Tag Archive | "architecture"


Lineages and Trajectories at UVa

LTTNThe University of Virginia is hosting a symposium entitled “Lineages and Trajectories: the case of Architecture Pedagogy” on March 28, 2015. The program, coordinated by Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh, will consider the “complex conditions of a pedagogy arising from the confluence of a Modernist lineage with contemporary methods and processes, and charged with responding to the mandates of an ever complex context. We hope to recognize gaps in architecture pedagogy – to reveal what has sustained during this period, what has been lost, and how it can be brought back.”

Panelists include:

Mary McLeod – Columbia GSAPP

Dorothée Imbert – Knowlton School, OSU

Iñaki Alday – U.Va. Chair of Department of Architecture

Teresa Galí-Izard – U.Va. Chair of Department of Landscape Architecture

Michael Hays – Harvard GSD

Winka Dubbeldam – Penn Design

Bill Richards – American Institute of Architects

Kiel Moe – Harvard GSD

Wiel Arets – IIT

Sylvia Lavin – UCLA

Julian Raxworthy – University of Cape Town

Beth Meyer – U.Va.

Ghazal Abbasy-Asbagh – U.Va.

The event is free and open to the public. Learn more>>

Posted in Professional Development News


Call for Entries: 2014 Design Awards

Join the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, the Virginia Center for Architecture, and Inform magazine in a celebration of the very best work from designers working from Virginia.

The Awards for Excellence in Architecture recognize outstanding design— both built and un-built — in five categories: Contextual Design, Residential Design, Architecture, Historic Preservation and Interior Design.  All entries must be the work of architects who have an office in Virginia or are members (including associate members) of the Virginia Society AIA. The location of projects is not restricted, but built work must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2007. Un-built work will also be considered, as long as it was commissioned by a client as opposed to hypothetical work completed in the mode of research or academic training.

Awards certificates are presented each November at Architecture Exchange East, the Virginia Society’s annual conference. They are also honored during the Visions for Architecture gala, in Inform magazine, and serve as the subject of an annual exhibition at the Virginia Center for Architecture.

The 2014 Awards for Excellence in Architecture are sponsored by Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, GeoEnvironmental Resources, and Jack Davis, FAIA.


Entries: 5 p.m. on July 7, 2014
Project submissions: 5 p.m. on July 25, 2014


VS AIA Members: $190 first project; $160 each additional project
Non-member Architects (with an office in Va.):  $245 first project; $215 each additional project
VSAIA Associate Members: $80 each project


Contextual Design
Buildings do not exist in isolation. The Award for Contextual Design recognizes 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. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Does the design contribute to the fabric of the surrounding physical context through tangible qualities such as scale, form, materials, and architectural vocabulary?
  • Does the design demonstrate an understanding of the history and culture of the place and embrace traditions relevant to its context?
  • Does the design creatively embody the identity or mission of the client?

Requirements for submission should include a description of the context and how this context is reflected in the design, as well as images (photographs or drawings; at least two) that distinctly reveal the surrounding context of the project.

Residential Design
Aesthetic appeal and functionality are two long-established criteria for home design. More frequently, especially in the last several years, families have also been looking for affordability and resource efficiency. The jury will focus on the issues of:

  • Design that suits the needs of the home owner or resident, regardless of any particular style, and is easily maintained, filled with adequate natural light and fresh air, energy and water efficient, and is universally accessible.
  • Community building, in that the residence is well-sited with respect to views and amenities such as transit, shopping, recreation, and congregation.

Submissions should include a description of the sustainability and community-building programmatic aspects of the residence, interior and exterior photographs, plans, and/or drawings, and a site plan.

Designers may submit projects of all types (including residential) for consideration in the Architecture category. In their deliberations, the jury will consider aesthetics, adherence to the client program, proven and projected building performance, and concept development. As with all categories, entrants will submit a project description and five pages of illustration, each of which may contain plans, sections, renderings, photographs, and captions, as the entrant deems suitable to describe the outstanding elements of the project.

Historic Preservation
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 will also take into consideration adherence to local, state, and national criteria for historic preservation.

Interior architecture projects of distinction will evince 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. Submissions will highlight accommodation of project goals, including the client’s specific programmatic requirements, in a single page of text supplemented with five pages of illustrations in PDF format.

The Juries

The juries for each of the five categories comprise architects, educators, and related professionals working outside the mid-Atlantic region who are well-recognized for their work pertaining to their particular categories.


Posted in Professional Development News

"MUTATIONS: The DNA of Twentieth Century Design" features the work of 28 iconic designers and demonstrates the physical and metaphysical intersections that bind design.

Mutations on View at the Virginia Center for Architecture

Saul Bass's Vertigo poster

By combining photography, typography and hand-made graphics into expressive pictographs, Saul Bass brought additional power to the work of directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Otto Preminger.

Design, like DNA, describes who we are and how we evolved. Technological evolution presents designers with means and methods to express ideas that continually build upon a collective heredity. Evolution, however, is not contingent solely on nature. Often misstated as “survival of the fittest,” evolution depends on the genetic mutations that best provide an individual or system the ability to adapt to and thrive in its environment. Accordingly, great design evolves not out of the desire to generically appeal for universal acceptance, but from an astute reading of and capitalization on the passions, needs and aspirations of an era. As opposed to timelessness, design speaks to a moment. If design lingers in our collective awareness, it is precisely because it captures the spirit of the best ideas, practices and expressions of its time. This cultural, philosophical, geographic and intellectual nurturing of design is as important, therefore, as its elemental composition.

Louis Kahn's Salk Institute

Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute spans the dogma of early modernism and the ambiguity of late-twentieth century design. Photo by Llewellyn Hensley.

The Virginia Center for Architecture announces a new exhibition chronicling the intersections between fashion, graphic design, interior design and architecture throughout the last century. MUTATIONS: The DNA of Twentieth Century Design features the work of 28 iconic designers and demonstrates the physical and metaphysical intersections that bind design. The exhibition opens with a Reception on July 25 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. and features light refreshments. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited and reservations are recommended. Call (804) 644-3041, ext. 100, register online at www.architectureva.org or email info@aiava.org to make reservations.  The exhibition will be on view through Oct. 13, 2013.

The exhibition was curated by Roberto L. Ventura with students from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Departments of Graphic, Fashion and Interior Design. Most of the students came to the project through their participation in the Middle of Broad interdisciplinary studio and each played large roles in the generation of the design brand, exhibit design, and content. The design team included Liz Belte, Sarah Brown, Ying Jun Cheng, Laura Colagrande, Llewellyn Hensley and Mia Zhou.

About the Guest Curator

Roberto L. Ventura has practiced and taught modern and sustainable design in Virginia and North Carolina for 15 years. A member of a number of local teams earning design awards from AIA Richmond and the James River Green Building Council, his work has also been exhibited nationally through the HOME house Project sponsored by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. For the international light art exhibit InLight Richmond 2009, he collaborated with poet Joshua Poteat on the installation “for gabriel,” winning Best in Show.

While maintaining his practice, roberto ventura design studio, Ventura is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interior Design in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has also taught Interior Architecture at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, and has lectured at the University of Oulu, in Oulu, Finland. Ventura holds a Master’s in Architecture from Miami University and a B.A. in Math and Physics from Albion College. He earned his LEED AP accreditation in 2008 and his NCIDQ certification in 2012.

About the Virginia Center for Architecture
The Virginia Center for Architecture is located at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District. The Center is dedicated to developing the understanding of the power and importance of architecture and design through programs, exhibitions, and its stewardship of an historic landmark. The Center is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.architectureva.org

Posted in Membership News

Scholarships Awarded

In December 2012 the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation in collaboration with the AIA’s Component Scholarship Grant program, awarded scholarships to the following Virginia Architecture students.

Hampton University – Meredith Stone, Iroda Karimova

University of Virginia – Aaron Gahr, Parker Sutton

Virginia Tech – Chelsea Kilburn, Sara Monsalve

Established in 1954, the Virginia Center for Architecture  Foundation awards scholarships each year to deserving students at Virginia architecture schools.  The Foundation and the Virginia Society AIA congratulate these students on their awards.

Posted in Professional Development News


Explore Irish Palladianism This September

Leinster House, 1911

Leinster House, 1911

Architecture-inclined travelers will have a rare opportunity September 10-18 to explore Irish Palladianism and Classicism in a tour sponsored by the Virginia Society AIA. Offered in cooperation with the Center for Palladian Studies in America, and the Virginia Center for Architecture, this eight-day tour, centered in Dublin, with two days in Northern Ireland, features a broad overview of Ireland’s distinctive classical architecture and the emergence of Irish Palladianism in public and private buildings of the Georgian era. Download the brochure and registration form. The tour has qualified for 30 AIA/CES learning units.

EVP/CEO John Braymer has developed the tour with Professor Alistair Rowan, who is organizing the itinerary and will act as expert guide throughout the trip. Rowan is editor of the Yale Buildings of Ireland series of Pevsner Guides; in 1988 he was elected Slade Professor Fine Art at the University of Oxford; he has served as President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) and of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland; and he has pursued a distinguished career at the University of Edinburgh, University College Dublin, and University College Cork, and as Principal of the Edinburgh College of Art. Early in his career he qualified as an architect, so he brings a direct practical experience and understanding to his analysis and discussions of architecture. He also knows Palladio’s architecture well having led several Italian tours for the SAHGB.

In addition to visiting significant Palladian sites, participants will explore the rise and popularity of Classicism in Ireland in its various aspects — domestic and institutional — without passing up the occasional medieval setting that begs for a look.  The tour considers classical architecture in Ireland, from its fragmentary introduction in the seventeenth century, to the emergence of Irish Palladianism and the superb government buildings and country houses erected from the 17th c. through the Age of Neoclassicism. For a taste of an earlier age, participants will also visit some noted examples of medieval classicism in Ireland at the Celtic site of Monasterboice, the early Romanesque church of King Cormac’s at Cashel and St. Molaise’s house at Devenish Island in Co. Fermanagh.

Casino at Marino

Casino at Marino

Palladio at Large: The Irish Story
Classical Architecture and Palladianism in Georgian Ireland
September 10–18, 2012

Highlights include:

  • Trinity College
  • Leinster House
  • Dublin Castle
  • Powerscourt and Russborough House
  • Casino at Marino
  • Florence Court and Castlecoole

Portico detail of Castlecoole. Photo by Andrew Humphreys

Tour Itinerary

Monday, September 10

We will gather in the foyer of the Mespil Hotel in Georgian Dublin at 4:30 p.m. for an introductory walking tour of the Georgian city and the Pembroke estate—the fashionable region around Fitzwilliam and Merrion Squares in the 18th c. southern extension of the city.  We will visit two fine Mid-Georgian houses at 85 & 86 St. Stephen’s Green, with superb ‘Palladian’ and Rococo plasterwork, before stopping for drinks at the Irish Architectural Archive. Our opening dinner will follow in the Victorian Schoolhouse Restaurant, a short amble from our hotel along the 18th c Grand Canal.


Tuesday, September 11

After breakfast at the hotel, we will travel by coach to County Wicklow to visit the Powerscourt demesne with formal gardens centered on the ‘Sugarloaf’ mountain and the shell of a great Palladian house contrived from an earlier structure by the architect Richard Castle in 1731 and extended in the 19th century. From Powerscourt we cross the hills to Russborough House, developed from 1742, the perfect example of a small Irish Palladian house with center, flanking colonnades and symmetrical wings containing the stables and kitchen in symmetrical blocks. Lunch will be enjoyed in the nearby village of Blessington before afternoon visits in County Kildare to the sprawling ruins of Jigginstown House, the first brick house to be built in Ireland and the first attempt at a symmetrical Classical design in the tradition of Jacobean houses in England.  We end the day at a center of ascendancy power, Ireland’s truly monumental Classical house, Castletown at Celbridge (1722-32), the seat of the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Conolly. The façade, like a Roman palace dropped down in the irish countryside, is the work of the Florentine architect, Alessandro Galilei while the flanking colonnades and wings are by Richard Lovett Pearce and Richard Castle.


Wednesday, September 12

This day is devoted to two excursions on foot, before and after lunch, in Dublin city center. Dublin is a closely-packed city that boasts two medieval cathedrals, cheek by jowl, with an essentially eighteenth-century environment of brick and stone-built houses and churches. Members of the party are encouraged to undertake just as much or as little as they want to or feel able to manage. A detailed programme will be provided at the time of the visit so that people may drop in and out of the tour as best suits them. Highlights of this day are Marsh’s Library at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the oldest Public Library in Ireland designed by Sir William Robinson in 1701 and unchanged since the days of Queen Anne; St. Werburgh’s, an unspoilt early Georgian church by Edward Burgh of 1718; the Upper and Lower wards of Dublin Castle and the Irish Houses of Parliament (the Bank of Ireland head office from 1803 to 1978). This remarkable complex is the masterpiece of Edward Lovett Pearce and a major work of Irish Palladianism. The octagonal House of Commons was converted into the principal banking hall to designs of Francis Johnston in 1802 but Pearce’s rich interior of the Irish House of Lords survives intact.

We take lunch together in ‘The 1592 private restaurant’ of Trinity College, which is the University of Dublin founded by Queen Elizabeth I in that year. The visit of the afternoon includes all the significant structures in the beautiful and extensive campus of the College with the magnificent Library by Thomas Burgh, the Neo-classical Chapel and Examination Schools built to designs of Sir William Chambers and the Provost’s House, the finest Palladian town-house in Ireland, designed in 1759 for Provost Francis Andrews. We finish at Richard Castle’s Leinster House, in Kildare Street, built in 1745 as the town house of the 20th Earl of Kildare (later Marquis and Duke of Leinster) and now the Dàil, seat of the Irish Parliament.


Thursday, September 13

This day is devoted to an exploration by coach of the inner suburbs of the Georgian city with several stops punctuated by some walking.   We start at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, a handsome courtyard building begun in 1680 for Charles II and designed by Sir William Robinson as a hospital for pensioners of the Irish army. We proceed to Dr. Steeven’s Hospital, another courtyard building of 1719 by Thomas Burgh and from here cross the river to view the exteriors of James Gandon’s greatest public buildings—the Custom House of 1780 and the Four Courts of 1784 – high points in the history of European Neo-classicism. We will take lunch today on the top floor of a famous Dublin eating house, ‘The Winding Stair’, beside the Halfpenny bridge and overlooking the river Liffey. In the afternoon we plan to visit a number of remarkable early Georgian town houses in Dominic Street and Henrietta Street, once the most fashionable part of the city. We will visit the Rotunda Hospital by Richard Castle, the oldest public maternity hospital in Britain and Ireland, founded in 1751 with, at its center, a square chapel filled with superb plasterwork and set above a Palladian ‘four column’ entrance hall. Further afield is the exquisite Casino at Marino built as a trianon for the Earl of Charlemont to designs of Sir William Chambers at Clontarf.


Friday, September 14

After breakfast we travel south-west by coach to County Kilkenny, the power base throughout the Middle Ages of the Butler family whose younger scion, James Butler, rose to the rank of First Duke of Ormond in the time of Charles II and was, for a while, the virtual ruler of Ireland. The Duke entirely encased the Norman castle of his predecessors in a skin of light renaissance architecture designed by Sir William Robinson. Only the Corinthian gateway of 1686 remains as the castle was redeveloped in the Georgian period and again in the early nineteenth century when its medieval appearance was restored. We will visit the castle and the medieval cathedral of St.Canice (1251 – 85) with the Round tower of the earlier Celtic church.  Lunch will be taken at the innovative Kilkenny Design Centre in Georgian stables directly opposite the castle. In the afternoon we will travel to County Tipperary to visit the remarkable medieval complex of the Rock of Cashel, with its round tower, the perfectly preserved Romanesque chapel built by King Cormac in 1127 and the ruins of the 13th-century Cathedral and Bishop’s lodgings. Time and weather permitting we may also walk to the evocative ruins of Hoare Abbey, below the rock, before taking an early dinner in the cellar restaurant of Cashel Palace Hotel. This house is a superb design of Edward Lovett Pearce for Bishop Theophilus Bolton in 1730.


Saturday, September 15

Today our tour shifts focus leaving Dublin, the Republic of Ireland and the euro zone to spend two days in Northern Ireland, in County Down and County Fermanagh, which remains a part of Britain and is in the sterling area. Two themes characterise this visit to the north: the aristocratic architecture of the Protestant ascendancy expressed in large country houses and small towns and the monastic monuments of the Celtic church. Travelling north by coach we make a detour in Co. Louth to visit the evocative complex of buildings and High crosses at Monasterboice, which date from the 9th century. We travel on to cross the bare eroded landscapes of the Mountains of Mourne to Downpatrick, visiting the miniature complex of the Palladian Southwell Schools, before moving to the great house of Castleward, one of the most perfect expressions of English Palladianism in Ireland set above the waters of Strangford Lough.

After Castleward we travel to the little 18th-century town of Hillsborough created from 1742, by and for Wills Hill, Viscount Hillsborough and first Marques of Downshire, who hoped to move the seat of the Bishop of Down to his own new town. It has a pretty Market square, an ambitious Georgian Gothick church and a 17th-century fort turned into a garden folly.  From Hillsborough we go to the rather plain Georgian church which is the Cathedral of the Bishop of Clogher in Co Tyrone and from here to Enniskillen in County Fermanagh. A long day ends at Westville hotel Enniskillen between Upper & Lower Lough Erne.


Sunday, September 16

We hope to be able to arrange for a morning visit by river cruiser from Enniskillen to the medieval monastic sites on Devenish Island in Lower Lough Erne. The complex of early Christian buildings includes one of the best preserved Irish round towers dating from the 12th century, parts of a Romanesque church and substantial remains of a late Gothic Augustinian abbey built in 1449. There follows the two greatest country houses of  the County: Florence Court – a charming building begun in 1758, with delightful Rococo plasterwork – and Castlecoole, a long and low Neo-classical house built for the Earl of Belmore between 1790 and 1797. Faced in white Portland limestone that was shipped from Dorset in England, Castlecoole is a building of the most perfect poise and elegance, contrived by the major British architect, James Wyatt, then at the height of his powers.


Monday, September 17

We return to Dublin with a rich day visiting Bellamont Forest at Cootehill, County Cavan, one of the most scrupulous and intellectually satisfying designs of Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, built between 1725 and 1730 for Thomas Coote; the galleried St. Peter’s Church in Drogheda of 1753 and Townley Hall of 1800, an austere and very beautiful house by Francis Johnston which quotes one of the ideals of Neo-classicism in its symmetrical plan and domed, central circular stair.


Back in Dublin for our last evening, we plan to hold a festive final dinner in one of the 18th-century club buildings in the St. Stephen’s Green. From here members may saunter back through the Georgian streets to our hotel or, if they prefer, take a taxi home.


Tuesday, September 18

Farewells and departures will follow breakfast at the hotel.

(The exact final schedule may change slightly to take advantage of best opportunities.)

Tour includes three- and four-star hotel accommodation, with daily breakfast, seven lunches, five dinners, coach transport, all entrance fees, and expert guidance throughout. Airfare and airport transfers are not included in the tour fee. Tour cost per person (based on double occupancy) is $ 2950, with a single supplement of $450.

A deposit of $750 per person ($1200 w/ single supplement) should be paid immediately to reserve your place. Final payment is due July 15, 2012.  Although the Virginia Society of the AIA anticipates an enthusiastic response to this tour, enrollment is limited to 36, and the Society reserves the right to cancel this offer should the tour not reach a minimum of 20 participants.

Register here.

Prefer to register by mail? Download a registration form.

Tour includes three- and four-star hotel accommodation, with daily breakfast, seven lunches, five dinners, coach transport, all entrance fees, and expert guidance throughout. Airfare and airport transfers are not included in the tour fee.

Posted in Professional Development News

Calling All Experts: ArchEx Seeks Presenters

Showcase your strategies, theories, ideas, research and results at the most energetic gathering of architects and construction-industry professional in the mid-Atlantic. Architecture Exchange East is seeking proposals from qualified speakers. Join nearly a thousand design professionals in historic Richmond for the 25th Architecture Exchange East, Nov. 7–9, 2012.

Feedback from prior conferences tells us that  attendees want information on the latest developments in the industry. Specific, focused seminars should be proposed that can convey information in one of these formats:

  • Three- or six-hour workshops
  • 90-minute or three-hour seminar presentations

Keep in mind that we are looking for sessions that are interesting, relevant to an audience of architects, and reflect current or emerging practice.  To propose an offering, please complete the required Presentation Information Form and submit it to us by Friday, April 27, 2012. Your proposal will be reviewed by the Program Advisory Group and you will be notified if your proposal has been accepted.

Tell us about your presentation. Be prepared to include:

  • A description of your workshop
  • Your presentation format
  • Audience level (introductory, intermediate or advanced)
  • Your presentation style
  • Main learning objectives
  • A short biography for you and for any co-presenters along with any recommended reading

Submit your presentation proposal online at www.archex.net.

Mark your calendar for Nov.7–9, 2012, for the 25th Architecture Exchange East.


Posted in Professional Development News

Legislative Update: Jan. 30, 2012

All but one of the bills seeking to protect Virginians’ jobs from outside sources were voted down in committee Thursday night, Jan. 25.  But the bills concerning eminent domain still remain.The VSAIA and representatives of several other business organizations have scheduled a tentative meeting with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling for Monday morning.  Our complaint with the constitutional amendment and those bills seeking to modify the amendment is the uncertainty that they engender.Virginia’s eminent domain law worked well for many years.  And in reaction to the 2005 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London, Virginia legislators in 2007 revised existing law.  This law appeared to respond to the inequities revealed in Kelo.  But in the 2011 session, legislators believed a constitutional amendment was necessary.

The amendment, which must pass two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and be approved by the voters, and the 2012 pending legislation make it impossible to advise architects’ clients on the probable cost and time requirement for their potential projects.  Or even to suggest that one site might be better than two or three others being considered.  The members of the Joint Legislative Committee (JLC) – representing of the VSAIA, the Virginia Association of Professional Engineers, and the American Council of Engineering Companies/Virginia – believe these legislative measures go too far.  Some of this year’s legislation inserts provisions that would compensate land owners for “lost access and lost profits.”  These and other provisions make the construction projects less certain and more expensive, the JLC members believe.

The protectionism bills did not attempt to adjust the existing language that allows Virginia state agencies and localities to mimic the procedures adopted by neighboring states.  For example, protectionist language that exists in North Carolina law will be used against North Carolina vendors who wish to conduct business in Virginia.

The JLC also opposes a bill to require localities to use the e-Virginia (eVA) site to advertise their upcoming projects.  Currently, localities must advertise in a “newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the contract is to be performed.”  Architects on the JLC complained about eVA’s performance and the quality of projects generated.

Within the myriad bills and interests represented in those bills lie a few measures that the VSAIA will support.  The VSAIA will support the high-performance buildings bills introduced by Del. Chris Jones and Sen. Chapman Petersen (HB 1167  and SB 160) and three bills that support procedures already being conducted by the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects (HB 390HB 937, and HB 938).

Architects representing the VSAIA on the JLC committee are David Puckett, AIA, and William Evans, AIA.  The committee meets weekly during the session to work with our legislative counsel Reggie Jones and Patrick Cushing, both of Williams Mullen.

Oppose:  Bills would amend constitutional amendment concerning eminent domain

HB 5, HB 597, HB 1145, HJ 3, SB 240, SJ 3, SJ 67, and SJ 117


Committees reviewing these bills killed most of them January 25
HB 449, HB 529, HB 530, SB 377, SB 525SB 526, SB 572, SB 589, SB 601


Amend:  Bill would provide tax incentives for large firms hiring SWAM businesses. JLC would delete a provision to narrow the “small” definition to those only in underutilized business zones.

HB 228


Oppose:  Quality of e-Virginia’s product for architects does not match that found in print media.

HB 1193



Support:  Would require General Assembly to receive study from DPOR prior to considering regulating any profession.   Would expedite licenses for qualified spouses of military personnel (APELSCIDLA does this for all applicants already).  Would accept qualified military experience in consideration of licensure by comity (APELSCIDLA does this for all applicants already).

HB 390, HB 937, and HB 938



Support:  Would establish specific energy criteria continually updated by Department of General Services and based upon LEED, Green Globes, and other standards.

HB 1167 and SB 160


Support:  Would require the Virginia Department of General Services to audit all state-owned buildings 50,000 s.f. or larger to determine their energy footprint and to update that analysis annually.

SB 621


Posted in Advocacy News

Federal and Pro Bono Business Opportunities

The AIA has compiled a list of opportunities and resources to help grow your business with projects funded by federal stimulus dollars and pro bono projects. Check the AIA site regularly for new RFPs and RFQs.

Finding Federal Business
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Overview

Guide to Federal Procurement

Recovery Resources—Stimulus (ARRA)

Key Federal Issues—Economic Recovery

Stimulus Resources for State and Local Components

Rebuild and Renew: The AIA’s Blueprint for Long-Term Prosperity

Commercial Buildings Federal Tax Deduction


Commissioned and Pro Bono Projects.

View Available Projects

The RFP Database


RFQ: Redevelopment of Center City, Philadelphia Property

RFQ: GSA Design Excellence—New U.S. Courthouse in Lancaster, Pa.

RFP: Magnolia Grove Restoration, Greensboro, Ala.

RFP: Fire Headquarters Design and Construction in Branford, Conn.

RFP: Riverwalk Masterplan for Danville, Va.

Posted in Membership News

ABI Ticks Up After Four Months Down

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

On the heels of a period of weakness in design activity, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) took a sudden upturn in August. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 51.4, following a very weak score of 45.1 in July. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 56.9, up sharply from a reading of 53.7 the previous month.

“Based on the poor economic conditions over the last several months, this turnaround in demand for design services is a surprise,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Many firms are still struggling, and continue to report that clients are having difficulty getting financing for viable projects, but it’s possible we’ve reached the bottom of the down cycle.”

Key August ABI highlights:

      • Regional averages: Midwest (49.0), South (47.4), West (47.4), Northeast (46.5)
      • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (50.9), institutional (48.5), commercial / industrial (46.0) multi-family residential (44.8)
      • Project inquiries index: 56.9

The regional and sector breakdowns are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are raw numbers.

Posted in Membership News

Your Political Action Committee

A rousing start to the election season was generated by contributions and pledges to the VSAIA political action committee campaign by long-time supporter Gauthier Alvarado & Associates in Falls Church and relative PAC newcomer HDR in Alexandria.

Rob Morris, III, AIA, PE, presented his firm’s traditional $1,000 check to the PAC in December.  Jim Draheim, AIA, announced his firm’s pledge of $2,000 in March.  Both have combined their firms’ support with personal efforts to increase the level of participation in the PAC.  They are sending letters to their peers in several firms encouraging them to join in supporting the PAC and asking that they also encourage their employees to do the same.

Ed Gillikin, AIA, VSAIA vice president for government advocacy, and the members of the government and industry affairs committee ask that individuals contribute the equivalent of one hour’s billable time to the PAC.  They request that firms contribute a like amount. 

With all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly open this year, the campaign goal will be to top the PAC’s previous best year of $23,630 contributed in 2006. 

The PAC supports the campaigns of those candidates who have shown an understanding of what the profession does and of how architects affect the quality of life within their communities.  If a candidate is running for the first time, the VSAIA considers its members’ evaluations.  For incumbents, the VSAIA concentrates its support on those who serve in leadership positions and those who serve on the General Laws committees in the House and Senate.  This committee reviews nearly 90 percent of the bills affecting the profession.

A candidate’s party affiliation is not considered.  Historically, the VSAIA PAC’s contributions run just about 50-50 on supporting Democrats and Republicans.  Information on past activity can be obtained from the Virginia Public Access Project website http://www.vpap.org/committees/profile/home/600.  VAPA’s home site is www.VPAP.org

It takes time to build rapport and trust between the architects and elected officials.  This is done through individual meetings among the VSAIA legislative counsel, staff and members, and the legislators. Those in office depend on us for information about the possible impact of a bill.  We depend on them to weigh that information with other sources and to reach a reasonable conclusion when the votes are taken. 

To maintain the investment in these relationships, the VSAIA needs to support those candidates who supported restricting unlicensed practice, who supported limiting by contract an architect’s liability, and who support the concept of qualifications-based selection for public projects. 

In supporting the PAC, you are supporting your firm and your ability to practice your profession.  Please contribute to the PAC today by sending a check equal to one-hour’s billable time to the VSAIA PAC, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA   23220.

Posted in Advocacy News, VSAIA News

Membership News

Professional Development News

  • Young Architects Forum Regional Director

    Are you an AIA Member interested in the issues confronting young architects? Would you like to help the Young Architects Forum (YAF) address these issues? Then, you may be just the person we’re

Government Advocacy News

  • When Statutes Override Contracts Document swirl

    We see them all the time: overreaching indemnity provisions that might compromise our professional liability insurance coverage and hold firms accountable for a catalog of frightening claims and damages.

Virginia Accord

  • The Virginia Accord

    Bringing together the planning and design disciplines to examine two key themes critical to the future — job creation and environmental sustainability — on Sept. 19-20, 2014 at the Virginia Accord.