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Pinterest HQ and In Situ win 2017 AIA awards

The revolutionary museum dining concept and the scrapbooking social media mammoth take top honors

Billed as the “profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design,” the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the winners of the 2017 Institute Honor Awards last Friday. Out of 700 submissions throughout the world by U.S.-licensed architects, only 23 were selected as this year’s best projects.

San Francisco was lucky enough to claim two spots this year in the national honors category—In Situ restaurant, care of Aidlin Darling Design, and the interiors of Pinterest’s new headquarters by IwamotoScott Architecture and Brereton Architects.

For a closer look at the award-winning designs, we’ve compiled a series of Instagram shots from each outfit showcasing each space.

In Situ by Aidlin Darling Design

Per AIA:

“An exploration of the intersection of art, design, and food at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has turned the concept of museum dining on its head, while inviting visitors to examine their relationship with cuisine.”

A photo posted by Ben Sontheimer (@eyempery) on

“Accessible from the street as well as from the museum’s atrium, the restaurant hums with the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood and the active kitchen within, while the aesthetic of the dining area is anchored by the interplay of rough and refined wood, leather, and concrete.”

“From the street, guests enter through a blackened-wood door that boasts an organic wood handle incised with a precise arch for the pull. Evoking a woven textile, a sculptural wood ceiling draws the eye through the space and creates an intimate setting within the building shell.”

A photo posted by Alcindo Filho (@falcindo) on

“The ceiling’s base slat system allowed the architects to cleverly disguise air venting and lighting. Beneath, carefully curated steel apertures puncture a layer of acoustic felt and oak panels to provide views into the museum’s atrium.”

“Seating comprises a mixture of floating cottonwood masses, solid ash, and hewn-wood communal tables. An elegant ribbon of concrete, which seems to hover a little more than a foot off of the ground, is a hub for servers attending to customers.”

A photo posted by CC (@cestcc) on

“Echoing its setting, the restaurant features vibrant artwork, including a full wall mural by Rosana Castrillo Diaz that reflects differing light conditions throughout the day, including the warm glow of adjacent cottonwood tables”

Pinterest’s new HQ by IwamotoScott Architecture and Brereton Architects

Per AIA:

“Following the clean and simple aesthetic ideals of the client’s recently relaunched web platform, the new headquarters is located in a four-story concrete former John Deere factory in San Francisco’s SOMA district.”

“Organized around a large central atrium and stair, the program includes a large town hall and dining space on the ground floor, plentiful open workspace on the upper three floors, meeting rooms, lounge spaces, a maker lab, coffee bar, and design studio.”

A photo posted by Bill Chien (@billchien) on

“To allow for glimpses of all four floors, the existing atrium was extended to the ground floor to create a central void. On the workspace levels, the atrium is encircled with primary circulation avenues, with banks of workstations along the perimeter to take full advantage of natural light.”

A photo posted by Kaanon MacFarlane (@thekaanon) on

“The stair—affectionately referred to as the “Knitting Stair”—is wrapped in perforated steel and intersects itself at the midpoint. The design team implemented twin-walled perforated metal surfaces in different densities, creating a subtle moire pattern and interplay between natural light flooding a large skylight and the building’s LED lighting.”

A photo posted by @happyvampire on

“The combination of the design and selected materials produces an effect akin to an ever-changing glowing heart at the center of the headquarters.”

“At the front of the building, a waffled plywood ceiling functions as a threshold between the city and the building’s interior. Occupying one entire bay of the building, the ceiling canopies the lobby and reception areas, which the company uses most when interacting with the public.”

“As a technology company, the client is rapidly expanding, and this building is its fourth in the neighborhood. The architects were able to help the company achieve its vision of creating a true urban campus that is fully integrated with the community that surrounds it.”