Optima Wins Three AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards

The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Chicago presented Arizona- and Illinois-based Optima with three awards during its 2016 Design Excellence Awards this month. Optima’s David Hovey Sr., FAIA, earned honors for Optima Sonoran Village, a mixed-use residential community in Scottsdale; while David Hovey Jr., AIA, earned two awards for Whale Bay, an Optima DCHGlobal home in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The annual awards program is considered among the most prestigious in the nation.

Whale Bay

Whale Bay

“It is a great honor to have our work be recognized among such a distinguished group of peers and projects,” said Hovey Jr., president of Optima.


Optima Sonoran Village earned the 2016 Distinguished Building Honor Award with jurors commenting, “Not only does the project transcend the stereotypical image of the desert landscape, but it also employs design elements to naturally mitigate climate.”


The AIA Chicago panel of jurors said they were especially impressed with the relationship between foliage, landscape and façade at Sonoran Village. The project’s “vertical landscaping” is a signature Optima feature, providing environmentally sustainable, energy-efficient and aesthetic features to Optima projects. Focal strengths of Sonoran Village in the Distinguished Building Honor Award category include energy reduction, integrated design, community contribution and carbon reduction.


Whale Bay earned two awards: the 2016 Divine Detail Honor Award and 2016 Interior Architecture for Creative Innovation Award. Whale Bay showcases Optima DCHGlobal’s architectural housing solution, which utilizes a sustainable, modular, prefabricated building system derived from one flexible and repetitive detail: The Structural Connection, a patented standardized connector joining the components of the building system. Designed by Hovey Jr., the goal of Whale Bay was to further develop a simple, flexible, sustainable building system that is adaptable to a broad range of climates and terrains, while creating a distinctive connection to nature by dissolving the division of interior and exterior space. Nature is integrated into Whale Bay through the structure and building envelope, which is comprised completely of Low-E UV-protected laminated glass with a heat reflective coating.


“This is the future of building,” one juror said of Whale Bay. “The ‘erector’ model is perfect for creating a sustainable structure that goes beyond the flat-pack. It’s innovative and exciting technology.”


“The detail is relentless, obsessive in its modernity,” a juror also commented.


The Hoveys accepted the awards during the ceremony in Chicago, which was attended by more than 1,000 guests including some of the most prestigious architectural firms in the United States. Optima is the architect, developer and contractor for both projects.


In Arizona, Optima is currently developing Optima Kierland, a high-rise luxury condominium and boutique rental community in the North Scottsdale Kierland neighborhood. Condominium sales are currently underway, with home prices ranging from the low $300s to $4.5M+.


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