New wave architect and Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel once said, “Each situation requires a new architecture.”
In other words, architecture must be harmony with the spirit and specific character of a place. This is exactly what our county’s Exceptional Design Awards honor: superior architecture that takes into account a project’s design in context of its relationship to its surroundings.
The 2017 award winners, which were recently announced, feature nine buildings:
- A contemporary home
- Apartment building in the Mosaic District
- A private school
- Five offices
- The Reston District Police Station and Governmental Center
Awards are granted in three categories: honor, merit and honorable mention, and a jury of design professionals, including architects, select the winners.
This residential project in Reston started with a 1970s contemporary home, reworked to open up views and interior/exterior spaces, creating a more open and spacious feeling for the homeowners. The project respected the original house, preserving its salient features, but masterfully integrating more modern features and materials – taking a period house and making it better.
Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization with a mission to solve complex scientific systems, process and infrastructure problems in ways that benefit the public. In 2016, the company moved into new offices in Reston, designed to change their normal work habits by emulating the products the company develops for their clients. The result is a layout that facilitates departmental interconnections by providing interactive breakout spaces in close proximity to every office. The jury found the design to be well thought out, with materials selected to create both quiet work spaces and fun and funky communal spaces. The jury was impressed with this thoughtful commercial interior.
A mixed-use development, Modera Mosaic is a residential anchor in the 31-acre Mosaic District. The design direction was initially set with the building façade—sleek and modern with expanses of glass—and the interior followed that direction with spaces that have a decidedly gallery-like feel.
“Modern organic” was the guiding phrase for the design team, building on an earthy palate of greens and blues set against sleek high-gloss white walls, color-morphing glowing walls, and an elegant variety of warm wood textures.
The awards jury described the project as a breath of fresh air to Northern Virginia, almost California-feeling, with its broken massing and strong use of color on the outside. The storefronts engage the public at street level and the elevated plazas provide great outdoor spaces for the residents. The building both fits in well and relates to its across-street neighbors.
The Board of Supervisors created an awards program 33 years ago to recognize quality design in our community. This year, the awards were officially renamed the James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards. Scott, who died in April, served as Providence District Supervisor from 1972 to 1987, as well as eleven terms in the Virginia House of Delegates.
The annual awards are sponsored in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the county’s Architectural Review Board.