Magnusson Architecture and Planning Wins Multiple 2020 AIA Design Awards for St. Augustine Terrace and MLK Plaza

Only affordable housing project this year to be recognized by AIA New York City

Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) announces the firm’s recognition by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as a leading firm in architectural excellence in New York City, State, and the Tri-State region. For their projects, St. Augustine Terrace and MLK Plaza, the firm has been awarded three AIA awards in the last six months, including the 2020 AIANY Design Awards, AIA New York State Design Award, and the AIA Tri-State Architectural Excellence Design Award.

The AIA announced St. Augustine Terrace as a recipient of a 2020 AIANY Design Award at the Design Awards Jury Symposium on January 13th, at the Center for Architecture in New York City.

The awards program recognized outstanding architectural design by AIA New York members, New York City-based architects in any location, and work in New York City by architects around the globe. The purpose of the awards program is to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence.

St. Augustine Terrace was also selected as a winning project in the Multi-Family category, by the 2019 AIA New York State Design Awards jury. The development was one of 25 projects selected by the jury out of nearly 300 submissions. The award celebrated local, national and international projects that achieve architectural excellence designed by architects throughout New York that have contributed significantly to the profession of architecture.

“The interior open plan is flooded with natural light and panoramic views to the community,” commented the Jury.

Built on the site of a former Bronx church, St. Augustine Terrace was inspired by the notion that a house of worship is a beacon of light in its community. The mid-rise building provides 112 units of affordable housing for low-income families in the Bronx. From that idea came 13 floors of large, fully glazed elevator lobbies which provide spectacular views by day and then become a glowing tower by night. Churches increasingly are engaging with the issue of affordable housing as an extension of their mission to help those in need. The project is a visual representation of the client’s mission relating to hope and community, as well as a model for what affordable housing can be.

 In October 2019, MAP’s design for their project MLK Plaza was awarded the Tri-State Architectural Excellence in Design Bronze Award, in the Multi-Family Residential Design category.

The Jury wrote, “The project introduced a strong new profile to the urban skyline that optimized new zoning regulations to accommodate significant density and affordability in this new housing development. With a tight budget, the project’s mastery of a restrained material palette was also noted by AIA.

The awards program celebrated architectural excellence from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Out of over 160 submissions, the three headlining AIA state chapters presented the 23 awards to projects exhibiting architectural excellence in the categories of architecture, multi-family residential design, single-family residential design, interior architecture, preservation architecture, regional and urban design, unbuilt, and impact design.

Located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, the 13-story, 167-unit affordable residential building was one of the first developments to use the new Zoning for Quality Affordability regulation, which allowed for a rezoning of the property from manufacturing to residential. Completed in March 2019, the block-long development includes twenty-five (25) studios, fifty-seven (57) one-bedrooms, sixty (60) two-bedrooms, and twenty-four (24) three-bedroom units. The project offers a prime example of how New York City used rezoning to foster the development of affordable housing—in this case for moderate-, low- and very low-income renters (including 33 units set aside for formerly homeless households) – within a high-quality building.


For over three decades, Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) has worked with non-profit groups, municipalities, and for-profit developers to improve the lives of those who live and work in their communities. MAP’s award-winning buildings and urban revitalization projects serve as the foundation for vibrant and healthy neighborhoods. Since our founding in 1986, we have been at the forefront of quality housing, sustainable building and urban design.

MAP offers comprehensive architectural and planning services that blend design excellence with technical and planning expertise. The firm specializes in mixed-use developments including: affordable, supportive, senior, mixed-income, and market-rate housing; urban design and, community-based planning projects.

In 2015 MAP established a Volunteer Program. Every month a team of staff, friends, and family donate personal time to projects that serve residents of the buildings the firm has designed, improve features in those buildings or support the clients of MAP’s nonprofit partners.

A selection of high-resolution images for both projects can be viewed here.

Media Contact: Christina Allan