Open-air centers sound like the perfect antidote to sterile, enclosed malls. As long as the weather cooperates, that is. In an extremely close vote, General Growth Properties' Shops at La Cantera won this year's Grand SADI award, thanks in part to its responsiveness to the environment. For consumers' comfort, Alamo Architects mitigated Texas heat by covering walkways with wooden canopies. And for their conscience, the designers minimized the number of evaporative water features, except for a stunning stream-lined central artery. They preserved indigenous trees and planted drought-tolerant specimens. Jurors were also taken by other gestures, such as the project's bold, up-lighted columns.

Project Name
The Shops at La Cantera

Location
San Antonio

Square Footage
1.3 million

Architect
Alamo Architects

Client
General Growth Properties

Credits

Landscape Architect
J. Robert Anderson

Structural Engineering
Jaster-Quintanilla & Associates

MEP Engineering
Goetting & Associates

Civil Engineering
Pape Dawson Engineers

Lighting Consultants
Kaplan Partners Architectural Lighting