The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named Architecture Research Office (ARO) the 2020 Architecture Firm of the Year. The Firm Award is the highest honor the AIA bestows on an architecture practice.
"It is extremely gratifying to have won this award that honors our body of work and our contribution to the profession," the firm's principals stated. "More than anything, knowing that we have the respect of our peers and colleagues is what makes this award important."
With architecture that is simultaneously humanistic and analytical, Architecture Research Office (ARO) has, over 26 years, crafted a reputation for imaginative work that emerges from the firm's relentless exploration. Continually advancing the built environment, the firm pushes boundaries and leverages research and an inquisitive methodology to continually answer the question, "What's next?"
Founded in 1993, the firm is led by principals Stephen Cassell, FAIA, Kim Yao, AIA, and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA. With a staff of just 30, the firm's portfolio includes a broad range of work that has been widely celebrated and recognized with six AIA Honor Awards, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture, and the Academy Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2018, ARO was named AIA New York State's firm of the year.
"ARO's work, ranging from their extensive work on additional American university campuses to the cultural work they are doing for the Rothko Chapel and have done for the Judd Foundation to the research work that they've done on urban climate issues as well as material fabrication, has been consistently tight in its articulation (no excess), but it emerges from a keen understanding of each project and a keen appreciation for each deployed material rather than coming from a school of minimalism," Sarah M. Whiting, Assoc. AIA, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of architecture at Harvard University, wrote in a letter supporting ARO's nomination for the award.