The Residential Architect of Distinction Award (previously the annual Architect of Distinction Award) is given every two years to a residential architect, licensed for more than 15 years, who has demonstrated a mastery of architecture through design, craft and materials, and who has made significant contributions to the advancement of residential design. The recipient is selected from among a competitive pool of candidates by a jury of peers.

This award was not awarded in 2023 due to conflicting interpretations of the criteria among members of the jury. As a result, the award criteria and process will be reviewed and revised in anticipation of a 2024 call for nominations. Please direct any questions to AIA Minnesota EVP Mary-Margaret Zindren.


AIA Minnesota members who are in good standing and have been licensed to practice architecture for at least 15 years by the submission deadline are eligible. 

All AIA Minnesota award programs will now require a declaration that candidates for awards are in compliance with the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Nominators will need to certify that candidates comply to the best of their knowledge. This is part of our commitment to ensuring that recipients of AIA Minnesota awards comport to the highest standards of character and professionalism, and is in compliance with requirements for AIA national awards.


A panel of professionals will be gathered to review submissions and select the award recipient. The jury will be recommended by the AIA Minnesota Committee on Design, as is standard for AIA Minnesota award programs. 

All submissions will be considered and reviewed via a blind jury process that is monitored by an AIA Minnesota staff member. Each juror’s opinions will carry equal weight in the process.

Submission Details

Materials must be submitted using AIA Minnesota’s online awards platform. The electronic submission process will allow for ease of providing the required materials and a more efficient review process for jurors. 

A candidate may self-submit, or any current AIA member may nominate another eligible individual.

Each submission must include the following materials: 

Description of the candidate’s unique design philosophy and approach to architecture (up to 250 words) 
Brief list of candidate’s professional and/or personal achievements 
Visual examples of five built, single-family residential projects that clearly illustrate the candidate’s design philosophy, for which candidate was the lead or principal designer. At least one of the submitted projects must have been completed within the last five years (as of January 1, 2023). (Up to 10 images per project are allowed including floor plans; file size limit is 5 MB per image. “Before” images are encouraged when the project is a remodel or addition.)
Project descriptions (up to 100 words per description) 
Optional: additional documentation that may demonstrate the candidate’s qualification to receive the award, such as honors, articles, or letters of recommendation 

All submissions must remain anonymous; no mention of architect’s name or firm may appear in images, descriptions or supporting documents. Candidate’s name and personal information will not be visible to jurors during the review process. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification. 


Contact Ann Mayhew (612-767-1740) with questions.

2019 Architect of Distinction

The Architect of Distinction was last awarded in 2019. AIA Minnesota is pleased to announce that Jean Rehkamp Larson, AIA, of Rehkamp Larson Architects, is the recipient of the 2019 award.

Past Award Recipients

2019 Jean Rehkamp Larson, AIA
2018 Eric Odor, AIA
2017 Christine Albertsson, AIA
2016 Mark Larson, AIA
2015 Dale Mulfinger, FAIA
2014 Katherine Hillbrand, AIA
2013 Rosemary McMonigal, FAIA
2012 Sarah Nettleton, FAIA
2011 Julie Snow, FAIA
2010 Tom Ellison, AIA
2009 Tim Alt, AIA
2008 Dan Nepp, AIA
2007 Tom Meyer, FAIA
2006 Kelly Davis, AIA
2005 Charles Stinson, AIA
2004 David Salmela, FAIA