Volume 2, No. 11 - September 4, 2008
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Ritter Architects
Green Acres School - Middle School, by Ritter Architects (more info)
In This Issue

Architecture Exchange East

WAAC Internship Fair

Inter-School Design Competition

AIA Updates

Featured Project:
  Green Acres Middle School


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Make Your Mark at ArchEx

Registration is now open for Architecture Exchange East, held in Richmond November 12-14. This year's keynote speaker is Craig Dykers, AIA, a founding partner of Snøhetta, the firm featured on the cover of August's Architectural Record.

Don't miss your opportunity to hear about his work on Egypt's Alexandria Library and the National Opera in Oslo. As you've come to expect, ArchEx will feature over 70 educational sessions, 150 vendors and countless opportunities to engage in lively discussions, gain valuable insight from industry thought-leaders and stay on the cutting-edge of the profession. Sign up before September 30 at www.archex.net to lock in the best rates.

Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Consortium Internship Fair 2008
AIASLocal architecture firms are invited to participate in this year's Internship Fair at WAAC on September 12. During this half day event firms will have an opportunity to meet with upper-level undergraduate and graduate architecture students from universities such as Virginia Tech, Cal Poly, University of Mendoza in Argentina, and Weimar University in Germany - all of whom are looking for a part-time position for the upcoming academic year. The fee to participate, which goes to support the AIAS WAAC, is $200 per table. As space is limited, please express your interest as soon as possible.

For additional information or to reserve space, Virginia firms please contact Beth Barrett and DC/Maryland Firms please contact Brian Sykes.

Inter-School Student Design Competition Returns in September

Over the past two decades the three Washington area chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Washington Architectural Foundation, and the National Building Museum have collaborated to organize the annual Inter-School Student Design Competition. These competitions have opened the door for students to the various local architectural curriculums and the architectural profession. Participants in this design competition are students enrolled in the area's university architecture programs.

Each year the universities take a turn to develop the architectural program for the competition. This year Michelle Rinehart, Assistant Dean at Catholic University, is developing the final details of the project's program that will be submitted to the students for a charrette that will be held on the floor of the Great Hall at the National Building Museum on Sunday, September 14, 2008. The subject for the competition program is an urban design study of Mt. Vernon Square. The lead juror is Stephen Muse, FAIA. Other jury members include: Randall Mars, AIA of the Northern Virginia chapter, Barbara Laurie, AIA of the Washington DC chapter and Paul Klee, AIA of the Potomac Valley Chapter. The jury and presentation of awards will be held at 5:30p at the National Building Museum on September 15, 2008. We are very fortunate to have Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi give the Spotlight on Design lecture following the awards ceremony.

The Inter-School Student Design Competition is one of several events organized by the AIA Schools Connection Committee which is co-chaired by Francie Fetzer, Associate AIA and Sean Reilly, AIA. The committee is raising funds to offset competition expenses and provide awards to the winners. As of last week the committee has raised a little over half of the $7,000 goal for the competition. Firms wishing to participate as a Sponsor of the Competition should contact Francie or Sean at (703) 528-1150.

AIA Updates + Announcements
Discounts Offered by the AIA Career Center
The AIA Career Center saves you time and money by letting you post your employment opportunities directly to your audience: architects, project managers, designers, and more. You can target profession-specific, highly qualified candidates nationwide instantly. For a limited time, listings can be posted at a 10% discount. Take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your business while saving with a proven cost-effective recruitment tool.

Visit www.aia.org/careercenterfirms to get started. Use coupon code POSJUL when making your purchase. Offer good through September 30, 2008.

AIA Northern Virginia offers a local job board on our website at www.aianova.org/prof_jobs.php. Chapter members are invited to post entries free of charge as a benefit of membership.

Diversity Recognition Program
Share Your Contributions to Diversity in Architecture. The AIA announces their Call for Submissions for A Celebration of Diversity in Architecture. The AIA Diversity Recognition Program seeks exemplary efforts to diversify the architecture profession. The jury will select up to 12 submissions as diversity best practices meriting the following recognition:
  • Profiles in AIArchitect and on the AIA Diversity Web page
  • Inclusion in the AIA Best Practices library on Soloso and aia.org
  • Acknowledgment at AIA National Convention events, including the GLBT Reception, Minority Fellows Reception, and Women in Architecture dinner
  • Commemoration in a Celebration of Diversity in Architecture poster
For complete details, including potential topics, see the Call for Submissions (PDF). Electronic submissions are preferred and should be sent to diversity@aia.org by September 15. For questions, send an e-mail to diversity@aia.org. For more information, visit the Diversity and the AIA website.

Featured Project

Green Acres School - Middle School Building
Rockville, MD
Ritter Architects

This recently constructed middle school building is one of a half dozen projects designed by the architects on the campus of a private school in Rockville, Md. The program includes ten classrooms, administration offices, a "black box theater" and a photography studio.

The building had been master planned to be a one story building and it had a footprint that had been approved by the local authorities in 1997. However, because the school had grown, they now needed twice as much space and asked the architect to put the additional area in a basement. The vertical circulation space opens out onto a large sunken court to allow light to penetrate into the Lower Level, and each classroom at this level is given a large window that looks out through a wide light well with landscaping.

The classrooms are sized and arranged to meet the unique pedagogical requirements of the school. In addition, the architect suggested the project focus on the role of the circulation spaces between the required spaces.

The central corridor has been organized into a series of five octagons, with strong natural light. This articulation of the space relieves the tedium of a long undifferentiated space and makes possible a series of "places" that have different functions: entrance, vertical circulation, exhibition space, etc.

Because of their configuration and "extra space," the octagons promote social contact among the students before, between and after classes.

The masonry fin walls of the classrooms are yellow, but the octagons are pure white with skylights along each side. The goal is to enhance the experience of moving to and from the classrooms.


September 9 - Tour of Architecture, Incorporated and AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30p board meeting; 6:00p tour. At Architecture, Incorporated, 1902 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 101, Reston, VA 20191. Tour the firm and learn about both business practices and recent projects. Tour follows the AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting. 1 AIA/CES LU. Tour is free and registration is not necessary. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org.

September 9-11 - Integrated Design Using CPTED, LEED®, BIM and the ICC SMARTcodes & BIMStorm™
At the Westin Hotel, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria 22314. These two separate but related events are organized by the City of Alexandria. On September 9 from 8:00a-4:15p, Integrated Site and Building Design Using CPTED, LEED®, BIM and the ICC SMARTcodes will present essential knowledge to rapidly site and design federal facilities in an urban area.

8 AIA/CES HSW LUs. Cost: $10 donation to the Northern Virginia Crime Prevention Association (NVCPA) to be collected on site. On September 10-11, there will be a two-day, live BIMStorm™ for the Alexandria area. There is no charge for participating; no LUs are offered. For additional information and to register for either event, visit www.alexecon.org and BIMStorm, or contact AEDP at (703) 739-3820 or info@alexecon.org.

September 13 - How To Work With An Architect Workshop
10:00a, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria. A workshop, aimed at potential clients, offering an overview of the design and construction process for residential projects. Features Randall Mars, AIA, with Randall Mars Architects in McLean. To register, e-mail reservations@aianova.org.

September 14-15 - Inter-School Design Competition
At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Student Design Charrette is September 14, 9:00a-5:00p; Awards Ceremony is September 15, 5:00p. Visitors are welcome to view the charrette in progress and attend the awards ceremony; registration is not required. Registration is required, at www.nbm.org, for the Spotlight on Design lecture that follows the awards ceremony. For additional information, see the article above.

September 16 - Design Build Contract Forms, Legal Risks, Legislation and Roles Web Seminar
2:00p-3:30p, at DMJM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington, Virginia 22201. Organized by the AIA. Webinar will feature speakers Bill Quatman and Barry Bannet. Additional information is available at http://www.aia.org/ev_db_webinar4. 1.5 AIA/CES LUs. Free, but registration is required. Please e-mail registration request to reservations@aianova.org.

September 17 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series
11:00a-1:15, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. Two presentations: The Renaissance of Terrazzo and Wall Systems / Air Barriers. The Terrazzo presentation covers Terrazzo types and performance properties, design criteria, technical detailing and specifications, systems and substrates, crack and moisture vapor transmission mitigation, precast detailing, applications and typical uses. The Wall Systems / Air Barriers presentation looks at air, vapor and rain barriers and how barriers affect IAQ; premature deterioration and mold control; membrane technology; review of various flashing materials; thru-wall flashing design considerations; job site practices; and the Cloaked Flashing System. Presented by Marty Fischer of Preservation & Protection Systems, Inc. 1 AIA/CES LU for the first presentation and 1 AIA/CES HSW LU for the second. Free, but registration is required. Please e-mail your registration request to reservations@aianova.org.

There are several interesting continuing education opportunities coming later this fall, including a Sustainable and Energy Efficient Building Envelope Workshop and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) 2008 Conference. Registration is already available for these events. For additional information, visit the Chapter's Continuing Education page.