Volume 1, No. 14 - November 16, 2007
previous main menu next

BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

15th Street Residence, GC/a ARCHITECTURE (more info)
In This Issue

Small Firms Roundtable

Small Projects Resources

Design DC: Call For Papers

2008 Small Projects Awards

Small Firms Pin Up Series

Featured Project:
  15th Street Residence


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

The Small Firms Roundtable

Since its inception in the autumn of 2005, the Small Firms Roundtable has hosted a series of discussions and seminars focusing on issues that are relevant to AIA Northern Virginia members who practice in small firms. The Roundtable discussion topics range from design to management to marketing and each meeting features a special guest whose knowledge and insight enhances the conversation.

On Friday, November 30th, the next Small Firms Roundtable meeting will be joined by Drew Lindsay, an editor from Washingtonian, who will discuss his magazine’s interest in publishing work by local architects. Meeting topics being investigated for early 2008 include the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities initiative, an interactive panel discussion with local building code officials, and a "case study" examination of a prominent architectural firm in Northern Virginia.

Despite a wide range of topics, the goals for each meeting of the Small Firms Roundtable are consistent. We hope to stimulate an informative and interactive discussion that allows participants to seek and offer information. The meetings are valuable to participants because they provide continuing education credits but, more importantly, the Small Firms Roundtable seeks to provide a network of friendships and professional relationships that will enhance architectural practice in small firms.

The Small Firms Roundtable is part of AIA Northern Virginia's Small Firms Committee and meets 7-10 times per year. The one-hour meetings are typically held at noon on Friday and are usually located at the Chapter House. Anyone seeking more information about the Small Firms Roundtable is invited to contact Matthew Guenther, AIA, at (703) 276-2274 or mguenther@gc-a.com.

AIA Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community + Resource Center
The AIA Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Knowledge Community (www.aia.org/spp) aims to develop knowledge and information to benefit architects engaged in the practice of, or who are interested in, small project work.

Membership in the Knowledge Community is a free AIA member benefit. SPP members are entitled to quarterly issues of SPP Journal, bi-weekly practice tips, and other information about awards programs and events relevant to small firm practice and small projects. If you wish to become involved with AIA Small Project Practitioners, contact Amanda D’Luhy (adluhy@aia.org), to designate SPP as one of your knowledge communities.

To help those in smaller firms find the resources they need, the AIA has created a one-stop web page that consolidates relevant Institute and other content. The links to small-firm information now are in one place on the Institute’s Web site and include appropriate AIA Knowledge Communities and Soloso content, as well as links to the IRS, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and business journals. The site also offers podcasts, profiles of award-winning smaller projects, events of special interest, and tools to contact both the AIA and other small-firm practitioners. Visit the Small Firms Resource Center, explore the site, and use the suggestion link to submit ideas to add value to this new initiative!

DesignDC '08: Leading ReNewal - Call for Papers
The AIA Northern Virginia, AIA|DC and AIA Potomac Valley chapters are joining up again to bring you DesignDC '08, July 8–10, 2008. DesignDC is a way for you to network with colleagues, complete your continuing education requirements and see the latest products and services from the region’s top vendors.

We are currently seeking speakers to present courses within our four categories: Theory, Tools, Trends and Technology.

We are seeking presentations addressing the following topics: Theory; New Ways to Think about Old Problems; Great or Unsung Architects whose work makes a difference; Alternative Careers; Trends; Sustainability – particularly in urban settings and/or existing buildings; Green Materials; Client Relations; Building Types (Lab Design, Senior Housing); Tools; Marketing; Client Relations; Project Management Software; Lighting; Cost Management; Technology; Energy (solar/photovoltaic/wind); Building Codes; Fair Housing/ADA; Indoor Air Quality; BIM; 3D Imaging; and Building Tours (To reduce the carbon footprint of the show, all transportation to tours will be done via public transportation).

Sessions are 1.5 hours in length and must comply with AIA continuing education requirements. We are also planning a one-hour Public Session on sustainable issues that homeowners can use. If you are interested in submitting a presentation proposal, e-mail the information to mfitch@aiadc.com by December 1 and be sure to include DesignDC in the subject line. Include the following information:

Contact Information (name, firm, address, e-mail)
Session Title
Session Description
Learning Objectives for the Course (at least 3 learning objectives required)
Level of Material (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced or All Levels)
Have you taught this course before?
If yes, was it at a previous DesignDC?

Proposal will be reviewed by the education committee and presenters will be contacted in January 2008.

2008 Small Project Awards
The AIA Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Knowledge Community is pleased to announce the 2008 Small Project Awards competition. This fourth annual awards program recognizes the excellence of small project design and raises awareness of the value that architects bring to any project, no matter the limits of size or scope. Architects licensed in the United States will invited to submit a maximum of two completed, built projects, photographed by the design architect. All projects must have been completed after January 1, 2004. The awards program will open on or before November 30, 2007. Look for more information on the SPP website as it becomes available.

The Small Firms Committee announces its new Pin Up Series starting January 18
Each month two firms will present work on the boards and a critique session will follow. You probably haven't done this since architecture school. So come and pin up. The Pin Up Series will be held at Virginia Tech's Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center beginning at noon. Watch for details. If you are interested in participating, please contact David Jameson, Small Firms Committee Chair, at djameson@davidjamesonarchitect.com.

Featured Project

15th Street Residence
Arlington, VA

The house was constructed simultaneously with many other homes in the neighborhood as part of the original subdivision in 1934. Real estate assessment data suggests that homes were initially built close to Glebe Road and subsequent construction spread westward. During its history, the house has undergone several small renovations. During our project, much of this work was repaired and/or replaced because it had been installed incorrectly and/or had suffered decay damage. Repair/replacement work on the existing structure was consistent with its original construction. The evolution of the house also included the installation of aluminum siding and trim. During our project, new fiber-cement siding and new trim was installed on the entire house.

Having purchased the house in 1998, the current owners initiated the project in 2004 with three objectives:
• Add a Master Suite and reconfigure the existing Second Floor Bedrooms, Bathroom, and Attic space.
• Add outdoor living space as a transition from their rear-yard garden into the Family Room.
• Enhance the appearance of the house and improve the aesthetic of the existing additions.

The previous owners had added space in four separate locations without regard to its appearance. Accordingly, the house was described as "Home Depot Vernacular." However, during the Design Phase it was decided to embrace the house’s heritage by maintaining a sense of the random bump-outs and jutting projections.

To maintain the appearance that the house had evolved over time, the new addition has a scale and proportion that is similar to the existing house and its previous additions. The new addition also continues the asymmetry and irregularity of the existing structure. In doing so, however, the new addition unifies the entire structure into a single entity with a charm and character that was not apparent prior to its construction.

Prior to renovation


November 30 - Small Firms Roundtable
12:00p - 1:00p, At the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. The November meeting of the Small Firms Roundtable will feature Drew Lindsay, Features Editor of Washingtonian magazine, speaking about the process that guides production, including editorial objectives, writing style and selection criteria. 1 AIA/CES LU. $5 collected on site for lunch. Registration required; e-mail reservations@aianova.org. For additional information, visit the Chapter website. For questions or suggestions for the Small Firms Roundtable, contact Matt Guenther at (703) 276-2274 or mguenther@gc-a.com.

December 1 - How To Work With An Architect Workshop
10:00a -11:30a & 1:00p-2:30p, At the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. Organized by AIA Northern Virginia. Featuring Matthew G. Guenther, AIA with GC/a Architecture in Arlington. This workshop is for potential clients to learn about the design and construction process. Free. Registration required by e-mailing reservations@aianova.org. For additional information, visit the Chapter website.

December 2-4 - The Future of Professional Practice: The Next Generation of Integrated Delivery, Emerging Technology, and Practice Management
At the Capital Hilton, Washington, DC. Organized by the AIA Practice Management and Technology in Architectural Practice knowledge communities. Sessions include information on BIM, management strategies and business development. The conference will be held in conjunction with the AIA Educator/Practitioner Network, Integrated Practice, Design-Build, and Small Project Practitioners knowledge communities, as well as AIA DC, AIA Delaware, and AIA Northern Virginia. To view the full conference agenda and register online, visit www.aia.org/futureofprofessionalpractice.

December 5 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series: HVAC Architectural Design 101
Noon-1:00p, At the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. Participants will learn HVAC definitions, how heating and cooling loads are calculated, and the variables that play a role in the calculations. Differences between constant volume and variable air volume systems will be discussed as well as mechanical system selection criteria and options. Presented by Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. Vice President and Branch Manager Lew Brode and Vice President and Senior Electrical Engineer Igor Livshin. 1 AIA/CES HSW LU. Free. Registration is required by e-mailing reservations@aianova.org.

December 10 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30p-6:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org.

December 13 - 2006 International Building Code: Architectural Applications for Designers
8:15a-4:00p, at PSA-Dewberry, 8401 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax. Organized by the Virginia Society AIA and AIA Northern Virginia Chapter. ICC Instructor, John M. Gibson, Jr., MCP, CBO, CPCA, and CFI will address the critical concepts of the 2006 IBC and issues that are the basis for many design and plan review decisions. Registration for AIA members $170; $200 non members. Deadline for registration is 5:00p, December 10. Registration fee includes the International Code Council workshop manual, breakfast and lunch, and on site parking. 6 AIA/CES HSW LUs. Additional information and registration form available at www.aiava.org and click on Education or contact Jim Walker at jwalker@aiava.org (804) 237-1777.