MINNEAPOLIS, June 25, 2024—Two architects were selected for the 2024 Young Architects Award. This award is given by AIA Minnesota to individuals who, in the early stage of their architecture career, have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession. AIA Minnesota members who have been licensed to practice architecture less than 10 years are eligible for nomination.

This year’s winners are standout leaders in the Minnesota design community:

Rebecca Alexander, AIA, an architect and senior researcher in LHB’s Climate Solutions Studio, is a leader in the field of energy and climate action planning. Her projects range from the development of the Minnesota Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond (B3) Case Studies Database to technical leadership of the Regional Indicators Initiative, which engages communities in actionable strategies for greenhouse-gas reduction by providing them with data-driven planning tools.

In a letter nominating Alexander for the Young Architects Award, LHB board chair Rick Carter, FAIA, wrote that “[Alexander] is expanding what it means to be an architect in the era of climate change and paving the way for others to join this profession and do work they find meaningful.” The jury echoed this observation by noting that “Alexander is a citizen architect whose impact extends far beyond individual projects to create positive change in policymaking and community building.”

Greg Elsner, AIA, director of design at Shelter Architecture in Minneapolis, combines construction expertise with design acumen to deliver innovative, detailed work where craft intersects with a mastery of material. His commitment to sustainability and holistic understanding of scale and the human experience creates exceptional spaces for a range of residential and commercial clients. And his impact has extended to other parts of the world, with leadership roles in projects for communities in Kenya, India, and Honduras.

“Greg’s curiosity, thoughtfulness, and design philosophy are rooted in a sense of reverence for architectural scale, logical composition, material feasibility, and engineering integrity,” wrote Kerry Hage, president of Hage Homes, in a letter of support. “He has the unusual talent to infuse this deep understanding with his own poetic license.” The jury was impressed with the way Elsner has brought his carpentry background forward into a hands-on approach to design and building.

Serving on the 2024 AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award were AIA Minnesota volunteer leaders Peter Hendee Brown, FAIA, Constance Chen, AIA, Shida Du, AIA, Laura Eder, AIA, and Scott Schlotthauer, AIA.

Recipients of this award are encouraged to submit for the AIA National Young Architects Award. To date, 31 AIA Minnesota architects have received the national award, including: Vicki L. Hooper, AIA, and Joan Soranno, FAIA, in 1993; William Blanski, FAIA, 1995; Michael Fischer, AIA, and Robert Rothman, AIA, 1996; Jeffrey Kagermeier, AIA, 2001; Mohammed Lawal, FAIA, 2002; Paul Neuhaus, AIA, 2003; James Dayton, AIA, 2005; Philip Koski, AIA, 2007; Michael Meehan, AIA, 2008; Matthew Kreilich, FAIA, and Michael Schellin, AIA, 2009; Steven Dwyer, FAIA, 2011; Timothy Bicknell, AIA, 2012; John Dwyer, AIA, and Alissa D. Luepke Pier, AIA, 2013; Bob Ganser, AIA, Amy Kalar, AIA, and Karen Lu, AIA, 2016; Angela Wolf Scott, AIA, and Malini Srivastava, AIA, 2018; James Garrett Jr., FAIA, NOMA, 2019; Meredith Hayes Gordon, AIA, Damaris Melo, AIA, NOMA, Amber Sausen, AIA, and Jesse Turck, AIA, 2020; Dagmara Larsen, AIA, and Daniel Yudchitz, AIA, 2021; and Simona Fischer, AIA, and David Wilson, AIA, 2023.

Alexander and Elsner will be recognized at an AIA Minnesota Awards Celebration on Thursday, August 15, 2024. Learn more about the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award here.

The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment, and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, visit our website and subscribe to ENTER, our digital monthly newsletter that explores the people and ideas shaping a better built environment for Minnesota.