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DENVER-OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s oldest and largest architecture firms, recently won Firm of the Year from the American Institute of Architects Colorado North Chapter. The award recognizes a firm that has contributed to the profession and set an example both in design and leadership for at least 10 years.

The judging board was “deeply impressed” by OZ’s “consistently exemplary quality and wide variety of work,” says Scott Rodwin, president of AIA Colorado North. “Thoughtful, beautiful and regionally appropriate design was evident from land planning projects all the way down to details,” according to Rodwin. “Projects like the Nature Conservancy headquarters in Boulder and Boulder Community Foothills Hospital were of particular note in our decision. OZ had formidable competition in this category. What tipped the balance was the firm’s culture.”

The work of OZ Architecture includes schools, research facilities, hospitals, firehouses, townhomes, resorts, urban infill and office buildings. OZ Architecture has studios in Boulder, Denver and Dillon, and is soon opening in Colorado Springs. The firm’s work focuses on Colorado and the West but ranges as far as a hospital addition in Kathmandu, Nepal, and a new capital city center and airport in Kigali, Rwanda.

Notable projects include: Boulder Community Foothills Hospital, the nation’s first hospital to receive the LEED certification for environmental design; a planned $70-million resort village for Winter Park; Denver’s Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library, which also received the North Chapter’s 2005 Citation Award for Excellence; numerous projects at both Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood, the nation’s largest urban redevelopment; and another new urban neighborhood at the former Lowry Air Force Base.

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