Commonwealth Architects will be acknowledged with the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Virginia Architecture Firm Award during Architecture Exchange East at the Annual Meeting of the Membership on Nov. 3, and at the Visions for Architecture gala on Nov. 4 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sometimes called the “firm award,” it is the highest honor bestowed by the Virginia Society to a Virginia-based architecture firm. It recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least ten years.
Founded in 1999, the breadth and scope of Commonwealth Architects’ projects range from introducing a new high-tech medical research facility into a dense urban fabric, to transforming an historic hotel into a continuous-care senior-living community. Since its inception, the firm has actively promoted pedestrian-scaled, mixed-use urban architecture and adaptive use. The principals and staff have provided years of service to their community, including service on Richmond’s Commission of Architecture Review, the Virginia Commonwealth University Architectural Review Committee, the City Planning Commission and Urban Design Committee, among others. Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, Hon. VSAIA, says of firm principal Bob Mills, “[He] has helped make Virginia a leader in the use of historic investment tax credits and in the revitalization of our urban cores … His work has helped save elements of Richmond’s architectural legacy that surely would have been lost otherwise.”
The firm is especially celebrated for its preservation and adaptive use projects. “We value the work of Commonwealth Architects not only for their sensitive preservation of historic buildings, but also for their work to foster and sustain those buildings in active service cultivating a sense of community and place in the urban core of Virginia’s great cities,” said Kathleen Kilpatrick, Hon. VSAIA, Director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Particularly noted by the Honors Committee was the consistent high-quality of the design. “Commonwealth Architects’ commitment to exemplary sensitive design and strong leadership reflects their dedication to outstanding quality and service in their profession. Their philosophy of reinforcing communities by rehabilitating existing buildings and encouraging compatible infill development is their hallmark,” said Director of the Virginia Department of General Services Richard F. Sliwoski, P.E., Hon. VSAIA.