The BW/Architectural Record Awards

Far more than a beauty contest, this competition judges architecture on how well it solves business problems. The winners range from Gannett's new headquarters in Virginia to a childbirth clinic in Japan

Once a year, BusinessWeek joins with Architectural Record, a sister publication at The McGraw-Hill (MHP ) Companies, to run an international contest that rewards distinguished architecture for its ability to meet serious business goals. Most architectural contests honor aesthetics and applaud the beauty of the structures built. The BusinessWeek awards program, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, is alone in having both architects and businesspeople on its jury. Together, they decide how well corporate headquarters, offices, hospitals, hotels, and museums address business issues.

The 2003 jury was extremely selective, giving awards to just 10 out of 168 entries. The winners range from an Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL ) retail computer store in New York's trendy SoHo to a childbirth clinic in Japan. They include the new Gannett Co. (GCI )/USA Today corporate headquarters in McLean, Va., and small-business startup offices in Switzerland. A precious Frank Lloyd Wright building in Bartlesville, Okla., was saved from the wrecker's ball.

With such winners, "the predictable language of architecture was challenged," says jury chair Brad Cloepfil, founder of Allied Works Architecture in Portland, Ore. The distinguished jury included Sam Farber, founder of COPCO and OXO; José Oncina, general manager for worldwide real estate at Microsoft; Rich Varda, vice-president for design, architecture, and engineering at Target (TGT ) Marion Weiss of Weiss/Manfredi Architects; and Karen Stein, editorial director of Phaidon Press, among others. Here is their selection of the best awards for architecture in 2003.

By Bruce Nussbaum in New York

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