31 Top Firms Pioneering a New Era of Architectural Design

Announced early in 2021, the Winners of the inaugural A+Firm Awards constituted an incredible range of architecture and consulting firms, and it’s no wonder: the competition was fierce. More than 400 firms — hailing from 50 countries across 6 continents — submitted their portfolio for consideration in the program. After a meticulous review by an influential jury of creative thought leaders, 31 firms came out on top, providing a diverse picture of the talented teams helping to conceptualize, design and deliver the world’s best architecture.

This season, the Best Firm Awards are an integral part of the iconic A+Awards, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! The program is currently inviting submissions from innovative architecture and design studios from around the world. Get started on your entry here:

Start A+Awards Submission

This year, we’re making the A+Awards more accessible for small architecture firms! If your firm has 10 staff or less, enter APLUSSMALL at check out to get $50 off. Valid through October 29, 2021 for up to 3 entries.

Last season, the jurors expressed their admiration for the evolving work of firms working at the forefront of contemporary design. “The A+Firm Awards reveals that innovation and design forward thinking need not exclude thinking around sustainability, access and equity,” said juror Charles Renfro, Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “It was heartening, particularly in the small and medium size firm categories, that these issues are now seamlessly embedded in younger architect’s design approaches without sacrificing thrilling and elegant formal solutions.”

The biggest plaudits were saved for firms responding in dynamic ways to evolving global challenges, which continue to impact daily life of millions around the world. “It was heartening to find a large number of practices clearly passionate about some of the most pressing issues of our time: inclusion, economic resiliency, climate change and, most immediately, the pandemic,” said juror Kathryn Firth, Partner at FPdesign. “As an urban designer, I was especially encouraged by the number of projects that were not only responsive to their context, but committed to making a meaningful contribution to the wider social and physical setting.”

As you prepare your portfolio for submission, gain inspiration from every winning firm from last season, showcased in order of size, geography, typology and finally specialization. Each entry is accompanied by a Firm Description / Mission Statement, written by the firm itself and edited for length and clarity.

Shulin Architectural Design

Best of the Year Awards > Best Small Firm

Firm Location: Hangzhou, China
Firm Website: http://www.hzshulin.com/
Pictured Project: Mountain House in Mist, Jinhua, China (Mainland)

The renovation and renewal projects are the type of projects that Shulin Architectural Design is exposed to most, and most of them are in the countryside. Therefore, the village is a starting point for the firm and will continue to be their long-term focus point. Urban renewal creative projects and interior space creation are also research directions for the firm.

Shulin Architectural Design insists on starting from small projects, paying attention to rural tectonics and typology, respecting the authenticity of construction and the locality of materials, researching the relationship between nature and architecture, people and the environment, and blending new and old. The firm is continually exploring new fields of architecture in practice.

Koichi Takada Architects

Best of the Year Awards > Best Medium Firm

Photo by Tom Ferguson

Firm Location: Sydney, Australia
Firm Website: https://koichitakada.com/
Pictured Project: ARC – a future heritage, Sydney, Australia

Koichi Takada Architects is a design group that creates organically inspired places so the world can reconnect with a more natural, intuitive and conscious future. Founded in 2008, Koichi Takada Architects is based in Sydney with offices in Doha and Tokyo. The firm is currently working across residential, hotels, restaurants, commercial, and cultural projects in Australia and across the Middle East, Asia, North America and South America.

Principal Koichi Takada is based in Sydney, after living in cities of high urbanisation including Tokyo, New York and London. His experience in those metropolises, where he studied at the School of Architecture at City University of New York and the Architectural Association in London, led him to pledge to create a greener future through design.

neri&hu design and research office

Best of the Year Awards > Best Large Firm

Photo by Pedro Pegenaute

Firm Location: Shanghai, China
Firm Website: http://www.neriandhu.com/en
Pictured Project: The Brick Wall – Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat, Yangzhou, China

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