2020 Design Awards Announced

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the 2020 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. Award categories include Architecture, Contextual Design, Historic Preservation, Interior Design, and Residential Design. Within each of the 5 categories, consideration was given to sustainability, affordability, social impact, innovation, durability, addressing the natural and built context, and meeting the specific needs of the client.

From a field of 180 entries, only 33 were selected by the jury for recognition. These few projects stood above the rest as particularly notable. A project is recognized with an Honorable Mention for incorporating approaches that advance the profession.  Awards of Merit are presented to those project worthy of recognition and an Award of Honor is reserved for those projects deemed by the jury to be truly exceptional.

In the ARCHITECTURE category

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

Awards of Honor

Foreign Affairs Security Training Center by  KieranTimberlake.

Foreign Affairs Security Training Center
(Blackstone, Va.)

Architecture Firm: KieranTimberlake
Owner: U.S. Department of State and the U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service Mid-Atlantic Region
Contractors: Hensel Phelps and Mortenson Construction
Photographer: Tim Griffith
Drone Photography: AECOM – FASTC Office
Rendering: Brooklyn Digital Foundry
Jury Comments: This project has inventive qualities. The jury noted that this submission was among the strongest in the category.

Museum at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site / Devil’s Half Acre by SmithGroup

Museum at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site / Devil’s Half Acre (unbuilt)

Architecture Firm: SmithGroup
Owner: City of Richmond, Va.
Consulting Architect, Interior Design: KEi Architects
Landscape Architecture: Mikyoung Kim Design
Civil Engineering: Greening Urban
Archaeology and Cultural Historic Preservation: Gray & Pape
Museum Planning and Development: Chora
Visitor Experience Planning: Gallagher & Associates
Jury Comments: The jury particularly appreciated this design as an appropriate response to the history of the site. They are looking forward to seeing the completed project.

Awards of Merit

The Aya by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture with Leo A Daly (joint venture)

The Aya (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firms: Studio Twenty Seven Architecture with Leo A Daly (joint venture)
Owner: District of Columbia Department of General Services
Photographer: Hoachlander Davis Photography
Structural Engineer: Silman Associates
MEP Engineer: SETTY & Associates
Civil Engineer: A. Morton Thomas
Geotechnical: ECS Capitol Services
Cost Estimate: TCT Cost Consultants
Land Use Attorney: Holland & Knight
Archeologist: John Milner Associates
Acoustical Engineer: Acoustical Design Collaborative
Jury Comments: This is a commendable affordable housing project. There is a nice relationship between façade and volume and the standard dwelling units are well designed.

New River Train Observation Tower  by students and faculty at Virginia Tech.

New River Train Observation Tower (Radford, Va.)

Designers: Virginia Tech faculty and students led by Prof. Kay Edge, RA, and Prof. Edward Becker, Intl. Assoc. AIA
Owner: Radford Heritage Foundation
Contractors: Edward Becker, Intl. Assoc. AIA and Kay Edge, RA
Photographer: Kay Edge, RA
Jury Comments: As a prototype, this nicely articulates a collaborative, exploratory research-based process. The team is to be commended.

Greer Environmental Sciences Center by VMDO Architects. Photo by Alan Karchmer

Greer Environmental Sciences Center at Virginia Wesleyan University (Virginia Beach, Va.)

Architecture Firm: VMDO Architects
Owner: Virginia Wesleyan University
Contractor: Hourigan Construction
Photographer: Alan Karchmer
Jury Comments: The commitment to sustainable strategies coupled with the overall quality of the exterior and interior design is notable.

Honorable Mention

Marvin Gaye Recreation Center + Trail (Washington, D.C.)

Firm Name: ISTUDIO Architects
Owner: DC Department of General Services
Contractor: MCN Build
Photographer: Hoachlander Davis Photography
Jury Comments: The jury particularly appreciated the passive strategies. The design team clearly accomplished a lot with this project

DC Water Headquarters by SmithGroup

DC Water Headquarters (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: SmithGroup
Owner: DC Water and Sewer Authority
Contractor: Skanska USA Building Inc.
Photographers: Alan Karchmer Photography, Emily Hagopian Photography
Landscape Architecture: OEHME van Sweden | OvS
Structural Engineering: The SK&A Group
Associate Architects/Associate Structural Designers: Leuterio Thomas, LLC
Associate MEP Engineers: JVP Engineers PC (now part of Ameresco)
Civil Engineering: Wiles Mensch Corporation
Commissioning: SETTY & Associates
Traffic Consultants: Gorovo/Slade Associates, Inc.
Program Managers: Samaha Associates, PC
Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment Consultant: Studio of Sandra Raan
Owner’s Representative: Constance Schwartz
Jury Comments: For a municipal infrastructure project on an unusual site, this LEED Platinum water plant was particularly notable.

FutureHAUS by students and faculty from Virginia Tech Center for Design Research

FutureHAUS (Blacksburg, Va.)

Design Team: Students and Faculty from Virginia Tech Center for Design Research
Owner: Virginia Tech
Photographer: Erik Thorsen
Jury comments: The jury was impressed with this solar-powered, net-positive concept home. It brought together a series of environmental strategies without looking like a pastiche. They also appreciated the plug-and-play cartridge construction which allowed the project to be easily shipped, assembled, and disassembled.

Co|Lab by William McDonough + Partners

Co|Lab (Falls Church, Va.)

Architecture Firm: William McDonough + Partners
Owner and Contractor: HITT Contracting
Photographer: John Cole Photography
Jury comments: The jury appreciated the lifecycle thinking and the use of CLT, noting that this project was designed for disassembly. “We need more of this,” they said.


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.

Award of Honor

Masoro Health Center by GAC

Masoro Health Center (Republic of Rwanda)

Architecture Firm: General Architecture Collaborative
Owner: Masoro Health Center
Contractor: Structure Stone
Photographers: James Setzler, Yutaka Sho, Leighton Beaman
Jury Comments: The jury agreed, as a whole, that this project was exemplary — it was their top choice. The site plan, in particular, was very well conceived.

Awards of Merit

American Civil War Museum by 3North

American Civil War Museum (Richmond, Va.)

Architecture Firm: 3North
Owner: American Civil War Museum
Contractor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Photographer: Keith Isaacs
Associate Architects: Madge Bemiss Architects and Robert Mills Architects
Structural Engineer: Balzer and Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineer: Lu+Smith Engineers
Civil Engineer: Draper Aden Associates
Exhibit Designer: Solid Light, Inc.
Jury Comments: In the U.S., it’s still a little contentious to bring together glass boxes with historical ruins, and this project does this quite effectively.

Honorable Mention

Capital Yacht Club by Cunningham | Quill Architects.

Capital Yacht Club (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: Cunningham | Quill Architects PLLC
Owner: Capital Yacht Club
Contractor: Clark Construction Group, LLC
Jury Comments: The jury appreciated this project’s relationship to a maritime motif. The designers did a good job of incorporating the exterior existing fabric into the design.

Carlton Union Building Renovation by Hanbury

Carlton Union Building Renovation at Stetson University (Deland, Fla.)

Design Architect/Architect of Record: Hanbury
Owner: Stetson University
Contractor: Williams Company
Photographer: Keith Isaacs
Jury Comments: “Talk about contextual,” the jury exclaimed. The design team stitched together a variety of different spaces very successfully.


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.

Awards of Honor

Carr's Hill Renovation by Glave & Holmes

Carr’s Hill Renovation at University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)

Architecture Firm: Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Owner: University of Virginia
Associate Architect: John G. Waite Associates
Contractor: Alexander Nicholson
Photographer: Virginia Hamrick Photography
Landscape Architect: Wolf Josey Landscape Architects
Jury Comments: This project was really well done. “The details are amazing,” remarked the jury.

Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: MTFA Architecture
Owner: Folger Shakespeare Library
Contractor: Dan Lepore & Sons Company
Photographer: Prakash Patel Photography
Jury Comments: This was an excellent example of materials conservation. The cleaning and color-matching are textbook examples of preservation.

Honorable Mention

Richard Neutra Renovation by 3North

Richard Neutra Renovation (Richmond, Va.)

Architecture Firm: 3North
Owner: David and Christy Cottrell
Contractor: Mako Builders, Inc.
Photographer: Ansel Olson
Structural Engineer: Ehlert Bryan Consulting
Interior Designer: Todd Yoggy
Jury comments: Though this was submitted in a different category, they jury thought this project was notable enough to warrant recognition in the historic preservation category for its respect of the original design and the sensitive preservation of character and materiality.

Note: This project was also recognized with an award in the Residential category.

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.

Award of Honor

Quirk Hotel (Charlottesville) by ARCHITECTUREFIRM

Quirk Hotel (Charlottesville, Va.)

Owner: Quirk Charlottesville, LLC
Contractor: Martin Horn
Photographer: James Ewing / JBSA & Kate Thompson
Jury Comments: Though the spaces vary in scale, there is a consistency throughout. The treatment of the arched windows, the view to the streetscape, the hallway, and the accents: they’re are all well done. “I thought this was just outstanding,” said one juror.

Awards of Merit

McKinnon and Harris Flagship by Architecture AF

McKinnon and Harris Flagship (New York, N.Y.)

Architecture Firm: Architecture AF
Owner: McKinnon and Harris
Contractor: Tribeca Restoration
Photographer: Ashok Sinha
Lighting Designer: Ventresca Design
Jury Comments: Through embracing the company’s all-white branding, the designers created a very pleasing space, bringing focus to the products in this retail environment. The stair and railing are very nice, as is the detailing. “It’s just beautifully put together,” the jury said.

ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture by Gensler

ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: Gensler
Owner: ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture
Contractor: Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc.
Photographer: Halkin Mason
Jury Comments: The jury was impressed by the spirit of landscape carried throughout the building, from the handling of beacon signage focusing on green vegetation at the exterior to the careful handling of rainwater-harvesting and irrigation on the roof.

Potter’s Craft Cider at Neve Hall  by Studio FIGURE

Potter’s Craft Cider at Neve Hall (Charlottesville, Va.)

Architecture Firm: Studio FIGURE
Owner: Dan Potter and Tim Edmond
Contractor: Evergreen Builders
Photographer: Nick Brinen Photography
Jury Comments: This project has a subtlety to it. It’s a really nice retrofit. Instead of tearing things down, the designers showed a balanced restraint – even the lighting isn’t intrusive. “I want to be in this space,” said one juror.

Honorable Mention

Subterranean Studio by mcdowellespinosa architects

Subterranean Studio (Charlottesville, Va.)

Architecture Firm: mcdowellespinosa architects
Owner: Seth and Megan McDowell
Contractor: mcdowellespinosa architects
Photographer: mcdowellespinosa architects
Jury Comments: While hesitant to elevate a project with little natural light, the jury particularly appreciated the lighting treatment and ceiling design which brought an organizing element to this subterranean space.

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards by OTJ Architects

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: OTJ Architects
Client: NCARB
Tenant Brokerage and Project Management: Cresa
Contractor: Bognet Construction
Photographer: Trent Bell Photography
Jury Comments: The details on this project are well conceived and history has been incorporated in a clever way. The jury was pleased that NCARB is “walking the talk” and earning LEED Gold and Fitwel certification for the space.

Waterview Condominium by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect. Photo (c) Maxwell MacKenzie.

Waterview Condominium (Arlington, Va.)

Architecture Firm: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Project Architect: Nicole Dejong
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Peterson and Collins Inc.
Photographer: Maxwell MacKenzie
Interior Designer: Baron Gurney Interiors
Structural Engineer: Tadjer Cohen Edelson Associates Inc.
Jury Comments: The jury appreciated the rigor of the ceiling’s folded planes and lighting plan.

Offices for an Investment Firm by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Offices for an Investment Firm (Bethesda, Md.)

Architecture Firm: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Project Architect: Claire Andreas
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Bognet Construction
Photographer: John Cole Photography
Interior Designer: Baron Gurney Interiors
Jury Comments: “Organizing the offices around the curving steel wall was a compelling move,” the jury remarked.


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.

Award of Honor

Richard Neutra Renovation by 3North

Richard Neutra Renovation (Richmond, Va.)

Architecture Firm: 3North
Owner: David and Christy Cottrell
Contractor: Mako Builders, Inc.
Photographer: Ansel Olson
Structural Engineer: Ehlert Bryan Consulting
Interior Designer: Todd Yoggy
Jury Comments: This was a careful and surgical upgrade to a modernist masterpiece. It was just plain inspiring in its rigor. Exquisite.

Awards of Merit

3131 CBR (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: David Jameson Architect
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Ally DC
Photographer: Paul Warchol Photography
Jury Comments: Beautiful clean lines and use of materials.

3333 Q St. by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect. Photo (c) Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer.

3333 Q St. (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Project Leads: Kara McHone and Mateusz Dzierzanowski
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Commonwealth Building and Design
Photographer: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
Interior Designer: Baron Gurney Interiors
Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Landscape Architect: Campion Hruby Landscape Architects
Jury Comments: The use of the open corner facade to orient to the landscape and pool is exceptional. The clever use of glazing, doors, and the site created spaces that flow between interior and exterior.

Franzen House by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Franzen House (Bethesda, Md.)

Architecture Firm: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Project Leads: Sarah Solander and Nicole Dejong
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Commonwealth Building and Design
Photographer: Anice Hoachlander
Engineer: United Structural Engineers
Jury Comments: Great use of the site section to create high internal volume and views out to the surrounding tree canopies. The balance between the front and rear façades is impressive

Honorable Mention

Hither Hill Residence by ARCHITECTUREFIRM

Hither Hill Residence (Montauk, N.Y.)

Owner: Withheld
Contractor: Forden & Co. Builders
Photographer: James Ewing / JBSA
Jury Comments: Each building on the site is done with care to proportion and detail and eloquence. The two volumes are carefully and well-sited in the surrounding landscape.

Vapor House by David Jameson Architect

Vapor House (Bethesda, Md.)

Architecture Firm: David Jameson Architect
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Ally DC
Photographer: Paul Warchol Photography
Jury Comments: There is a nice contrast between that textured, reflective quality of the cladding and the flat matte panels that define the programmatic volumes. This play between the surfaces helps to breakdown the massing.

Duvall CourtDuvall Court by KUBE architecture PC

Duvall Court (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: KUBE architecture PC
Photographer: Greg Powers Photography
Jury Comments: A very clever project with clean lines. It’s a great model for the development of alley lots.

Alley Armor by KUBE architecture PC

Alley Armor (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: KUBE architecture PC
Owner: Dean Storer & Lamar Whitman
Contractor: Milloy Carpentry
Photographer: Paul Burk Photography
Steel Fabricator: Metal Specialties
Jury Comments: This adaptive reuse really works within an existing urban fabric. The small outdoor space is magical. Natural light and perforated and angled-metal and wood slats create privacy and atmosphere – all above a mundane garage.

Renovation 1662 by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Renovation 1662 (Washington, D.C.)

Architecture Firm: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Project Architect: Claire Andreas
Owner: withheld
Contractor: Washington Landmark Construction
Photographer: Anice Hoachlander
Landscape Design: Campion Hruby Landscape Architecture
Structural Engineer: United Structural Engineers, Inc.
Jury Comments: A bright, clean, and lofty addition to what would be a typical dark and cramped row house.

About the Jury

Mark Gardner, AIA, NOMA | Jury Chair
Principal at Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects, New York

Monica Rhodes
National Park Foundation, Washington D.C.

Phu Hoang AIA, FAAR
Founding Director at MODU, New York

Reid Freeman, AIA
Principal at Reid Architecture PLLC, New York

Jennifer Newsom, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA, NCARB
Principal, Dream the Combine, Minneapolis  

Julie Torres-Moskovitz, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC/CPHT
Founding Principal, FNA Architecture, New York

About the Awards

All entries must be the work of architects who have an office in Virginia or are members of AIA Virginia. The location of projects is not restricted, but any built work submitted must have been completed after January 1, 2012. Un-built work was also considered, as long as it was commissioned by a client as opposed to hypothetical work completed in the mode of research or academic training.

McDermott and Parker Honored with Virginia Emerging Professional Award

Whitney McDermott, AIA, and Carrie Lee Parker, AIA, are recognized this year with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award by AIA Virginia. Launched in 2015, the Virginia Emerging Professional Award is intended to recognize the accomplishments of emerging leaders in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in design, research, education, discourse; service to the profession, mentorship, or service to the community. Most recipients are accomplished in several of these areas, and all demonstrate the strength of the architecture profession in their early promise as thought leaders and designers.

McDermott, an architect who holds degrees in civil engineering, architecture, and urban planning, has demonstrated an extraordinary consistency and focus for more than a decade on architecture’s capacity to improve the lives of others through construction innovation, design thinking, and community-focused collaboration. While at the University of Virginia, she became the Project Manager for the University of Virginia’s eco/MOD Design Build project and graduated with dual degrees in Architecture and Urban and Environmental Design. Post-graduation, she received a year-long fellowship at the Allegheny Mountain School and then returned to Charlottesville to help manage over 26,000 square feet of organic gardens at the city’s six elementary schools.

In 2017, McDermott began working with a group of residents from the Southwood Mobile Home Park, five miles south of Charlottesville, to create a strategy that would transform the way marginalized communities participate in community design. For nearly five years, she has offered her professional and volunteer time working with the 85 percent Hispanic community to create a resident-led strategy to guide the neighborhood’s redevelopment. McDermott has created and led the training programs for residents using the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) to reach across cultural boundaries in preparing workshops that communicate effectively. By employing ABCD coordination and governance, McDermott has helped residents create their own neighborhood redevelopment plan, write their own code of development, and create a mixed-income and mixed-use neighborhood 400 homes strong.

Parker, a Senior Associate at CannonDesign’s Washington, DC office, works with higher education clients on large, complex projects, to improve the user experience and provide innovative solutions at all scales. Her leadership activities inside and outside of the office, however, define her nomination for this award. For two years, Parker worked tirelessly on behalf of a group of front line designers and emerging professionals from across the globe that directly advise the Cannon’s leaders as part of its NEXT Council. For two years, she also worked with NCARB to make its Licensing Advisors Summit a success and enrich the proceedings of its Intern Think Tank, committed to improving both the practices and policies of architecture. Currently, she serves on AIA’s Manufacturer’s Council as an architect volunteer to maintain bonds between building product manufacturers and design’s vanguard, as well as a proposal author for the DC Board of Trade’s “Urban Design and Quality of Life Working Group,” where she has advanced ideas for storm surge monitoring and photo point monitoring for public spaces. 

Her community work includes board leadership for Horizon House, a 291-unit building in DC entering its sixth decade and serving senior and disabled residents. Wielding a hammer, she worked with Rebuilding Together Alexandria to renovate and rehabilitate the homes of families and seniors in need, putting in the sweat equity her own community needed to not just survive but thrive. She has served as a board member for her own residential community, driving numerous capital improvements and providing pro bono design services for the renovation of the lobby, community center, pool house, and other amenities. Parker’s enthusiasm carries over to the office, as well. In her nomination letter, Patricia Bau, AIA, a principal and co-director of Cannon’s education practice, noted, “Carrie has served many roles in the life cycle of a project as programmer, planner, designer, project architect and project manager. Her versatility makes her a valuable member of our team locally as well as across the firm nationally.” Parker personifies the values of service leadership, community outreach, and mentorship, says Roland Lemke, AIA, a design principal at Cannon, in his nominating letter. “In the seven years that I have known her, she has positioned herself as an irreplaceable member of our team and office family.”

The Awards will be presented at Visions for Architecture on Thursday, Oct. 8 in an online awards ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. The program is free but registration is required.

Embracing Change: Signature Events Go Digital

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that our signature programs for 2020 will be delivered virtually under the umbrella of Foresight 2020. You’ll get to experience Visions for Architecture, Design Forum: In Praise of Shadows, and Architecture Exchange East in exciting new ways.

While we’ll miss getting together in person, keeping you safe and healthy is more important. And, because that face-to-face interaction is so critical, we’ve invested in a virtual event platform that encourages connections and interactions.

What stays the same?

High-quality speakers and content. Our planning committees are committed to delivering the very best speakers and most compelling discussions.  They’ve already confirmed an incredible set of speakers for the Design Forum and the lineup at ArchEx is going to be just as impressive.

Exhibit Hall. We’ll still feature the latest products, services, and solutions from the industry’s best building product manufacturers in our virtual Exhibit Hall.

Networking and relationship building. We’ve built plenty of time into the schedule to engage with your colleagues.

What’s different?

No travel cost. You can login to the event wherever you happen to be on the day of the program.

Schedule. We’ve spread the programming out over a month.

Location. We’re planning to host everything in one virtual “spot.” After you register, you’ll download an app that will serve as our event lobby and hangout. It will work on any of your devices — your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Registration fees. It will cost less than ever before to attend. You can get a ticket to just one event, like the Design Forum or ArchEx, or get an all access pass to all of the Foresight 2020 programs.

And, Visions for Architecture will be free for everyone. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Registration for Foresight 2020 opens in August.