Amanda Loper Wins 2021 AIA Young Architect Award

David Baker Architects
April 2021
Headshot of DBA Principal, Amanda Loper

Principal Amanda Loper, AIA, LEED AP, has been awarded a 2021 AIA Young Architects Award, a national honor that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

A key member of DBA since 2006, Amanda leads our southeastern office in Birmingham, Alabama, which she established in 2016. Her work integrates architecture and urban design so that each project is a “small but mighty act of urbanism.”

Since the completion of her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Interior Architecture at Auburn University, Amanda has contributed significantly to solving San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis. She adapts these solutions to help other cities across the country address their own affordable housing crises and enhance livability. A strong “architecture communicator,” Amanda also shares her experiences, innovations, and philosophy widely with designers, students, developers, and the public through lectures and writing.

“Amanda has become a passionate advocate for exemplary design and a progressive ethic of community engagement in the classrooms of architecture and real estate programs. Our faculty see her as an inspiring role model for students and a go-to expert on housing and urbanism.”
—David W. Hinson, FAIA, professor of architecture at Auburn University

Amanda was among 20 professionals selected for the 2021 AIA Young Architect Award. Read more about the other recipients here

Explore Amandas key projects below, and watch this video where she brings you into our Birmingham practice.


Learn more about Amanda in a video by Philosopher Films

Amandas Key Projects

901 Fairfax Avenue | San Francisco, CA | 2018

901 Fairfax Avenue continues the restoration of the Hunters View neighborhood, remediating existing decrepit and outdated housing as part of a larger master plan. Designed by David Baker Architects in tandem with Paulett Taggart Architects, 901 Fairfax offers 72 new affordable homes with sweeping bay views. Prominently poised at the top of the hill, the new building also includes a central community hub space, including a child-care center, wellness center, and micro-retail.

Potrero 1010 | San Francisco, CA | 2016

Potrero 1010 represents Amanda’s integration of urban design with architecture. Reclaiming an irregular, disused industrial block, this vibrant community features two distinctive residential buildings framing a one-acre public park—a new green heart for the Potrero neighborhood. The 453 homes—including 90 permanently affordable units—top extensive and innovative residential, amenity, and retail spaces that bring activity to all edges of the site. Lined with palm trees and flex units, a new public mid-block pedestrian passage bisects the large site, linking the neighborhood to the park and managing storm runoff with a permeable rain garden.

9 Ways to Make Housing for People | ORO Editions | Fall 2022

Amanda Loper is one of the coauthors of DBA's forthcoming book 9 Ways to Make Housing for People, which showcases our guiding design principles for creating homes and communities that both support a high quality of living for residents and contribute positively to the public realm. A deep dive into a pragmatic framework, the book explores these compassionate and effective strategies illustrated by our deep portfolio and offers accessible guidance on integrating the ideas into your own design work.

The book expands on an article the firm’s principals published in Urban Land magazine and later contributed to an exhibit on socially responsible design at the Cooper Hewitt, By the People: Designing a Better America.

Union Brick | Nashville, TN | In Design 

For the site of the former Union Station Brick & Materials Company in Nashville’s Marathon Village area, DBA has teamed up with local architecture firm Johnson Johnson Crabtree Architects to design a mixed-use multifamily complex that helps address the city’s housing crunch in the heart of downtown. Two buildings will incorporate 379 apartments—including 24 live-work units—as well as 10 townhouses and 4,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Residential Density Bonus Study | San Francisco, CA | 2015

The Residential Density Bonus Study exemplifies Amanda’s approach to addressing the affordable housing crisis by influencing urban design policies. She led the team for the City of San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Bonus Program, studying and making recommendations to bring city policy into alignment with state standards and engaging in extensive community public outreach.

Pepper Place | Birmingham, AL | 2020

DBA has made a series of upgrades and additions to Birmingham’s beloved Pepper Place. Since 1988, when Sloss Real Estate took over the site of the Dr. Pepper syrup plant and Martin Biscuit Building to create a public entertainment district east of downtown, Pepper Place has grown to more than 350,000 square feet and includes a design center, theater, restaurants, galleries, shops, and other businesses. DBA’s contributions—small but mighty urban interventions that include the Bettola Trellis, Blueprint Building, and a pavilion for Jeni’s Ice Cream—are part of an ongoing successful, incremental evolution of a thriving urban hub in a formerly industrial area.


Learn more about Amanda in a video by Philosopher Films