The Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture is now accepting submissions for the award to be announced on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. This noteworthy prize is made in honor of the late Jeff Harnar, who was well known for his groundbreaking work in contemporary architecture in Santa Fe.

For the second year, the Thornburg Charitable Foundation, sponsor of the Jeff Harnar prize and program, is collaborating with the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning in the competition process and selection of the 2012 award recipient.

"This collaboration will mutually benefit the students and faculty of the School of Architecture and Planning as well as the Thornburg Charitable Foundation," Dean Geraldine Forbes Isais said. The design jury and awards ceremony will held in George Pearl Hall. "This is a unique opportunity for the academic and architectural communities to engage in meaningful discussions that address the question of excellence in contemporary architecture," she said.

"We created the award in Jeff's honor to encourage creativity and excellence in contemporary architectural design," said Garrett Thornburg, who initiated this annual award and competition. "It has been our hope from the outset of this competition to highlight contemporary architecture from New Mexico, to show how innovative design and modern materials can be crafted into excellent architecture that can comfortably and respectfully sit side-by-side with the rich existing architecture and create cultural diversity similar to the diversity of the state's demography."

The 2012 winner of the Jeff Harnar Award will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Submissions for the Jeff Harnar Award must be from an architect or architectural firm for a singular work of architecture built in New Mexico and completed since Jan. 1, 2006. There is no limit to the number of entries per firm or architect. The work must be a permanent structure, rather than temporary or movable construction. The work should draw inspiration from the regional context, while demonstrating creative sensitivity to climate, site, geology, vegetation and quality of light. Architectural solutions must demonstrate appropriate and artistic responses to the challenges of the context, climate, site, client, user needs and budget. The work must demonstrate innovative utilization of available materials and technology and adhere carefully to established principles and best practices in seeking sustainability.

"We want to promote contemporary architecture and the design of new architectural forms which celebrate and integrate with the architectural uniqueness and the rich cultural heritage of New Mexico," Thornburg said.

A distinguished panel consisting of western architects, educators, and critics – including a member of the faculty of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning, a member of the cultural community involved in the creative arts, as well as a graduate student from the UNM architecture program – will select the Jeff Harnar Award recipient.

Completed entries for the 2012 Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture must be received no later than 4:30 pm MST, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. An awards presentation and celebration is planned for the evening of Feb. 24 at the Pearl Hall Gallery and Auditorium at UNM.

Details for the submission requirements may be viewed at Jeff Harnar Award. Roger Schluntz, FAIA, professor and former dean of UNM School of Architecture and Planning, is serving as the coordinator for the program.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu