Volume 5, No. 5 - April 25, 2011
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Ritter Architects
Martha Washington Library, by Ritter Architects (more info)
In This Issue

Design Awards Entries Due Friday

In Practice...

Featured Project: Martha Washington


Visit the AIANOVA Website

Design Awards Entries Due Friday!
Design award submittals are due this Friday, April 29, by 5:00p. Submittal details are available on our Design Awards page at https://aianova.org/DA11/. Remember, you can re-submit any projects completed after June 1, 2006 that have not yet won. This year's jury is based in Chicago.

Founder's Hall Our Design Awards Gala is on Saturday, June 4. Invitations will be mailed shortly. As is our custom, the venue, Founders Hall (photo on right) on George Mason University's Arlington campus, is a recently completed project that showcases the best new architecture in our area. Designed by SmithGroup, this 256,000sf sustainable facility houses offices, classrooms, labs, a library and auditorium, and features a public plaza connecting the school to the community. The gala will feature a tasting of local wines paired with delectable food, PechaKucha-style presentations of winning projects, a glimpse of all submitted projects and some after-party festivities. So, save the date!
photograph © Maxwell MacKenzie / courtesy SmithGroup

In Practice...
Earn 2 HSW Credits at Wednesday's Lunch Series
Two topics: Universal Design, offering compelling reasons to incorporate Universal Design elements into projects, and Water Conservation, offering tips on specifying water-saving solutions. On April 27,11:00a-1:15p, at the Somerville Showroom in Falls Church. Registration is required by emailing reservations@aianova.org. Additional information is available here.

The Living Building Challenge
The LBC is a performance based rating tool that can be used to assess sustainability in building projects, neighborhood planning, restoration work and landscape and infrastructure projects. Learn more at a presentation organized by our Small Firm Roundtable on May 20. Speaker Robert Phinney, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, ID+C, with HDR Architecture, will offer an overview of the LBC and a discussion of the compliance standards and resources. Click here for details.

Lumenhaus... Meet Farnsworth House
Lumenhaus Citing its roots to the Farnsworth House as precedent, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has invited LumenHAUS to the Farnsworth estate to celebrate its ties to Mies van der Rohe's modern icon.Farnsworth House Join the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design at a reception at the Farnsworth House, just outside of Chicago, on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Alumni and friends are invited to a gathering featuring music, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks on the Farnsworth House terraces. Buses are available to transport visitors from and to Chicago. Space is limited. RSVP to Jan Wilson at Virginia Tech.

DCNOMA Announces a Networking Mixer and Scholarship Opportunities
The DC Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (DCNOMA) invites you to attend a multi-organizational mixer on April 26, hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, from 6:30-9:30p at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. DCNOMA also announces their 2011 Scholarship and Awards Program to encourage minorities within the architectural profession. Additional information on both the mixer and scholarship program may be found on the DCNOMA website.

AIA Small Project Practitioners Call for Submissions
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are among the social networking tools available for marketing our practices. Do you find online networking and social media useful, or see them as a colossal waste of time? How do you use social networking tools to promote your firm, and what responses have you received? The SPP Journal is seeking articles (500-800 words) and practice tips (100-400 words) for an upcoming issue on Marketing with Social Media. Submission deadline is May 2. Information may be found here.

Featured Project

Martha Washington Library
Ritter Architects
Alexandria, VA

The Martha Washington Library, designed by Ritter Architects, and located in Fairfax County, has just been awarded LEED® Gold Certification by the GBCI. The building has several sustainable features:
  • Building glazing consisting of low-e coated glass and insulated channel glass.
  • Building glazing is protected from direct solar heat gain through the use of overhangs and brise-soleil.
  • Provides views to the outside for more than 90% of regularly occupied spaces.
  • Use of materials that are recycled, local and renewable for interior finishes.
  • New metal roofing with a high solar reflectance, so that the building decreases the contribution to heat island effect.
  • A bio-retention pond, vegetated swale and planted storm inlets (filterra system) are used for storm water management.
  • Use of native and drought-tolerant planting materials to reduce irrigation needs.
  • Efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are implemented throughout the library.

The library has received three awards for design excellence, one from Fairfax County and two national awards – one from NAIOP, and just last week it was selected by the American Public Works Association as one of their Public Works Projects of the Year. Design features include:
  • Placing the addition to maximize the presence of the library on the street.
  • Assigning distinct iconic forms to the library addition (square) and the public meeting space (circle) to emphasize the difference in their functions.
  • A curved serpentine wall, of special material, leads a visitor from the entry porch to the Circulation Desk.
  • Use of natural diffused light in the stack area without exposing the books to the direct light of the sun.
  • User-friendly library – the Information Desk is broken up into several small pieces so that the staff and library patrons can mix as they move around the area. Self-checkout is provided for those who want to bypass the Circulation Desk.
  • The firm suggested the head of the library talk to the head of the Park Authority and negotiate the sharing of parking spaces with one of their facilities next door. This reduces the amount of paving and grading that would otherwise be required.

The design team includes: James W. Ritter, FAIA, Derek Norton, AIA, LEED AP, and John Wirth, AIA, LEED AP.

Experience the Martha Washington Library first hand on May 9 when Ritter Architects will offer a tour for our Chapter. The tour is from 6:00-7:00p, immediately following our Chapter board meeting at the library. Participants will earn 1 HSW-SD credit. The tour is free and reservations are not necessary.
photography by Prakash Patel

April 25 - Women in Architecture Planning Meeting
6:00-7:00p, at the Chapter House. For meeting or WIA information, contact Sonia Jarboe, Associate AIA, at sjarboe@gbrarch.com.

April 26 - 2012 Convention Tours Committee Meeting
6:30p, at the Chapter House. For meeting or committee information, contact Debbie Burns.

April 27 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series
11:00a-1:15p, at the Somerville Showroom, 6535 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Two sessions: Universal Design and Water Conservation. 2 HSW LUs. Registration required. [info]

April 29 - AIA Northern Virginia Design Award Submittals Due
Electronic submissions are due by 5:00p. The Call for Entries is available from https://aianova.org/DA11.

April 30 - Rebuilding Together Alexandria Day
9:00a-5:00p. Volunteers will help RTA make repairs to houses in Alexandria. [info]

April 30 - ARE Prep Series: Building Systems I - Electrical + Plumbing
10:00a-2:00p. Advance registration required. [info]

May 3 - Design Awards Committee Meeting
Noon-1:00p, at the Chapter House. For meeting or committee information, contact Scott Matties, AIA.

May 3 - Architecture in the Schools Exhibit Opening
6:30-8:00p, at Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Exhibit showcases students' projects from our AIS program. [info]

May 4 - Young Architects Forum Planning Meeting
6:30-7:30p, at the Chapter House. For meeting information or to be added to the YAF email list, contact the Chapter House.

May 9 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30-6:00p, at the Martha Washington Library, 6614 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria. A tour of the library will follow the meeting. For questions, contact the Chapter House.

May 9 - Martha Washington Library Tour
6:00-7:00p, located at 6614 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria. Ritter Architects will lead a tour of this LEED® Gold certified library in Fairfax County (see the Featured Project above). 1 HSW-SD LU. Free, registration not necessary. [info]

May 12-14 - AIA National Convention in New Orleans
Information is available on the AIA Convention website.

May 14 - ARE Prep Series: Building Systems 2 - Mechanical + Acoustics
10:00a-2:00p. Advance registration required. [info]

May 20 - Living Building Challenge
Noon-1:30p, at WAAC, 1001 Prince St., Alexandria. See announcement above. 1 HSW-SD LU. [info]

May 24 - Design Awards Committee Meeting
Noon-1:00p, at the Chapter House. For meeting or committee information, contact Scott Matties, AIA.

May 24 - Interschool Design Competition Meeting
9:00a, at the National Building Museum. For meeting or committee information, contact David Prevette, AIA.

May 25 - Women in Architecture Happy Hour
6:00-8:00p, location to be determined. For information on WIA, contact Sonia Jarboe, Associate AIA, at sjarboe@gbrarch.com.

June 4 - Design Awards Celebration
At George Mason University Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Dr., Arlington. Invitations will be mailed shortly and information will be available from https://aianova.org/DA11.

For additional information on any of these events, please contact the Chapter House at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org. The Chapter House is located at 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314.