Webinars from The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design

Welcome to a new day at The Branch Museum! We are excited to announce new virtual experiences through our two new webinar series (https://branchmuseum.org/webinars/). We particularly think that you will enjoy revisiting the old home of AIA Virginia, the Branch House, as it undergoes several phases of restoration.  The Branch House Restoration Series will bring you into our ongoing work on the beautiful 101-year-old Branch House. Through five webinars we will provide an opportunity to go where the public generally cannot explore: the roof and chimneys, the beautiful plaster work, and even the inner workings of the pipes and plumbing, as well as the history of the House. The first 3 of the 5 planned webinars in the series are available for registration now.

Others will follow:

  • The Branch House Roof, Wood Trim & Windows | Wednesday, December 2
  • The Branch House Brickwork & Mortars| Wednesday, January 13
  • The Restoration Dialogue – Solving the Unknowns of Preservation and Restoration – The Branch House Pipes | Wednesday, February 3

Architecture in Dialogue explores the architectural design process, which must begin in dialogue. The consideration of multiple issues and the inclusion of all voices is necessary to ensure that the built environment truly serves and uplifts the entire community. This need for input and involvement is especially important at a time when, whether through shifts in social norms or more sudden upheaval due to climate or disease, the built environment must change to be at once resilient and sensitive. All webinars in the series are available now for registration.

Listening Theatres: The Sounds of Iconic Landscapes and Architectural Spaces

Just Added!

The Musuem will sponsor an on line interview with the artists moderated by Joel Sanders, FAIA, on July 21, from 6-7PM.

To register for this event please go to www.branchmuseum.org.


The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is pleased to announce, “Listening Theatres: The Sounds of Iconic Landscapes and Architectural Spaces,” an exhibition exploring how listening to created spaces can inspire creativity, imagination, and discovery of the surrounding world. The exhibit (July 16 – September 13, 2020) will include sound, animation, and drawings by Karen Van Lengen and Jim Welty. It will feature work using recordings and interpretive drawings, presented in active animations that celebrate the aural personalities of iconic architectures. Photographs of the drawings and stills of the animations are included in a colorful display that demonstrates the artists’ process. 

The spatial animations included in this exhibition are The Academical Village at the University of Virginia, and New York City spaces of Grand Central Terminal, The New York Public Library, The Seagram Building, Rockefeller Center and the Guggenheim Museum.

Karen Van Lengen is the William Kenan Professor of Architecture and former dean (1999-2009) at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. Van Lengen began her professional career as a design Associate at I M Pei & Partners before forming her own firm in New York City. Her recent projects have focused on the aural aspects of architectural space, bringing awareness to the comprehensive experience of ‘place’. This work developed during her University Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities resulted in the Soundscape Architecture website that displays creative interpretations and analytic drawings of the characteristic sounds of iconic buildings.  The University of Virginia Jefferson Trust supported the Listening to the Lawn website and the Open Gates animation project.

Jim Welty is an accomplished artist who created the animations for Soundscape New York and Open Gates as well as the Soundscape Architecture web site. Welty began his career as an artist working with Frank Stella as Master Printer and collaborator for over 10 years. He has exhibited his sculptures nationally, including a major exhibition entitled “A Short History of Decay,” at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. He is currently developing a new interactive body of work incorporating sound, animation and sculpture, extending the current project’s mission to foster genuine listening and engagement with our environment.

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is located at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District. The Branch Museum inspires current generations to appreciate, support and create exemplary architecture and design. The Branch is dedicated to the advocacy and stewardship of our rich regional heritage and invites the public to envision a world enriched by architecture and design. The Branch is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Learn more at www.branchmuseum.org.

2019 Virginia By Design Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Penny Fletcher
(804) 655-6101
pfletcher@branchmuseum.org

Public Information
(804) 655-6055
Branchmuseum.org

Introducing Recipients of the 2019 Virginia by Design Awards

RICHMOND, VA March 25th, 2019 — The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design proudly introduces 2019 Virginia by Design Winners. The awards have been determined by a panel of judges with expertise in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, art and art history. The awards will be presented at a gala brunch, Saturday, April 27, 9 am-12:30 pm at The Branch.

“The Virginia by Design Awards celebrate the very best efforts in design in the Commonwealth,” says The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design Executive Director Penny Fletcher. “We are particularly pleased that the continuing theme seen in all the awards is a celebration of design for the public good. All Virginians benefit from the creative and often groundbreaking work seen in these projects and the work of these architects and designers.”

Virginia by Design recognizes the best efforts of designers or visionaries in Virginia who, by profession or avocation, have made creating, preserving, and enhancing design in Virginia a notable endeavor, which elevates the power of design. The awards specifically highlight excellence in design, visionary thinking, patronage and the transformative role of design in shaping the built environment.


Design Achievement Award —
this award is for a corporation or institution for utilizing design as a strategic tool in their mission and consistently exhibiting ingenuity and insight in relating design to quality of life.

Honoree: The Valentine
The Richmond museum known as The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s history for more than 100 years. During its recent renovations, design became the strategic tool used to facilitate The Valentine’s mission as reflected in the visitor experience.

The Valentine reflects and interprets the broad issues and diverse communities that define the history of Richmond and its surrounding counties. Their use of their design collections to connect to contemporary themes and issues reflect their continuing ingenuity and insight that enhance their visitors’ experience.

Honorable Mention: Christopher Newport University
Christopher Newport University (CNU) has utilized design as a strategic tool within their mission to provide educational and cultural opportunities that benefit many in the Commonwealth. The University’s Master Plan has been developed as a strategic design tool to enhance the campus and the educational and cultural opportunities available to students, community members, and residents of the Commonwealth.

Emerging Designerthis award honors a designer, not yet licensed or professionally certified, who demonstrates an exemplary level of excellence in design execution and a dedication to advancing the discipline.

Honoree: Alec Yuzhbabenko, Assoc. AIA
Alec Yuzhbabenko is an Associate Design Principal at Hanbury Architects in Norfolk, Virginia. He has been cited for his collaborative spirit in the constant pursuit of challenge and excellence. His contributions to the profession and the industry exceed his years. As a consummate team member, he brings a broad spectrum of skills to the design table – architectural design, graphic design, presentation, communication, and much more – so that creative thinking happens on numerous levels simultaneously. Yuzhbabenko is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors in Architecture.

Prize for Public Interest Designthe prize is for a creative project that has transformed its surroundings, whether a setting, neighborhood or community. It is for an individual or entity responsible for shepherding the project within Virginia.  The jury awarded two 2019 Prizes for Public Interest Design.

Honoree: Potomac River Water Transportation Framework Plan, Michael Winstanley, AIA, AICP
The Potomac River Water Transportation Framework Plan is a comprehensive master plan outlining a water-based transportation network on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers for commuters, tourists and the federal government (defense and civilian evacuations) in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland. The plan includes inter-modal connections to the existing land-based public transportation system. Providing alternative means of transportation that is efficient, economical and environmentally friendly is essential to both quality of life as well as a thriving economy. Water transportation also provides yet another means to evacuate civilians during major events either man-made or natural.

Honoree: Monroe Park Conservancy, the City of Richmond, and Alice Massie
The Monroe Park Project has truly transformed its surrounding neighborhood and the City of Richmond. It is a project exemplifying visionary thinking that has transformed its environment and provided a fitting rebirth for one of Richmond’s oldest and most significant public spaces. The renovations bring new life, new amenities, and modern infrastructure to Monroe Park. Renovations honor the Park’s history while creating a dynamic welcoming and safe place for all Park visitors to enjoy. In the words of Style Weekly architecture critic Edwin Slipek, “This project raises the level of architectural design excellence and civic pride in the lower Fan District and Western edge of downtown by a remarkable degree.”

Vision in Design Honor — the honor recognizes a visionary thinker such as an educator, author, critic, curator, preservationist or designer who has had a profound impact or influence on design education, theory, practice or public awareness.

Honoree: Peter Culley, RIBA, ARB, CPHC
Peter is the creative leader and founder of Spatial Affairs Bureau – an architecture, landscape, furniture, and product design studio, with offices in London, Los Angeles, and Richmond. He retains an overarching design role on each project.  While recognizing the overall design vision that Culley brings to all of his work, the jury particularly recognized his visionary work in Virginia. The proposed BridgePark project offers an inspiring vision for the City of Richmond. In addition, Culley also represented Rich Mather Architects as the project manager throughout the transformative redesign of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts building and campus.  Culley is also a committed educator, as an instructor in architecture schools, but also through taking projects into elementary and high schools to encourage important discussions with young people. Great vision includes planning for those who may someday follow and be inspired to provide their own vision.

For more information about the Virginia by Design Awards or images of the winning work, please contact Penny Fletcher, Branch Museum Executive Director at 804-655-6101 or pfletcher@branchmuseum.org.

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is located at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District. The Branch is a not-for-profit organization that inspires current generations to appreciate, support and create exemplary architecture and design. The Branch is dedicated to the advocacy and stewardship of our rich regional heritage and invites the public to envision a world enriched by architecture and design. The Branch is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Learn more at www.branchmuseum.org.

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Sanford Bond, FAIA Exhibition

Currently on exhibit at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design

Planar Assemblages: Furniture + Other Works
Sanford Bond, FAIA

Sculptures, furniture, and other work from the career of Sanford Bond, FAIA. In our Main Galleries November 8 – January 7, 2019.

“My career has focused on creating places by defining space with various materials and building methods. Primarily as an architect, I create places for human use and habitation using a palette of different materials with a range of spatial definitions in order to define discreet regions of space accommodating various human endeavors. Every material possesses a set of characteristics rendering it different from any other and lending it to a particular building method. These innate qualities may be used to define unique and different places enabling a range of use and meaning, differing with the person and their unique set of experiences.”

Call for Submissions: Virginia By Design

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design issues an open call for nominations, which are solicited from the general public as well as designers in architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, interior design, and all other design professions.

In its second year, Virginia by Design recognizes the best efforts of designers or visionaries in Virginia who, by profession or avocation, have made creating, preserving, and enhancing design in Virginia a notable endeavor, which elevates the power of design. The awards specifically highlight excellence in design, visionary thinking, patronage and the transformative role of design in shaping the built environment.

Awards will be determined by a panel of jury members, distinguished for their contributions to the design field.  Deadline for submissions of 5 p.m., January 4, 2019.  Brunch at The Branch, the awards presentation is on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

Read about 2018 Virginia by Design Awardees
Read about 2019 Submission Requirements and Submit a Nomination

Happening at The Branch

Did you miss Brunch at The Branch? The Branch Museum had 150 people and 22 sponsors for their inaugural event where they awarded the first Virginia by Design Awards. Visit their Virginia by Design Event Album on Facebook.

Architecture Camp: Summer 2018

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design’s mission is to elevate awareness of the transformative power of architecture and design throughout Virginia; we do this through exhibits, lectures, and educational programming. This summer, our newest programming initiative is Architecture Camp. Starting June 25, we are pleased to offer five sessions of Architecture Camp with the city of Richmond as our backdrop!

Architecture Camp’s schedule includes exciting field trips and building challenges in which students will investigate approaches to real-world problems. Campers will become acquainted with The Branch House and Richmond’s many neighborhoods through interactive tours and activities. Throughout the week campers will be introduced to architects, designers, and other building systems professionals. Campers will practice observing, sketching, presenting, and building at various scales. They will use these new abilities in design challenges that relate to our built environment and our city. Students will complete camp with a new understanding of and appreciation for the built environment around them, and the understanding to know they can influence it. Architecture Camp will culminate in an exhibit of camper work Fall 2018 at The Branch Museum.

Architecture Camp is aligned with STEM and STEAM initiatives, asking campers to not only learn about their city but interpret and apply their skills and knowledge to new situations. Highlights for the week-long camp include a full day learning about the engineering and design of bridges and their practical application around Richmond; getting messy and hands-on with building materials from concrete and plaster to wood and plexiglass; examining the ins and outs of significant structures in Richmond, from the newly-completed Institute of Contemporary Art to the Maggie Walker Statue; observational drawings and map-making; and tracing the process of an idea to completed building.

This spring, we hosted a Spring Break session of Architecture Camp, a preview of the summer camps! Look at the photos from this inaugural session below.

Registration for summer camps are open to elementary and middle school students, and space is limited! Sign-up on our website. Through a generous donation from The Rotary Club of Richmond, VA camp scholarships are available to those qualifying for the free lunch program.

Questions? Want more information? Contact us at mloustaunau@branchmuseum.org

photos courtesy of Manon Loustaunau.

Virginia By Design Honorees

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design has proudly introduced the first recipients of its new Virginia by Design Awards. All but one of the awards have been determined by a panel of judges with expertise in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, art and art history. Recipients of The Branch Medallion have been chosen by the leadership of The Branch. The awards will be presented at a gala brunch this Friday, April 13, 9 am-12:30 p.m. at The Branch.

Read about all of the 2018 honorees>>

An exhibition featuring work of Virginia by Design Award recipients will be at The Branch, Tuesday, April 24-Sunday, June 10.

“Virginia is rich with unrecognized design talent and visionaries,” says The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design Executive Director Penny Fletcher. “We’ve created our new Virginia by Design Awards as an annual program to honor these outstanding people and organizations for their contributions.”

Honors and Design Awards Presented at Visions 2016

The AIA Virginia Awards for Excellence in Architecture and Honor Awards were presented at the 2016 Visions for Architecture gala at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

AIA Virginia 2016 Honors

AIA Virginia 2016 Awards for Excellence in Architecture

The Branch Made It!


2:1 Challenge Grant from The Cabell Foundation

“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. Find me a find. Catch me a catch!”
             ~  from Fiddler on the Roof

Thanks to YOU … our loyal friends, fans, and family … we at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design have found our PERFECT MATCH!  We’re so grateful to you for your support, and to The Cabell Foundation for its generosity!

On May 20, 2015, we received the celebrated award letter from Cabell, informing us of a $500K 2:1 matching grant.  If we could raise $1,000,000 by June 30, 2016, we would receive $500,000 from them.  We wondered then if we could actually be successful in this quest, and we had moments of doubt from time to time.  But in early spring, we began to realize we COULD reach our goal.  AND REACH IT WE DID! As of our deadline, we had secured over $1,120,000 in gifts and pledges, with over $450,000 of that raised in the last two months!  More than 440 of you pitched in, and the average gift was approximately $2,500.  Thus, the Cabell campaign match was achieved through the help of many, not just a few.

This incredible gift by The Cabell Foundation motivated each of us to reach beyond our perceived capacity.  Their confidence in The Branch – and in our mission – has further inspired and fueled our message about the transformative power of architecture and design!

Watch for a full listing of our wonderful supporters on our website in just a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, please know how MUCH we appreciate your support, encouragement, and commitment … as well as your excitement, interest, and enthusiasm.

Thank you!  Thank you!!  Thank you!!!

 

Design Matters

As many of you know, I often use quotations by others to illustrate my point or enhance my own message.  This month, I employ a series of quotes and testimonials to emphasize the importance of The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design to the members of AIA Virginia:

“Design Matters.”  

~ Thompson E. Penney, FAIA
2003 President, The American Institute of Architects

If “Design Matters,” then so should The Branch.  Why should you, as an architect in Virginia, care about The Branch?  Because “Team Branch” cares about you.  Every day, the talented Trustees and dedicated staff work to “ignite a passion for design.”  This means that the folks who work with – and for – The Branch do so to elevate the understanding of architecture and an appreciation for architects. This is something our members have asked for in survey after survey.

“The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design will foster local and global conversations about architecture and design.  A critical part of the creative ecosystem here and beyond, The Branch is an important place that, through exhibitions, programs, and lectures, sheds light on how human beings throughout history have shaped our world for better or worse.  It offers an essential means to consider our contemporary attitudes about space, design, and the landscape in which we all live.”

~ Dr. Lisa D. Freiman, Director
Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), VCU

Oddly enough, most people don’t even think about design unless the object (or building) looks unsightly or functions poorly.  But their designed environment influences, touches, and impacts people’s lives on a daily basis, from the moment they awaken in the morning until the time they retire for the night.  Design shapes their daily experience in ways they don’t even think about, much less understand.  The Branch aims to reshape this thinking, knowing that a community and culture that appreciate the value of good design will understand why the work you do is so important!

“I was delighted to learn of the Virginia Center for Architecture’s transformation to The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.  This new identity as a museum is inclusive and welcoming and heralds an enhancement of their programming throughout the Commonwealth.  Additionally, their emphasis on architecture and design should nicely complement the focus of other statewide museums and will afford the design-conscious public an expanded cultural palate.”

~ Alex Nyerges, Director
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)

Of course, the Virginia Foundation for Architecture was founded in 1954 by architects for aspiring architects.  In 2005, their expanded vision led to the opening of the Virginia Center for Architecture strategically sited in Monument Avenue’s historic treasure, the Branch House.  Last year, that momentum catapulted yet further, with the evolution to The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.  What you all started as a scholarship fund has now grown into a full-blown museum that educates and enlightens about the power of architecture and design to transform lives.  That is an impressive story!

“Design can elevate ordinary experiences to extraordinary levels.”   

~ Russell E. Davidson, FAIA
2016 President, The American Institute of Architects

Indeed, design defines culture.  And helping people understand why design is so important is crucial to our future.  Education about the design process helps build minds that think creatively and work collaboratively.  With the support of many fans and friends who are part of the AIA in Virginia, the folks at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design are making that happen.

“Design can save the world.”

~ Richard Farson, Ph.D., Psychologist, and Author

The Branch has been given an extraordinary gift.  Based on a strong belief in our mission and direction, The Cabell Foundation has issued a $500,000 2:1 challenge grant.  To secure those funds, The Branch must raise $1million by June 30, 2016.  Thrillingly, that number is within striking distance.  I invite you to consider the mission of The Branch and its importance to your professional future.  A gift of this size will be transformational for The Branch in securing and sustaining its visionary work.  This work is what will transform our culture.  Please donate here to help meet the match!

Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA | Executive Vice President, AIA Virginia