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photo of Olson Kundig Receives Firm and Project Awards in Architizer A+ Program

Olson Kundig Receives Firm and Project Awards in Architizer A+ Program


Olson Kundig is honored to share that the firm has been named Best Large Firm by the 2023 Architizer A+ Awards. ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin (designed by principal/owner Alan Maskin) has also won the Galleries & Exhibition Spaces Category. The Architizer A+ Awards program celebrates the best architecture, spaces, products and innovations from across the globe.

Founded in Seattle in 1966, Olson Kundig’s work is characterized by a deep sensitivity to the human scale, integration with surrounding built and natural contexts, and innovative problem-solving. As industry leaders in kinetic architecture, the firm’s innovative approach allows buildings to flex and morph in response to the changing needs of users, fostering physical engagement with the built environment.

“In the 1960s, Jim Olson wanted to start a firm where people would work together to create great architecture, drawing on a richness of craft and the exchange of ideas as major sources of inspiration,” shares principal/owner & founder Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA. “That agenda was hugely exciting to me when I started at the firm and those ideas are still core to our practice today. I’ve often said if you want a life of adventure, architecture is the best place to be – it’s an honor to be on this journey with our incredible clients and partners, as well as the talented team members that continue to do amazing work and foster such a collaborative culture.”

Constructed as a modern structure within an historic one, ANOHA—the Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin is located within an existing former flower market hall directly opposite the existing Jewish Museum Berlin. At the heart of ANOHA is a circular wooden ark, standing almost 23 feet tall with a 92-foot base diameter, populated by more than 150 sculptural animals made from found and recycled objects by a team of 18 German artists. The re-use and transformation of this existing building lowers the amount of embodied energy that would have resulted from demolition and new construction, and allows ANOHA to incorporate passive daylighting, ventilation and conditioning strategies, integrating sustainable design as a core element of the user experience.

“We are thrilled that our first museum project in Europe was recognized by the Architizer A+ Awards as both the Jury Winner for Galleries & Exhibition Spaces as well as a finalist in the Architecture +Community category. So much effort and energy went into each endeavor – it is rare and rewarding to have both aspirations acknowledged,” Alan Maskin shares. “I’m incredibly thankful for the support and enthusiasm of the Jewish Museum Berlin, the pioneering vision of the Skirball Cultural Center that inspired this project, and the international group of partners and collaborators who helped bring it to life.”

More information about the program and other winning projects is available at the Architizer A+ Awards gallery.

ANOHA—The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Design Principal: Alan Maskin
Project Manager: Stephen Yamada-Heidner, AIA, LEED® AP
Project Architect: Martina Bendel
Architectural Staff: Jerome Tryon and Ryan Botts
Design Competition Team: Alan Maskin, Jerome Tryon, Juan Ferreira, Stephen Yamada-Heidner, Katie Miller, Laura Bartunek and Martina Bendel
Local Site Manager: Labs von Helmolt
Local Architect: Architekturbüro Engelbrecht
Local Exhibit Designer: IGLHAUT + von GROTE
Owner’s Representative: IBPM GmbH – Projektsteuerung
Structural Engineer: EiSat GmbH
Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer: Rentschler und Riedesser GmbH
Electrical Engineer: Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik (IfE) Grothe GmbH
Lighting Design: Blieske Architects Lighting Designers
Natural Ventilation Concept / Climate Engineer: Transsolar KlimaEngineering
Animal Construction: Kubix GmbH
Artists: Arie van Riet (artistic x-ray images of various animals in the security area); Dieter Braun (large illustrations throughout the museum); Andrea Übelacker (“world puzzle” art project, produced in collaboration with elementary school children grades 1-3); Gunilla Jähnichen and Tine Steen (collaborative Noah’s Ark film project in the foyer); Wolfram Spyra (sound artist for installations in the foyer and Rain Room, sound artist and developer of the sound islands in the Flood Room); Martin Böttger (water animation in the Flood Room); Anne Metzen, Agnes Kelm, Andreas Edelblut, Annika Statkowski, Armin Benz, Beate Kelm, Conny Helm, Falk Starke, Franz Rodvalt, Gisbert Barmann, Gunnar Zimmer, Heiko Helm, Jan Schroeder, Jens Prockat, Jochen Müller, Jörg Hilbert, Maria Bahra, Matthias Garff, Myriel Kohrs, Nina Schrader and Thomas Raditschnig (animals)