The American Institute of
Architects, California Council (AIACC) announces the 2005 recipients of the
Firm of the Year Award, the most significant honor awarded to a firm by the
AIACC. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in architectural design as
expressed in a body of work produced by a California architectural firm for a period
of 10 years or more. In addition, this award recognizes firms who have
consistently produced distinguished architecture and have contributed to the advancement
of the profession in areas of design, research, planning, technology,
preservation and innovation. This is the first time in AIACCâ€™s history that
there have been two Firm of the Year recipients. The Firm of the Year Award was
announced to the RATCLIFF and Morphosis architectural firms at the AIACCâ€™s 23rd
Annual Awards Presentation.
â€œRATCLIFF and Morphosis
exemplify the potential architecture has for improving the built environment.
Both firms offer their designers the opportunity to grow professionally through
collaboration with clients and colleagues,â€ said the AIACC Awards Jury.
The RATCLIFF firm has gained
the trust of its clients by providing strategic planning that moves beyond
todayâ€™s problems and provides a framework for resolving future challenges. Seeking to enter projects at the consulting
stage, RATCLIFF leads clients in exploration of all available options in the
building decision-making process.
Founded in 1906 by Walter H.
Ratcliff, Jr., AIA, in Berkeley,
CA, RATCLIFF has shown the ability
to survive two World Wars, the Great Depression, and economic booms and busts.
With Christopher (Kit) Ratcliff, AIA, as CEO, RATCLIFF remains a leader in the
architectural community today. The firmâ€™s culture energizes the individual
designer to contribute to a team effort and is dedicated to improving the built
environment through design excellence and a sincere interest in helping others.
RATCLIFFâ€™s legacy creates a social contract with the community to deliver
thoughtful solutions rooted in the firmâ€™s values. â€œBuildings should grow old
gracefully,â€ stated Walter Ratcliff.
Some of RATCLIFFâ€™S
accomplishments include: Mills College Master Plan and Design, Oakland, CA
(recipient of one of the AIAâ€™s earliest national design awards); American Trust/Chamber
of Commerce/Wells Fargo Building, Berkeley, CA; Metropolitan Oakland International
Airport Terminal 2, Oakland, CA; Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Fresno, CA; and
the Life Sciences Building, University of California, Berkeley, CA. The firm
has recorded more than 90 national, state and local design awards in the past
40 years. Headquartered in Emeryville,
CA, RATCLIFF employs 70 design
professionals and is managed by eight principals.
The Awards Jury stated,
â€œRATCLIFFâ€™s commitment to their employees is great, and they offer a wide range
of building types, such as schools, medical facilities and civic structures,
with three generations of the family involved in architecture. RATCLIFFâ€™s
optimism is infectious.â€