Visit the DAC Galleries

The galleries at DAC are open by appointment on Fridays. Available times are 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1pm. Please finish the form under the Attend button and a staff member will be in touch shortly. 

Current Exhibitions:

ALLEY HOPPIN! Putting People Back in DC’s Alleys

Doorways: Artist Reflections of Place by Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA


Only two guests at a time are allowed for a 45-minute on-the-hour appointment. Guests with a temperature higher than 99° will not be admitted. Guests are required to sanitize (hand sanitizer provided) or wash hands upon arrival. Guests MUST wear masks during their entire visit—no exceptions. By visiting the District Architecture Center, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, acknowledge that such matters are beyond the control of AIA|DC and the Washington Architectural Foundation, and agree to abide by our safety guidelines for this tour.

ALLEY HOPPIN! Putting People Back in DC’s Alleys

Courtesy of EL Studio, PLLC

Did you know that Washington, DC has 3,217 alleys which, when unraveled, total 246 linear miles?  There are 82,397 single-family residential properties with alley frontage in the District.  If each of those properties added alley housing / accessory apartments with an average of 2.28 persons per household, that could be space for 187,900 new residents!

Born of urban pressures in the 19th century, the city’s alleys were later neglected, yet they can be reinvigorated for the 21st century. Through research, analysis, public engagements and physical interventions, the Washington Alley Project examines the city’s informal alley network as a viable site for new modes of urban living, creating opportunities to adapt to the social and technological pressures of the present and future without sacrificing architectural heritage.

Created by EL Studio, this award-winning, ongoing research and public space advocacy initiative has comprised of three phases: Research - mapping the physical evolution of the alleys and establishing an agenda for future development; Outreach - public engagement, creation of awareness and the identification of program; and Advocacy – connecting with stakeholders and the development of design proposals for new built interventions.

This exhibition will share the studio’s process through displays and interactive activities that prompt visitors to engage with the topics, insuring that as Washington, D.C. continues to develop, the unique alley network of public space will not go underutilized.


Organized by EL Studio, PLLC in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

    

Project Partners:
American University Game Lab
Bell Visuals
BluEdge
Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation

DC Department of Transportation
DC Preservation League
DC Office of Planning
Ferris Custom Cabinetry
Mount Vernon Triangle CID

Today at Apple
urbanSEED

Patron:
Tarpon Construction

Benefactors:
Alliance Builders

Mount Vernon Triangle CID

Supporters:
Added Dimensions
Comfort Engineering
CS Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Ditto Residential
JLC Engineering LLC
Lighting Environments
Linton Engineering
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald N. Slimp II
POWERHOUSE
Think Make Build, LLC

Doorways: Artistic Reflections of Place by Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA

Casablanca, Morocco; Split, Croatia; Granada, Nicaragua - Artwork by Don Myer

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

 —Walt Disney

The District Architecture Center is pleased to present Doorways: Artistic Reflections of Place by Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA, an exhibition featuring 35 mixed media artworks documented by Myer from his travels around the world. Among places represented are Cuba, Colombia, Croatia, France, and Morocco. With this exhibition, we celebrate Don’s memory and the artistic talents he shared with family, friends, and colleagues throughout the community.

From his travels around the world, Don Myer painted doorways he encountered along his epic journey. These doorways captured his attention by speaking to him about history and design, perhaps even about transitions and the unknown behind doors. Wood or metal, plain or decorated, natural or colored, the variety of doorways he documented signifies the breadth of craftsmanship employed across cultures.

This exhibition features mixed media artworks, mostly watercolor and color pencil, representing places such as Greece, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Don created each artwork in his studio by referencing photographs from his travels. Labels were designed to be simple, identifying only the locations where doorways were encountered. Any story, feeling, or impression drawn from an artwork shall be a product of the viewer’s imagination—per Don’s wishes.

With this exhibition, we celebrate Don’s memory and the artistic talents he shared with family, friends, and colleagues throughout the community. Thank you for visiting and supporting his legacy.


About Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA

Don Myer came to Washington, DC in the early 1960s to begin a career in historic preservation for the National Park Service. After playing a key role in the restoration of Union Station and the Washington Monument, he went on to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Commission of Fine Arts from the late 60’s until 1997. There, Myer was involved in the design of significant federal landmarks, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Metro system. Later, he served as Clerk of Works at the Washington National Cathedral, and on the faculty of The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning.

Following retirement, Myer dedicated his time and talents to drawing and painting. His artwork frequently focused on the richly detailed genre of botanicals, supported by an architect’s keen attention to texture, shadow, and other nuances of design. After exhibiting his artwork in a group show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, he joined other artists to form a group called Studio 155. At the time, he explored diverse depictions of the natural world, eventually seeking to capture a “sense of place” in his compositions. Presenting both architectural representations and geographic snapshots, his series of doors serves to illustrate this atmospheric feeling, offering an evocative and introspective experience for the viewer.

Alongside other Studio 155 artists, Myer’s artwork has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Adah Rose Gallery, Athenaeum, Cosmos Club, Delaware Art Museum, Studio Gallery, United States Botanic Garden, and VisArts in Rockville.

Organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery.

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

Installation by Tim Anderson.

Special thanks to Ellen Myer for making this exhibition possible.
The Chapter is very grateful to the following individuals and firms who helped support this exhibition: David + Patty Haresign; Ralph Cunningham, FAIA; Mary Oehrlein, FAIA; Steven Spurlock, FAIA; Fox Architects; Hal Davis, FAIA; Thomas Luebke, FAIA; and James Voelzke, FAIA.

Schools of Thought: DC’s New Generation of School Buildings

Marie Reed Learning Center by Quinn Evans Architects – Photo by Joseph Romeo Photography

Over the last decade, the District of Columbia has made a substantial investment in modernizing its public school buildings, and the city’s public charter schools and private schools have also made major investments in their facilities.

The design of these new and renovated schools has moved the architecture of learning spaces well beyond the basics of traditional school design. Like DC’s widely praised new public library buildings, these modernized school buildings employ innovative architecture to better achieve their mission.

What prompted the District’s school rebuilding effort? What difference does good school design make for student learning? And what design features do the city’s new school buildings incorporate? This exhibition explores these questions by looking at 19 of the District’s modernized public, public charter, and private schools.


Schools of Thought is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery and Suman Sorg Gallery.

Written and curated by Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

Designed by Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Edited by Sean O’Donnell, FAIA and Ronald O’Rourke

Fact checking by Sean O’Donnell, FAIA and David Constine

Benefactors
Perkins Eastman DC       
Bell Architects + Newman Architects           

Supporting Sponsors
Bowie Gridley Architects              
cox, graae + spack architects
DLR Group

Hord Coplan Macht   
ISTUDIO Architects
MCN Build Foundation 
Quinn Evans Architects
SK&A DC | Structural Engineers
Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

 

The 2019 Awards Show

Wildcat Mountain Residence by David Jameson Architect – Photo by Paul Warchol Photography

The 2019 Awards Show combines award-winning projects from two of AIA|DC’s largest competitions:

Each year, our competitions recognize practitioners, educators, and students within the architecture community who demonstrate excellence in design. Projects are selected by distinguished juries of design professionals based outside of the Washington metropolitan region. Congratulations to all the winners.

Announcing our 2019 Awards Show People's Choice Award Winner: The Grass House by bld.us

2019 Chapter Design Award Winners and Jury:

Ayers Saint Gross and Jonathan Kuhn Architect; bld.us; CORE architecture + design; David Jameson Architect; DLR Group; EL Studio; Hartman-Cox Architects; ISTUDIO Architects; KPF and FOX Architects; McInturff Architects; OTJ Architects; Peabody Architects and Deco Design Studio; Perkins Eastman DC; Reader & Swartz Architects; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Shalom Baranes Associates; SHoP Architects; Stantec Architecture; Suzane Reatig Architecture; Wiedemann Architects LLC

  • Andrew West, AIA of Elkus Manfredi Architects
  • Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP of Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC
  • James E. Richärd, AIA of richärd+bauer
  • Michael Gabellini, FAIA of Gabellini Sheppard Associates
  • Dina Griffin, FAIA, NOMA, IIDA of Interactive Design Architects

2019 Washington Residential Design Award Winners and Jury:

bld.us; DLR Group; Donald Lococo Architects; Gardner Architects LLC; McInturff Architects; Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect; Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

  • David Leven, AIA of LevenBetts
  • Richard Buchanan, AIA of Archer Buchanan
  • Anne Fougeron, FAIA of Fougeron Architecture

The 2019 Awards Show is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery and Suman Sorg Gallery.

This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

2019 Professional Awards of the Potomac Chapter, ASLA

This exhibition highlights award-winning works of landscape architecture from the 2019 Professional Awards of the Potomac Chapter, ASLA. The range of projects encompasses residential, private and public practice, and a variety of project types that includes parks, courtyards, plazas, historic landscapes, and more.

The exhibition illustrates the range in scale and scope of the landscape architecture profession and highlights the high quality of work being produced in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. The Chapter’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Alain C. deVergie, FASLA, is recognized in the exhibition, as are our two Edward B. Ballard Scholarship recipients.

For more information about the Potomac Chapter, ASLA, please visit: potomacasla.org.

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is a national professional organization representing 17,000 landscape architects. ASLA has 48 state and regional chapters. Founded in 1899, the mission of ASLA is to advocate, to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of cultural, natural and/or the built environments for human enjoyment. ASLA works to increase the public’s awareness of and appreciation for the profession of landscape architecture. ASLA is an active advocate for the profession at the local, state, and national levels on public policy issues, including licensure, livable communities, sustainable design, surface transportation, the environment, conservation issues, historic preservation, small business issues, and providing outdoor access that exceeds the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The early visionaries in the profession of landscape architecture noted that the designs of outdoor spaces are created for recreation, inspiration, and essential respite from the emerging urban environment. City parks and green spaces within the urban environment, along with private residential gardens, helps to improve physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities and make neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. The profession enhances the outdoor environment for both private and public enjoyment. ASLA and its members are at the forefront of efforts to increase respect for the land and our natural environment, particularly on issues of prudent land use and planning, urban design, sustainable development, waste and water management including stormwater, resource preservation, recreation, and land reclamation.

About the Potomac Chapter, ASLA

The Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects represents nearly 400 landscape architects in DC, Northern Virginia, and Suburban Maryland. The purpose of ASLA is to advance the profession of Landscape Architecture in the eyes of the general public. The Chapter is the main advocacy body to advance the profession on the local level by holding events, meetings, outings and providing information regarding the profession to the local media and schools. The Chapter may also interface with municipal governments regarding local issues that could impact the profession, or the public realm.


Organized by the Potomac Chapter, ASLA in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

Sponsored by

Printing by

 

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior

Frederick Robie House, Dining Area Looking Toward Living Area, Chicago, Illinois, 1916. Courtesy of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

The District Architecture Center is pleased to host Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, an exhibition exploring the design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, often considered his greatest architectural accomplishment. Through reproduction drawings, photographs, and photographic murals, the exhibition illustrates the myriad—both obvious and subtle—ways Wright created the visual character of interior space and objects within it, each an essential detail of the larger whole.

Drawings and photographs of interiors show the ingenious ways Wright maximized the feeling of open space while accommodating the various functions for daily living. Wright’s rejection of past styles led him to the contemporary visual language of abstraction and geometry. For Wright, this language had a deeper source as the structure and ornament of all forms in nature. Just as a living form is one entity in structure and ornament, so the house was to be a single whole in structure and expression. The works in this exhibition reveal how all elements in Wright’s design express the overarching abstract geometric order of the house.

About the Curator
Exhibition curator Virginia Terry Boyd received her PhD in Human Environment and Design after obtaining an MA in Art History. Dr. Boyd is currently Emerita Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Design Studies Department, where she was the department chair. She has been a guest scholar at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive in Scottsdale, Arizona, and frequently lectures and publishes journal articles on issues related to Frank Lloyd Wright and Twentieth Century American material culture. 

About International Arts & Artists
International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, art institutions and the public. For more information, visit www.artsandartists.org.                                

About The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation was established by Frank Lloyd Wright himself in 1940 to be a cultural and educational institution and the primary conservator of his work. It is dedicated to inspiring people with the living experience of Frank Lloyd Wright's ideas, philosophies, and body of work. The Foundation owns Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Both are National Historic Landmarks with robust tour operations, educational outreach, retail operations, and other activities. The Foundation: runs the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, with fully accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs (a continuation of the apprenticeship program Wright established in 1932); stewards the vast Frank Lloyd Wright Archives; owns and manages the intellectual property for all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, drawings, plans, art, and other creations from his prolific 70-year career; and engages in a variety of meaningful outreach programs and partnerships – such as this exhibition. For more information, visit www.franklloydwright.org.

This program is presented in association with Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in cooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ, on view through September 6, 2019.

         

              

Curated by Virginia Terry Boyd


This exhibition was produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

Installation by Tim Anderson


This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Dorothea DeSchweinitz Fund for the District of Columbia of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

#iseeDC2019

#iseeDC2019 is an exhibition of artistic photographs celebrating architecture and culture in our nation’s capital. Selected by a jury from the monthlong #iseeDC2019 Instagram Photo Contest, photo enthusiasts were challenged to engage the city around them and explore, through a photographic lens, the cultural exchange between people, place, time, and space. Using Instagram, they documented how buildings, landscapes, and cultural activities shape our experiences.

Organized by the AIA|DC Design Excellence Committee, the contest seeks to inspire interaction between the public and architecture in Washington, DC.

The 2019 jury:

  • John Michael Day, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C, Associate Principal of Cunningham | Quill Architects
  • Jessica Marcotte Photography
  • Holly Garner, Photographer

#iseeDC2019 is organized the AIA|DC Design Excellence Committee in cooperation with AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

Instagram Photo Contest and Exhibition Planning Committee: Lewis Goetz, FAIA, FIIDA of Baskervill and Lala Yi of AECOM with Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA of AIA|DC.


Sponsored by:

Exhibition produced in ArchiCAD, courtesy of:

Supported in part by:

Back to Architecture Month

 

From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA

Charles Bergen, AIA practiced architecture for 22 years until his lifelong passion for art intervened. After two summer residencies at Salem Art Works in upstate New York, Charles founded his art practice and began a career as a professional sculptor. Over several years, Bergen experimented with a range of materials—mostly metal and wood—and subjects: animals such as birds, dolphins, and fish; and figures like Chuck Brown and Theodore Roosevelt. Additionally, he proposed sculptural signage identifying “Barracks Row” and “Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius.”

In recent years, Bergen’s practice has focused on public art projects, many of which were awarded through public commissions. Notable projects include the narrative Centennial Artwork for the City of Bowie, Maryland and fire and police call boxes-turned artworks for Rhode Island Avenue NE Main Street. One of Bergen’s most celebrated and talked about projects is the “Barnes Dance,” also known as a pedestrian scramble, with its whimsical graphic of dragons and Chinese zodiac images at the intersection of 7th and H Streets NW in Washington, DC’s Chinatown.

Bergen’s affection for animals and nature, combined with history, is evidenced in his body of work with sculptures that appear playful and decorative, yet serious and functional. With his artwork, he manages to strike a balance between imagery and narrative, demonstrating just enough to invite curiosity, imply a story, and inspire appreciation. This exhibition presents drawings, photographs, and objects from selected projects completed by the artist since 2014.


From Architect to Artist: Public Art by Charles Bergen, AIA is organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery in collaboration with the artist.

This exhibition was designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Generously supported in part by BluEdge.

Installation by Tim Anderson.

See more photos by Victoria Pickering.

Special thanks from the artist to:
Aaron Rogers, Adams Morgan Partnership BID, Amber Logan, Amin Abdullah, Anacostia Arts Center, Annie's Ace Hardware, Artsee, Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS, Brad Sargent, Brandon Bailey Art, Brian Barrie, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Carla Perlo, Cheryl Edwards, Chris Earley, Chris Shaheen, Christopher Harding, CulturalDC, Dance Loft on 14, Dance Place, Darian Lassiter, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Office of Planning, District Department of Transportation, DowntownDC BID, Fabritek, Franciso Murillo, George Branyan, Giannettii Architectural Sculpture, Girikul Kulkarni, Greg Staley Photography, Hakeem Olayinka, HEP Construction, Independent Custom Metalworks, Jerrald Musser of Cutting Unlimited LLC, Judy Estey, Justin Fair, Kay Christy, Keast & Hood, Keona Pearson, Kristen Barden, Kyle Todd, Laran Bronze, Lauren Glover, Len Adams of Mid-Atlantic Welding & Fabrication Inc., Liam O'Connor, Linton Engineering, Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, Mulheron Tree Experts, My Splash Pad, Patrick's Petcare, Prologue DC LLC, Rare Earth Metals, Raymond Kaskey, Rayseen Woodland, Ron Humbertson, Salem Art Works, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Stephanie Reyes, Stephen and Ginny Bergen, Stuart Eisenburg, Studio39 Landscape Architecture, Sujatha Jahagirdar, Todd Angelo Albin, Tonya Jordan, Train Printing, Tsahai Pettiford, and Washington Sculptors Group

Transforming Cities, Transforming Lives: The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

The District Architecture Center is pleased to host Transforming Cities, Transforming Lives: The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, an exhibition of 27 regeneration projects from nine countries that demonstrate how culture can have a positive impact well beyond conservation. These projects promote good governance, growth of civil society, rise in incomes and economic opportunities, greater respect for human rights, and better stewardship of the environment—even in the poorest and most remote areas of the globe. While some projects are completed, those that remain in progress go beyond mere technical restoration to address the questions of social and environmental context, adaptive re-use, institutional sustainability, and training.

The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Aga Khan Council for the United States.

About The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), through its projects, seeks to be a catalyst to improve quality of life by activating culture as a springboard for economic and social development. These projects are laboratories for ideas that can positively shape the future in ways that are meaningful, beneficial, and impactful. At their core is a message of opportunity, of potential, of hope.

The AKHCP works on regeneration projects in historic areas in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development.  Its central objective is to improve the lives of the inhabitants of these historic areas while promoting models that will sustain these improvements. The Programme has shown how the creation of parks and gardens, conservation of landmark buildings, improvements to the urban fabric and the revitalisation of cultural heritage—in many cases the only assets at the disposal of the community—can provide a springboard for social development.

About the Aga Khan Council for the United States

The Aga Khan Council for the United States of America is the social governance structure for Ismaili Muslims. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, The Aga Khan Council is supported by numerous volunteers throughout the country who provide their time and talent toward improving the quality of life of the community. His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam, or spiritual leader, of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community.

The Ismaili Muslims are a culturally diverse community living in over 25 countries around the world. They adhere to a 1,400-year tradition of Shi'a values that are expressed through a commitment to a search for knowledge for the betterment of self and society; embracing pluralism by building bridges of peace and understanding; and generously sharing of one's time, talents, and material resources to improve the quality of life of the community and those among whom they live.


Organized by the Aga Khan Council for the United States of America in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, and AIA|DC.

Exhibition designed and modeled in ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft.

Supported in part by BluEdge.