Orchids & Onions is Back!

45th Annual Orchids & Onions Awards to Host a Hybrid, In-Person, and Virtual Gala


The San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) invites the public and design industry professionals to nominate the best and worst of San Diego’s architecture in the run-up to the 45th annual Orchids & Onions awards ceremony. Building on last year’s virtual gala success and the evolving COVID-19 situation, our annual event will be an in-person gala on October 21, 2021. To nominate a project, visit here and fill out the nominations form before June 30, 2021.

The program recognizes the best (Orchids) and worst (Onions) in architectural design, form, and function and brings San Diegans together to decide which parts of the built environment make our city a better place to live. Nomination categories include Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Historic Architecture, and a Miscellaneous Category for Public Art or other community improvements.

John Martinez, Chair of Orchids & Onions, commented: “Orchids & Onions is a chance for San Diegans to tell us what they like (and don’t like) about the buildings and spaces that surround them.

Building on the momentum created by OH! San Diego and its effort to take a more diverse look at San Diego’s built environment, we want to encourage all areas of the county to share their opinions and voice with us. By better understanding what brings people value in their everyday lives, we can help build a San Diego that improves the quality of life for everyone.”

The first official Orchids & Onions event was held in 1976. Last year’s Malone Grand Orchid winner for Architecture was The Center for Novel Therapeutics. The People’s Choice Onion winner was The Apartments at 1836 Columbia Street. SDAF started in 1978 and hosts over ten events a year that help educate San Diegans on the value of good design in their lives.

Get Involved!

Have some fun and take a minute to nominate a project here, and make sure to fill out the nomination form before June 30, 2021. Voting for the People’s Choice Award begins June 7, 2021. Your comment is your vote for the People’s Choice Award!

Visit here and SDAF’s social channels to comment on the shortlisted projects. You can also find us on Instagram @SDarchitecture, Facebook @SDAFinfo, Twitter @SDAFinfo, and LinkedIn.

To register for the event where the final Orchids & Onions will be revealed, visit us here!

About Orchids & Onions

Orchids & Onions is a fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning, and urban design throughout the San Diego region. The objective of Orchids & Onions is to raise awareness and encourage practical discourse about the environment, thereby effecting positive change and more thoughtful design. Orchids & Onions affords all San Diegans an opportunity to nominate what they believe deserves praise or critique, comment on all nominations, and even present an award by voting for the People’s Choice Orchid & Onion as part of the program. To learn more, visit here.



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San Diego Architectural Foundation



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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