2010 VSAIA Awards

For the Virginia Society AIA’s 2010 Awards for Excellence in Architecture program, a San Francisco jury of architects reviewed 164 projects by Virginia-area firms in the categories of Historic Preservation, Interior Design, and Architecture. Scroll down to enjoy the results of that process: 18 winning projects that represent the highest degree of design and building craft throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

The objective of this annual awards program is to encourage design excellence. All entries are the work of licensed architects who practice in Virginia or are members of the Virginia Society AIA. The location of project entries is not restricted and built works are no older than five years. Unbuilt works were welcomed as long as they were commissioned by a client, as opposed to theoretical or hypothetical works completed in the mode of research or academic training.



Tim Culvahouse, FAIA
Mark L’Italien, FAIA
E.B. Min, AIA

Historic Preservation

Carolyn Kiernat, AIA
Laura Blake
Andrew Wolfram, AIA

Interior Design

Bonnie Bridges, AIA
Huylett Jones
Melissa Mizell

Historic Preservation

Cunningham|Quill Architects
Mother & Child
Washington, D.C.

Cunningham|Quill Architects, Mother & ChildA jury favorite, Mother & Child—an addition and restoration project for an 1893 Georgetown house—was about drawing together elements of the property in a coherent way after years of questionable renovations. “The firm clearly restored what they had evidence for and contributed to the house in a sensitive and contextual way,” noted one juror. Proportion, finish, and craft needed to be right and the design team at Cunningham|Quill Architects succeeded in every way.

Horizon Builders, contractor
Maxwell MacKenzie, photographer

Davis Buckley Architects and Planners
Stephen Decatur House Museum
Washington, D.C.

Davis Buckley Architects and Planners, Stephen Decatur House MuseumDesigned by Benjamin Henry Latrobe and completed in 1818, the Stephen Decatur House will remain an important architectural landmark in Washington through this careful restoration. Speaking about Davis Buckley Architects’ design team, one juror noted, “here, they are uncovering the layers and doing real conservation.” One notable element of the project is a reconstruction of the original kitchen, which had been used as a bedroom, office, and parlor for the last 100 years. The priority to articulate Latrobe’s original intentions while preserving as much of the original fabric as possible came through clearly, the jury observed.

Oak Grove Restoration Company, contractor
Dan Redmond, photographer

Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Newcomb Hall Renovation for Washington and Lee University
Lexington, Va.

Glavé & Holmes Architecture, Newcomb Hall RenovationMediating an 1882 academic building and a 1937 addition (listed on the National Register), the Glavé & Holmes design team achieved a “nicely done and detailed, sensitive modernization,” according to members of the jury. Even with across-the-board upgrades and energy-efficient fixtures, Newcomb Hall’s iconic image and historic character remains uncompromised. “It’s nice
when you can start with good bones in a restoration,” said one juror, “and this is the strongest university project we’ve seen.”

Kjellstrom & Lee, Inc., contractor
Virginia Hamrick, photographer



Guernsey Tingle Architects
Henrico Theater Renovation and Addition
Highland Springs, Va.

Guernsey Tingle Architects, Henrico Theater Renovation and AdditionGiven the challenge of converting a cinema to a live-performance venue, the jury agreed that the Henrico Theater Renovation and Addition by Guernsey Tingle Architects is a particularly well done renovation in which new and old are easy to discern. Listed on the National Register, the 1938 Henrico Theater required a general upgrade that included a larger lobby and prefunction spaces. But, painstaking attention to detail in the Art Deco landmark’s restoration, jurors observed, defines the rebirth of an important, historic community anchor.

Daniel & Company, Inc., contractor
Dale Weiss, AIA, photographer

Gensler, Baltimore
Gensler Baltimore Office

Gensler, Baltimore, Gensler Baltimore OfficeAs a typology, office space can seem limiting. Gensler Baltimore’s unique site, strong creative culture, and commitment to sustainability allowed Gensler’s design team the flexibility to re-imagine not only a modern work environment, but a new home. As a showcase, the project’s regionally-reclaimed materials and energy-saving systems helped set the bar higher for clients and other design firms. “It definitely passes the ‘I’d love to work there’ test,” agreed all members of the jury.

Wilhelm Commercial Builders, contractors
Michael Moran, photographer

Interior Design

Gensler, Washington, D.C.
Cassidy Turley
Washington, D.C.

Gensler, Washington, D.C., Cassidy Turley“Exquisite detailing and elegant solutions,” noted one juror, define this office space for the Washington real estate firm Cassidy Turley by Gensler (Washington, D.C.). Black reveals, sustainably-harvested wood, and a flexible set of spaces enhance the workday for a range of users. “If there’s an award for beauty,” said another juror, “they’d get it for this project’s public spaces.”

Rand Construction Corporation, contractor
Benny Chan, photographer

David Jameson Architect
Record House Revisited
Owings Mills, Md.

David Jameson Architect, Record House RevisitedForty years after this house appeared in Architectural Record as a notable design, its interior has been gracefully
transformed by David Jameson without compromising the building’s character. Walnut casework defines the new
elements and a native truss roof system allowed interior walls to be removed. The effect is an open and warm series of spaces. “It’s immaculate,” noted one juror, “and the purity and simplicity of the added elements do not detract
from this Record House at all.”

The Ley Group, contractor
Paul Warchol, photographer

Gensler, Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian Institution Collections and Support Center
Landover, Md.

Gensler, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Collections and Support CenterThe task of bringing together no less than five Smithsonian divisions under budget and within a timeframe presented enormous challenges. The design team at Gensler (Washington, D.C.) is commended for creating a clear, orderly, and humane environment to achieve its larger logistical goals for the Smithsonian Institution Collections and Support Center. “Design is more than the fixed image of a client,” noted one juror who observed that this project reflects the true nature of a dynamic and important cultural institution.

Harvey Cleary Builders, contractor
Paul Warchol, photographer

Ayers Saint Gross Architects and Planners
Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center and Smith Education Center
Charlottesville, Va.

Ayers Saint Gross Architects and Planners, Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center and Smith Education CenterDesigned to welcome nearly half-a-million Monticello visitors a year, the Thomas Jefferson Visitor’s Center and Smith Education Center by Ayers Saint Gross consists of a series of pavilions arranged on three levels above a challenging hillside site. “The landscaping and spaces between buildings are as strong as the buildings themselves,” noted one juror. Locally sourced materials, recycled materials, and green roofs define the project, which draws out Jefferson’s interests in environmental stewardship.

Barton Malow Company, contractor
Alan Karchmer, photographer




Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Lujan House
Ocean View, Del.

Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect, Lujan HouseOrganized around a central garden, Robert M. Gurney’s Lujan House modestly contributes to a neighborhood of larger, boomtime homes. Simple materials like concrete and oak for the floors, plastic laminate, and oak millwork are rendered elegantly and without pretense throughout the house. “It’s a skillfully done project,” noted one juror, “plain and simple and it raises the bar for the entire neighborhood.”

Gude and Conrad, Inc., contractor
Anice Hoachlander, photographer

Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company
McMurtry and Duncan Colleges for Rice University

Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, McMurtry and Duncan Colleges for Rice UniversityTo the historic Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson campus, Hopkins Architects and Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas added
seven buildings to Rice University, including McMurtry and Duncan Colleges. “It’s a place of respite in the Houston heat,” observed one juror of the dining hall’s central space, “and their strategy to link quads and pavilions is a good one” to address the campus plan’s legacy.

Linbeck Group, contractor
Robert Benson, photographer

HOK with Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue Architects
Crystal Plaza 2
Arlington, Va.

HOK with Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue Architects, Crystal Plaza 2Starting with an outmoded 1970s office building, the design team at HOK with Dorsky Hodgson Parrish Yue Architects partially adapted Crystal Plaza 2 in this 20-story residential tower for Arlington’s fast-growing Crystal City neighborhood. A high-performance curtain wall will improve solar shading, energy efficiency, and reduce ambient sound from a busy commercial and industrial corridor. “It’s commendable and there are some really smart things about this project,” noted one juror. Among them is the design team’s effort to integrate the building’s Metro connection, street-level retail, and an unimposing approach for pedestrians.

Balfour Beatty Construction, contractor
Alan Karchmer, photographer

SMBW Architects, P.C.
Luck Stone Corporate Headquarters
Manakin Sabot, Va.

SMBW Architects, P.C., Luck Stone Corporate HeadquartersOccupying the brow of a hill and overlooking the Boscobel Quarry below, Luck Stone’s 85,000-square-foot headquarters by SMBW balances high design with a focus on site and context. A generous array of team work spaces and an airy work environment anchor an innovative plan. “The rambling, Wrightean plan is done well,” said one juror, “and yet it’s a tightly focused concept that’s consistent with the client’s intentions.”

KBS, contractor
Ansel Olsen, photographer

Rick Mather + SMBW Architects, P.C.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Expansion

Rick Mather + SMBW Architects, P.C., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts ExpansionRick Mather and SMBW’s 100,000 square-foot McGlothlin Wing for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a bold stroke of confidence for the 74-year old institution. New galleries, gift shop, lecture hall, offices, and conservation facilities will ensure the museum’s continued success into the 21st century. Creating a connection from the Boulevard to the museum’s inner campus, the elegantly sculpted atrium serves as the museum’s—and Richmond’s—newest grand public space.

Whiting -Turner Contracting Company, contractor
Bilyana Dimitrova, photographer

SmithGroup, Washington, D.C.
New York Law School
New York City

SmithGroup, Washington, D.C., New York Law SchoolAmong the things this design team at Smith Group did well, observed the jury, is create a sense of transparency for the New York Law School project in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. “It was skillfully done,” noted one juror, “and transparency is obviously to the advantage of the building’s users.” Academic engagement here is about the core academic program as much as it is about the city beyond. Nine stories contain all of the necessary functions of a contemporary school program and the firm’s focus on clarity, visibility, and community is expressed throughout the building’s 200,000 square feet.

Pavarini McGovern, LLC, contractor
Jeff Goldberg/Esto, photographer


Train & Partners Architects
Inger and Walter L. Rice Education Building
Charles City County, Va.

Train & Partners Architects, Inger and Walter L. Rice Education BuildingAs a field station for Virginia Commonwealth University, the Inger and Walter L. Rice Education Building occupies part of a 343-acre site on the James River. Commending Train & Partners’ site plan, members of the jury were impressed with the education building’s grace and engagement with the landscape. Phase one of the project includes offices, classrooms and laboratories, and a multi-purpose room for events and meetings, all of which will one day overlook restored tidal wetlands. Phase two will ultimately include additional offices and laboratories and unify the entire site with naturally weathered wood and abundant glazing.

KBS, contractor
Chris Cunningham, photographer

VMDO Architects, P.C.
Jefferson Fellows Center
Charlottesville, Va.

VMDO Architects, P.C., Jefferson Fellows CenterCiting an outward sense of permanence and grounding on the site, the jury commended the design team at VMDO for both the architecture and landscape design at the Jefferson Fellows Center. “The public spaces are nicely done,” noted one juror and, in concert with the building itself, the outdoor areas are integrated to form a small campus identity. Bluestone paving, soapstone columns, local slate shingles, bio-retention swales and native plants help sustain a project that is sensitive to its Charlottesville context and the local ecology.

Martin Horn, Inc., contractor
Prakash Patel, photographer


VMDO Architects, P.C.
Manassas Park Elementary School
Manassas Park, Va.

VMDO Architects, P.C., Manassas Park Elementary SchoolEverything is a teaching moment at VMDO’s Manassas Park Elementary School, from the classroom to the courtyards. Aiming to meet the 2030 challenge, the design team created a low-impact building within a landscape that reinforces a curricular focus on the environment. A bio-retention area that doubles as an amphitheater, a rainwater cistern that doubles as a classroom, and a building that uses 50 percent less energy than a typical code-compliant school contributes to the project’s focus on context and ecological awareness. This is a different kind of school that will serve as a model for the next generation of school buildings, the jurors noted.

Hess Construction and Engineering, contractor
Prakash Patel, photographer

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