AMES, Iowa — Adrienne Nelson, AIA, an associate with global architecture studio Pickard Chilton, is a recipient of the inaugural Outstanding Young Professional Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Established in 2020, the award recognizes College of Design alumni who received their most recent degree from Iowa State within the past 10 years and have excelled in their professions early in their careers.

Nelson, originally from Bettendorf and now from New Haven, Connecticut, received a bachelor of fine arts in interior design in 2009 and a master of architecture in 2013 from Iowa State. She was recognized during the ISU Alumni Association’s 89th Honors and Awards Ceremony, held virtually April 7, and at a special virtual College of Design reception.

Nelson is highly experienced in the design of large-scale corporate and commercial projects that serve a diverse and sophisticated client base. At Pickard Chilton, she currently serves as the project manager for a 1.25 million-gross-square-foot mass timber corporate campus headquarters in California.

Most recently, she was a designer for T3 RiNo, a heavy timber next-generation office building in Denver, Colorado, as well as the project manager for 325 Main Street, Google’s new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Additional projects include 2+U, an office tower and public plaza in downtown Seattle, Washington; 1144 Fifteenth Street, a 40-story high-performance office tower in Denver; the Minnesota Senate Building in St. Paul; and the ATCO Commercial Centre in Calgary, Alberta.

Nelson has served on the board of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and is the current co-chair of the AIA Connecticut Women in Architecture Knowledge Committee. She previously served as a mentor and team leader for the New Haven affiliate of the ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Mentor Program. She received the 2016 AIA Connecticut Emerging Architect Award.

In 2020, Nelson was accepted into the inaugural class of the national AIA Leadership Academy and recognized among ENR’s National Top 20 Under 40. She is a member of the International Interior Design Association and a LEED Green Associate.


Adrienne Nelson, Pickard Chilton, anelson@pickardchilton.com
Rachel Moylan, Design Events and Alumni Relations, rmoylan@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, hsauer@iastate.edu