WASHINGTON, DC — Perkins+Will is the first architecture firm to be named a National Building Museum Honor Award recipient and joins musical artists Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Ann Marie Wilkins and Jim Pate as well as the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon program as 2010 honorees.

The National Building Museum released its winners list yesterday and praised the recipients as "civic innovators."

With 23 offices around the world, 75-year-old firm Perkins+Will was lauded for its focus on "educating its professionals to design structures and built environments that harmonize locally --conserving resources and preserving local ecosystems, promoting the health of occupants, and unifying communities through design," the organization said.

Connick, Marsalis, Wilkins and Pate founded the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village -- a multigenerational village for musicians whose homes were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The group's work brought relief to the stricken area and its inhabitants, and helped restore the tradition of the community.

The DOE's Solar Decathlon received kudos for its help in "educating the next generation of engineers, architects, and builders through a creative 'whole building approach' with renewable energy, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible systems." The 9-year-old program centers on an annual competition among about 20 college teams to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.

An awards ceremony will be held in May.

Image of Herman Miller B Gallery courtesy of Perkins+Will.