2010 YOUNG ARCHITECTS AWARDS
The Young Architects Award is given to individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural career.
Architect members of the AIA who have been licensed to practice architecture fewer than 10 years by the submission deadline are eligible to be nominated; the term young architect has no reference to the age of nominees. Any component, member of the national AIA Board of Directors, knowledge community, or College of Fellows may nominate one or more individuals.
Christopher Kelley took his entrance into the architecture world in Florida, earning a Batchelor of Design with Honors, then a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Florida. He began work in 1997 for Ruyle, Masters, Hayes + Jennewein Architects, PA (RMH+J Architects) in Tampa as a project manager and also as part of a team to pursue competitions. During his time there, he first showed his commitment not only to the quality of his own design work, but to the advancement of emerging professionals.
Joining the Institute, Christopher immediately saw it as an opportunity to represent and speak on behalf of interns, Associate members, and young architects. Through his volunteer efforts, he has participated and contributed to initiatives and programs that have had a positive impact on emerging professionals at different stages of their careers. From his initial position as the first Regional Associate Director from the Florida-Caribbean Region, he has continued to pursue advancements and increases in resources for the next generation of professionals through his work on the National Associates Committee and his experiences as Vice-President (2008) and President (2009) of the Young Architects Forum Advisory Committee.
Mikey Jacob, FAIA, one of the references for Christopher’s nomination, attests to this commitment to rising professionals, “The substantial increase of participation and energetic involvement by Associate Members and Emerging Professionals in the AIA Florida/Caribbean Region, AIA Florida, and in his home component at AIA Tampa Bay can be directly attributed to Chris’ 10 years of leadership and advocacy for the issues important to young architects.”
Now at Gensler in Washington, D.C., Christopher works passionately as a project architect, the Assistant Studio Director and a Technical Director. As Assistant Studio Director, he is responsible for the leadership of 25 people, while as a Technical Director, he oversees the firm’s design delivery, including direct meetings with clients to ensure that the construction delivers the exact design result they desire. Christopher employs these very roles in his continued commitment to young professionals, heading Gensler’s intern program and personally leading interns through tours of construction sites, providing them with meaningful lessons of an architect’s work.
The projects, either designed or overseen by Christopher himself, are a delightful spectrum of churches, restaurants, office buildings, media complexes, art installations and more. He is captivated by design competition and its positive impact on the profession, and has participated or aided in many such entry contests. His colleagues and references praise him as a go-getter who has stepped forward in times of need and operated fearlessly, worthy of all the trust laid upon him.
Edward J. Kodet Jr., FAIA
Norman L. Koonce, FAIA
Ronald Skaggs, FAIA
Chester A. Widom, FAIA
“Christopher has proven