For Immediate Release
July 26, 2018
CONTACT: Meagan Bonnell
AIA Florida Communications 
Pensacola Building Wins 2018 
People’s Choice Architecture Competition
Pensacola, Fla – Residents in Northwest Florida and the world-wide public at large voted online for their favorite buildings in the fifth annual People’s Choice Competition, launched on June 20 by the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) and the Florida Foundation for Architecture. The buildings on this year’s ballot were completed in the previous five years. With more than one million votes cast from 14 countries and 21 states, this year’s winner is the Institute for Human Machine Cognition designed by Quina Grundhoefer Architects.

Carter Quina, AIA, who was the lead architect on the project, was thrilled by the news that his design had won the Florida People’s Choice Award.

“As architects, we of course like it when our peers evaluate our work and recognize us. But to have your design receive recognition from everyday people is even more special. If people love what we’ve designed, then we’ve done our job,” said Quina. “This is really a great honor for us.”

Located in the Warehouse District of Pensacola’s historic urban downtown area, the Institute for Human Machine Cognition by Quina Grundhoefer Architects is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System. 

“The competition was quite fierce,” said Vicki Long, CAE, Hon. AIA, AIA Florida executive vice president. “Three top contenders were in a continuous back and forth race for first place, but the Institute for Human Machine Cognition held its late lead and captured the race! It was exciting to see the votes coming in fast and furious.”

A total of 39 buildings were nominated in this year’s People’s Choice Competition. Submissions from across the state included other top vote-getters the Tampa Riverwalk, Care Point Health and Wellness Center in Tallahassee and the Kate Tiedemann College of Business located in St. Petersburg. The buildings nominated shape Florida’s topography and create a distinct architectural style for which Florida is known. 

The winners were announced at AIA Florida’s Annual Convention at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. on July 21 where Carter Quina, AIA, accepted the award.

“It is our honor and privilege as members of the architecture profession to share with the public how architecture has impacted the community” said Peter W. Jones, AIA, Chair of the Florida Foundation for Architecture. “The People’s Choice ballot is a unique and fun way for nonarchitects to judge design professionals.”
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The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,600 members in Florida and the Caribbean. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.

The Florida Foundation for Architecture is a non-profit organization that exists to advocate the value of architecture to audiences beyond the profession. This is accomplished through Foundation events, publications and grants for programs that feature architecture and are open and available to the general public and related professions, as well as architects.