Volume 3, No. 5 - May 20, 2009
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Randall Mars Architects
Slowdog Run, by Randall Mars Architects (more info)
In This Issue

Design Awards Gala

Code Seminar

In Practice...

Featured Project: Slowdog Run


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Make Your Design Awards Gala Reservations Today

The new Volkswagen Group of America's U.S. Headquarters in Herndon, designed by VOA Associates Incorporated, is the site of our Design Awards Gala on Saturday, June 6th.

Come and celebrate design. The evening showcases all 164 projects submitted this year, culminating in the surprise announcement of the winning projects.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, an award-winning architect and adjunct professor of architecture at North Carolina State University, is the keynote speaker. Educated at both the North Carolina School of Design and the Architectural Association in London, he studied under James Stirling and worked for Richard Meier in New York before forming his own practice, Frank Harmon Architect, in Raleigh.

As a practitioner, Mr. Harmon is considered a leader in the field of sustainable design. In 2005 Frank Harmon Architect was named "Top Firm of the Year" by Residential Architect magazine. His work has been featured in numerous national and international journals, magazines and books, including The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press), and has been exhibited at the National Building Museum.

Recently, Mr. Harmon received First Place in a design competition to select the architect for the AIA/North Carolina's new headquarters in Raleigh. He was also featured in the "Conversation" section of Dwell magazine and on American Public Media's "The Story with Dick Gordon" (NPR).

Mr. Harmon is one of seven distinguished architects from the Raleigh area who served on this year's design awards jury. Additional information on all the jury members is available on the Design Awards Webpage.

The gala begins at 6:00p with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, buffet and live music. The highlight of the evening is the announcement of the winning projects, followed by dessert and coffee.

Invitations have been mailed to all members. Tickets are $100 and prepaid reservations are requested by Tuesday, June 2. Please note that this is an extension from the original date printed on the invitation, courtesy of Volkswagen Group of America.

RSVP by emailing reservations@aianova.org. Gala details and information on reservations and payment may be found on our Design Awards Website.

2006 IBC Accessibility and Usability Training in Alexandria
June 11, 8:00a-4:30p
This training is offered free of charge by the City of Alexandria's Office of Building and Fire Code Administration. The City has offered members of AIA Northern Virginia 30 seats at the workshop.

  • This workshop provides requirements for construction of accessible structures in compliance with the IBC and the referenced standard, ICC/ANSI A117.1-2003.
  • It introduces the topics of plan review and inspection for construction allowing the physically challenged, the visually impaired and the hearing impaired to use buildings of all types.
  • It discusses the primary objective of the 2006 IBC, which is to meet or exceed, to the maximum extent possible, the requirements of the ADAAG and the FHAG.
Presented by John Gibson, International Code Council. Please bring your IBC 2006 along with 2003 ICC/ANSI A117.1.

Training will be held at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King Street, Alexandria 22302. The workshop begins at 8:00a and will conclude at 4:30p, with a break to take lunch on your own from noon-1:30p. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided in the morning. The workshop is offered free of charge and offers 7 AIA/CES HSW LUs.

Attendance is limited to the first 30 Chapter members who reserve a place by emailing reservations@aianova.org. If you reserve a place and find you are not able to attend, please inform us so we can offer your place to another member.

In Practice...
AIA Headquarters to Close June 1-5
Due to revenue shortfalls, AIA National finds it necessary to make reductions in operating expenses. Part of this reduction calls for the furlough of all national staff during the first week of June and again during the first week of August. As required by law, the staff is prohibited from doing any Institute-related work, including answering phone calls and email messages, during the furlough period. While Headquarters is closed, please know that AIA Northern Virginia will remain open and can help you with any of your membership needs and questions. As always, please feel free to contact us at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards Accepting Submittals
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Fairfax County is accepting entries for the 2009 Exceptional Design Award Program through June 24. Projects submitted to the AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards that are located in Fairfax County are automatically entered into the Fairfax County program. Others may submit entries directly, either digitally or in an 8.5" x 11" binder. Additional information and specific submission requirements can be found here.

Featured Project

Slowdog Run
Faber, VA
Randall Mars Architect

50 acres in Nelson County 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville, VA was purchased with hopes of gathering artists and likeminded friends to develop 5-6 home sites, a studio and/or visiting artist in residence.

The first site was developed with views of the mountains to the southwest, the backyard opening to the woods. The front yard was developed for future gatherings; a concrete block isolates the cars from the social space.

The house is of a modern rural vernacular. The public spaces are contained under a simple shed roof, with clerestory lighting from the east. The sleeping quarters are on 2 levels in the taller, protected "silo." The public and private functions are separated by office and gallery space on the first floor, sheltered under a flat roof. Above is an elevated terrace for star gazing.

The materials are simple, with clapboard siding as the standard. Highlights are clad in vertical cedar siding and split-faced concrete block.

To date, visitors include a flock of wild turkeys, a small bear, a bobcat and numerous birds. A vineyard is being cultivated, as well as bees.

Life is simpler.

June 1 - DesignDC Early Bird Registration Deadline
DesignDC 2009: Architects Leading Change will take place July 14-16 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. This three-day conference and exhibition offers a convenient and efficient way to earn the Continuing Education Learning Units. Early Bird registration prices end June 1st. For complete information on sessions, tours and registration, click here.

June 3 - Financial Survival Guide: Financial Security in Uncertain Times
Noon-1:30p, at Virginia Tech's Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, 1001 Prince Street, Alexandria 22314. The discussion will focus on financial security concerns of employees, including the self-employed and those who recently may have become unemployed. Presented by Clem Dinsmore and Richard Rowehl with Oppenheimer & Co. and Donna Alcorn with Rust Insurance Agency. For complete information, visit here. 1.5 AIA/CES LUs. Free. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

June 6 - ARE Prep Series: Programming Planning + Practice
10:00a-2:00p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. For information, visit the Chapter ARE Website.

June 6 - AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards Gala
6:00p, at the Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., 2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive, Herndon, Virginia 20171. Read the article above and visit the AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards Website for all of the details.

June 7 - Women in Architecture Brunch
This brunch will focus on mid-career architects. If you would like to receive information please email WIA at wia@aianova.org.

June 8 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30-6:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org.

June 10 - Women in Architecture Happy Hour
This Happy Hour will be held in DC. If you would like to receive information please email WIA at wia@aianova.org.

June 17 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series
11:00a-1:15p, at BeeryRio Architecture, Inc., 8001 Braddock Road, 4th Floor, Springfield, Virginia 22151. Two presentations: Potential Environmental Conditions on Commercial and Non-Commercial Properties, presented by Triad Engineering, Inc., provides an overview of potential environmental conditions and concerns. Then Sustainability Standards Entering Green Building Objectives, presented by Jeff Rezin of Rezin Inc., will discuss concepts of sustainability focusing on performance, materials, life cycle analysis and standards. For complete information, visit the event page. 2 AIA/CES HSW SD LUs. Free. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

June 20 - ARE Prep Series: Site Planning + Design
10:00a-2:00p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. For information, visit the Chapter ARE Website.