JTI Headquarters was named Most Innovative Structure in the 2017 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards by the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI). Founded in 1965, the organization advocates for innovation in the built environment and works to advance the prestige of the profession. The winners of this year's awards program were announced at a ceremony on Saturday, June 3rd.
Framed in structural steel, the 9-story building demonstrates SOM’s commitment to integrated design, sustainability, and innovative workplace solutions. The architecture draws references from its immediate context in a Geneva district that is home to prestigious international organizations, as well as from Lake Geneva and the Alps, establishing a strong identity amid its illustrious neighbors while responding sensitively to the surrounding low-rise environment. The building’s opposing corners are elevated, which creates permeability through the site, opening it up to the local neighborhood and facilitating direct pedestrian connections to a transportation hub.
A jury of distinguished industry professionals selected JTI Headquarters as the recipient of the award, noting the building as "a true marriage of dramatic architectural expression and structural engineering savvy, resulting in a striking and exciting piece of urban architectural 'sculpture'."