Apple has won yet another prestigious design award – this time for its flagship New York retail store in the trendy SoHo (South of Houston Street) district.

The winning Apple Store is housed in an historic building, and was designed by architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Other winners in the 2003 Annual Architectural Awards range from The Darwin Centre Museum in London to a childbirth clinic in Japan.

The BusinessWeek annual awards program, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, gathers architects and businesspeople to decide how well corporate headquarters, offices, hospitals, hotels, and museums address business issues. The international contest rewards distinguished architecture for its ability to meet serious business goals.

The 2003 jury gave awards to just ten out of 168 entries. A full list of winners is available here.

The accolade follows Apple's announcement that it will be opening its first retail store outside the US. The store, in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, is expected to launch by the end of the year.

Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson last week came close to admitting that Apple has plans to open further retail outlets around the world. In the quarter-four financial results conference call, he said: "I think we'll proceed internationally very slowly and take it one at a time here."

Apple's retail store segment returned its first-ever profit in Apple's last quarter with $1 million.