OPN Architects, RDG among 2022 AIA Iowa Design Awards winners

Honors presented at annual awards celebration at Catholic Diocese of Des Moines

OPN Architects Flint Public Library AIA Iowa Award Architectural Billings Index
Remodeling of the Flint, Michigan Public LIbrary, as designed by OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, won a 2022 AIA Iowa Design Award of Merit. CREDIT AIA IOWA

Several Iowa architecture firms, including Cedar Rapids-based OPN Architects and RDG Planning and Design, were recognized with design awards at the American Institute of Architects Iowa Chapter’s (AIA Iowa) annual awards celebration Sept. 29 at The Catholic Diocese of Des Moines.

Members of AIA Iowa attended the celebration to honor the recipients of the AIA Iowa Design Awards recipients in the categories of Excellence in Design Honor, Merit, and Honorable Mention, as well as Excellence in Craft Honor and Merit. The awards recognize excellence in design by members of AIA Iowa and emphasize architecture and its importance across Iowa and beyond, according to an AIA Iowa news release.

The awards celebration was held in conjunction with the 2022 AIA Iowa convention, ‘ADVOCATE,’ held in-person at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines Sept. 29-30. Individual awards were also presented at the convention.

Design Awards were presented as follows:


  • Design Award Merit: Flint Public Library by OPN Architects, Inc. The jury commented: “The interior is amazing for the type of building it is, considerate and communal. In terms of projects that have a big impact on their communities, this feels like a strong one.”
  • Design Award Honor: Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust by OPN Architects, Inc. The jury commented: “It’s an exceptionally strong project all in all. The interior is beautiful, and light filled. This building type is normally a pat repeated form, but they knocked it out of the park.”
  • Design Award Merit: Lake Como Park Pavilion by RDG Planning and Design. The jury commented: “Form and view is incredible; it’s well composed and articulated. And we loved the oddly shaped wood benches.”
  • Design Award Honorable Mention: Capturing An Artist’s Vision: A Monumental Journey by substance. The jury commented: “The project obviously has an exceptional level of craft, and we are glad to see it in the Excellence in Design category as well.”
  • Design Award Honorable Mention: Catholic Pastoral Center by BSS Architects | Engineers. The jury commented: “The space was skillfully restored. Adaptive reuse and thoughtful renovations are an important part of what we do and deserve special recognition.”
  • Design Award Merit: Kinship Brewing by INVISION Architecture. The jury commented: “It’s interesting and handsome. We loved the colorful strip at the ground – nice element that pulled through and grabbed the landscape, anchoring the structure in an otherwise boundless field.”
  • Design Award Honor: St Kilda Café by Knop Architects. The jury commented: “This is one of the most tightly detailed interiors we’ve ever seen. There is an amazing level of craft and clarity in the resolution of the space.”


  • Craft Award, Merit: Ullem Chapel by ASK Studio. The jury commented: “It has presence. It’s well put together, especially considering its remote location and challenges of the construction process.”
  • Craft Award, Honor: Downtown Bridges by substance. The jury commented: “We really appreciate the story and how the project demonstrates craft can happen at the level of infrastructure, not just custom buildings.”

Projects can be viewed at www.iowaarchitecture.org.