The American Institute of Architects Richmond was founded in 1976.


About AIA Richmond Honors

The AIA Richmond Honors program recognizes the best efforts of our members who, by profession or avocation, have made creating, preserving, and enhancing Richmond’s communities an important life commitment.  

Marcellus Wright Jr. Award
This is considered the Chapter’s highest individual award.  It is given in honor of one of the Chapter’s founding members, Marcellus Wright, Jr. by the Chapter Board, based on nominations by the Honors Committee, to a long time Chapter member who has demonstrated continuous service to the profession through their work.  This award is intended to provide public recognition to a distinguished member of the Chapter.

Chapter Citation
This is the Chapter’s highest public award, presented to a member, non-member, or organization whose work has contributed to the public’s increased awareness of the built environment.

Richard L. Ford, Jr. Award
This is considered the Chapter’s highest award presented to a young architect, associate member, or intern. It is given in honor of one of the Chapter’s leading and skillful mentors, Richard L. Ford, Jr. FAIA. The award shall be made by the Chapter Board, based on nominations by the Honors Committee, to a young person who has demonstrated vision, passion, and excellence to the design community.

Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership should only be bestowed if there is someone who has shown exemplary service to the Chapter, the built environment of the Chapter area and/or architecture within the domain of the Chapter for a sustained period.

It is felt that the Chapter should not have to “look” for someone to give the Honorary Membership to each year.  It would be best if a nominee was obvious by their works and/or involvement.

This award is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in the AIA Richmond but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment within the domain of the Chapter.

Craftsmanship Award
A craftsman is one who practices a craft with great skill, attention to detail, and precision.  Craftsmanship is that skill used in one’s occupation or trade.  The award recognizes those individuals in the building industry who have mastered the ideals of craftsmanship over the course of their careers demonstrating superior quality of workmanship in the built environment.  The award recognizes craftsman for their superior skills and attentive efforts.

Any craftsperson who practices their craft in the AIA Richmond community and who has performed outstanding workmanship in the pursuit of a craft or trade is eligible.  Up to two Awards may be given annually.

The AIA Richmond Craftsmanship Award recognizes craftspeople who demonstrate particular skill and inventiveness in the execution and incorporation of their craft into our built environment.

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About AIA Richmond’s Design Awards

The Design Awards are not a competition but recognition of projects that a jury appointed by the Chapter Honors Committee deems to have achieved excellence in architecture; therefore, there are no submittal classifications, number of awards to be given, nor detailed criteria in the Chapter’s intent. The jurors are free to move in any direction and confer as many awards as they see fit. 

Contextual Design: The Award for Contextual Design will recognize architecture that reflects the history, culture, social and physical environment of the place of which it inhabits.

Residential Design: Aesthetic appeal and functionality are two long-established criteria for home design. More frequently, especially in the last several years, families have also been looking for affordability and resource efficiency. The jury will focus on the issues of:

  • Design that suits the needs of the homeowner or resident, regardless of any particular style, and is easily maintained, filled with adequate natural light and fresh air, energy and water efficient, and is universally accessible.
  • Community building, in that the residence is well-sited with respect to views and amenities such as transit, shopping, recreation, and congregation.

Architecture: Designers may submit projects of all types (including residential) for consideration in the Architecture category. Jury considerations will include aesthetics, adherence to the client program, proven and projected building performance, and concept development.

Historic Preservation: The Historic Preservation category focuses on excellence in strategies, tactics, and technologies that advance the art, craft, and science of preserving historically significant buildings and sites. The jury will also take into consideration adherence to local, state, and national criteria for historic preservation.

Interiors: Interior architecture projects of distinction will evince mastery of composition, functionality, material and color palettes, and well-integrated adherence to the highest levels of accessibility, health and safety, environmental, and occupant-comfort considerations, standards, and regulations.

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About the Sunday Prize

The Alice Lehmen Sunday Prize was created to elevate the level of drawing and design thinking within the Richmond architectural community, by recognizing young talented individuals and the work they are doing in our profession.

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