It was a big night for local architects on Wednesday, especially for two firms.

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative won six awards at the annual Design Awards hosted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

And Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel picked up a rare Silver Award — an accolade that is optional and only given sparingly — for its design of the MuseumLab.

The 2020 Design Awards honoring outstanding achievements by the Pittsburgh architectural community was held virtually via YouTube for the first time.

The award categories include Small Architecture (less than 5,000 square feet), Medium Architecture (5,000-50,000 square feet), Large Architecture (greater than 50,000 square feet) and Unbuilt Architecture.

Within those categories, there are awards for Social Equity in Design, which addresses issues of diversity and social responsibility based on a community-driven approach. There are also Honor Awards, for the best of the submitted projects, and Certificates of Merit, which reward a particular design aspect of a project. Then there’s the Silver Award, the highest award, celebrating extraordinary work (which is rarely given).

“The MuseumLab stands out for its unusual approach to celebrating found architecture,” said AIA Pittsburgh Board President Joe Chaffin. “The project leaves the patina of the existing building edifice exposed, which sets the stage for creating a world of discovery and imagination. The playful integration of artistic and functional elements conveys the resourcefulness and creativity of the project team, which in turn translates into the distinct ethos of the project.”

There’s also a Young Architects Studio Competition Award, given to a young architect’s project, and a People’s Choice Award, decided by more than 3,261 votes cast by the public online.

Time was taken to celebrate those from the architectural community who helped out during the Covid-19 crisis. This included GBBN Architects, who used their fabrication expertise to design and deliver 750 3D-printed face shields to local healthcare organizations.

A five-person jury from AIA Baltimore chose the award winners.

“It was good to see the projects that were presented and I think you’ll be happy with the awards that were handed out, but I certainly wish that there had been a little bit more attention paid to sustainability across the board,” said jury member Peter Doo. “There were definitely projects that did that, but you know we’re at a moment in time where this is becoming increasingly critical, I think, and architects have a responsibility to really take this seriously.”

Here are the winning designs with comments from the jury.

Small Architecture

Presley’s Place. Photo courtesy of Matthew O’Haren Photography.

Presley’s Place, Pittsburgh International Airport — Social Equity in Design

Architects: Hayes Design Group Architects

Client: Allegheny County Airport Authority

“Presley’s Place is a special place, one that reminds us that the spaces we inhabit help shape the way we see the world and designing for everyone makes our world.”

Indianola residence in Cheswick. Photo by Ed Massery Photography and Jesse Riesmeyer.

210 Indianola, Cheswick — Certificate of Merit

Architects: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative

Client: Michael & Renee Gwin

“210 Indianola residence stands out with strong consideration for sustainability and thoughtful relationship to the natural site.”

University Commons Terrace. Photo courtesy of Maya Elaine Photography.

University Commons Terrace, Oakland — Certificate of Merit

Architects: LGA Partners

Client: Carlow University

“The Carlow University Commons Terrace railing design is elevated by the successful collaboration with university art students who capture the spirit of their academic community.”

Winterton Street residence in Highland Park. Photo by Roseanne Martin.

Winterton Street Residence, Highland Park — Certificate of Merit

Architects: evolve environment :: architecture

Client: confidential

“The Winterton Street Residence presents a thoughtful design approach and commitment to quality execution as evidenced by the intimate, cared-for indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Medium Architecture

Community Engagement Center in Homewood. Photo by Craig Thompson.

Community Engagement Center, Homewood — Social Equity in Design

Architect: Strada

Client: University of Pittsburgh

“Homewood Community Engagement Center models a bridge between academic institutions and the communities that surround them — an invaluable stream for sharing resources towards more equitable communities.”

Center for Urban Education. Photo by Ed Massery.

Center for Urban Education, Oakland — Certificate of Merit

Architects: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative

Client: University of Pittsburgh

“Center for Urban Education breaks away from the rigid geometry of the existing building and boldly resets its rules on spatial interaction within the academic setting.”