Volume 6, No. 11 - November 30, 2012
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, by MTFA (more info)
In This Issue

ABI Trending Up

Get Included in New Directory

AIA Health Care Seminar

Featured Project: Lutheran Church
    of the Redeemer


Visit the AIANOVA Website

ABI Shows Strongest Increase in Nearly Two Years
Architecture firms reported an improvement in business conditions for the second consecutive month in September, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) climbed to a score of 51.6, reflecting the strongest growth in nearly two years. Firms of all specialties, except commercial/industrial reported higher firm billings. Firms with a residential specialization recorded their highest scores in nearly seven years, as the demand for rental housing is increasing, interest rates continue to fall and the mortgage crisis recedes further into the background. This growth is also reflected with an increase of hiring at architecture firms. In response to this month's special practice question, nearly half of firms (44 percent) reported that they have been looking to hire employees this year. Details on the full report can be found here.

Complete a Firm Survey to be Included in the New Membership Directory
We are in the process of producing a membership directory with the Potomac Valley Chapter, available in both print and digital formats in early 2013.

Over the last day, all AIA and Associate AIA chapter members were sent a firm survey by email. The information we receive from this survey will be used to create the architecture firm section of the directory. The survey is brief and should only take 5 minutes to complete.

The directory will include both membership and firm sections. All chapter members will be included in the membership section without having to complete the survey or take any action. We will use the National AIA membership database to obtain our current membership information.

Since AIA does not have firm memberships, we do not have a source to provide us with up-to-date firm information, so we need to rely on a survey to collect that information from our members. So members only need to complete this survey if they need to provide information about their firm for the architecture firm section of the directory.

Surveys are due by December 14. Please be sure to respond by this deadline. We will only be able to include the firms that send us information through the survey. You can also access the survey online here or through your mobile device here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chapter.

Opportunity for Local Architects to Take Part in AIA Health Care Seminar/Webinar
Metro area architects are invited to participate in person while the AIA conducts a webinar about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on December 6, 11:00a, at the AIA Headquarters. The webinar will be broadcast live for AIA members across the country and recorded for future use. Members in attendance will be able to ask questions of the presenters. Space is very limited, so if you are interested in attending in person, email Shervan Sebastian, Manager, Federal Relations at AIA, to reserve a place. Members are also invited to participate in the free webinar. 1 CEH is available for both the onsite and online presentations. Complete information on the webinar is available here.

Win a Free Trip to the National Convention
AIA is offering early renewal promotions for those who renew their AIA membership by December 31. You will receive one entry in a sweepstakes drawing for a complete 2013 AIA National Convention package including travel to Denver, accommodations and convention registration. You also receive one free continuing education course from AIA Virtual Convention, which offers over 30 courses, including HSW and SD credits.

You should have already received your 2013 AIA dues invoice. You are able to pay online, by phone, by mail, by fax and by a dues installment plan. Specific instructions are included with your invoice and additional information is available on the AIA website.

Northern Virginia Magazine Seeks Architects for Article
A Northern Virginia Magazine writer is looking for architects and designers who live in, and specialize in, small homes - from Old Town row houses to Arlington bungalows to small historic homes - that you've lovingly restored for yourself and/or clients. If this topic is a good fit, or if you would be interested in making yourself available for interviews for future home-related articles, please email jennifershapira@gmail.com.

Society Seeks Candidates for Gubernatorial Appointments
As the governor prepares to fill vacancies on several state-wide boards, the VSAIA Board compiles a list of recommended nominees to send for his consideration. Some positions specifically call for an architect, others do not. Agencies with openings include the Board of Housing and Community Development; Virginia Housing Development Authority; Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority; Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation; Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects; Board of Historic Resources; and Fair Housing Board. Additional information is available here and questions can be directed to Duncan Abernathy, AIA.

Vote for Virginia's Favorite Architecture + Submit to the Art by Architects Exhibition
Virginia Society AIA is inviting architects to submit artwork for a juried exhibition at the Virginia Center for Architecture in April 2013. VSAIA members may submit up to five works of art for consideration without a fee. All other submittals require a fee of $20 per work of art, with a limit of five. Submissions are due January 18, 2013. Details are available here.

Then in preparation for VSAIA's 100th anniversary in 2014, the Virginia Center for Architecture is seeking input from AIA members to identify Virginia's Favorite Architecture. Your submissions will be used to help set a baseline for public voting. In addition to Virginia's many well-known historic structures, you are also encouraged to submit contemporary work and other noteworthy buildings as well. Access the survey here.

Featured Project

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
MTFA Architecture, Inc.
McLean, VA

 The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer sought to create a new entry identity that would be welcoming and revitalize its presence in the community. Located at the corner of Westmoreland Street and Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Virginia, the existing entry was uninviting, dark and crowded. The original building was typical of 1950s suburban church architecture with a heavy brick façade and had lost its sense of place at its active street intersection. The new design solution created an elegant entry narthex addition that welcomes all and is expressive of the church's mission.

 A grand brick arch welcomes visitors into the new narthex on axis with the existing sanctuary. The use of brick establishes a sense of permanence, while balancing values of transparency and craft in the Lutheran heritage. Natural light fills the interior space through clerestory windows above the arch and along the side walls. The wood cathedral roof is an extension of the existing sanctuary, reaching out to welcome visitors. The main entry is flanked by glass towers rotated off the main access to respond to site access points, reaching out as welcoming arms.

The new addition serves as both a community front porch and the living room of the church, hosting seasonal events and fellowship activities. It serves the church's mission of being accessible to all and "Sharing Christ’s love with the greatest number of people."

Photography by Dan Cunningham

December 3 -
By-Right / By-Design
Noon, webinar. CEHs [info]

December 4 - Managing Responsibilities and Risks using AIA Subcontract Agreements
2:00p, webinar. CEHs [info]

December 6 - The Affordable Care Act + You
11:00a, Washington, DC + webinar. CEHs [info]

December 7 - Significant Changes to the International Building Code 2012
8:15a, Roanoke. CEHs [info]

December 10 - LEED®, IgCC and AIA Sustainable Projects Contract Documents
2:00p, webinar. CEHs [info]

December 10 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
6:00p, Chapter House. [info]

December 11 - Young Architects Forum Planning Meeting
7:00p, Chapter House. [info]

2013 Dates to Note:
  January 9 - Architecture in the Schools Exhibit Opening
  February 6 - Lunch Seminars: Building Integrated Photovoltaic Roofing + Vegetated Garden Roof Systems
  February 12 - AIA Northern Virginia Annual Open House
  April 7-13 - Architecture Week
  April 22 - AIA Northern Virginia Golf Tournament

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.