The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Florida/Caribbean has awarded architect Joyce Owens the 2020 Medal of Honor for Design, the pinnacle design award for the profession, recognizing her as one of the most influential architects in the state.
The annual AIA Florida/Caribbean Design & Honor Awards recognize architects for their significant contributions to the architecture profession, their communities, and architecture at large. Several juries comprised of past honor award recipients and member architects convened to confer eight honor awards in May, including awarding Owens for design.
“The top design award honors a body of work over an extended period of time so it’s humbling and exciting to be recognized by the top design leaders in the architecture profession,” says Joyce Owens, owner and principal of Architecture Joyce Owens | Studio AJO, the Florida firm she founded in 2007.
Owens’ firm has become a recognized architectural practice across Florida with an extensive portfolio that includes landmark commercial and community spaces, as well as distinctive modern island homes. Studio AJO is known for being an advocate of good design and incorporating passive and active sustainable principles into every project.
With offices in Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Naples, Owens and her team recently completed Marian Hall, a new 12,000 square foot parish hall at St. Cecilia Catholic Community Church in Fort Myers. Owens continues to work with the Diocese of Venice in Florida on master plan projects, including improvements to Bishop Verot High School and a new chapel for the school. Studio AJO is also responsible for the architectural design and renovations to create the new Sanibel Captiva Community Bank headquarters on Sanibel.
Studio AJO integrates architecture with the design of interior and exterior spaces and landscaping to maintain continuity between the inside and outside, and maximize the coastal lifestyle experience.
Owens is also recognized for her distinguished modern residential architecture and minimalist interiors, seen in a portfolio of custom coastal homes on the barrier islands. “Florida’s beachfront properties provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the use of modern architectural design to lessen the impact on fragile ecosystems,” she explains.
While an “office style” does not exist, Owens and her team put an emphasis on designing spaces and places that are environmentally and regionally sensitive, as well as culturally appropriate for their place. Whether the projects are new-build or renovations, each is tailored to the client’s needs and budget and is always specific to its place and the climate.
The AIA Medal of Honor for Design celebrates the high quality and originality of an architect’s work as well as advancing public awareness of the value of good architecture.
“It’s great to see Florida is now on the map for the kind of modern architecture that fits beautifully into its lush natural surroundings,” says Owens. “Architects and clients from all over are looking to the groundbreaking work our firm is creating, which incorporates key design elements that improve the relationship between nature and buildings.”
The Medal of Honor for Design also distinguishes recipients for their inspiration to others in the profession. Recognized for her leadership in the industry, Owens was president of AIA Florida in 2017 and, in 2018, was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows at the national level of the American Institute of Architects. She currently serves on the national organization’s Strategic Council and the national Public Outreach Committee.
Owens also has an extensive portfolio of residential and commercial architecture in the United Kingdom, where she was the founding partner of an international architecture design studio for more than ten years. As a founding partner at the London-based firm Azman Owens Architects, her clients included then-London Mayor Boris Johnson, fashion icon Alexander McQueen, and luxury retailer TAGHeuer. Her work has received awards from the United Kingdom’s Royal Institute of British Architects and international competitions.
Owens graduated from Notre Dame University with a degree in architecture before winning a Rotary Foundation scholarship to study in London.
View Owens’ winning designs and learn more about Architecture Joyce Owens | Studio AJO at www.architecturejoyceowens.com.
Architecture Joyce Owens | Studio AJO is a Florida-based architectural, interiors and design firm well-known for its distinguished coastal modern designs and minimalist interiors, often set in a lush tropical environment. Founded by Joyce Owens in 2007, the firm has received numerous awards and international acclaim. The firm currently has projects in Florida, the United Kingdom, and Italy. For more information, call 239-425-5773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.