2020 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture

“Great public architecture embodies the identity and values of a society. The Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Architecture recognize architects in the public and private sectors, public officials, or other individuals who design distinguished public facilities and/or who advocate for design excellence” (AIA Thomas Jefferson Award Page). Award winners are chosen from a jury of their peers consisting of a representative of the Board or Directors or the Strategic Council, an Architect member licensed less than ten years, one past recipient of the collaborative achievement award, an Associate member, and a public official

This year’s recipient, Rona Rothenberg, FAIA, works in the public sector as the lead senior capital program manager for the Judicial Council of California. Rothenberg’s peers praise her award-winning work as representative of her passion for “advocating for the value of design, historical preservation, and sustainability” (Benjamin Kasdan, AIA). In her work with the Judicial Council of California, Rothenberg has impacted 57 major capital projects in California.

In an interview with Architect Magazine, Rothenberg talks candidly about her architectural journey. She cites her role as founder of California’s historic court building program as her greatest achievement and confesses that her favorite part of the architectural process is being on the ground with the construction crews as the buildings come to life. Read the full interview here.