2009 Fairfax County Exceptional Design Award Winners

EDAP The design jury for the Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards Program met July 15 for the twenty-fifth annual event and selected sixteen entries to receive awards. Entries were judged on four criteria:

  • Exemplifies a superior work of architecture;
  • Incorporates total site design and landscaping;
  • Takes into account the context of the work in relationship to its surroundings;
  • Applies energy and water conservation, and other green building practices.

The design awards program is sponsored by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and administered by the County's Department of Planning and Zoning in cooperation with the County Architectural Review Board and the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The purpose of the awards program is to recognize outstanding achievement in the total design of a building and the site and to create an awareness of superior planning and design projects. The 2009 Awards Ceremony was held on October 8, 2009.    2009 Winners Slide Show Presentation

The 2009 Award Winners

HONOR AWARD:   1800 Tysons Boulevard
CATEGORY:  Mixed use
ARCHITECT:  Kohn Pedersen Fox, Associates, PC, New York, NY
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  TYF Development Co., LLC, Lerner Enterprises

Jury Comments: The jurors described this project as striking, elegant, and beautifully proportioned. The architects selected materials that reinforce the massing and scale of the building, to create a balanced and carefully crafted composition. An attractive public plaza responds to the increasingly urban character of the Tysons Corner area, both acknowledging the dominance of automobiles in the suburbs and inviting to pedestrian traffic arriving from the future Metrorail extension.



MERIT AWARD:  Burke Centre Library
CATEGORY:  Institutional
ARCHITECT:  Grimm + Parker Architects, McLean, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Fairfax County


Jury Comments: Jurors described the library as open and inviting, playful and fun. A leaf motif inspired the design decisions, from the site plan and parking to the floor plan and façade treatments. Natural materials, primarily wood and stone, provide warmth to the interior. By contrast, the large areas of glass shaded by the soaring roofs provide an environmentally sensitive and dramatic visual connection to the adjacent landscape.


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MERIT AWARD:  Crosspointe Fire Station #41
CATEGORY:  Institutional
ARCHITECT:  Samaha Associates, PC, Fairfax, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Fairfax County


Jury Comments: The form of the building is clearly driven by the functional needs of fire station and the programmatic requirements for sustainability. Boldly modern massing and brightly-colored details are contrasted against a traditional Virginia material, red brick. The saw-tooth roofs tie together the asymmetrical masses of the various functional areas, from the hose tower to the apparatus bays to the control room and quarters for the firemen.




MERIT AWARD:  KRPool & Guest House
CATEGORY:  Residential
ARCHITECT:  Randall Mars Architects, McLean, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Barbara Kinosky & Kevin Riley


Jury Comments: The jury admired the compact plan and careful integration of interior volumes with exterior spaces to create an open and expansive character to the overall design. Solids and voids and contrasting materials provide both liveliness and balance to the overall composition. The challenge of making a modern design compatible with a traditional home is addressed frankly, with simple massing and fenestration and compatible materials and colors facing the street, and the complex, asymmetrical, modern features facing the pool and backyard.




MERIT AWARD:  Viola House
CATEGORY:  Residential
ARCHITECT:  Randall Mars Architects, McLean, VA


Jury Comments: Several jurors described the changes to the original building as transformative. With some very simple - but skillfully accomplished - moves, the interior was transformed from dark and closed to bright and open and integrated with the surrounding landscape. The judicious use of materials creates an understated contemporary twist to farmhouse vernacular, while respecting the historic character and materials of the original design.



MERIT AWARD:  Virginia Light
CATEGORY:  Residential (interior)
ARCHITECT:  Meditch Murphey Architects, Chevy Chase, MD
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  withheld at owner's request


Jury Comments: The jury was impressed by the careful attention to detail in all aspects of the design. The composition, proportions, and consistent use of materials and colors, exhibits great design sensibility. As a result, the spaces and volumes flow seamlessly into one another with a feeling of fun and whimsy.



MERIT AWARD:  Volkswagen Group of America, U.S. Headquarters
CATEGORY:  Office (interior)
ARCHITECT:  VOA Associates, Inc., Washington, DC
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Volkswagen Group of America


Jury Comments: Starting with a speculative office building, the architects skillfully inserted new features within the existing fabric so that the final result appears purpose-built. The design captures the aura of restrained elegance embodied in Volkswagen and Audi products. Simple forms and color palate allow the vehicles to dominate the display spaces which run across the full width of the first floor. A dramatic new staircase marks the main entrance and forms a vertical accent that carries the design themes to the upper floors.



CATEGORY:  Residential
ARCHITECT:  ACG Architects, McLean, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Richard & Pam Hanlon


Jury Comments: This is a very large house, but without an overwhelming feeling, achieved by a design that appears to be multiple buildings of relatively intimate scale. The jury was impressed by the careful attention to historical styles and details when used in a contemporary context, a difficult design challenge requiring great skill to accomplish successfully. The craftsmanship evident in the construction was also commended.



HONORABLE MENTION AWARD:  Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center
CATEGORY:  Community Benefit Project
ARCHITECT:  Torti Gallas & Partners, Silver Spring, MD
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Clark Realty Capital, LLC


Jury Comments: This building is an example of commendable environmental design. Executed in a Virginia vernacular style, the many sustainable features were thoughtfully incorporated into the overall design. The solar panels were discreetly located so that they do not detract from the historical appearance of the exterior. The jury also commended the project for achieving a LEED Platinum rating.



HONORABLE MENTION AWARD:    McConnell Public Safety &
Transportation Operations Center
CATEGORY:  Institutional
ARCHITECT:  HOK, Washington, DC
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Fairfax County


Jury Comments: The design is successful on several levels. Functionally, the spaces are organized in an efficient layout that provides dedicated space for each of the various functional groups, while facilitating easy and direct communication among them. The exterior reflects a balance between the need for a secure facility without appearing to be a fortified bunker. The canted glass box inset in one façade provides a dynamic counterpoint to the serious functions housed inside. Security features, such as barriers to access, are skillfully and unobtrusively integrated within the landscape design. The result is an attractive, but secure, public facility that fits well in its suburban context.




CATEGORY:  Office (interior)
ARCHITECT:  Architecture Inc., Reston, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Architecture Inc


Jury Comments: The layout of the floor plan inserted into this existing building was universally praised by the jurors, with its emphasis on the social considerations and interactions essential to collaborative work. A monochromatic color scheme, with contrasting light and dark tones, emphasizes the geometry of the design, with bold accents of bright color. The new use takes advantage of a unique opportunity to connect indoor and outdoor space in an office setting. Environmental sensitivity was an integral part of the program, exhibited by the glass wall that maximizes daylight, and the selection of finishes and fixtures for their sustainable qualities.



HONORABLE MENTION AWARD:  Reston Hospital Women's Imaging Center
CATEGORY:  Office (interior)
ARCHITECT:  Architecture Inc, Reston, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Reston Hospital


Jury Comments: Jurors admired the peaceful, non-threatening environment created by the design for this interior. The openness of the reception area includes open-appearing but in reality quite private registration booths. Warm materials and lighting and soft colors add to the serenity of the space. One juror observed that the subtle floral motif adds a feminine touch without being over the top.



CATEGORY:  Residential
ARCHITECT:  Amestudio, inc., Alexandria, VA


Jury Comments: Jurors were impressed with how this addition opened up the main living spaces and brought more light to the interior. Two intersecting gables each feature glazing over the full height of their end walls, creating dramatic, light-filled, two-story spaces. By contrast, the solid mass of the rectangular tower at the intersection of the two gable roof forms features alternating horizontal and vertical window openings punched into the solid planes of the tower. The solid bulk of the original enclosed stairway in the middle of the house was transformed into a bold design element, an open-riser stair that slashes across the new glass end wall.



CATEGORY:  Office (interior)
ARCHITECT:  DBI Architects, Inc., Reston, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  The Uniwest Group


Jury Comments: The jury found this interiors project to be simple and elegant, with solid and transparent materials used to define spaces. Contrasting light and dark colors further accentuate the architectural features. Especially notable is the progression of spaces leading into the conference room, which balances solids and voids, lights and darks, and curved and flat planes, to create a remarkable sense of arrival.



HONORABLE MENTION AWARD:  West Ox Bus Operations Center
CATEGORY:  Institutional
ARCHITECT:  Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., Alexandria, VA
OWNER/DEVELOPER:  Fairfax County


Jury Comments: The jury found this large, public use facility, to have a well-organized design based on function and efficiency. Careful massing and consistent use of materials provide a cohesive, campus-like setting that belies the character of a bus garage, allowing it to fit well within its suburban context. The project exhibits commendable environmental stewardship, including a green roof and maximizing the use of daylight.



CATEGORY:  Historical (adaptive re-use)
OWNER/DEVELOPER:   Lorton Arts Foundation & Fairfax County


Jury Comments: One juror summarized the project as a "commendable adaptive reuse of a former prison into a community resource." Introducing a radically new use while respecting and maintaining the historic, campus-like character of the former Lorton Prison workhouse was the primary challenge for the architects. The new uses were inserted into the existing spaces with a light touch, leaving much of the original interior volumes visible. Similarly, new mechanical systems are discretely located to minimize their visual impact and are differentiated from the historic features by their modern design.


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