Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx) 2024: Save the Dates + NEW Location

Please save the dates for AIA Virginia’s annual Architecture Exchange East that will take place at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, VA this November 6-8, 2024!

Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx) is AIA Virginia’s annual signature educational event which brings together architects and designers to deliver a highly-curated program of educational sessions. The event features an exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services from vendors, suppliers, and consultants. Attendees can earn all or most of the 18 required continuing education credits over the course of the three-day program. It also serves as the largest annual networking event for Virginia-based architects. The event also allows architects and educators to share their research and case studies.

Registration will open after Labor Day 2024 and the hotel room block will be available after registration opens.

Join Us and Become a Sponsor

2024 Tabletop & Networking OPPORTUNITIES
Click to view Sponsorship Options
Secure your tabletop and networking package early! Space is limited to 38 Sponsors.

Live engagement is more important than ever. 
ArchEx sponsors will have an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Virginia architects through personal engagement during this 2-day event.  Our refreshing, new approach provides the ability to problem solve side-by-side with architects, immersing your sales team in ongoing facilitated workshop discussions, breakout sessions, tours, group dining, social gatherings, and multiple celebrations. 
This is an opportunity to TRULY engage! Need more information? Contact: Jody Cranford, Sponsorship and Advertising Consultant,

Secure your ArchEx 2024 Sponsorship>>

2024 AIA Virginia Prize Winners Announced

During the first weekend of February, students across the Commonwealth participated in the 2024 Virginia Prize. For the first time JMU’s Architectural Design program joined competitors from perennial participants Hampton University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg and the WAAC) in addressing a challenge authored by Professor Stanford Britt, FAIA, Professor Carmina Sanchez-de-Valle, RA, and Associate Professor Marci Turner of Hampton University. The brief invited students to design a “bookless” public library as a community public room on a corner site at the intersection of N. Mallory Street and E. County Street in Phoebus, Virginia.

The submissions were juried by Trey Trahan, FAIA, NOMA, Robbie Eleazer, AIA, and David Sweere, AIA of Trahan Architects: a global architecture firm with offices in New Orleans and New York founded on the belief that the mindful design of everyday spaces can elevate the human experience. The practice is dedicated to creating spaces resonant with authenticity, cultural significance, and ecological resilience. The result is a harmonious portfolio that blends the arts, conservation, historic preservation, and social responsibility.

The juried noted that “The work was impressive for a single weekend charrette. There’s an attentiveness to the library’s functional role in the digital and post-digital age. The work as a whole offered an enormous range of solutions in form, materiality, and articulation.”

First Place was awarded to Graham Gewirz (University of Virginia).

“The scheme demonstrates a clarity in the development of the original diagram to the finalized solution. There is a consistency in the attitude and articulation of the natural thickness of masonry throughout the scheme, operating at multiple scales. Intelligent carving of the masonry creates places for gathering and engagement with the building from the exterior and intimate spaces for contemplation and studying in the interior.”

Second Place was conferred upon Philip Edmonston (University of Virginia).

“The scheme is strongly engaging of the site’s context, operating at a transition of scale in the urban fabric, by breaking down the scale of the overall structure into a series of volumes, aggregated into a composition that pulls a visitor into the site. The library expansion is complementary of the existing library in orientation, access, and form.”

Third Place was given to Kanako Kohara (Virginia Tech: WAAC).

“The scheme combines a muted natural material palette and access to nature with a beautiful simply articulated elevation. The use of exposed timber construction offers an example of forward-sustainable thinking.”

Mohammed Elabbasi (Virginia Tech: Blacksburg) merited an Honorable Mention.

“The scheme is inventive and playful in its articulation of a series of treehouse-like structures connected by a catwalk. It offers a youthful expression of lifted volumes to protect from flooding while creating a forest floor-like condition at the ground level.”

Many thanks to the jury for their diligent deliberations.

And Congratulations – not only to those who were recognized – but to all who submitted and, through their work, helped us to encounter new approaches and envision innovative possibilities.

View a gallery of the submissions below.

Amt, Ford, Price, and Wardell Elevated to Fellowship

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is elevating four AIA members from AIA Virginia to its prestigious College of Fellows, AIA’s highest membership honor for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society. The 2024 Jury of Fellows is elevating 96 members this year to the College of Fellows.

The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

As many of you know, the College of Fellows is AIA’s highest membership honor, with only 3% of members achieving this distinction. The bar is justifiably high, and the jury deliberates for days on the hundreds of applicants. If you’re new to AIA or interested in understanding the process better, you can learn more about the nomination and criteria, which includes fellowship objects, here.

The newly elevated fellows from AIA Virginia are:

  • Michelle Amt, FAIA of VMDO Architects (Central Virginia)
  • Edward Ford, FAIA of Edward R. Ford Architect-Author (Central Virginia)
  • Mel Price, FAIA of Work Program Architects (Hampton Roads)
  • Bruce Wardell, FAIA of brwarchitects, p.c. (Central Virginia)

New fellows will be honored at the AIA Virginia Fellows Fête, March 16, 2024 at Barboursville Vineyards.

New fellows will be honored at the AIA Awards Gala, June 7, 2024, at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. Learn more about fellowship on AIA’s website.