AIA Virginia Prize Weekend Complete

Over the first weekend of February, students across the Commonwealth participated in the Virginia Prize. And we were thrilled to have JMU’s Architectural Design program join competitors from Hampton University, UVA, and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg and the WAAC) in addressing the challenge.

This year’s competition was authored by Hampton University. Professor Stanford Britt, FAIA, Professor Carmina Sanchez-de-Valle, RA, and Associate Professor Marci Turner developed a brief that 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 project is intended to complement the offerings of the traditional “book-filled” branch library located across the street. And requires students to organize the required indoor and outdoor programmatic elements so that site is building, and building is site, while also addressing resiliency issues such as flooding.

The entries are now being judged by the institutions and selected entries will be forwarded for consideration by the competition jury. We look forward to sharing and celebrating the results.

2024 AIA Virginia Prize

The AIA Virginia Prize is a design charrette that engages students at all of the architecture programs in Virginia.  Conducted simultaneously at each institution, students are given the competition program Friday at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a board presenting their design solution by 9 a.m. the following Monday.  The competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students and professors in Virginia.

The first round of submissions is juried at the university level and up to 10 finalists from each school will be sent to be juried at the state level.

The 2024 competition takes place over the Feb. 2-4 weekend. Faculty at Hampton University are finalizing the brief. The challenge brief will be posted to this page at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 and submissions are due to the school at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 5.

We wish the participating students a pleasant outing and look forward to considering and celebrating their proposals.

Brian C. Gore, Assoc. AIA, recognized with first Virginia Associates Award

The Virginia Associates Award recognizes the accomplishments of individual Associate AIA members for being outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession. In its inaugural year, the award is presented to Brian C. Gore, Assoc. AIA. Gore, a staff designer at Quinn Evans in Richmond, is particularly active in the profession’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as well as in the mentorship of young people who show interest in architecture.

Gore currently serves on AIA Virginia’s J.E.D.I. Committee and was a member of the organization’s 2022 Emerging Leaders in Architecture class. A West Virginia native who grew up as a minority in primarily white spaces, he is passionate about advocating for minorities seeking to enter the profession and served as a mentor with the Richmond chapter’s ACE Mentorship Program.

Gore is active in the Virginia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (VANOMA) and serves as a liaison to NOMAS chapters at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Hampton University, and James Madison University, strengthening the organization’s relationship with students across the Commonwealth. He earned his own degrees at Fairmont State University (B.Arch.) and Virginia Tech (M.Arch.).

“Through his involvement with these various organizations and programs,” wrote one endorser of his nomination, “Brian desires to push the profession of architecture forward in design and advocacy, especially when it comes to increased representation of diverse and inclusive voices.”

Gore is committed to the “Each one, teach one” philosophy of mentorship, asserting that every architecture professional should feel a personal responsibility to mentor the next generation of architects. “I take great joy in the organic relationships that lead to mentorship opportunities,” he notes. Gore has critiqued portfolios, helped students understand studio concepts, and advised emerging professionals on navigating the transition into the professional world.

As one grateful student notes, “Brian’s dedication to advocating for underrepresented architects and promoting diversity within the profession is truly inspiring.”

Gore will receive the award at the Visions for Architecture event on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond.

Chesterfield Neighborhood Recognized with AIA Virginia’s 2023 Test of Time Award

Chesterfield County’s Highland Hills neighborhood, designed in the mid-1950s by Charles M. Goodman, FAIA, of Washington, D.C., has been selected to receive AIA Virginia’s 2023 Test of Time award. The award recognizes a structure not less than 25 years from the date of initial construction that still carries out the original program in a substantial manner and stands as originally designed in appearance and in good condition. The award will be presented at the Visions for Architecture event on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond.

Highland Hills is home to some of Central Virginia’s finest mid-century architecture. Goodman, the architect, had worked with National Homes Corporation, the country’s largest manufacturer of prefabricated houses, to create several designs, and his firm was hired by local developers to lay out the streets of their new subdivision. Goodman was already known for his similar, but more expensive, homes of Alexandria’s Hollin Hills neighborhood, recipient of Virginia AIA’s 1981 Test of Time Award.

For Highland Hills, Goodman wanted to offer a more affordable home. The three-bedroom homes of 1200 square feet were compact, but filled with floor-to-ceiling windows and situated to emphasize the surrounding landscape. Thus, each home offered an interconnectedness between interior and exterior spaces, including combination carport-patios. And the open land surrounding the houses became a playground for the neighborhood’s children. The homes were also energy efficient, with thermal windows and insulated walls and ceilings that were unusual at the time. Prefabrication made them quick and easy to erect.

Seven decades late, people still live in Goodman’s Highland Hills houses because of their love for the architecture and the design of the neighborhood. The homes continue to be relatively affordable snd the neighborhood retains high integrity. An effort is underway to list Highland Hills on the National Register of Historic Places.

Virginia Emerging Architect Award for 2023 Goes to Agdinaoay and Gemmer

The Virginia Emerging Architect Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers, whether through design, service, education, or advancement of social justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion. For 2023, Erin Agdinaoay, AIA, and Jessie Gemmer, AIA, will receive the award. Both women are graduates of Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Agdinaoay, an architect and project manager at Work Program Architects in Norfolk, leads WPA’s hiring process and culture/strategy development. “What truly sets Erin apart is her ability to effect meaningful change,” notes firm principal Mel Price. She led the creation of the firm’s Summer Internship & Scholarship for Diversity Advancement, which has attracted LBGTQIA+ and racially diverse applicants from a dozen universities. She has shared WPA’s success with improving DEI strategies through hiring practices and pay transparency with other firms.

Agdinaoay also mentors students at the K-12 level. An active member of the Virginia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (VANOMA), she believes the future resiliency of the profession and practice will be led by designers from nontraditional backgrounds.

Agdinaoay’s innovations extend to her abilities as a designer. For example, Agdinaoay took charge of the largest and most complex building design in WPA’s history — the Norfolk State University Science Building, a $122-million project spanning 131,000 square feet. With a team of more than 70 NSU stakeholders and 50 architects, engineers, and specialists, her exceptional leadership skills have been instrumental in navigating the project to its current success.

Since 2022 the principal of Acme Architecture in Richmond, Gemmer has contributed to her community through several volunteer paths, including her work with the Richmond Urban Design Committee and Storefront for Community Design. She has given back to the profession with her service on AIA Virginia’s Design Forum committee and as a juror for AIA Richmond’s Alice Lehman Sunday Prize. Her commitment to education is evident in the classes she has taught at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design in Washington, D.C., the University of Virginia, as well as the studio critiques at VCU’s interior design department. Teaching led her “to define my thoughts regarding design and architecture and identify the tools and techniques that would develop students into innovative and critical thinkers,” she recalls.

Before opening her firm, Gemmer previously worked with Richmond practices Fultz & Singh Architects and Spatial Affairs Bureau, as well as New York firm Danny Forster Design Studio, for whom she served as designer and project manager on Manhattan’s 31-story Ground Zero Marriott at only 22. The project’s facade addressed the gravity of the site while standing alone as a part of the New York skyline. Her Virginia work ranges from a 1,500-square-foot coffee shop to a 20,000-square-foot corporate headquarters for 200 employees and now includes many residential projects.

For their contributions to the profession, Erin Agdinaoay, AIA, and Jessie Gemmer, AIA, will be recognized with the Emerging Architect Award at the Visions for Architecture event on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond.

Artist Hamilton Glass and Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul are recognized with AIA Virginia Honors in 2023.

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. AIA Virginia Honors recognizes the broader community and its members who contribute to the capabilities of architects to design equitable, healthy, and resilient environments.

Hamilton Glass is a nationally recognized artist who blends community and art through his paintings and his public advocacy. Found in both interior and exterior environments, his murals have enhanced public and private schools, community centers, corporate offices and public/private walls. For more than a decade, Glass has focused his attention on client and community engagement to ensure that all parties involved are engaged during the process.

Using his background in architecture, Glass creates images that reference architectural drafting practices, which are represented in the sharp lines, scale, and balance of the piece. As his nominator noted, “Trained as an architect, Hamilton approaches his work with a thoughtful intention that reflects a deep understanding of scale, proportion, and the power of a line.”

In response to the community unrest following the death of George Floyd, Glass created the groundbreaking public art project, Mending Walls, in the summer of 2020. The project aimed to use art to stimulate social and racial justice conversations that manifest empathy and connection. Mending Walls paired 30 artists of different backgrounds and ethnicities to discuss their experiences and perspectives. In total the project has created 23 mural collaborations across Richmond, Va.

Previously recognized with the 2022 AIA Blue Ridge Honor Award for his service to the Roanoke community and advocacy for its important causes, Del. Sam Rasoul has been committed to building a stronger, safer, healthier and more equitable community for its citizens. Rasoul has led the development of numerous programs that advance equity and foster diversity and inclusivity for all. His leadership and advocacy is providing many benefits across what Rasoul considers “the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental values.”

Among his successes on behalf of those he represents are House Bill 753, which increased teacher pay and supported capital investments to make schools safe and equipped for 21st-century learning. HB 753 also requires the Virginia Department of Education to develop effective implementation of social and emotional learning in public schools. He has also championed policies that improve housing opportunities, criminal justice and family care.

Rasoul is a co-sponsor of Virginia’s Green New Deal Act, which lays the groundwork for intersectional policies that will lower energy bills, create 200,000 jobs and improve the quality of life for every community in Virginia. The program advances climate justice at the intersection of economic justice, racial justice, health care justice, and worker justice. As his nominators noted, “his work on behalf of families, businesses, education, the natural environment and individuals is helping our area achieve its aspirations as a healthy and resilient place to live, work and visit.”

These valuable partners will be recognized at the Visions for Architecture event on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond.

AIA Virginia Announces 2023 Design Awards Jury 

A committee of esteemed architects chaired by Ray Calabro, FAIA, will judge the entries for AIA Virginia’s 2023 Awards for Excellence in Architecture. Joining Calabro on the jury are Jennifer Devlin-Herbert, FAIA; Omar Gandhi, FRAAC; and Karen Lu, AIA. These annual awards recognize outstanding design, built and unbuilt, from the past seven years. Also known as the Design Awards, the program is open to all categories of building as well as interiors projects.  
The awards program is currently open for submissions. Each entry will be judged on how successful the project is in meeting its individual requirements. Consideration is given to aesthetics, social impact, innovation, context, performance, and stewardship of the natural environment — with particular emphasis on the Framework for Design Excellence. Deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on June 28, 2023. 

About Ray Calabro, FAIA

Calabro is a principal of the Pennsylvania firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Educated at Virginia Tech (B. Arch., 1994), he began his career there as a lecturer in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Since joining Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1995, Ray’s project experience spans academic, cultural, commercial and residential projects in the continental U.S. and Canada. In 2014, he was elevated to the College of Fellows. 

About Jennifer Devlin-Herbert, FAIA

Devlin-Herbert, of San Francisco’s EHDD, was the firm’s first woman partner, and is now its first woman CEO. She is a distinguished design leader for evolving trends in learning environments across multiple project types, from educational spaces to science centers and libraries. Throughout a career spanning 30 years, her rich portfolio includes projects that reflect an unwavering commitment to her clients. Her work has been recognized with a National AIA Honor Award for Design.   

About Omar Gandhi, FRAAC

Gandhi is the Principal of Omar Gandhi Architects, a Canadian architectural practice with small teams in both Halifax and Toronto. He was chosen as one of the Architectural League of New York’s ‘Emerging Voices’ of 2016 and in 2018 was appointed the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship in Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. Gandhi was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Association of Canada in 2022.  

About Karen Lu, AIA, NOMA

Lu is an Associate Principal at Snow Kreilich Architects in Minneapolis. Her commitment to design excellence and to positively impacting future generations of architecture professionals and global citizens is evident in her professional work and service to the AIA and her community. She is currently the AIA Strategic Council Minnesota Representative and a board adviser to MSP NOMA.

Call for Entries: 2023 Design Awards

Entries to the 2023 Design Awards program are now being accepted. AIA Virginia’s Awards for Excellence in Architecture (also known as the Design Awards) recognize outstanding design, built and unbuilt, from the past seven years. The program is juried by a team of esteemed practitioners from outside of the region.

Each entry will be judged on how successful the project is in meeting its individual requirements. Consideration is given to aesthetics, social impact, innovation, context, performance, and stewardship of the natural environment — with particular emphasis on the Framework for Design Excellence.

Each entry must include a completed Framework for Design Excellence Project Information Form as page one of their submission. Note: Entrants should not feel obligated to respond to every measure within the Framework — only those that apply to the project being submitted. It is understood that every project is different and may not respond to each measure within the Framework. The jury will consider each design holistically and within context.

No specific number of awards is set, and the program is open to all categories of building as well as interiors projects. The location of projects is not restricted, but any built works submitted for consideration must have been completed on or after Jan. 1, 2016. Enter online.

The Design Awards program is sponsored by:

Bronze
Bamforth Engineers + Surveyors

Awards Categories include:

  • Architecture;
  • Design for Context;
  • Unbuilt Architecture
  • Extended Use;
    • Historic Preservation
    • Adaptive or Continued Use
  • Interiors;
  • Residential; and
  • Small Projects
    • Up to $150K in construction cost
    • Up to $500K in construction cost
    • Under 5,000 square feet

Check out the complete descriptions of each of the awards categories, and review the regulations, eligibility requirements, and frequently asked questions for more information.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. on June 28, 2023. Note: You should be prepared to submit your concealed ID and project submission upon entry.

Entry fees

AIA Virginia Members:
$190 for the first project
$160 for each additional project
The Small Projects Category has a reduced entry fee of $100
Note: The entrant must be a member of AIA Virginia to be eligible to receive the member discount. The submitting AIA Virginia member must be a contributor to the design team.

Non-members of the AIAVA (must have an office located in Virginia):
$245 for the first project
$220 for each additional project
The Small Projects Category has a reduced entry fee of $200

Not an AIA Virginia member? Apply for unassigned membership.

About the Framework for Design Excellence

Developed by members of the AIA, the Framework for Design Excellence, represents the defining principles of good design in the 21st century. It’s intended to be accessible and relevant for every architect, every client, and every project — regardless of size, typology, or aspiration.

The 10 measures that make up the Framework are intended to inspire progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment. They represent standards of excellence as defined by members of the AIA. These measures align with the AIA’s core values which are collectively defined by members across the country.

The completed Framework for Design Excellence Project Information Form is required and shall be page 1 of each submission. The remaining 6 pages of each submission may be designed and defined by the entrant.

Use the Project Narrative section to describe how the design aligns with the Framework for Design Excellence. Entrants are encouraged to address all applicable measures.

We recognize every project is different and may not respond to every measure within the Framework. The jury will consider the design holistically and within context.

Data may not be available for some metrics on the form, or the client may prefer to keep certain metrics confidential. If this is the case, space is provided on the form to provide an explanation.

Entrants are encouraged to call out extraordinary responses to specific measures in the remaining 6 pages of their submission as well.

Call for Nominations: 2023 Honors

Do you have a colleague who deserves recognition? Is there a firm with a great culture that consistently produces incredible work? Is there a building that has captured your heart? Consider nominating them for an award in AIA Virginia’s 2023 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.

Nominations

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 15 MB.

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. Members of the Honors Committee may not be used as a reference or adviser or be solicited by the candidate or the candidate’s advisor.

The deadline is Friday, June 16, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Eligibility

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

Submit a nomination.

Award Categories

Professional Awards

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 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 demonstrated outstanding and continuous contributions to design, the profession, and to the community for at least ten years.

The Virginia Emerging Architect Award recognizes the accomplishments of an emerging leader in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in any of the following: design, research, education, service as a “citizen architect,” service to the profession, service to the community, or initiatives to advance social justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion.

*NEW FOR 2023* The Virginia Associates Award recognizes the accomplishments of individual Associate AIA members for being outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession.

The Award for Distinguished Achievement recognizes either a singular achievement by an architect or the work of an entire career in any of the following: design, practice, education, service as a “citizen architect,” service to the profession, or initiatives to advance social justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion.

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.


Public Awards

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.

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.