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HGA Wins American Architecture Award for Boise State University’s Center for the Visual Arts

BOISE, ID — Boise State University’s Center for the Visual Arts, designed by HGA, was awarded the 2020 American Architecture Award, recognizing the project as significant new contemporary architecture.

Consolidating visual arts disciplines previously scattered across campus, the program includes 2D and 3D disciplines, critique spaces, public exhibit galleries, and faculty and administrative offices. Three main programmatic elements shape the massing: a tall art studio wing clad in limestone and glazed on the north, providing views to the Boise River and Downtown; a two-story exhibition gallery wing clad in blue stainless steel; and a highly transparent Lobby Commons that serves as the light-filled connective tissue between the two.

Boise State University envisioned the Center for the Visual Arts as a way to elevate its regional and national profile. The design serves as a critical gateway into campus, welcoming students as they head to class and community members as they pass along Capitol Boulevard. With a new identity, the building puts visual arts at Boise State on par with facilities at leading institutions and becomes a signature campus gateway reaching out to the community beyond.

The American Architecture Award is the nation’s highest public awards program given by a non-commercial, non-trade affiliated, public arts, culture and educational institution. It highlights the most significant new contemporary architecture, landscape architecture, interiors, and urban planning in the United States.

Since 1994, The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, have organized The American Architecture Awards as a way to honor the best, new significant buildings and landscape and planning projects designed and/or built in the United States and abroad by American Architects and Planners practicing nationally and internationally.

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The American Architecture Awards give an overview of the current aesthetic direction of today’s commercial, corporate, institutional, and residential work in the United States to the real estate, banking, business, and corporate community, as well as to the press and general public. The program is one of the museum’s most important public education outreach initiatives produced throughout the year ― to both the museum’s U.S. and international audience. The American Architecture Awards are dedicated to the recognition of excellence in architecture and urbanism in the United States.

The program awards pays tribute to new developments in design and underscores the directions and understanding of current processes consistent with today’s design thinking.

The Chicago Athenaeum is an International Museum of Architecture and Design, appropriately based in the world’s first city of modern architecture and design — Chicago. The museum is dedicated to the Art of Design in all areas of the discipline: architecture, industrial, and product design, graphics, landscape architecture, and urban planning. The museum’s mission is the advancement of public education about the value of good design and how design can positively impact the human environment.

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