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Tilt-Up Awards > Irving J. Gill Progressive Architecture Award

The Irving J. Gill Progressive Architecture Award recognizes an individual or firm whose pursuance of design excellence or application of the tilt-up method to new building types and new markets has propelled the industry to new heights.

The TCA’s Progressive Architecture Award honors Irving J. Gill, a prominent architect in Southern California. In 1912, which was early in the history of concrete construction, Gill designed and constructed a house in Hollywood where he employed Aiken’s method for tilt-up. This led Gill to purchase the patent rights of the bankrupt Aiken Reinforced Concrete Company to form his own Concrete Building and Investment Company. Without the architectural mindset of Gill, the industry may very well have taken a much slower time to rise to its current dominance. His crowning tilt-up achievement, the La Jolla Women’s club, remains as one of the great early examples of modern concrete and continues to inspire architects employing the method.

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Is there a person or company that you know embodies the spirit of this award? Click on the nomination link below and submit them for consideration. Entries must be received by June 1st.

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Recipients by Year

Merriman Schmitt Architects, Inc.

Recipient of the prestigious Irving J. Gill Progressive Architecture Award, Merriman Schmitt Architects captivates with their innovative spirit and visionary designs. Transitioning from local roots to a celebrated national architecture and interiors firm, they embody the essence of pushing creative boundaries. Their versatile portfolio spans site master planning, interior architecture, and 3D visualization, demonstrating their commitment to redefining spaces. Seamlessly integrating the tilt-up method into their projects, Merriman Schmitt Architects showcase their forward-thinking approach to construction. Notably, their remarkable achievements include winning four Tilt-Up Achievement Awards in 2023, a testament to their dedication to excellence. This award recognizes their significant contributions to architectural progress, honoring their role in shaping an environment that marries modern design with construction ingenuity. Merriman Schmitt Architects’ legacy shines as a beacon of innovation and inspiration, highlighting their enduring impact on the architectural landscape.

Constructora Lintel SA de CV

After a combined experience of more than 30 years in several aspects of engineering and construction for the industrial sector –-including the design and construction of the very first tilt-up industrial building in Mexico in the 70’s, introducing what eventually evolved into the most required and sought-after construction method in the country–- the founding partners created Lintel in October 1983, in the city of Juarez, Mexico.

Their idea was to gather the very best design and construction professionals and keep them together as a team, to maximize efficiencies, learnings and productivity. This idea ended up changing overseas industrial investment throughout Mexico. Now, Lintel innovations in design and building have become industry standards –and are leveraged by our partners throughout the world.

Being not only a builder but also a developer, Lintel has looked into alternatives and options to reduce cost and/or maximize value in the long term, rather than just arrive at the lowest possible bid for the job at hand. Along those lines, it has been the innovator that has brought into the Mexico market some systems or ideas that later on became a common yardstick for manufacturing facilities. These include techniques such as tilt-up walls, for which Lintel has been recognized from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association since its first award dating back to the year 2000.

Moreover, one of Lintel’s most important endorsements come from client partners. Over 93% are repeat customers, defined as highly successful companies that have asked us to manage their overseas construction investments on three occasions or more.


Bart Shaw

The 2021 recipient of TCA’s Progressive Architecture Award is Ibañez Shaw Architecture. Based in Fort Worth, Texas and founded by Gregory Ibañez and Bart Shaw, Ibañez Shaw Architecture operates from the basic belief that everyone deserves the best design. Guided by boundless optimism and creative pragmatism, Ibañez Shaw believes that bold, enlightened design elevates the soul and enriches communities. The firm has received significant and consistent design recognition, including local, national, and international design awards and has been published extensively. Two recent works exploring the application of tilt-up concrete technology, Chroma Modern and Fort Worth Camera, have been recognized by both the design and construction communities for design excellence. Bart Shaw has collaborated generously on writings and presentations telling the story of these projects.

KEE Architecture, Inc.



Architekton is known for award-winning, creative solutions to complex projects—projects that balance functionality with aesthetics, and for the firm’s ability to manage strict budgets and produce high quality architecture. In the 30 years since our founding, the firm has completed projects that have not only been deemed a success by users and the surrounding communities, but have gained critical acclaim through publication and awards. The firm’s partners’ never-ending passion to be creative and innovative has resulted in more than 145 local, regional and national citations for design excellence. Taking an interactive approach to design, Architekton combines our design talent with advanced technology to integrate climate, context and other site-specific issues. Architekton excels in complex, multi-user programs with difficult sites. Sustainability, durability, security and energy efficiency are just a few of the major other important considerations integrated into design solutions. Each design is a unique collaboration to the client’s individual approach to business, personality, identity, site, and context. Architekton projects go far beyond the basic enclosure of place. The firm’s designs become purposeful environments in which to work, live or play, as well as highly recognizable assets to the surrounding communities.

Lake | Flato Architects

Established in 1984, Lake|Flato has designed buildings that respond to the culture and climate of each unique place. We believe in creating environments that enrich communities and nurture life through our work. In collaboration with our clients, Lake|Flato creates buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted.

With a staff of more than 100 professionals, Lake|Flato is guided by eight partners who create teams that lead each project from beginning to completion. A collaborative process within the office fully engages clients and subconsultants and creates a place in which ideas can flourish. Comprehensive and inclusive design reviews generate fresh ideas and firm-wide ownership of the work. The firm’s designs evolve from an appreciation for pragmatic solutions to vernacular architecture, the honesty of modernism, and the context of our rich and varied landscape. By employing sustainable strategies in a wide variety of building types and scales, the firm designs architecture that conserves energy and natural resources while creating high performance buildings and healthy built environments.

Lake|Flato has received wide critical acclaim. The American Institute of Architects honored us with its prestigious National Firm Award in 2004; Fast Company named us one of the “Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms in the World” in 2016; and the LOCUS Foundation honored us with a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, recognizing our architectural approach to addressing the needs of society. Eleven Lake|Flato projects have received the national Top Ten Award by the AIA Committee on the Environment, the highest recognition for sustainable design. As architects, teachers, environmental stewards and community advocates, we strive to elevate the public’s appreciation of architecture and foster the education of the next generation of architects.


Zyscovich Architects

For nearly 40 years, Zyscovich Architects has strived to create projects with purpose, bringing new life and vibrancy to cityscapes through integrated urban planning, architecture and interior design. To this day, Zyscovich Architects has remained true to the original concept: design projects that have purpose and meaning.

Since the firm’s inception in 1977, the goal has always been to establish a company that can provide high-value services for design-specific issues while placing “social betterment” at the core of everything they do.

Zyscovich Architects has designed the full spectrum of projects, from transportation facilities and airports to K-12 schools and universities, mixed-use commercial and public-private partnership developments to multi-family residential high rises and master plans for cities.

Zyscovich Architects is headquartered in Miami, Florida with offices in New York City, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Bogotá, Colombia. In addition to founder and CEO Bernard Zyscovich, the firm is directed by partners: Jose Murguido, Larry Rosenbloom, Anabella Smith, Mario Suarez and Suria Yaffar. The firm’s success is also fueled by 100+ planners, interior designers and architects.




Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Lamar Johnson Collaborative is a pioneering architecture and design practice creating exceptional outcomes for complex projects through emerging technology and integrated delivery methods. We believe our work is a fundamental expression of optimism in the future, and that design is a means to effect positive, enduring change.

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown, AIA, is principal-in-charge of design for Powers Brown Architecture, which he co-founded. Practicing architecture for more than twenty years, Brown has an array of experience working on multiple building types for both public and private entities. He is an accomplished designer with unique graphic communication and strategic planning skills. His ability to design utilizing an interactive process of project definition and interpretation has resulted in distinguished design awards and published works.

Brown has been instrumental in leading the firm to numerous awards including recognition from the TCA as the 2008 recipient of this award for the firm’s contribution to the design and advancement of tilt-wall construction. Additional accolades have come from the Texas Society of Architects, American Institute of Architects Houston, AIA DC|Washington, Design Excellence Awards and the Urban Land Institute. The firm’s work has been widely covered in magazines and books, including a book published by Images Publishing, Powers Brown Architecture: NeoArchitecture, which he helped write. The firm was also included in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston for the collaboration with artist Reginald Adams on the Fannin South Light Rail Station.

In addition, Brown has a passion for shaping the architects of tomorrow. He has taught as an assistant at his alma mater, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and as an adjunct professor at both the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Prairie View A∓M University. He has been a guest critic at the above-mentioned institutions, Rice University, Roger Williams University and the University of Texas at Arlington.

“Brown has a true passion and commitment for elevating the art form of tilt-up design and construction beyond a utilitarian gray box. He continues to push the limits of tilt-up construction with his recent five-story and six-story office projects and his research into the anti-terrorism force protection capabilities of tilt-up,” said David Tomasula, Managing Principal at LJB Inc. “His work is continuously awarded for excellence not only by the TCA, but also by his peers within the architectural community.”

His passion for tilt-up is matched only by his passion for marketing the tilt-up product. Brown has coined the phrases Office 1.0, Office 2.0, Value OfficeTM and Small Smart Boxes as he has promoted the tilt-up product to institutional investors and individual owners. As an example of his passion, he has written the first manuscript that expounds on the architectural possibilities of tilt-up, named Tiltwallism: A Treatise on the Architectural Potential of Tiltwall Construction.

A tireless of supporter of the TCA, Brown has been a member since 2005 and a board member since 2011. He has served as the chair of the membership committee and has been instrumental in driving membership growth, especially amongst his colleagues in Houston, Denver and Washington D.C. He was instrumental in the overwhelming success of the TCA Convention in Houston, TX in 2013 and generously led the efforts to design and construct the Veterans Memorial in Sugar Land, TX as part of that event.


Alliance Architects, Inc.

Alliance Architects, Inc. of Richardson, Texas is an architectural, project management, master planning, space planning and interior design firm boasting a wide variety of projects. Having joined the TCA in 2009, the firm quickly emphasized the architectural variety and sophistication afforded using the tilt-up method. Alliance has been one of the most aggressive firms in providing evidence of challenging the present state-of-the-art. The firm was nominated for the Irving Gill Award in recognition of their commitment to the pursuit of excellence in tilt-up development along with their support of the industry as a whole through their TCA membership.

R. Glen Stephens

For 35 years, R. Glen Stephens has had a vision for how a successful architect should guide himself and his practice – by creating a "client centered firm dedicated to designing buildings that are functional, striking, and innovative." Stephens has been a devoted advocate for Tilt-Up and has been instrumental in several key TCA projects and programs. These include The Architecture of Tilt-Up, now in its 2nd edition; the globally-expanded TCA Achievement Awards; and a Design Charette forum for architects. His participation and leadership has been present on several TCA committees as well as on the TCA Board where he was the first architect elected to the TCA Board of Directors and served as president of the TCA Board 2003. His knowledge and background have been inspiring to many members of the TCA and he has been a true leader in the industry by constantly learning how to apply Tilt-Up construction in new and innovative ways.

"I am honored to win an award named after the innovative Irving Gill," said Stephens. "In our goal of designing striking, functional, innovative projects, we strive to honor his legacy."


James Williams

James M. Williams of AE URBIA and J.M. Williams and Associates, Salt Lake City, Utah based firms, has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the Irving Gill Distinguished Architect Award for his creative and ingenious use of Tilt-Up concrete. He is a licensed architect, structural engineer, civil engineer, professional engineer and LEED AP.

Williams is highly respected in the design community and is one of only a few who are both an architect and an engineer. Although he has numerous noteworthy projects, his most recognized is the Clyde Companies Corporate Office Building which transformed conventional Tilt-Up concrete into a refreshing modern class “A” office building with timeless qualities.

According to Williams, “The Irving Gill Distinguished Architect Award is my most cherished award to date. This industry only recognizes one architect internationally each year and this year I was fortunate to receive this great honor. I have a talented staff and everyone knows that the construction of any building takes teamwork. It is nice to be recognized for our contributions to the built environment and Tilt-Up construction. We strive to combine both form and function with materials and methodologies and find creative solutions to improving the quality of life.”


Kenneth Carlson

Kenneth R. Carlson, Architect – P.A. received this award for their exploratory and creative architectural solutions for a myriad of projects in the last 20 years. Inspired by the proprietor Ken Carlson, Kenneth R. Carlson, Architect – P.A. has pushed the market in Florida higher and farther. They have demonstrated an expertise in multi-story Tilt-Up while maintaining a creative interest in the application to smaller and less restrictive programs.

Jeffrey Brown


Stephen D. Guest


Intergroup Architects


Tower Pinkster


Alan Wilson