AIA Western Mountain Region Names Jackson Hole Architecture Firm Ward + Blake Architects 2013 Firm of the Year

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Jackson Hole commercial and residential architecture firm Ward + Blake Architects was honored as 2013 Firm of the Year by the AIA Western Mountain Region at the organization’s annual conference on October 4. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the six-state AIA regional council.

Mitch Blake and Tom Ward, principals in award-winning Ward + Blake Architects of Jackson Hole.

“This recognition marks a true milestone for us as we look toward our twentieth year in business,” said Ward + Blake principal Mitch Blake.

Ward + Blake Architects of Jackson Hole was named 2013 Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Western Mountain Region (AIA WMR) at its 2013 Honor Awards ceremony, held at the Four Seasons Resort in Teton Village, Wyo., on Friday, October 4. The Firm of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed by the six-state regional chapter of the AIA, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and recognizes long term contributions to the profession. The distinction follows the Jackson, Wyoming, commercial and residential architectural firm Ward + Blake Architects being named Firm of the Year by AIA Wyoming in 2011.

“Ward + Blake Architects exemplifies everything we could hope for in the Western Mountain Region Architecture Firm of the Year. The quality of their design and their service within their own community, their outreach beyond the boundaries of their hometown of Jackson, Wyoming; and their service to the profession are exemplary,” said Bruce Fallon, AIA, LEED AP, at the event. Fallon was on the jury that selected Ward + Blake for the honor.

“An early pioneer in the sustainability movement, they developed and patented EarthWall, a low-tech, seismically stable wall construction method that uses locally-sourced materials. They began experimenting with custom sod roofs in the 1990s. Their list of pro-bono work is extensive in both Wyoming and in Honduras,” continued Fallon, adding, “The jury was impressed with the exceptional quality of design produced by Ward + Blake Architects, but even more by the contributions to the profession, the community and the next generation by this exceptional firm.”

“We like to think that we are constantly pushing the envelope in our designs and our approach. That doesn’t always come with a pat on the back, so it’s particularly meaningful as a firm to be acknowledged in this way,” said Ward + Blake Principal Tom Ward about receiving the honor on Friday.

“We are proud and honored to be selected as Firm of the Year for the Western Mountain Region,” agreed Principal Mitch Blake. “This recognition marks a true milestone for us as we look toward our twentieth year in business on the horizon. It is an affirmation that we are fully realizing the vision we set out to accomplish those many years ago.”

The AIA WMR Firm of the Year award “recognizes the continuing collaboration among individuals in a firm who have produced distinguished architecture over a period of at least 10 years, and have made significant contributions to the Institute, the profession and their community, and have transcended their local boundaries in making these contributions.” As a whole, the AIA Western Mountain Design and Awards program recognizes excellence in design, planning, and construction of projects located anywhere in the world that are designed by AIA architects registered and licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Since winning the AIA Wyoming Firm of the Year Award in 2011, Ward + Blake Architects has won the 2012 IDA Architect of the Year Award for the Earthwall II Residence and 11 other International Design Awards. Ward + Blake also received recognition in the Best Custom Home category by the Dream Home Awards in 2012 for the EHA Family Trust Residence.

Ward + Blake Architects will be releasing a monograph of their work, "In the Shadows of the Tetons," published by ORO Editions, in the spring of 2014.

Company Information: Ward + Blake Architects was built on a distinctive vision: be provocative in thought, flexible in nature and disciplined in execution. Since 1996, the firm has gained recognition for architecture that is sensitive to its environment and successfully integrated with its surroundings. Ward + Blake creates buildings that are tactile, modern, bio-climatically responsible, honestly expressed, technologically sound and artfully crafted. For additional information visit Ward + Blake online at or call 307.733.6867.

Media Contact: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, darla(at)wordenpr(dot)com, 307.734.5335

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