2007 Architecture Awards

This year's winners were chosen not only for their beauty but also for the way they advance business strategies

When Barry Diller hired Frank Gehry to design the New York headquarters of his company, InterActiveCorp (IACI), he was hoping to create a brand as much as a building. Diller, IAC's chairman and CEO, wanted to unite more than 60 Web-based businesses within his conglomerate into a single, distinctive whole. So he turned to the high-profile architect to create a building that would help shape IAC. The building worked; the strategy didn't. Diller recently decided to break up IAC into five publicly traded companies, but his effort to use architecture to further a business strategy was rewarded in the latest contest organized by BusinessWeek and Architectural Record, both owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP).

In its 10th year, the contest recognizes architecture not only for form and beauty but also for its contribution to business. A jury of editors from BusinessWeek and Architectural Record analyzed nearly 100 applications submitted from worldwide teams of architects and their business clients. Three of the four top prizes went to large corporate complexes: the ASD-designed Navy Federal Credit Union call center in Pensacola, Fla.; the headquarters of the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Md., by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Diller's IAC building. The other top winner was the tiny Young Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto, designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects.

The strategic impact of these designs can be seen in everything from higher ticket sales at the theater to improved employee retention, better brand awareness, and even increased productivity. Here's a look at this year's Award of Excellence winners.

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