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Eau Claire Architect Brian Larson, AIA, Receives Profession's Top Honor:
2010 AIA Wisconsin "Golden Award"

LarsonMadison (April 10, 2010) — Architect Brian F. Larson, AIA, Eau Claire, has been selected to receive the 2010 “Golden Award” from AIA Wisconsin, the state society of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Golden Award is the highest honor the state architects’ society can bestow upon a member architect.

Larson is being recognized for his dedicated service to AIA Wisconsin, distinguished leadership in advancing the architectural profession and recognized commitment to assisting students and other emerging professionals pursue careers in architecture. A member since 1963, Larson has served The American Institute of Architects in leadership positions at the local, state and national level. He has advanced the profession through his award-winning architectural design and service on the state licensing board and local plan commissions. As a mentor and an officer of the Wisconsin Architects Foundation, Larson has helped shape the future of the profession of architecture.

The Golden Award will be formally presented to Larson during a special awards program on April 28 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. The event is being held in conjunction with the 2010 AIA Wisconsin Convention & Expo. The program features remarks by San Francisco architect Clark Manus, FAIA, the 2011 President of The American Institute of Architects. The first Golden Award was presented by the Wisconsin Society of Architects in 1986. Larson is the twenty-third Wisconsin architect to receive the award.

“Looking at his record of significant service to the organization and contributions to the profession and the public we serve, you would think that the Golden Award was created with Brian Larson in mind,“ according to James Otto, AIA, Hubertus, the 2010 President of AIA Wisconsin. “Throughout his distinguished career, Brian has remained actively engaged in guiding initiatives to keep our profession strong and relevant and to improve the quality of life in our communities.”


Larson received his degree in architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1959. Following an internship in the Boston area, he became a partner in the Eau Claire architectural firm of Larson, Playter, and Smith in 1963. The name of the firm changed in 1974 to Larson, Hestekin, and Smith. Larson joined Ayres Associates in Eau Claire in 1979, where he served as the firm’s Vice President – Director of Architecture until his retirement in 2003.

Larson’s architectural practice focused on institutional and educational buildings. Court facilities include the award-winning Eau Claire County Courthouse and Grant County Courthouse. Educational facilities include the Fine Art Centers on the University of Wisconsin campuses in Eau Claire and Superior as well as elementary and junior high schools in Eau Claire. The Flynn Elementary School was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in Eau Claire.

AIA Wisconsin Involvement, State Service

As the President of the AIA Northwest Wisconsin Chapter in 1976 and 1977, Larson increased membership, improved the quality of local AIA programs and served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Society of Architects. He was the President of the state AIA chapter in 1982, helping the organization strengthen its government affairs activities and assisting members survive difficult economic conditions for the design and construction industry.

In 1985, Larson was appointed by Governor Earl to the Architects Section of the Joint Examining Board of Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He was named Chair of the Architects Section in 1987. The Architects Section is responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of state statutes and administrative rules governing licensure and the practice of architecture in Wisconsin. Between 1986 and 1992, Larson also served with distinction as a juror for the building design division of the Architect Registration Examination administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), eventually serving as the Chair of Master Jurors for this national licensing exam. He also assisted the NCARB in the transition to a computer-based examination, which is in place today.

Larson initially served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Architects Foundation (WAF) from 1977 to 1980. He was elected to the WAF Board of Directors again in 1992, becoming an officer in 1995 and serving as WAF President in 1997 and 1998. During his tenure, Larson helped to lead successful initiatives to increase contributions and investment income to support the expansion of scholarships for architecture students and grant programs to enhance public awareness of architecture.

In 1995, Larson was elected to represent AIA members in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota on the national Board of Directors of The American Institute of Architects. During his three-year term as an AIA Director, Larson served with distinction as an active member of the AIA Committee on Licensing and on a special Task Force appointed to develop recommendations for the future of the AIA Library in Washington, DC.

Larson also is committed to contributing to the quality of life in own community, volunteering for the United Way of Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Museum Foundation and serving on the Board for the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has been actively involved on committees preparing comprehensive plans for the both the City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire County and currently serves as a member of the Plan Commission for the City of Eau Claire.

“Brian Larson consistently sets the bar very high for himself and for his fellow architects,” comments AIA Wisconsin President Otto. “The profession of architecture in Wisconsin is better off today and will continue to be for many years to come because of his significant contributions.”


About AIA Wisconsin

Founded in 1857, The American Institute of Architects is celebrating its 150 th anniversary. Through education, government advocacy, community development and public outreach activities, the AIA and its 80,000 members work to achieve a more humane built environment and a higher standard of professionalism. AIA Wisconsin, the state society of the AIA, represents 1,500 members in private practice, business, industry, education and government.

Media Contacts

William Babcock, Hon, AIA, (608) 257-8477

Kevin J. Connolly, AIA (414) 289-0900 ext 303


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