Community Enhancement Through Architecture and Design Awards

What is your dream for Iowa? Our dream is for our state to become more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant!  Few people would disagree that quality architecture can play a big part in making communities more livable. The structures we build affect our environment, sustainability, health, culture, identity and economy.  Simply put, thoughtful design improves Iowan’s lives.

Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF) was founded 30 years ago to speak to the public about why architecture is important, with a mission to inspire an appreciation for architecture and design. As a 501 (c)(3) public foundation, our primary purpose is education. We offer public lectures and tours to provide a new lens for viewing and understanding our built environment. Ultimately, our success will inspire Iowans to engage in design issues and consider high standards as they build and shape their communities.

Architects often receive recognition for improving communities, but we feel it is important to also recognize those entities who embrace architectural excellence to advance their communities.


Continuing the tradition started last year, this award is intended to recognize those individuals, organizations, agencies, or communities, outside the architectural profession, who have had a significant, sustained and positive impact on the quality of life in Iowa through their support of architecture and/or urban design.  


Any individual, organization, agency, or community in Iowa, outside the architectural profession, that has demonstrated consistent and effective leadership, vision, and support for architecture. Eligibility is also open to those who have repeatedly championed the cause of architecture or acted repeatedly as a benefactor of architecture and urban design, all of which has contributed to the betterment of an Iowa community(s).


Each nominator must fill out the submission form in its entirety. The nomination form can be found HERE. Supplemental information is encouraged and can be uploaded to the “file attachment” on the submission form and may include photographs, newspaper articles, and letters of recommendation.  IAF reserves the right to reject any submission not conforming to the above requirements.

Submissions selected for recognition will be notified no later than July 1, 2020. Due to Covid-19, we are currently making alternative plans for actual or virtual award recognition.


Any individual or entity can nominate one or more candidates.


A committee including public members and volunteers of the IAF will review the initial submittals and select nominations to become finalists.


A jury composed of architects and non-architects will evaluate the finalists and select the award recipients.


All nominations must be received electronically or hard copy by 5 PM, June, 1 2020.  Due to the pandemic, digital entries are encouraged. If you prefer to send a hard copy nomination, please mail it to: Iowa Architectural Foundation, 400 Locust ST, Ste. 100, Des Moines, IA 50309.



Questions may be directed to Eric Neuhaus, at 515-393-5340, or eneuhaus@neumannmonsoncom.