2024 AIA Virginia Prize Winners Announced

During the first weekend of February, students across the Commonwealth participated in the 2024 Virginia Prize. For the first time JMU’s Architectural Design program joined competitors from perennial participants Hampton University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg and the WAAC) in addressing a challenge authored by Professor Stanford Britt, FAIA, Professor Carmina Sanchez-de-Valle, RA, and Associate Professor Marci Turner of Hampton University. The brief invited students to design a “bookless” public library as a community public room on a corner site at the intersection of N. Mallory Street and E. County Street in Phoebus, Virginia.

The submissions were juried by Trey Trahan, FAIA, NOMA, Robbie Eleazer, AIA, and David Sweere, AIA of Trahan Architects: a global architecture firm with offices in New Orleans and New York founded on the belief that the mindful design of everyday spaces can elevate the human experience. The practice is dedicated to creating spaces resonant with authenticity, cultural significance, and ecological resilience. The result is a harmonious portfolio that blends the arts, conservation, historic preservation, and social responsibility.

The juried noted that “The work was impressive for a single weekend charrette. There’s an attentiveness to the library’s functional role in the digital and post-digital age. The work as a whole offered an enormous range of solutions in form, materiality, and articulation.”

First Place was awarded to Graham Gewirz (University of Virginia).

“The scheme demonstrates a clarity in the development of the original diagram to the finalized solution. There is a consistency in the attitude and articulation of the natural thickness of masonry throughout the scheme, operating at multiple scales. Intelligent carving of the masonry creates places for gathering and engagement with the building from the exterior and intimate spaces for contemplation and studying in the interior.”

Second Place was conferred upon Philip Edmonston (University of Virginia).

“The scheme is strongly engaging of the site’s context, operating at a transition of scale in the urban fabric, by breaking down the scale of the overall structure into a series of volumes, aggregated into a composition that pulls a visitor into the site. The library expansion is complementary of the existing library in orientation, access, and form.”

Third Place was given to Kanako Kohara (Virginia Tech: WAAC).

“The scheme combines a muted natural material palette and access to nature with a beautiful simply articulated elevation. The use of exposed timber construction offers an example of forward-sustainable thinking.”

Mohammed Elabbasi (Virginia Tech: Blacksburg) merited an Honorable Mention.

“The scheme is inventive and playful in its articulation of a series of treehouse-like structures connected by a catwalk. It offers a youthful expression of lifted volumes to protect from flooding while creating a forest floor-like condition at the ground level.”

Many thanks to the jury for their diligent deliberations.

And Congratulations – not only to those who were recognized – but to all who submitted and, through their work, helped us to encounter new approaches and envision innovative possibilities.

View a gallery of the submissions below.

2024 AIA Virginia Prize

The AIA Virginia Prize is a design charrette that engages students at all of the architecture programs in Virginia.  Conducted simultaneously at each institution, students are given the competition program Friday at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a board presenting their design solution by 9 a.m. the following Monday.  The competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students and professors in Virginia.

The first round of submissions is juried at the university level and up to 10 finalists from each school will be sent to be juried at the state level.

The 2024 competition takes place over the Feb. 2-4 weekend. Faculty at Hampton University are finalizing the brief. The challenge brief will be posted to this page at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 and submissions are due to the school at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 5.

We wish the participating students a pleasant outing and look forward to considering and celebrating their proposals.

Invitation to the UVA SARC Winter 2022 Externship Program

The University Of Virginia School Of Architecture invites your organization to host a student(s) for the annual winter externship program.  The externship program matches students with professionals for a week of learning through professional practice.  Students range from beginning undergraduates to the PhD level, studying Architecture, Design-Thinking, Urban and Environmental Planning, Architectural History and Preservation, and Landscape Architecture.

The official externship week will be January 10-14, 2022 with the option to bring students on earlier, the week of January 3-7 as needed.  All students will be back in classes on January 18th.  Depending on the students’ experiences, they are eager to join project teams, pursue research, prepare precedent and case studies, and work on drawings, models, graphics, and design proposals.  Students especially appreciate participating in meetings, site visits, and learning about different roles within the organization.

The sign-up form this year will allow you to select a traditional externship or a shorter shadowing experience. The traditional externship assumes a 40 hour work week and is best for upper-level students that can plug into a project and produce work or research. For-profit organizations are asked to compensate students with an hourly wage or stipend for their work.  Non-profit or governmental offices may be eligible for students to receive course credit rather than pay.

The shadowing experience does not assume a full work week but can be scheduled throughout the week as needed to allow students to join meetings, talk with team members, visit construction sites, and (if possible) tour the office.  Shadowing is best if there is no expectation of a work product or payment.

As we continue to monitor COVID 19 cases this winter, we will work to match students according to locations and opportunities with the least amount of travel.  For now, please select whether the externship/ shadowing experience would be all virtual, hybrid, or in-person and as we get close to January, we can make any necessary adjustments.

If you are interested in hosting one or more students for a winter externship, reply by filling the Google Form (https://forms.gle/r4Q97jn9eXixcW3A8).  This year, Externship Coordinator, Lauren Cheetham, UVA BSARCH 2021 will be following up to send student applications once we have them on the website for your review.  The goal is to have a list of students to you by the end of October and students matched with organizations by the end of November.  Our alumni recount their externship experiences as essential in shaping their career paths. We are grateful for your generosity and time in this important student experience.

Assistant Dean of Students, Career Development
Lecturer, UVA School of Architecture

Presidential Citations Awarded to UVA and Frickie

At Visions for Architecture, AIA Virginia President Rob Reis, AIA, awarded Presidential Citations to The University of Virginia School of Architecture and Brian Frickie, AIA.

The citation to the University of Virginia School of Architecture reads:

AIA Virginia is privileged to confer this Presidential Citation upon The University of Virginia School of Architecture Recognizing 100 years of unparalleled contributions to the profession through the education and training of Virginia practitioners, educators, and scholars in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, architectural history and building technologies, while steadfastly advancing design innovation, technical research and critical thinking; AIA Virginia hails a legacy positioned to inform a more valiant, just, sustainable, and aesthetic future.

University of Virginia’s Felipe Correa (center) accepts the Presidential Citation from AIA President Rob Reis, AIA (left) and AIA Virginia EVP, Corey Clayborne, AIA (right). Photo by Yuzhu Zheng.

The citation to Brian Frickie, AIA reads:

AIA Virginia is privileged to confer this Presidential Citation upon Brian J. Frickie, AIA, LEED AP for his outstanding leadership as the Region of The Virginias Regional Director on the AIA Strategic Council. Further, his colleagues in Virginia acknowledge his notable dedication to shaping the profession’s future through his service as Chair of the Institute’s Strategic Planning Committee and Leadership Development Program Steering Group.

Brian Frickie, AIA, (center) accepts the Presidential Citation from AIA President Rob Reis, AIA (left) and AIA Virginia EVP, Corey Clayborne, AIA (right). Photo by Yuzhu Zheng.

2017 AIA Virginia Prize Awarded

At 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, students at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, The Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), and Hampton University were given a limited time challenge. By 9 a.m. Monday participating students had to turn in their design for a terminus for King Street at the Potomac River waterfront to celebrate its historic role as the origin of Alexandria and the front door of the City. It should be a significant public space that offers a destination, or as was written: ‘where one of America’s great streets meets one of America’s great rivers’. It should provide a counterpoint to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial at the other end of King Street.

2017 AIA Virginia President, Bill Brown, AIA, 2017 AIA Virginia Prize Jury Chair, Rachel Shelton, AIA, 2017 AIA Virginia Prize winner, Erik Styrbjorn Odd Torell from Virginia Tech, and Stewart Roberson, Chairman, President, and CEO of Moseley Architects. photo by Jay Paul

The Honorees

Erik Styrbjorn Odd Torell is the winner of the 2017 AIA Virginia Prize which includes a $1,500 cash prize.

The judges were impressed with the details of the structure, they felt he did an excellent job explaining the different aspects of the design on his board, and enjoyed how open the view was and especially enjoyed how the view was framed differently depending on which direction you were looking. They felt that this was a great design for an all year, any weather community space.

Best of School

Jonathan Legaspi received the Best of School for Hampton University.
Yuchao Xu received the Best of School for Virginia Tech.
M. Ryan Delaney received the Best of School for the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center. He also received the Runner-Up award.


Aneela Jain, Virginia Tech
Chris Cheng, Virginia Tech
Hannah McDorman, Virginia Tech
Minh Do, Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center
Terry Davis Jr., Hampton University
Victoria D’antone, Virginia Tech

Honorable Mention

Masie Carr, Virginia Tech

AIA Virginia would like to thank Moseley Architects for sponsoring the 2017 AIA Virginia Prize.

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>>

Prize for Design Research and Scholarship Awarded

The Jury for the Virginia Society AIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship, chaired by Luis Rico-Gutierrez of Iowa State University, has awarded the 2013 Prize to John Quale of the University of Virginia.  His paper, entitled Commercializing Energy Efficient Affordable Housing, describes the efforts of UVa’s EcoMOD project, a research and educational project that strives to create sustainable modular and renovated housing units for affordable housing organizations.  This Prize is intended to encourage theoretical awareness, educational exchange, thought and research in architecture, both within academic institutions and within the offices of practicing architects who participate in theoretical pursuits.

The jurors recognized that Quale’s paper covered an interesting and important subject, and stated:

“This project represents an impressive effort to translate the knowledge created and developed in universities and in practice, into a product that has the potential of greatly improving the quality of life in communities around the country and the world. We recognize that it is a snapshot of a long-term effort, with conclusions that may shift year to year, and new challenges arising. It is a great example of research as an ongoing design laboratory, integrating academy and practice in a way that yields benefits to all parties involved. It feels very mature and robust, with a lot of thought and rigor put into it. It’s an ongoing real-world project with outreach that impacts communities, engages partners and involves students.”

John Quale will present this work at Architecture Exchange East on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

The Jury also awarded an Honorable Mention to Phoebe Crisman of UVa for her paper entitled Health and the Built Environment: Shaping Policy and Place through Innovative Community and Academic Partnerships.

The Prize for Design Research and Scholarship is sponsored by MTFA Architecture, Inc.


Students Compete in Virginia Society AIA Prize

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

Students from Hampton University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, and the University of Virginia took part in the 32nd annual Virginia Society AIA Prize competition over the weekend of Jan. 27–30, 2012. From those submissions, each school advances 10 finalists; the winning design will be selected by a jury in February.

This year’s competition problem was developed by faculty at Hampton University and addressed our ability (or inability) to provide temporary emergency housing. Students were asked to propose a semi-permanent and reusable intervention in one of the region’s most naturally vulnerable locations — Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The problem asked students to design one prototypical unit, not to exceed 600 square-feet, capable of housing up to 4 individuals. Designs were to include a site plan demonstrating how four of these prototypical units could be arranged to form the embryo of a community. Students were also asked to envision how these structures could be used as housing for special events during non-catastrophic times.

The Virginia Society AIA Prize — along with the accompanying $2000 check — will be awarded during the Virginia Design Forum: Skins, March 16-17, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Best of School nods (and possibly an honorable mention or two) will be noted as well. An exhibition of all of the finalists will tour each of the schools and will wrap up in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall at Architecture Exchange East on Nov. 8–9.