The BusinessWeek/ Architectural Record Awards

In one of the toughest contests of its kind, we scrutinize both design and function: The focus is on solving client problems and achieving business goals. Here, the winners -- and some finalists, too

Each year BusinessWeek joins with Architectural Record, a sister publication at The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP ), to run a contest that rewards exceptional architecture around the world. The contest goes beyond the usual aesthetics applauded in most architectural awards programs. Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, the BusinessWeek/Architectural Record Awards program includes both architects and businesspeople on the jury. It is one of the toughest contests to win, requiring a series of precise metrics on how architecture is used to solve specific client problems.

AWARDS BusinessWeek/Architectural Record

Britomart Transport Center

General Mills World Headquarters

Quintessa Winery

Hotel Monaco

Israeli Foreign Ministry

Humane Society/SPCA San Antonio/Bexar

Limerick County Hall


Iron Studio, Penland School of Crafts

Finn Center, School of Music & Arts

Ehime Prefectural Budokan

James M. Wood Community Center

Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

FDNY Fire Zone

Brentwood Skytrain Station

San Francisco Ferry Building

Ford Rouge Center

Toronto Hospital New Clinical Service Bldg

This year, BusinessWeek is trying something new. It is writing up not only many of the winners but also several of the finalists. We felt our readers would have a special interest in how General Mills Inc. (GIS ) expanded its world headquarters to integrate a new acquisition, Pillsbury, into its strong corporate culture. Designing the new Quintessa Winery in St. Helena, Calif., so that it fits smoothly into the beautiful surrounding Napa Valley vineyards is an intriguing tale. And so is saving an historic building in Washington, D.C., by retrofitting it into the modern Monaco Hotel. These are all stories of how architecture was used to achieve major business goals.

There was great diversity among the 10 winners and 9 finalists the jury chose to reward out of the 208 entries in 2004. We had a martial arts center, a transport hub, a foreign ministry, a homeless shelter, a museum, a hotel, a Humane Society building, and a winery. There were winners and finalists from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and Ireland.

All had a relationship between architect and client that solved problems. Jury Chair Moshe Safdie, principal at Moshe Safdie & Associates Inc., said the BusinessWeek/Architectural Record contest "is one of the few, if not the only, awards [program] that looks at [both] design and performance."

Here are some of the best.

By Bruce Nussbaum in New York

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.