Volume 2, No. 1 - January 15, 2008
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Wisnewski Blair and Associates, Inc.
Claude Moore Recreation Center, by Wisnewski Blair and Associates (more info)
In This Issue

Paying Dues Online

National Convention 2008

Schools Connections Update

AIA Photography Contest

Register for Canstruction

Host the Design Awards Gala

Featured Project:
  Claude Moore Recreation Center


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Pay Your Dues the Easy Way: Online
Just a friendly reminder that AIA membership renewals are due now. Members can renew their memberships online: Go to www.aia.org and click “Renew Your Membership” in the upper left corner. The login to access your renewal invoice is your e-mail address. Passwords are generally your last name (capitalized appropriately). Please contact Information Central, (800) 242-3837, if you experience any difficulty accessing your 2008 renewal notice.

AIA National Convention Registration Is Now Open

The AIA and the Boston Society of Architects/AIA invite you to Boston in May to attend the AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition, May 15–17. This year’s convention takes place in one of the most dynamic cities in America, the perfect place to immerse yourself in this year's theme, "We the People," which will explore the power of architecture on behalf of all people and society. It's the right topic for a growing profession that has been challenged to engage the public in designing a more sustainable world. Register early to get your first choice of some great tours, including an exclusive visit to the iconic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Electronic registration is up and running here. New AIA members are offered free registration for the convention and will receive an invitation to register by e-mail.

Volunteers Needed for Schools Connection Committee

Meet the Architects Forum
Projected Date: March
This forum includes three to four architects plus one landscape architect that represent various size firms and styles of practice. The forum focuses on the practice of the architecture rather than the work of the invited architects.

Firm Pin-Up Series
Projected Date: March & April
This program features four architects that pin up a project for students to review and comment on. It is sort of a reverse jury where the tables are turned. Held once a week for four weeks and coordinated with Meet the Architects Forum schedule.

Both events take place at Virginia Tech’s Washington - Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria. If you are interested in participating in either of these events, please contact Jennifer Byl.

AIA St. Louis Invites You to Enter the AIA Photo Competition
Entries due March 1; must be submitted electronically on a CD this year

AIA St. Louis is once again pleased to host the AIA Photography Competition, open to all architects actively registered in the U.S., AIA Associate members, and AIAS members or student members with any AIA chapter. The top 15 entries will be exhibited at the AIA 2008 National Convention in Boston, May 15-17. These entries, plus some 40 additional images selected from all submitted, will be featured in a 2009 engagement calendar. (A complimentary calendar will be provided to each entrant whose image(s) are selected.)

Cash prizes will be:
First place, $500
Second place, $400
Third place, $300
Albert Fuller Award, $200 (named after the founder of the competition. The winning photograph must be shot in the U.S.)

The entries must have an architectural theme or contain some element of the human-made environment. The jury will use the photographic interpretation of the subject matter as their main criterion for judging, not the architecture itself. Images previously published and/or pending publication or cash-winning images in previous AIA Photography competitions are not eligible. The entry fee is $15 for AIAS members, $30 for AIA members, and $50 for nonmember registered architects. Entrants may submit up to five images for each entry fee and may enter as many times as they like. Please note that all submissions must be on a CD. Entries are due March 1. Visit AIA St. Louis’s website for rules and entry forms.

Register Your Firm for the 2008 Canstruction® Competition
by Brian Donnelly, AIA
According to recent media reports, area food banks are experiencing a critical shortage of supplies as donations drop and demand for food assistance continues to soar. For the last four years, area architects have been helping to fill the gap through our annual Canstruction® Competition. Returning for a fifth consecutive year, Canstruction® will again be a featured event of Virginia’s Architecture Week in the spring of 2008.

Last spring, 14 area firms took part in our Chapter’s largest competition yet, filling three floors of Arlington’s Ballston Common Mall with creative, beguiling, and ultimately edible, structures. The event compiled a donation of nearly 50,000 pounds of food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center, brought our 4 year total to over 150,000 pounds and made our Chapter the second largest donor to AFAC after the Boy Scouts. Part social event, part design competition, and part construction experience, Canstruction® is an event that barely feels like community service.

Canstruction® competitions are part of a national service project that is unique to the design and construction industry. Participating firms spend an evening building structures of their own design only with canned foods which are later donated to local food banks, but not before the structures are assessed by a distinguished panel of jurors who select the most inventive, well-crafted and nutritious installations. Local winners become eligible for national recognition at the annual AIA convention.

Build-out night, scheduled for April 4, will be here before you know it, so start planning your structures soon. Any member firm, or member-sponsored student group, is eligible to participate, and our help is needed this year more than ever before. Teams must register by February 1. More information is available by contacting the Chapter House at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org.

Nominate Your New Project For This Year’s Design Awards Banquet!
Each year the Design Awards committee seeks to identify a recently completed and architecturally significant project within the DC metropolitan area in which to host the annual awards banquet. Last year’s exciting event was held at the Capital One Lecture Hall and Conference Center by Mancini Duffy and VOA at the Capital One corporate campus in McLean. Previous banquet venues have included such noteworthy projects as The US Patent and Trademark Office by SOM, Strathmore Music Center by William Rawn and Grimm & Parker, and the USA Today / Gannett Headquarters building by Kohn Pederson Fox.

If you would like to nominate a recently completed project designed by your firm, or simply your favorite new building in town, please e-mail J. Paul Lewis or Reza Sadeghi of the Design Awards committee by Friday, January 25th. The ideal venue should have an interesting area for cocktails and buffet dinner, an auditorium or conference space that will accommodate at least 225 people, and a pleasant space for après-awards dessert! Building tours led by members of the designing firm(s) are always a highlight of the evening when possible.

The Design Awards Banquet is traditionally held on or near the first weekend in June, depending upon the building availability. If you can provide contact information for a representative of your venue nomination, the design awards committee will be happy to take over from there. Thanks, and we’ll see you at the banquet in June!

Featured Project

Claude Moore Recreation Center
Loudoun County, VA
Wisnewski Blair and Associates, Inc.

Wisnewski Blair and Associates, Inc. (WBA) in association with Moody·Nolan, Inc., provided comprehensive architectural design services for the 89,000 GSF state-of-the-art Claude Moore Recreation Center in Loudoun County, VA.

The complex includes a recreation center with staff and administrative areas that conjoins to a 13,000 GSF community center with an eight classroom pre-school. Designed to reflect the rural vernacular of Loudoun County, selected design elements such as red brick, a metal roof and silo ensured the facility successfully fit the overall context of the area.

Elements within the recreation center include: a 50 meter competition pool complete with diving boards and a moveable bulkhead; a 10,000 GSF aquatics facility that holds a 6,000 GSF leisure pool natatorium, 30 foot water slide which ascends into the building’s silo, and therapeutic spa pool.

A three-lane 1/16 mile elevated jogging track overlooks a fitness atrium with free weight and circuit training areas adjacent to a 30 foot rock climbing wall with five different climbing routes. Behind the rock climbing wall is a 10,000 GSF multi-purpose gymnasium with a divider curtain for simultaneous basketball and volleyball play. The recreation center opened in January 2007 followed by the community center addition in November 2007.

WBA, Inc.
Claude Moore Recreation Center Reception Area from the Jogging Track

Competition Pool

Claude Moore Recreation Center Main Entrance

All Photos ©Maxwell MacKenzie


January 16 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series: IBC 2006
Noon-1:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. This program will review significant changes in the 2006 edition of the International Building Code (IBC). After attending this session, participants will be able to identify the significant changes in the 2006 IBC, determine under what conditions these changes are applicable and recognize the impact of these changes on building design features. 1 AIA/CES HSW LU. Free. Registration required. To register, contact the Chapter House at reservations@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

January 24 - Young Architects Forum Committee Meeting
6:30p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. For additional information, e-mail committee chair Francisco Grimaldi.

February 11 - 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.

February 13 - 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. Participants will also gain an understanding of common engineering challenges and why coordination between the architect and engineer is critical for a successful project. 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 required. To register, contact the Chapter at reservations@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

February 27 - ARE Prep Series: Roundtable
Time and location to be determined. The Young Architects Forum 2008 ARE study seminars begin with the Roundtable featuring Kekku Lehtonen, AIA, Assistant Director for ARE Development at NCARB. Registration information and a more definitive schedule will be available in late January.

February 28 - AIA Northern Virginia Open House
6:00p-8:00p, at the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. Please join us at our annual Chapter Open House. Visit with colleagues, meet the Chapter Board, enjoy some refreshments and learn about upcoming events. The Open House is free and reservations are not necessary.

March 6 - A Conversation with Local Code Officials
10:00a-2:30p, at the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, located at 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria. There is sometimes a perception by architects that one jurisdiction may require more or different information for a building permit submission than another or that a locality interprets a code section differently than elsewhere in Virginia. Resubmitting permits costs the firm and your clients money. Now is your opportunity to sit down with code enforcement representatives from several local jurisdictions and have an open discussion about the permit submission process and to hear about the pending transition from the 2003 to the 2006 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code.

The cost is $65 for AIA members and $80 for non-members. Lunch will be provided. Pre-paid registration is required. Attendance is limited and our code seminars typically sell out quickly. AIA members may pay with a credit card through the Chapter’s website or by mailing a check to the Chapter House. Non-members must pay by check, payable to AIA Northern Virginia, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, and include contact information. 4 AIA/CES HSW Learning Units are available for attending the event.

April 17 - Philip Johnson: Architecture as Art, at The Kreeger Museum
6:30p-8:30p, members of AIA and their guests are invited to join Dr. Erich Keel, Head of Education, for a wine and cheese reception, talk and walk-through of the exhibition, Philip Johnson: Architecture as Art, on view at The Kreeger Museum March 15 - July 31, 2008. The museum is 2401 Foxhall Road NW, Washington, DC 20007. The AIA Northern Virginia Chapter is co-sponsoring this event with the Kreeger Museum and offering 1.5 AIA/CES Learning Units. Tickets are $30 and expected to sell out quickly. For reservations, call (202) 338-3552.

Philip Johnson, Da Monsta
New Canaan, Connecticut, 1996

photo by Richard Payne