furniture systems.
- Fabric & Textiles – Upholstery and drapery textiles, window shade fabric, outdoor and awning textiles, tensile structure textiles and room/space division textiles (such as hanging felt panels and screens).
- Fixtures & Fittingsnew – Fixtures and fittings such as sink faucets and taps, tub spouts, faucet and tub filler handles and controls; sanitaryware including toilets, urinals, sinks and bathtubs; built-in elements such as shower bases and doors/enclosures. (Please submit lavatory sink cabinets into the Cabinetry category.)
- Interior Materials & Surfaces – Materials and products that are suitable for interior vertical, countertop or furniture application, such as veneers, laminates, tile and stone, solid surfacing, decorative glass, wood, metals and paints and coatings.
- Wall Coverings & Ceilings – Includes whole ceiling systems, ceiling tiles and clouds for either residential or commercial settings. Wall coverings may include wallpaper, panels and panel systems and acoustical coverings.
- Carpeting – Modular carpet tile and plank, broadloom, area rugs and hybrid woven products are all acceptable.
- Flooring – Wood or engineered wood, LVT, resilient, terrazzo, regular and large-format tile with appropriate slip resistance for flooring applications, floor pavers, quartz composite, natural or engineered stone, metal.
Furniture & Accessories
- Appliances & Accessories – Appliances and accessories including major household appliances such as refrigerators and ovens, small countertop appliances, bath and tabletop accessories, soft goods such as pillows and throws, table and bed linens, stemware and dishware, wall art and frames, and other decorative objects.
- Commercial Furniture – Commercial grade furniture for use in corporate, hospitality and public settings, including tables, chairs, sofas, barstools, workplace/office systems, lecterns, case goods, mobile carts, shelves and other storage.
- Outdoor Furniture – Commercial site furniture from benches and arbors to playground structures, and residential or contract furniture that is rated for outdoor use such as deck chairs, umbrellas, dining tables, cabanas, outdoor kitchens and fire pits.
- Residential Furniture – Non-commercial grade furniture suited to residential settings, including tables, case goods, beds, dining pieces, storage, sofas, lounge and club chairs, dining chairs, benches and stools.
- Architectural Lighting – Interior and exterior lighting that is less a focal point and more for enhancing architecture, experience and comfort. These can include recessed lighting, linear and other types of suspension luminaires, troffers, LED or OLED panels, cove and plaster-in lighting, tracks, cans/cylinders, sconces and other wall fixtures, step lights, path and street lamps, landscape spots, in-ground lights and utility such as motion-activated parking structure lights. Lamping is also acceptable in this category.
- Decorative Lighting – Decorative luminaires of any scale, from distinctive wall sconces and table lamps to chandeliers and pendant clusters. The diffusers, shades, housing or composition of these lights should be design objects that add to the built project.