Burt Pinnock is a principal and chairman of the board at Baskervill, a 123-year-old design firm. Architecture is his personal contribution to the wellbeing and vitality of our communities. Over his 30+ year career, Burt’s commitment and passion has created impactful work for neighborhoods, cultural institutions, and forward-thinking companies, including the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Civil Rights Memorial Plaza at the Virginia Capitol, Colbrook Affordable Housing masterplan, and more. A founder and board member of the nonprofit Storefront for Community Design, Burt currently serves as Chairman of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Art and Architectural Review Board and is a board member of the Legal Aid Justice Center, amongst numerous other board and committee engagements. He is a 1992 graduate of Virginia Tech and calls Richmond, Virginia home.
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.
Where did you go to college?
Would you recommend studying architecture
Always. Always. Always.
What does it take to be an architect?
The ability to imagine something where nothing exists and to accept the responsibility for what you design to put on this earth.
Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
Paul Rudolph for his design of the Chapel at Tuskegee University in Alabama where I grew up and Tadao Ando for showing me that architecture rooted in culture is not a proposition of form but the embodiment of spirit.
What are you currently reading?
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
A traditional Spanish dinner while on vacation with friends outside Camprodon, Spain and the time my father made curried goat and BBQ in the backyard for me and my friends during my third year of college.
Why do you volunteer with the AIA?
See answer #3. I remember when I was at Tech, Professor Gene Egger telling us in one of the weekly studio gatherings, “When lawyers were burning witches at the stake and doctor’s were using leeches, architects were designing cathedrals.” That, I believe, is the vocation we serve. We have an imperative to make our communities and this profession better for those that will come next. The AIA provides the means for us to do that and volunteering time and resources is a small price for such a significant return.
The Virginia Society AIA Awards for Excellence in Architecture presented by IMAGINiT Technologies and the Society’s Honors Awards were presented at the 2013 Visions for Architecture gala at the Jefferson Hotel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
Watch the 2013 Virginia Society AIA Honors Awards video
Watch the 2013 Awards for Excellence presented by IMAGINiT Technologies video
H. Randolph Holmes, Jr., AIA, Burchell Pinnock, AIA, and Keith Zawistowski, AIA, will each be honored with the Award for Distinguished Achievement on Nov. 7 at Architecture Exchange East during the Annual Meeting of the Membership and on Nov. 8 during the Visions for Architecture gala at the Jefferson Hotel. The Award for Distinguished Achievement signals especially noteworthy achievement by an architect in any one of the following categories: design, practice, education, service as “citizen architect,” and service to the profession. This award may serve as an accolade for the work of an entire career or recognize the current accomplishments of a younger leader.
During his more than 30 years in practice, Randy Holmes, senior principal and president at Glavé and Holmes Architecture, has developed an outstanding body of work which is characterized by a deep respect for the region’s architectural heritage and a particular sensitivity to context. His commitment to an architectural expression which is not focused on buildings as objects, but as part of an environment has clearly placed the emphasis on human interaction and cultural heritage. A gifted designer, his passion for careful materials-selection and commitment to the highest standards of craftsmanship have transformed and elevated the practice of architecture in the state and demonstrated a modern approach to contextual design.
With an approach to design that is both forward-thinking and historically sensitive, Burt Pinnock’s work is rooted in the belief that architecture can provide not only solutions to cultural challenges but true social change in our communities. As founder and principal of BAM Architects, and in his current role as principal at Baskervill, he has developed a portfolio of award-winning work and has become a powerful voice for creative, compelling, and responsible design. He co-founded Storefront for Community Design, a volunteer-based, nonprofit building and design resource aimed at “quality community development and strengthening the legacy of Richmond’s urban neighborhoods through education, advocacy, and participation.” For the past two decades he has powerfully combined passion, talent and personality to realize the many projects that have defined him both as an outstanding architect and an exemplary leader.
In 2008 Keith Zawistowski, AIA, joined the faculty at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design, where he co-teaches with Marie Zawistowski. In addition to teaching Professional Practice, Building Analysis, and Building Assemblies, they founded the design/buildLAB. The design/buildLAB is a project-based, experiential-learning program focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. Students collaborate with local communities and industry experts to conceive and realize built projects that are both educational and charitable in nature. The aspiration of the innovative program is to reinforce the knowledge and skills necessary to the successful and meaningful practice of architecture by removing the boundaries between academy and professional practice. For their extraordinary joint efforts to advance the art and science of architectural education, the Society presents Keith Zawistowski with the Award for Distinguished Achievement and also recognizes Marie Zawistowski with Society Honors.