June 1, 2021

Frank Sica Receives Prestigious AIANYS Henry Hobson Richardson Award

We are ecstatic to share that Frank Sica, AIA, NCARB, has been named the 2021 recipient of the AIA New York State’s (NYS) Henry Hobson Richardson Award.

“To be recognized by the AIANYS with the Henry Hobson Richardson Award is a humbling honor,” said Frank about the recognition. “The two greatest joys of my career are helping clients’ buildings become reality and watching younger designers grow into confident architects and leaders. These are equally important to me, and it has been a delight to spend my career immersed in NYS’ built environment and to be part of incredible teams of professionals who make it happen.”

Frank is remarkably deserving of this honor that recognizes AIA members licensed in NYS and practicing in the private sector who have made significant and transformative contributions to the quality of NYS public architecture. In many ways, Frank has made NYS’ built environment stronger with contributions that are profound and clear in their significance, including:

  • He has led major academic projects at: SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Medaille College, D’Youville College, as well as Buffalo Public Schools and Albany Public Schools. 
  • Frank has contributed to many of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Buffalo including the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus, and the Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse. 
  • He’s also led some of the most award-winning design projects in our region, including breakthrough buildings like the Kaleida Health / SUNY Buffalo Gates Vascular Institute and Clinical Translational Research Center, as well as sensitive historic preservation and adaptive-reuse projects like Canisius College’s Montante Cultural Center.

“I know I speak for a much larger community of designers, institutions and builders across our state when I say Frank epitomizes the aspirations of the Henry Hobson Richardson Award,” said Michael Tunkey, AIA, Principal at CannonDesign, in his letter nominating Frank for the award.

His legacy of large-scale, award-winning projects alone is inspiring. His contributions echo in numerous ways beyond his project resume. His decades-long support and mentorship of young architects and extensive leadership roles at AIA Buffalo/WNY is remarkably generous and impactful.

Through his work, Frank has become deeply respected by major institutions, builders, engineers and architects as a sought-after project manager for large, complex public projects. He has the innate ability to listen, lead, help, build consensus, understand and innovate all at once without ever sacrificing design ingenuity.

“Every design demands great execution, and Frank excels at execution. I trust him completely to maintain design vision on complex projects as challenges arise and hidden nuances present themselves,” said Mehrdad Yazdani, Director of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign.

“I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with Frank on both the Gates Vascular Institute and the Hauptman Woodward Research Institute that reshaped Buffalo’s medical corridor. And though I haven’t worked with Frank on every project he’s touched (I know there are many, many more than these two), I would work with Frank on any project, anywhere. He is one of the most incredibly gifted technical architects I have met in my career,” added Mehrdad.

Frank is also guiding important new projects set to open in the coming months including: 

  • D’Youville College Health Professions Hub, a new academic space that will expand healthcare and opportunity for Buffalo’s underserved West Side immigrant and refugee community. 
  • 201 Ellicott, the city’s first major 100 percent affordable housing project with a fresh food market at the center of our region’s largest food desert. 
  • SUNY Buffalo’s One World Cafe, a new space where the university’s global student body can socialize, connect and learn.

Frank will be officially recognized by the AIANYS during a June 16 virtual ceremony. Congratulations to Frank on this remarkable honor and all the exciting work still ahead.