Each year, AIA Pennsylvania celebrates the great work that Pennsylvania’s architects are doing to affect positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes for their clients and communities. The AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design Awards celebrate the exemplary design achievements of members and the impact of architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. The jury recognizes projects deemed worthy of recognition with the following levels of distinction. 

Philadelphia-based architect Digsau was presented with the Honor Award for The Cooper, a 92-unit multifamily residential community on Lower Market Street in Wilmington, DE. An Honor Award is granted at the jury’s discretion to projects that exemplify distinguished achievement in any category. Out of 105 submissions, The Cooper was one of 11 projects to receive this recognition.

The design of The Cooper responds to challenges on the through block site by creating a distinct entry sequence  from each street front ultimately leading to a verdant, mid-block courtyard which serves as a shared community space and provides views and daylight to the dwelling units along its perimeter. Passage from Market Street is marked by a historic cast-iron façade salvaged from the building which formerly occupied the site.

The jury noted that the project “integrates with its context very successfully” and that the layering of the collection of buildings bought back for adaptive reuse add to the history of the site. As for the design, the façade offers “bold clarity” and the fact that “they are related, but not identical” is very successfully done in the project. The jury was composed of three well-known architects from New York City: Kim Yao – Architecture Research Office, Mark Gardner – Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects, and Elaine Molinar – Snøhetta.

Thank you to the BPGS Construction team and all our project partners for their hard work in bringing this award-winning project to life! 

Click here to watch the entire award presentation and listen to the jury’s comments about The Cooper at 55:00-56:45.