AIA Women’s Leadership Summit

Reframe, Rethink, & Refresh

Join AIA national and AIA Minneapolis for the largest leadership event in the US for women in architecture! Women’s leadership Summit is three days of high-value educational sessions, candid conversations, and wellness activities designed to help you refine your leadership skills and accelerate your career growth.

You’ll hear from inspirational women leaders including Debbie Millman, curator and host of the Design Matters podcast; Priya Parker, founder of Thrive Labs; and Toshiko Mori, FAIA, Harvard professor and principal of Toshiko Mori Architect.

Invest in yourself and your career—register for the Women’s Leadership Summit today!

Register >

Call for Nominations: 2019 Honors Awards

Do you have a colleague who deserves recognition? Is there a firm that consistently produces incredible work? Is there a building that has captured your heart? Consider nominating them for AIA Virginia’s Honors Awards program.  

The Honors program recognizes the best efforts of Virginians who — by profession or avocation — have made creating, preserving, and enhancing Virginia’s communities an important life commitment. Honorees will be recognized at the Annual Meeting of the Membership at Architecture Exchange East (Nov. 7, 2019) and Visions for Architecture (Nov. 8, 2019).


Nominations must be submitted online. Nominations should be submitted as a single PDF up to 20 pages (not including letters of support) and no larger than 30 MB. Letters of support can be combined into a single PDF and uploaded on the nomination form.

Nominations for all AIA Virginia honors may be made by individual members, by chapter honors committees, by AIA Virginia committees, or by the Board of Directors itself.

Current AIA Virginia Board members and Honors Committee members are not eligible for any award. No member of the Honors Committee may be used as a reference or adviser or be solicited by the candidate or the candidate’s advisor.

The deadline is Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 5 p.m.


Eligibility criteria and submission requirements vary by award. Click on the awards listed below for additional details and to review past recipients.

Award Categories

The William C. Noland Medal, as the highest award bestowed on a member architect, is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, that spans a broad spectrum of the profession and that transcends the scope of normal professional activities. Only one medal may be bestowed each year.

The Architecture Medal for Virginia Service is AIA Virginia’s most prestigious public award, honoring an individual or organization that has made an unusually significant contribution to Virginia’s built environment or to the public’s understanding and awareness of the built environment. Only one medal may be bestowed each year but may be given simultaneously to more than one person.

The T. David Fitz-Gibbon Virginia Architecture Firm Award, as the highest honor bestowed by AIA Virginia to a Virginia-based architecture firm, recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least ten years.

The Virginia Emerging Professional Award is intended to recognize the accomplishments of emerging leaders in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in one or more of the following categories: design, research, education, or discourse; service to the profession; mentorship; or service to the community.

The Award for Distinguished Achievement signals distinguished achievement by an architect in any one of the following categories: design, practice, education, service as “citizen architect”, and service to the profession; and thus may serve as an accolade for the work of an entire career or recognize the current accomplishments of a younger leader. Up to three awards may be bestowed each year.

Honorary Membership is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in the AIA Virginia but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment within the domain of AIA Virginia.

AIA Virginia Honors may be bestowed on non-member individuals or organizations that have inspired, influenced, or complemented the architecture profession in Virginia through practice of an allied profession, research, education, planning, legislation, architectural writing, the arts, or crafts. An individual who has previously been elected an Honorary Member of AIA Virginia is ineligible to receive AIA Virginia Honors.

The Test of Time Award recognizes architectural design of enduring significance. The structure should be in Virginia and must be no less than 25 years old. Building use may change over time if the overall design is cherished as a significant contribution to the community and the built environment.

Student Competition Winner Announced

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the students recognized as honorees in 2019 AIA Virginia Prize competition.

AIA Virginia Prize
The top award and $3000 prize goes to Jackson Reed a student at Virginia Tech for the submission “Frames of Reference.” The jury recognized the elegant way the structure could be both unveiled and packed away, noting that there was “a kind of magic to how it captured the light.” The submission displayed a technical superiority and a “completeness” to its presentation. The jury appreciated the fresh approach to a shipping container building, particularly in the way the volume could be reconfigured.

"Frames of Reference" by Jackson Reed, Virginia Tech was awarded the AIA Virginia Prize.
“Frames of Reference” by Jackson Reed, Virginia Tech was awarded the AIA Virginia Prize.

Special Jury Award and Hampton University Best of School
The Best of School Award for Hampton University goes to Julian Washington for “Veggie Soul.” The jury appreciated that the submission was rooted in its cultural context as well as its inventive placement inside an existing building. They found the rendering particularly evocative, giving a true sense of the concept and placement. The jury found this submission particularly notable and elected to make a Special Jury Award of $500.

Veggie Soul" by Julian Washington, Hampton University - The Best of School Award and Special Jury Award
“Veggie Soul” by Julian Washington, Hampton University – The Best of School Award and Special Jury Award

University of Virginia Best of School
The Best of School Award for University of Virginia goes to Taha Suhrawardy for “Sic Parvis Magna Café.” They jury enjoyed the design’s informality counterbalanced with its placement within a formal setting. Its lightweight characteristics and structural creativity were interesting. The approach to mobility was notable.

“Sic Parvis Magna Café” by Taha Suhrawardy, University of Virginia – Best of School Award

Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center Best of School
The Best of School Award for the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center goes to Meredith Sattler for “Deadrise Oyster Bar.”  This entry expressed what the environment has to offer in a really simple, pleasurable way. The jury found the response to the tidal condition interesting.

“Deadrise Oyster Bar” by Meredith Sattler, Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center – Best of School Award

The following were recognized with an Honorable Mention

“The New Taste of Flow” submitted by Mengzhe Ye and Weiran Jing from University of Virginia
The jury appreciated the graphic approach. They found the innovative and thoughtfully-considered user experience notable.

“The Hangout” submitted by Gary Garner from Hampton University
The jury found the idea of using readily-available swing equipment to create seating and a dining environment refreshing.

“King St. Pop Up Café” submitted by Juan Urey Fernandez from the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center
The jury was pleased with the clean, comprehensive design. The site placement was clear and precise — there was little missing.

“The Fulcrum” submitted by Andy Merida from Virginia Tech
The jury appreciated the elegant simplicity of this submission and its implied invitation to engage your imagination.

“Boba — A Pop Up Bubble Tea Shop” submitted by Kirt Hilker from Virginia Tech
The jury delighted in the submission’s imaginative approach that was truly representative of a “pop up” café.

“untitled” submitted by Anna Fletcher from Virginia Tech
The jury found this entry and its story gripping. The graphics beautifully captured the mood and emotional context of the narrative.

About the Challenge

The competition — which took place over the weekend of Jan. 25–28 — challenged students to design a pop-up diner with a small kitchen, short-term supply storage, and a dining counter for standing and sitting customers. Students were asked to consider the energy, water, and waste flows in their solutions. [Read the full competition brief.]

About the AIA Virginia Prize

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton UniversityUniversity of VirginiaVirginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, the competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia. Students are given the competition program on a Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a design solution and submit it by 9 a.m. the following Monday. The top submission wins a $3000 prize.

Launched in 1980, the competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. Historically, the charrette has taken place in January, however over the last several years, the competition has been hosted in September to accommodate an ongoing scheduling conflict at one of the schools. Now that the conflict has been resolved, the Prize weekend has shifted back to the spring semester to better align with the demands of the academic calendar.

Development of the competition brief rotates between the four schools annually — the 2019 Prize challenge was developed by Virginia Tech.

About the Jury

Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to Richmond for final consideration by the following Jury.

Nick Serfass, FAIA, Executive Director, RVATECH | Jury Chair

Burt Pinnock, FAIA, Chairman, Baskervill

Lori Garrett, FAIA, Senior Principal & Director of Higher Education Studio, Glavé & Holmes

Patrick Thompson, Assoc. AIA, Associate, Commonwealth Architects

Donna Phaneuf, FAIA, President + Lead Design Principal, Via Design

It’s a Wrap: Art of Practice 2019

Nearly 60 firm leaders came together in Northern Virginia on March 22 to exchange ideas, enjoy fellowship, and learn at the second biennial Art of Practice.

The program kicked off with Message Book training presented by the AIA’s Caitlin Reagan and Frank Scanlan. The group learned the basics of communication philosophy and how to design effective messages. After hearing some excellent tips and watching good (and truly awful!) examples of public speaking, attendees took part in an interactive exercise on crafting message headlines. After that, the group dug into how to use these tools in business development and advocacy environments. Several brave souls volunteered to put what they learned into practice. Short mock interviews were conducted and played back for the group to critique.

Following robust conversations (and wine) over lunch, Michele Russo, the Managing Director of Research and Practice at the AIA, offered an economic forecast. After sharing current conditions and the top four business concerns in architecture firms, she offered a 2019/2020 outlook for the profession.  Predictions indicate that firms can expect growth in 2019 – but at a slower rate than last year. She shared several indicators that hint at slower economic growth in 2020.

Karl Feldman from Hinge offered emerging research and best practices for employee recruitment and retention. He shared generational differences in how candidates approach a job search as well as how they evaluate opportunities. Following a lively Q&A session, Karl moderated a Leadership Transition Panel Discussion featuring Donna Phaneuf, FAIA; Mark Orling, AIA; Bob Moje, FAIA; Tom Kerns, FAIA; and Rob Comet, AIA. Each of the panelists shared their approach to leadership cultivation and transition within their firms.

Art of Practice Video

Special thanks to Philip Moo for creating a video of highlights from the day.

Art of Practice Photo Gallery

Virginia Celebrates Four New Fellows in 2019

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is elevating 115 member-architects to its prestigious College of Fellows — an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the architecture profession. AIA Virginia welcomes four new Fellows who will be celebrated at the Region of The VirginiasFellows Fête on March 23, 2019 and honored at a ceremony at A’19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Virginia’s New Fellows

Manoj Dalaya, FAIA

While logic and planning serve as the foundation for collaboration in the design process, artistic intention is essential in Manoj Dalaya’s approach to design. His high-performance, fortified spaces embrace art, environment, and community — all while integrating the security, infrastructure, and technological requirements of secure campuses. A principal at KGD Architecture, Dalaya serves on the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Executive Committee and chairs their Design Awards Committee. He lends his architectural and real estate expertise to several Washington, D.C. area urban development committees and to architecture and real estate students at local universities. He was honored with AIA Virginia’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2018.

Jody Lahendro, FAIA

For nearly fifteen years, Jody Lahendro has served as Historic Preservation Architect at the University of Virginia where he manages work on more than 120 designated historic buildings — including the Academical Village designed by Thomas Jefferson.  Notably, he recently managed the award-winning Rotunda Renovation project.  Prior to time at UVA, Lahendro had his own architectural practice in Richmond for 18 years, specializing in historic preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse.  He also served as preservation architect for the Taliesin Preservation Commission as it began its charge to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  Lahendro’s public service includes volunteer positions with local and state governments, non-profit organizations, and pro bono assistance to non-profits owning historic buildings. 

Burt Pinnock, FAIA

A Principal with Baskervill, Burt Pinnock has been a profound voice for creative, compelling, and responsible design in Richmond’s urban landscape. Once the Capital of the Confederacy and an epicenter of the nation’s slave trade, Richmond was also home to thriving, independent black communities. His body of work spans projects that seek to preserve and integrate those distinct identities into a more complete version that is contextual to both time and space. Burt has also served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Board of Zoning Appeals, Commission of Architectural Review, Urban Design Committee, Richmond Slave Trail Commission, LISC Advisory Board, Historic Richmond Foundation, Venture Richmond, and many more. He is also the creator and co-founder of Storefront for Community Design, a nonprofit that creates access to architecture and design services while also facilitating community engagement workshops for development efforts throughout the city.

Nick Vlattas, FAIA

Nick Vlattas is one of the founding shareholders in 1979 of Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company. Now known as Hanbury, the firm has been a respected voice in the planning, architecture, and interior design professions across the United States and abroad. The practice is based on a willingness to listen and learn, exploring transformational ideas with colleagues, clients, and consultants. This approach has garnered the recognition of both design and industry-specific award programs. As Chief Operations Officer, Secretary/Treasurer, Trustee, and architect at Hanbury, Nick has been responsible for quality of operations, financial management, human resources, and information technology. Nick served as President of AIA Hampton Roads, and on the Board of Directors for AIA Virginia for many years including serving as President in 2016 and Treasurer from 2010 to 2014. He is also a charter member of the Rotary Club of Oyster Point in Newport News.

About Fellowship

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. Prospective candidates must have at least 10 years of AIA membership and demonstrated influence in at least one of the following areas:

  • Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession;
  • Promoted the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training or practice;
  • Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations; or​
  • Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment.

Fellows are selected by a seven-member Jury of Fellows. This year’s jury included (Virginia’s own) Mary P. Cox, FAIA, Virginia Commonwealth University, who served as Chair; Peter Bardwell, FAIA, Bardwell + Associates, LLC; Mary A. Burke, FAIA, Burke Design & Architecture PLLC; Philip Castillo, FAIA, Jahn; Mary Johnston, FAIA, Johnston Architects, LLC; Paul Mankins, FAIA, Substancearchitecture; and Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA, Drexel University.

Building Evaluator Training Coming to Arlington

When a disaster strikes, one of a community’s first tasks is to determine whether its buildings are safe for habitation. Too often, the structures that must be examined greatly outnumber the trained city inspectors. You can help bridge this gap.  

The AIA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) trains architects, engineers, building officials, and inspectors to evaluate homes, buildings, and infrastructure in the aftermath of a disaster. This workshop teaches you to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability. You’ll also receive a nationally recognized Cal OES registration ID card from the state of California.

Saturday, April 6, 2019
8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Location: Jacobs| 1100 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 500, Arlington VA


This curriculum is based on the State of California’s training program and has benefited numerous communities — resulting in thousands of safety evaluations and saving municipalities millions of dollars.

The Safety Assessment Program Training is a technical training program that includes Applied Technology Council ATC-20 Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and ATC-45 Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Wind Storms and Floods.

Art of Practice Agenda Announced

Current and future firm leaders from across the Commonwealth will converge on March 22, 2019, at the Winery at Bull Run for the second biennial Art of Practice summit. The program is intended to cultivate leadership skills, identify solutions to common business problems, and fuel collaboration across the profession.

Registration is now open for the day-long event in Northern Virginia. The venue was selected to nurture a retreat-like atmosphere and to encourage relationship building among peers. In keeping with this notion, space is extremely limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available to members only and are $125 (lunch is included). Participants can earn 6 learning units.

Art of Practice is sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors

About the Program

Advanced Communications Training
Effective communication skills are critical the success of any business leader. Take part in an intensive leadership communications program — developed specifically for architects — that was designed to improve your public speaking and storytelling skills. Learn advanced presentation techniques and discover more about your personal style and delivery. Come away with an understanding of how facial expression, eye contact, hand and body movement, and voice impact your message.

Lunchtime Roundtable Discussions
The learning doesn’t stop when we break for lunch. Taking a cue from the most popular part of AIA Virginia’s Firm Roundtable meetings, we’ve reserved time for peer-to-peer learning. Discover best practices and share your experiences with colleagues while you enjoy a catered lunch (carefully paired with sparkling water or a glass of Bull Run’s finest).

Employee Recruitment and Retention
Firm leaders are telling us that their biggest challenge right now is finding and hiring the right talent. Hear emerging research from the AEC industry and discover best practices for employee recruitment and retention.

Moderated Leadership Transition Panel Discussion
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Whether your firm is facing the retirement of a key leader, a merger, or simply considering how to nurture the next generation of principals, leadership transitions can often take years — even with advance planning and management. Hear how your colleagues faced a host of issues and positioned their firms for success in the face of change.


A limited room block is held nearby at the Hyatt Place Chantilly. Make reservations online or call the Reservations Center at 1-888-591-1234 using the group code G-AIAE. Complimentary shuttle service is available for those who wish to stay afterward and a enjoy tasting.

About the Art of Practice

The biennial Art of Practice was launched in 2017 with the purpose of providing current and aspiring firm leaders and with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Read the key takeaways from the 2017 event and see the photo gallery.

Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center

“There is an ephemeral quality to the Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center by BCWH Architects [now Quinn Evans] that has a captivating quality both inside and out. It draws visitors in for a transcendent experience enveloped in art.”

Sited at the edge of VCU’s campus in Richmond, Virginia, the new Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center links the University with the surrounding community. At Richmond’s busiest intersection, Broad and Belvidere Streets, the building forms a gateway to the University with an inviting sense of openness. The main entrance is formed by an intersection of the performance space and forum, adding a vertical “Z” component to the “X-Y” movement of the intersection. The torsion of these intersecting bodies is joined by a “plane of the present” to the galleries in “forking time.”

The idea of “forking time” suggests that in the world of contemporary art there are many parallel time lines. The notion of one ongoing time line and its “grand narrative” of art history is questioned. The new Markel Center is organized into four galleries, each with a different character. Flexibility allows for four separate exhibitions, one continuous exhibition, or combinations. Galleries can be closed for installations without affecting the circulation to the others. One can begin the sequence through the four galleries by taking the over-sized elevator to the top and circling down, or by beginning at the lower gallery off the forum and moving up. Exposed concrete beams and planks in the galleries complement the concrete floors. As flexible spaces, the galleries can accept suspended art or projects anchored to the floor slab.

Vertical movement along the “plane of the present” links the galleries, the performance space, sculpture garden, and forum. Along this architectural promenade, the integration of all the building elements can be experienced in changing views.

The 41,000 sq ft building has a double front: one side opens from the city, the other from the VCU Campus, linking city and campus. On the ground level, the café opens directly onto the terrace, or “thinking field”, as does the forum. Paved in bluestone gravel, the garden is planted with gingko trees. A large reflecting pool shapes the sense of this garden as a “thinking field”.

The building is a dynamic experience of movement in time around the exterior as well as the interior. Approaching on foot from the west (from the University), the building unfolds in the parallax of changing perspectives. As you walk, the crunch of gravel under your feet is complemented by a view that gradually opens to reveal the lobby. If you arrive by car from the north, east, or south, the double vertical geometry in torsion marks a gateway presence, which changes shape as you pass by. At night, glowing planes of obscure glass activate the exterior. The flexible performance space has up to 240 seats and is designed to support a variety of musical, film, lecture, dance and performance art events.

The Markel Center’s fields of etched insulated glass are complemented by its greenish-grey zinc skin. Both materials constantly change their appearance under varying light and weather conditions.

The garden roofs include a sculpture terrace on the second level. The building is heated and cooled with geothermal wells and has achieved LEED gold certification.

The Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center is a new gateway and catalyst, linking the University and the city of Richmond. With its inviting double-fronted forum opening to a serene “thinking field”, it provides spatial energy for the most important cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits.

The ICA’s architecture is an instrument for exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures, performances, symposia, and community events, engaging the University, the city, and beyond.

Project details:

Project Name: Institute for Contemporary Art at the Markel Center (Richmond, Va.)

Owner: The Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University

Associated Architect: BCWH Architects

Design Architect and Architect of Record: Steven Holl Architects

Contractor: Gilbane Building Company

Landscape Architect: Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture

Civil Engineer: VHB

Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates

MEP Consultants: ARUP and Ascent Engineering Group

Lighting Consultant: L’Observatoire International

Theatre Consultant: Theatre Consultants Collaborative

Technology and Security Consultant: Convergent Technologies Design Group

Food Service Consultant: Food Service Consultants Studio

Elevator Design: Jenkins & Huntington, Inc.

Curtain Wall Consultant: W.J. Higgins & Associates, Inc.

Sustainability Consultant: Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC

2019 PAC Rumble in the Jungle

The 2019 PAC Rumble in the Jungle is underway!

The AIA Virginia PAC Award looks to celebrate the engagement and commitment of a local AIA component who supports the advancement and mission of the PAC. The Award will be presented at Architecture Exchange East to the local component’s Board of Directors who will accept the award on behalf of its respective membership. Invest today in the PAC at

Award Criteria
Below outlines point allocations:

1. Local component Board participation

a. Did 100% of the Board of Directors invest into the AIA Virginia PAC?

i. Yes = 20 points
ii. No = 0 points

2. Percentage of local component’s members who have invested in the AIA Virginia PAC

i. Component with highest % = 40 points
ii. Component with second highest % = 20 points
iii. Component with third highest % = 10 points

3. Average investment per member from the total local component membership

i. Component with highest average investment/member = 40 points
ii. Component with second highest average investment/member = 30 points
iii. Component with third highest average investment/member = 20 points
iv. Component with fourth highest average investment/member = 10 points
v. Component with fifth highest average investment/member = 0 points

The scoring will be closed on November 1, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Why Do This?
Like many professions, architects have interests that specifically impact our profession, practice, and our community. The legislative and regulatory environment is arguably the most important arena that impacts how we provide our professional services. We, as architects, want to have an influential voice in this arena which allows us to control our destiny. We can’t have an influential voice without having relationships. As such, the PAC allows us to build these necessary relationships.