Page N1.2 . 29 August 2007                     
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    Northern Virginia AIA Awards 2007


    "With a lot of nice moments and moves, this house will be fun to live in," the jury commented. "It has a great plan and consistency throughout... this designer was in complete control the whole way!"

    Two other winning residential projects shared a similar design strategy: Locust Hill in McLean, Virginia, by David Jones Architects, winner of an Award of Excellence, and Vandalia in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, by Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects, winner of a merit award. Both houses were designed to look as if they had grown over time, starting in previous century. The design process for each involved fabricating an architectural history for the structure, then building an "original" house and attached telescoping "additions," all reflecting the design and material constraints of the specified periods.

    On Vandalia, the jury stated, "The entire compound remains completely within its idiom... [I]t is sited beautifully, and respectfully distanced from the restored original home" (an existing historic structure, restored separately). On Locust Hill, the jury observed, "This project, inside and out, has an alluring modesty and authenticity about it... [I]t makes use of traditional forms and massing to modulate a rather large house... [I]t is traditionalism exceptionally well-wrought."

    Historic Excellence

    The two other Awards of Excellence were awarded in the chapter's Historic Architecture category. Located within view of Vandalia, on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, the C&O canal, and Antietam battlefield, is The Cliff House, renovated and restored by the same firm, Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects. The log-and-frame cabin dates to 1835, with additions and renovations in 1855 and 1891. Before the recent restoration, the structure had stood abandoned for nearly half a century. The project also included discreet alterations to allow use of the building as a guest house.

    A new external "skeleton" frame was added, allowing the interior log and planking surfaces to remain exposed while affording a cavity for insulation and utilities. A new bath was added on the second floor, structured to be suspended from above to avoid imparting loads on the existing exposed ceiling structure of the first floor. As required, new beams were sistered to existing joists and painted to differentiate new work from old. Windows, casings, woodwork, and mantels were restored based on field research and paint color analysis. Numerous elements in the building, such as a discovered former gable end window, were left exposed to highlight the structure's heritage. Two porches were added with footprints based on findings from perimeter excavations.

    "This building is totemistic almost," observed the jury, "very elemental in the landscape and the grove of trees by the river... an embodiment of American architecture. It just seems that the architect loved this building... and found something so simple that was once there, and wanted to restore the significance of this little house."

    Located down the C&O Canal in Georgetown is Caton's Walk, renovated by Cunningham | Quill Architects PLLC. The adaptive reuse project consisted of the historic preservation and conversion of a 1929 commercial automobile garage to house a mix of retail, office, and residential spaces, including the addition of a third-floor steel-and-glass penthouse.

    The jury lauded the project's presentation and design, and felt that it was a "convincing integration of old and new, showing great restraint in dealing with the existing." The jury continued: "[T]he techtonic quality of the addition works very well with the straightforward existing masonry foundation... [T]he ethos of the old and new parts are the same."

    Alluring Commercial

    Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, Virginia, garnered a merit award for Hugh Newell Jacobsen Architect, FAIA, PLLC. The facility consists of four buildings: a fermentation chai, a bottling building with storage for up to 10,000 cases, a circular underground cave to house oak barrels, and a separate tasting room situated between the other three buildings to allow viewing of the operations.

    The winery's domestic scale relates to the local rural vernacular. Hugh Newell Jacobsen, FAIA, designed the building with his son Simon Jacobsen, CEO of the firm. "What I was trying to do," says the elder Jacobsen, "was a building that was in the same spirit of the Virginia architecture of the 18th century." Cupola skylights crown the tall pitched roofs, allowing light into the industrial spaces. The fieldstone and seam-metal roofs are characteristic of 18th-century buildings in the area.

    The jury found the winery "[a] thoughtful and sensitive design, with the pavilions and stone walls cut into the landscape in a very accomplished way... [I]t skillfully celebrates the behind-the-scenes industrial aspect of a fully functioning modern winery by making it part of the art."   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Exterior overview of Vandalia in Sheperdstown, West Virginia, by Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects. The house was built to look as though it had been on the site for centuries.
    Photo: Walter Smalling

    ArchWeek Image

    Locust Hill in McLean, Virginia, designed by David Jones Architects, received an Award of Excellence from the AIA Northern Virginia chapter.
    Photo: Robert Lautman

    ArchWeek Image

    This storyboard drawing illustrates the architect's concept for the fictional multicentury development of Vandalia.
    Image: Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Plan drawings of Spout Run Residence, as renovated by David Jameson Architect, Inc.
    Image: David Jameson Architect, Inc. Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The Cliff House in McLean, Virginia, stood abandoned for some 50 years before its restoration by Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects.
    Photo: Walter Smalling

    ArchWeek Image

    Thanks to an unusual exterior wall retrofit, the original log walls remain exposed to the interior in The Cliff House, renovated by Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects.
    Photo: Walter Smalling

    ArchWeek Image

    Cunningham | Quill Architects adapted a 1929 automobile garage in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., into Caton's Walk.
    Photo: Paul Burk Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Site plan drawing of Caton's Walk in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
    Image: Cunningham | Quill Architects PLLC Extra Large Image


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