2018 Washingtonian Residential Design Award Winners
On Monday, June 4, 2018, AIA|DC hosted jury deliberations for the 2018 Washingtonian Residential Design Awards. The jury, which included Barry Yoakum, FAIA of archimania and Peter Twolmby, AIA of Estes Twombly Architects, gave awards to twelve projects out of the 110 projects that were submitted. This is the 37th year the Chapter has cosponsored the competition with Washingtonian magazine. Winning projects are profiled in the August 2018 issue of Washingtonian magazine and will be featured in an exhibition at the District Architecture Center later this year.
Click images to explore the project.
Comments by the jury
This competition recognizes distinctive residential projects, regardless of size or classification, based on excellence in total design, including aesthetics, programmatic response, and sustainability. Our 2018 jury felt that overall there was some really great work in our Chapter, but noted four recurrent concerns that they asked us to share:
1. Jurors were looking for projects that did more than solve the client’s problems, they were looking for a clear statement of the overall design concept. Many of the projects they viewed may have had such concepts, but they were not explicitly stated in submission, either in text or sketches:
- "If you want to win an excellence award you need to have a concept and design accordingly. Manifold House and Lost Whiskey (two of the winners) are vastly different projects but they both had concepts and followed through."
- "Weight of history that informs a lot of the solution which appears to be client-driven versus design-centric."
- "The (large) budgets seem to limit the exploration of design opportunities."
- "Not showing the concept – what was the program?"
- "Problem solving, not design. Even the narratives are written that way. How did it help inform the design approach? What was the goal? It’s all surface driven."
2. The jurors noted that a lot of the work seemed, in their words, ‘product-driven.’ There were pictures of lots of beautiful furniture and extensive cabinetry, but not the design details they were looking for. They recommended that we limit the number of interior shots in future competitions for that reason:
- "Much of the work seems very product driven and assembled. There is a lack of concept in much of the work. Not thinking about what the space is."
- "Application driven and surface decoration-oriented."
- "This should be about architecture; there is a homogeneity to the interiors; ‘vast expanses of beautiful cabinets."
- "Have people forgotten how to detail? It seems so."
- "How does one go beyond products? How does one create detail over budget!"
- "Where is the design concept?"
- "Not fresh for the most part. Style driven. We are architects; we have a voice; we must exercise that voice."
3. Many of the submissions were not well edited. Every picture of the project was included rather than a careful selection of those photos that supported the story:
- “If the photo does not support the narrative, don’t show it"
- "Reduce the amount of interior shots; don’t tell the whole story; just the story you want to convey. Rules should limit the number of photos."
- "Need to show more before photos"
4. Finally, there didn’t seem to be recognition of sustainability beyond building systems:
- "Not seeing a lot of sensitivity to the site. Where is sustainability beyond building systems? Lots of big, lots of flash, lots of glass."
- "A number of these projects don’t seem to recognize that there is a sun. The design is wanting if it only responds to views and not the sun."