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AIA DC Awards Offer Survey of Washington’s Resurgence

After decades of bleeding population and tax base to its suburbs, Washington, DC, chose an odd time to reassert its identity as an actual cosmopolitan, urban presence, beyond the federal core of agencies and institutions that are often so separate from the daily life of the city. As the Great Recession tanked regional economies from coast to coast, these same staid federal and institutional presences remained insulated, as did DC’s general economy, powering a new generation of urban re-investment, documented here with AIA DC’s latest crop of design awards. These architecture projects are just a sampling of the component’s entire slate of awards this year. (There were 38 total recipients across several categories). As in past DC building booms, the programmatic cast of characters are the same. New money and new residents brings high-end residential projects and multi-family buildings, new park space, gleaming office buildings downtown, halting reinvestments in neighborhoods beyond the rapidly expanding gentrification perimeter, and of course, upgrades for some of the city’s federal institutions. But the same building types aren’t the same buildings, ensuring that DC’s recent boom years will always stand apart.

AIA-Slideshow

Architecture Award

<b>National Museum of American History Public Space Renewal</b> in Washington, DC, designed by SOM. Image courtesy of Eduard Hueber/Archphoto.

Architecture Award

<b>In Living Color</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Suzane Reatig Architecture. Image courtesy of Alan Karchmer Photography

Architecture Award

<b>Minim House</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Foundry Architects. Jury comments: There&rsquo;s an enormous precision of geometry, and much invention. Image courtesy of Paul Burk.

Architecture Award

<b>815 Connecticut Avenue</b> in Washington, DC, designed by VOA Associates. Image courtesy of Ron Blunt Photography.

Architecture Award

<b>The Treehouse</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Cunningham|Quill Architects. Jury comments: A low-key but excellently executed architecture Very monumental for a tiny building. Image courtesy of Paul Burk Photography.

Architecture Award

<b>1320 9th Street NW</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Wnuk Spurlock Architecture. Image courtesy of Gordon Beall Photography.

Architecture Award

<b>Capella Hotel</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Michael Winstanley Architects & Planners. Jury comments:  The renovation turned a repetitive block into a palazzo. Image courtesy of Jessica Marcotte.

Architecture Award

<b>U.S. Air Force Academy Holaday Athletic Center</b> in Colorado, designed by Cannon Design. Image courtesy of Fred J. Fuhrmeister.

Architecture Award

<b>NaCl</b> in Bethesda, Md., designed by David Jameson Architect. Jury comments: Complexity controlled through rigorous design. Image courtesy of Paul Warchol Photography.

Architecture Award

<b>Somerset Pool Bath House</b> in Somerset, Md., designed by McInturff Architects. Jury comments: [It&rsquo;s] much more complicated than it initially appears. Image courtesy of Julia Heine / McInturff Architects.

Architecture Award

<b>Mission Training Complex</b> in Fort Bragg, N.C., designed by JACOBS. Image courtesy of Joseph Romeo.

Architecture Award

<b>Rappahannock Bend Summer House</b> in King George, Va., designed by McInturff Architects. Jury comments: An incredibly elegant pavilion. It engages the pool, the trees&mdash;everything. Image courtesy of Julia Heine / McInturff Architects.

Architecture Award

<b>3 Trees Flats</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Schlesinger Associates Architects. Image courtesy of Paul Warchol Photography.

Architecture Award

<b>Tred Avon River House</b> in Easton, Md., designed by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect. Jury comments: What Mies couldn&rsquo;t fit in the glass box, he put in the basement. Here, it becomes interesting new architectural forms. Extremely elegant. A tour de force. Image courtesy of Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer.

Architecture Award

<b>2345 MLK Medical and Dental Clinic</b> in Washington, DC, designed by Howeler Yoon Architecture. Jury comments: Innovative use of materials gives life to an obviously limited budget. A remarkable amount of thought went into this design. Image courtesy of Howeler Yoon Architecture.

Architecture Award

<b>Tale of the Tongs &ndash; The Gathering</b> in Inishturk Island, Ireland, designed by Travis Price Architects.  Jury comments: Structures were put together with extreme care and sophistication to create a magical presence in an amazing landscape. One of the most amazing little projects I&rsquo;ve ever run across. It brings out the mythical aspect of architecture. Image courtesy of Michael McLaughlin.

Architecture Award

<b>Washington Canal Park</b> in Washington, DC, designed by STUDIOS Architecture. Image courtesy of Bruce Damonte.



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