The Tampa Riverwalk Recognized in People's Choice Architecture Competition

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Residents in the Tampa area and the world-wide public at large can vote online for four of their favorite community buildings in the fifth annual People’s Choice Competition, launched on June 20 by the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) and the Florida Foundation for Architecture. Voting is open now until July 20. The buildings on this year’s ballot were built in the past five years and contribute to the happiness and prosperity of Florida residents.

“People’s Choice is one of my favorite events of the year because it is a chance for architects to showcase their work through a wide selection of public projects,” said Tampa architect, Kim Headland, AIA, president of AIA Florida. “As architects, we strive to design buildings that provide communities with safe and welcoming environments. We look forward to seeing the public’s most cherished buildings and encourage everyone to vote!”

Among AIA Tampa’s region are several buildings of note. The Kate Tiedman College of Business by Harvard Jolly Architecture serves as a multi-use space for University of South Florida students and has become an iconic piece of architecture on campus. The Tampa Riverwalk, by Kimley-Horn and Associates, connects almost two and a half miles of continuous waterfront. The Hollis Cancer Center at Lakeland Regional Health by HuntonBrady Architects provides a facility for patients who want treatment close to their homes.

 A total of 39 buildings have been nominated in this year’s People’s Choice Competition. Submissions from across the state include for example, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Apollo 1 Memorial at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Brightline, a high-speed rail system that connects parts of South Florida. The buildings nominated shape Florida’s topography and create a distinct architectural style for which Florida is known.

Over the past four years, the popularity of the contest has grown exponentially, with last year’s contest garnering over 5.6 million votes from the United States and 21 other countries around the world. The 2017 winning building, the Call-Collins House at The Grove in Tallahassee was the home of two former Florida governors. Another top five building from last year’s competition was Miami’s historic Hampton House, a hotel at which according to the historic Hampton House Community Trust website, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once rehearsed his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” in 1960.​​​​​​

 “It is our honor and privilege as members of the architecture profession to share with the public how architecture has impacted the community” said Peter W. Jones, AIA, Chair of the Florida Foundation for Architecture. “The People’s Choice ballot is a unique and fun way for nonarchitects to judge design professionals. We look forward to the public crowning their favorite.”

For a complete list of nominated buildings, click here. For complete selection criteria, see below.

Selection Criteria: Each of AIA Florida’s 13 local chapters are eligible to nominate two structures. Additionally, projects submitted previously in 2017 for a prestigious AIA Florida/Caribbean Design Award are considered. All buildings selected must have been built in the past five years, are public spaces located in Florida and not previously in the competition.

The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,600 members in Florida and the Caribbean. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.

The Florida Foundation for Architecture is a non-profit organization that exists to advocate the value of architecture to audiences beyond the profession. This is accomplished through Foundation events, publications and grants for programs that feature architecture and are open and available to the general public and related professions, as well as architects.