AIA Virginia honors work done by Virginia architects with 2016 Awards for Excellence in Architecture. Also known as the Design Awards, these honors celebrate projects no older than seven years that contribute to the built environment and are clear examples of thoughtful, engaging design. This year juries have identified one Honor + Excellence Award, five Honor Awards, nine Merit Awards and four Honorable Mentions. Award categories include Architecture, Contextual Design, Residential Design, Interior Design and Historic Preservation.

These projects will be on display at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in 2016 Awards for Excellence in Architecture: An Exhibition of Winning Work, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016-Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

In the ARCHITECTURE category

The jury considers aesthetics, adherence to the client program, proven and projected building performance and concept development during its deliberations.

Architecture Honor Award Recipients:

  • East Quad Renovation/ University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) by Hanbury
    “This project demonstrated superlative architectural stewardship of University of Michigan’s East Quad building complex,” says the jury.
  • Regional Plant Teaching Facility (Raleigh, N.C.) by Clark Nexen
    The jury states, “It put technology on display in a well thought out architectural language that would make even an architect want to learn about what’s going on inside.”

Architecture Merit Award Recipients:

  • Mundo Verde Charter School (Washington, D.C.) by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.) by Hickok Cole Architects
  • Intelligence Community Campus/Bethesda (Bethesda, Md.) by AECOM / Leo A. Daly / DBI

Architecture Honorable Mention Recipients:

  • Safeway Lifestyle Store (Alexandria, Va.) by Cunningham | Quill Architects PLLC with Associate Architect Freeman Morgan Architects
  • Air Traffic Control Tower (mobile/modular unit) by Jacobs


The awards for contextual design are chosen based on outstanding architecture that perceptibly reflects the history, culture, and physical environment of the place in which it stands and that, in turn, contributes to the function, beauty, and meaning of its larger context.

Contextual Merit Award Recipients:

  • Duke Hall (Harrisonburg, Va.) by Clark Nexsen in association with GUND Partnership

Contextual Honorable Mention Recipient:

  • 7001 Arlington Road (Bethesda, Md.) by KGD Architecture


Aesthetic appeal and functionality are two long-established criteria for home design as are affordability and resource efficiency. The jury looks at each submission in its totality toward meeting those goals.

Residential Design Honor + Excellence Award Recipient:

  • James River House (Scottsville, Va.) by ARCHITECTUREFIRM
    “This project captured the jury from the first slide and was the favorite of all entries submitted this year,” says the jury.

Residential Design Honor Award Recipients:

  • Casa Abierta (Chevy Chase, Md.) by KUBE architecture PC
    The jury notes “By borrowing space from the outdoors the house has a scale and grandeur that belies its small footprint.”
  • Salt and Pepper House (Washington, D.C.) by KUBE architecture PC
    “An extraordinary renovation of a traditional row house — of Shaker simplicity — into a colorful and astonishingly contrasting environment within,” says the jury.
  • Ontario Residence (Washington, D.C.) by David Jameson Architect Inc.
    “The garden façade with its dancing wooden figure leads inside to a dancing stair that inhabits the volumes and modulates the plan,” says the jury.

Residential Design Merit Award Recipient:

  • Brandywine House (Washington, D.C.) by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Residential Design Honorable Mention Recipient:

  • Kits of Parts Home (Charlottesville, Va.) by HAUSCRAFT


The historic preservation category focuses specifically on excellence in strategies, tactics, and technologies that advance the art, craft, and science of preserving historically significant buildings and sites. The jury takes into consideration adherence to local, state, and national criteria for historic preservation.

Historic Preservation Merit Award Recipient:

  • Union Station (Washington, D.C.) by Michael Winstanley Architects & Planners

In the INTERIOR DESIGN category

Interior design projects are judged on mastery of composition, functionality, material and color palettes, and well-integrated adherence to the highest levels of accessibility, health and safety, environmental, and occupant-comfort considerations, standards, and regulations.

Interior Design Merit Award Recipients:

  • STM Laboratories at Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.) by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture
  • Park Avenue Apartment (New York, N.Y.) by ARCHITECTUREFIRM
  • Sharma Mathur (Washington, D.C.) by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

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