AIA Virginia, a Society of the American Institute of Architects, honors work done by Virginia-based architects with the 2017 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’s jury has identified three Honor Awards, ten Merit Awards, and three Honorable Mentions. Award categories include Architecture, Contextual Design, Residential Design, Interior Design and Historic Preservation.

The AIA Virginia Design Awards are sponsored by Keith Fabry.

About the Jury
Jury Chair:  Yvonne Szeto, FAIA, partner with Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in New York City
Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, design principal at Perkins+Will in New York City
Lorcan O’Herlihy FAIA, founder and principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects in Los Angeles
Jeffrey Murphy FAIA, founding Partner of Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects in New York City
Alexander Lamis, FAIA, partner at Robert A M Stern in New York City

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In the ARCHITECTURE category

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

Architecture Honor Award Recipient:

  • Lake House (North Wilkesboro, N.C.) by ARCHITECTUREFIRM, Richmond, Va.
    The jury says “There is great clarity to the overall design. The decision to wrap the building in wood paneling, both celebrates the strength of employing a singular material throughout while embodying the context of the overall site. The strategic openings in the design allow for a fluid indoor/outdoor experience and frame the views of the surrounding woods in an interesting way.”

Architecture Merit Award Recipients:

Architecture Honorable Mention Recipients:

  • Glenn and Towers Renovation + Addition, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.) by VMDO Architects, Charlottesville, Va.


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 Honor Award Recipient:

  • Center of Hope Elementary School (Haiti) by Thrive Architecture, Charlottesville, Va.
    The jury notes: “The design of this school overcomes the challenge of highly limited resources by cleverly leveraging local materials, building practices and labor to create a piece of real architecture. Overhanging roofs and strategically placed operable openings eliminate the need for artificial ventilation, and simple building techniques using local metal pipes, recycled bags of Styrofoam, and other inexpensive and relatively lightweight components were chosen and assembled piece by piece without heavy equipment. The creativity in technique is matched by the integrity of the architectural resolution, resulting in something that is both beautiful and sustainable.”

Contextual Honorable Mention Recipient:


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 Merit Award Recipient:

Residential Design Honorable Mention Recipient:


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:

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 Honor Award Recipient

  • Rotunda Interior Renovation, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.) by Glavé & Holmes Architecture, Richmond, Va.
    The jury notes “The architects did an exemplary job of balancing contemporary requirements with a respectful return to Jefferson’s programmatic vision for the building. The jury appreciated the skillful selection of furniture and fabrics of a timeless aesthetic. Thoughtful attention to scale, function and flexibility in the interior design created more spaces for study and collaboration — bringing students back to the heart of the university.”

Interior Design Merit Award Recipients:

  • DPR Construction Mid-Atlantic Headquarters (Reston, Va.) by SmithGroupJJR, Washington, D.C.
  • Sands Capital Management Headquarters (Arlington, Va.) by OTJ Architects, Washington, D.C.
  • Sky Loft (Washington, D.C.) by KUBE Architecture PC



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