Co-Founders honored for their contribution to the global architectural design community

Rarely does one have such an impact on the appearance of a city quite the way Arquitectonica has with the Magic City skyline. With more than 40 years of designing buildings that dot Miami’s waterfront and urban core, Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear were recognized for their contribution to shaping the built environment of the city as well as cities around the world.

The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies have bestowed Bernardo and Laurinda with the 2019 American Prize for Architecture, also known as The Louis H. Sullivan Award. The honor is given to an outstanding office and/or practitioner in the United States that has created a new direction in architectural design and has demonstrated consistent contributions to the built environment.

A special awards ceremony and gala was held at Mr. C Coconut Grove on October 10, where the international design community convened for an evening to honor the extraordinary accomplishments of architects from around the world. More than 100 projects were presented at the prestigious 2019 American Architecture Awards® for the best new architecture designed and constructed by American architects and by international architects with offices in the United States. “To be in a room filled with such accomplished architects is a humbling feeling unto itself, but I was truly touched by the outpouring of support from my peers”, said Fort-Brescia.

The American Architecture Awards, founded 25 years ago, is a centerpiece of The Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of architectural development and to bring a global focus to spotlight the best new designs from the United States. It is the only national and global program of its kind. Previous American Prize Laureates include Sir Norman Foster, Michael Graves, and Richard Meier.

“For 25 years, The American Architecture Awards have presented stunning and meticulously-designed projects that demonstrate quality architecture in the service of clients, as well as the general public, no matter the scale of project,” states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President, The Chicago Athenaeum.

The firm’s designs have defined modern Miami, and their celebrated projects in cities around the world include skyscrapers, opera houses, resorts and new cities. Bernardo Fort-Brescia led the charge of expanding the firm across the country and abroad. The firm is known as one of the pioneers of globalization in the architecture profession. Arquitectonica now has projects in 59 countries around the world with offices in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, Europe, Southeast Asia and South America.

In addition to the individual achievement for Bernardo and Laurinda’s body of work, Arquitectonica was a recipient of an American Architecture Award for the design of the University of Miami School of Architecture Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio. Raymond Fort who followed Bernardo and Laurinda into architecture was instrumental in the design of the building. “The opportunity to give back to the profession and design a building where young architects dream of making it big is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is an honor to be part of such a significant building at the University of Miami, said Fort.” Because the school now has a signature building on campus the School of Architecture has seen an immediate spike in enrollment.

Laurinda Spear and Bernardo Fort-Brescia honored laureates of the 2019 American Prize for Architecture