Virginia Appreciates Architecture
by Deborah S. Burns
"To instill a greater appreciation for proper stewardship of the Commonwealth's manmade and natural resources," Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore, III established that state's Architecture Week.
Last month, in the annual event's first celebration, Virginia residents enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn about their built environment, both new and historic.
The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects (VSAIA) sponsors this annual statewide celebration recognizing the contributions of architects and architecture to the quality of life in Virginia communities.
The AIA Northern Virginia Chapter kicked off the week with an open house and exhibit at the Virginia Tech Alexandria Center for Architecture. The event brought together students, professors, practicing architects, and the general public.
Over 35 award-winning projects from Northern Virginia architects were exhibited, and architects from winning firms were there to discuss their work. In a market where architectural employees are hard to find, this event gave firms an opportunity to informally recruit students and for students to confer with multiple firms.
The open house also allowed architects to interact within the academic setting. Richard Anderson from Gensler said: "I have a lot of graduates from here, but this is my first opportunity to visit the school."
Historic Old Town Alexandria was subject of one tour in last month's Architecture Week in Northern Virginia.
Photo: William A. Cox, AIA
An awards jury commented on how well the Kerns Group Architects blended diverse elements of the old and new sections of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Arlington to form an integrated whole.
Photo: Maxwell MacKenzie
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