Volume 2, No. 2 - February 8, 2008
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Berkeley County Judicial Center, by DMJM Design | AECOM (more info)
In This Issue

Virginia Design Forum 2008

Newsletter Now Available Digitally

Schools Connections Update

ARE Scholarship Available

2008 Compensation Study

Featured Project:
  Berkeley County Judicial Center


Featured Sponsor:
  Horizon Builders

Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Virginia Design Forum 2008 to be Held Against the Backdrop of Mt. Vernon
An outstanding program is planned for the eighth Virginia Design Forum, which will take place in Washington, D.C., and at historic Mount Vernon on March 7-8, 2008. The theme for discussions at the biennial conference is "Control: The Changing Role of Architects."

"We feel we have always had the good fortune to assemble an excellent slate of speakers for the Design Forum. But this year is a truly stellar cast. We will have the opportunity to interact with four trend-setters in the architectural profession," says Vernon Mays, Director of Design Programs for the Virginia Society AIA.

Each of the speakers is producing work that broadens the practice of architecture or expands the leadership role of architects. Keynote speaker Thomas Phifer, AIA, principal of New York City-based Thomas Phifer and Partners, is a former design partner at Richard Meier & Partners. In that capacity, Phifer headed many of the firm’s large projects in Europe, where he learned a collaborative process that has translated to his more recent work in the United States. For example, Phifer's major expansion of the North Carolina Museum of Art was shaped in significant ways by the early involvement of landscape architect Peter Walker and lighting engineers from London-based Arup, which has been a key contributor in the realization of a sophisticated daylighting system in the museum galleries.

Other speakers on the program bring innovative ideas to the discussion. Gordon Gill, AIA, principal of the Chicago firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, is a key player in the creation of Pearl River Tower, a 1.8 million square foot high rise that will incorporate massive wind turbines to generate energy and redirect airflow to ventilate the interior. Jonathan Segal, FAIA, of San Diego, has responded to the demand for multifamily housing in downtown San Diego through an unusual business model – one in which he functions as both the architect and developer. And Monica Ponce de Leon, a principal of the Boston firm Office dA, takes a research-based approach to investigating new materials and their capacities in both small- and large-scale projects. The firm's recent Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design benefited not only from cutting-edge digital production techniques, but its rapid schedule required careful staging and sequencing of work that was coordinated by the architects.

The conference's final segment on Saturday afternoon is a panel discussion that will be led by Ned Cramer, Editor in Chief at Architect magazine. Learn more about about this year's forum from the VSAIA website.

Thomas Phifer, AIA

Gordon Gill, AIA

Jonathan Segal, FAIA

Monica Ponce de Leon

AIA Northern Virginia News Now Available Digitally

As 2008 begins, we want to offer you the opportunity of choosing to receive your copy of the Chapter newsletter, AIA Northern Virginia News, in printed form or now in digital form. We are offering this choice for convenience and sustainability. The choice is entirely yours and you can request a switch at any time. We will continue to have a printed newsletter. (Please note, that due to our e-mail software, we can only send the digital newsletter to the primary e-mail address listed for you in the AIA database.) If you wish to switch and receive the newsletter digitally, and/or you want to change the e-mail address we currently have for you, please let us know by sending an e-mail to aianova@aianova.org.

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.

ARE Scholarship Award

In recognition of his contributions to internship, licensure, and the profession—including his own pursuit of the Architect Registration Exam (ARE)—the National Associates Committee has established a national ARE scholarship in honor of Jason Pettigrew, Associate AIA. The purpose of the award is to recognize the significant contributions of interns at an early stage of their career and to help encourage them to complete their licensure by helping with the cost of the exam. Awards are not based on financial need as much as they are based on contributions the intern has made to the profession and his or her community. Scholarship recipients will receive Kaplan ARE study guides and reimbursement for the cost of passing all divisions of the ARE. Applications must be received via e-mail by Wednesday, February 27, 2008, at 5:00 pm. For more information and to download a copy of the application, click here.

Participate in the 2008 AIA Compensation Survey
It has been almost three years since the AIA published the 2005 AIA Compensation Survey Report – an industry standard, and the most comprehensive national survey on architect compensation. The new 2008 survey will provide compensation data for 40 positions at architecture firms, all nine regions of the country, plus many states and metro areas. To thank you for your participation, you will receive a complimentary PDF copy of the complete survey report when it is released. Because only a limited number of firms can be directly contacted, your reply is vital for the success of this study. If you have received an invitation to participate, please be sure to submit your response by the deadline. If you are a firm leader who has not received an invitation and would like to participate, please send an e-mail to Dick Rogers at aiahelp@readexresearch.com. We thank you in advance for your participation.

Featured Project

Berkeley County Judicial Center
Martinsburg, WV

Interior Hall

Magistrate Court

The Berkeley County Judicial Center design is an adaptive reuse renovating a 1920s woolen mill into a judicial center for Berkeley County, West Virginia. DMJM Design elevated the building to the stature and identity appropriate for a judicial facility by using appropriate materials and civic massing. The design celebrates the original woolen mill by emphasizing its form and materials with a contrasting new glass entrance. This approach enhances its presence as a judicial facility while maintaining the local character and scale of the city of Martinsburg. The 122,606-square foot judicial center houses nine courtrooms and seven hearing rooms for the Circuit, Magistrate, and Family Courts.

The Berkeley County Judicial Center is planned around courtrooms and their related spaces: judges’ chambers, petit and grand jury hearing rooms, private circulation; prisoner holding and secure circulation; public waiting areas, witness waiting rooms, attorney/client conference rooms and public circulation. Flexibility is one of the keystones for the long-term viability for the Berkeley County Judicial Center. The entire judicial system is consolidated under one roof, making it easier to share spaces, e.g., unoccupied jury deliberations rooms can be used as ancillary conference or mediation rooms. DMJM Design worked closely with the county commission and judges to develop the design.

The Berkeley Building began as an industrial woolen mill and consisted of additions, renovations and structures original to the site. It became a four-story U-shaped building with a bridge connecting the two wings of the U-shape creating a courtyard. A new four-story addition fills the U-shape portion, connecting the two separate wings into one large floor plate. Original exterior walls are exposed in a new three-story “light well” to create a grand public space that serves as a frame of reference for members of the public to orient themselves within the large floor plate. The second, third and fourth floors connect through this open space. Glass railing bridges serve as entrances to the courtrooms. Skylights in the roof of the addition will afford light to the main public corridor and fourth floor courtrooms.

The structural system, commonly used in most new courthouse construction, is structural steel wide-flange beams and girders, built composite with a concrete slab on steel deck. The reason for the widespread use of steel framing in new court construction is that steel is better able to provide the long clear spans desired for courtrooms. The composite floor system minimizes sound transmission and floor vibration.


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 soon.

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.

Featured Sponsor

The Horizon Standard: Commitment to Excellence
Horizon Builders
Platinum Sponsor

"We call it Horizon Pride," says Joe Bohm, co-owner of Horizon Builders. "Our clients are architects and the homeowners they design for. They both expect the highest level of craftsmanship and service so we rely on each individual in our company—as well as our subcontractors, suppliers and manufacturers—to have an absolute commitment to each building project. It’s this commitment to excellence, and to communication, that’s given us our reputation as a premier builder."

And a stellar reputation they have. Horizon Builders, founded by Joe Bohm and George Fritz, have been in the architect-designed home building and renovation business for more than 25 years, compiling national awards along the way. Headquartered in Crofton, MD, Horizon is looking forward to expanding their track record beyond their current metro Washington, DC market into the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

Typically, Horizon has from 10-15 projects going on at the same time, all of different sizes and budgets. They are steadily developing a new market niche of projects that are smaller in scope than their current target market. Joe Bohm concludes, "No matter what size or budget a project is though, we’ll continue to focus on fine craftsmanship and continue to include both architects and homeowners in the building process. Without this triangle relationship, a building is just a box."

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