Floridians across the state will have the chance to vote on their favorite community buildings, thanks to a statewide online People’s Choice competition launched June 16 by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida). To qualify for this competition, the buildings must have been built in the past five years and be public spaces that contribute to the life and well-being of the people of Florida.
From one end of the state to the other – the Perdido Key Fire Station and Community Center west of Pensacola to the Pérez Art Museum in Miami – the visionary work of architects has helped shape the designs that give Florida its distinctive flavor. Buildings vying in this public election range from the colossal to the compact: one nominee is the Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, while another is the Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.
“Florida’s communities are built through the dreams of architects. Whether the purpose is reaching for the stars or reaching out to engage young children’s minds, well-designed buildings are pivotal in the lives of Floridians,” said Nathan Butler, AIA, president of AIA Florida. “Architects are an invaluable resource to building communities because they create the outstanding buildings and environments that make us feel good about where we live, work and play.”
Online voting in the competition will be conducted at www.floridapeopleschoice.org from June 16 through midnight July 18. Buildings will be listed by the structure’s name and location. The results of the voting will be announced July 19 at AIA Florida’s Annual Convention in Miami.
The competition is a follow-up to AIA Florida’s 2012 contest that asked the public to select Florida’s most outstanding building as part of the organization’s “100 Years, 100 Places” anniversary celebration. In that spirit, this year’s event focuses specifically on structures that serve a community purpose and are open to the public. Each of AIA Florida’s 13 components nominated structures and another 39 have been submitted for a prestigious AIA Florida Design Award, for a total of 58 nominees.
“Through the People’s Choice competition, we celebrate our communities and the great work of architects and encourage members of the public to vote for their favorite community buildings,” said Bill Hercules, AIA, President of the Board of Trustees of the Florida Foundation for Architecture. “We are proud to recognize the work of architects, who are truly the designers of Florida’s communities.”
The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,600 members in Florida and the Caribbean. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.
The Florida Foundation for Architecture is a non-profit organization that exists to advocate the value of architecture to audiences beyond the profession. This is accomplished through Foundation events, publications and grants for programs that feature architecture and are open and available to the general public and related professions, as well as architects.