January 2017 News

2017 Presidents Letter

Happy New Year! This is the time of year when we renew, refresh and prepare for the coming year’s goals in the form of resolutions.  Do you have a few of your own in mind?  I would like to take this opportunity to share some resolutions for all of us to consider in 2017 to help build a stronger AIA Birmingham.

Let’s BE PRESENT. Be present in person by attending chapter meetings, award ceremonies, and other chapter events.  There are so many wonderful opportunities within AIA to be involved in: continuing education programs, design awards, government affairs, lecture series, just to name a few. AIA also supports the Alabama Center for Architecture (ACFA) and programs such as N2Architecture and Dream Architecture. These programs have become very successful and are a joy to be involved with. It always seems like the kids at these programs teach me more than I teach them! Let’s also be present in mind by sharing our ideas and thoughts to the organization.  How can AIA serve you?  What events do you want to see?

Let’s BE SUPPORTIVE.  Part of the mission of the AIA is to “advocate for the value of architecture and give architects the resources they need to do their best work”. I believe that applies to our membership as well.  We must advocate for the value of architecture.  We would never have stayed up all night to finish a project if we did not think it had value!  Let’s resolve to build one another up and in turn build up the profession that we love.  This year we will be kicking off an architecture awareness campaign. Every book has an author, every dress has a designer, and every BUILDING has an Architect.  AIA will send a postcard (above) to all media that mentions a building, but does not list the Architect. We are PROMOTING our PROFESSION. Email aiabirm@aiabham.org when you read an article that does NOT include the Architect on a project (please include the Architect in the email). The postcard with the Architect’s information will be mailed to the publisher.

Let’s BE UNITED. We’ve all heard the proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” This is certainly true with my family and I believe it is true in our profession. It takes ALL of us working as a united voice to promote the value of an Architect.

Last year was a wonderful year for the chapter.  We saw an increase in membership, social media sponsorship and community visibility.  Every one of the chapter meetings was sold out!   I am excited and grateful to be the 2017 Chapter President and will work to carry this momentum into 2017!

Best wishes for happy New Year,

Lauren W. Gwaltney, AIA
2017 AIA Chapter President

2017 Sponsorships Now Available! Renew TODAY!

2016 was AIA Birmingham’s best year yet – we sold out all of our meetings, hosted interesting and exciting events and grew to nearly 350 members. All chapter sponsorships expired at the end of December, so please renew today!

Check out the 2017 sponsorship brochure here!

THANK YOU to all our sponsors who PAID in December 2016!

AFS Repair
Alabama Power Company
J.R. Prewitt & Associates

Alabama Lighting Associates
MBA Engineers
Southern Clay Brick Company

Camacho & Associates
Dale of Alabama
Lighting Partnership
Pella Windows & Doors
Sherwin Williams
Interior Elements
LBYD, Inc.
Patterson Pope
Tennessee Valley Metals
If you renew your membership by January 31, we will give you $100 off your platinum, gold or silver sponsorship, so don’t delay! See the brochure or contact Rhea or Kathryn with questions.

January Chapter Meeting – Safety & Security in Design – 1 HSW

Tuesday, Jan. 17th
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Social Venture (5529 1st Ave South)

$15 members | $30 nonmembers
kathryn@aiabham.org by Jan. 12th

Today, society continues to debate the role that architecture should play when it comes to security. There’s an abundance of abysmal examples: buildings buttressed by jersey walls, metal spikes, barbed wire, bars, and berms or surrounded by a phalanx of security; defensive architecture designed to function like a fortress or retrofitted with tacked-on deterrents. How, then, should architects design safe spaces that are also beautiful and humane? This presentation will explore how architects can move beyond the bunker and create buildings abroad that are capable of keeping people inspired as well as safe. Read more: http://www.architectmagazine.com/aia-architect/aiafeature/designing-for-security_o

With more than 35 years of experience, Patrick Gilbert, AIA of Gresham Smith & Partners Nashville office, has overseen many complex programs for premier clients across the U.S. He brings a wealth of experience collaborating with project stakeholders to evaluate each project’s unique challenges and provide effective design solutions. Patrick’s specialized expertise includes projects with heavy emphasis on security, sustainability and code compliance. He has delivered successful projects for clients such as Community Health Systems, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Deloitte LLP and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Patrick is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the co-chair of ULI Nashville’s Housing Action Council. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and a graduate of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Gresham, Smith and Partners’ award-winning architects, engineers, interior designers and planners serve a variety of clients from 24 offices throughout the United States and around the world. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, GS&P opened its first office outside of Nashville in Birmingham more than 35 years ago.

Design Awards 2017 – Get your Projects Ready!

FYI– We are moving up our Design Awards call for entries process so we can host our jury in Washington DC on March 8. The Awards Gala will still be in June.

Be on the lookout for an email with the Call for Entries in the coming weeks! Email Rhea or Kathryn with any questions.

Renovation Projects Needed – Forest Park – Norwood – Avondale

We’re looking for a single family residential house in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding downtown – such as Forest Park, Norwood, Avondale, etc – which was built in the early or mid-20th Century and has received a contemporary renovation in the last few years. It should be a renovation of the existing building, and not have an addition which substantially alters the size of the building.

These projects will be considered for the upcoming LIVING SMALL exhibit.

Email aiabirm@aiabham.org if you have a project that fits this description!

Holiday Party Recap

On Thursday, Dec. 1st, we celebrated a wonderful 2016 with our annual Holiday Party at the Alabama Center for Architecture! AIA members enjoyed yummy food from Savoie Catering, beer from Cahaba Brewing Company and a specially curated exhibit, Art X Architects (featuring work by bDot, Jonathan Meadows, Jared Fulton and Edward Griffith). We also had our holiday shop open to sell the ACFA’s limited edition holiday ornaments and prints. Special thanks to Alagasco for sponsoring this fun event! See photos from the event here

Government Affairs Updates

Form Based Zoning & Design Guideline Changes

If you practice in the City of Birmingham, you will want to look at the City’s proposed form-based zoning and design guideline changes that will have a dramatic impact on parts of the downtown core and other areas such as Avondale. The goal of the new zoning code is to promote pedestrian friendly districts and mixed used occupancies, however, the Design Guidelines are strongly biased toward a late 19th/early 20th century aesthetic and materials.

The City is accepting comments on these draft documents through the end of January and AIA Birmingham is compiling a response from comments and suggestions provided by its members. We need your participation. If you have questions or are willing to review documents, please contact Richard Simonton (richard@ssbarch.com). You can access the proposed zoning and design guideline overlay documents through this dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h4n3k3azql1leq5/AABYDzXH1q–V5v32-0lZrGba?dl=0

One architect’s powerful impact

Architects are passionate about their profession and its future. But translating that passion into effective legislative advocacy does not come easily for everyone. That quandary is exactly what inspired AIA Birmingham’s Government Affairs Liasion Bruce Herrington, AIA, to create a powerful new tool to engage architects. With the help of AIA Advocacy staff, Herrington created Advocacy 101 – The Responsibilities and Opportunities of Government Advocacy.

This engaging new resource “defines advocacy and describes why AIA members should and can be active in government advocacy.” A peer-to-peer resource, the PowerPoint presentation is designed to be personalized and presented by members, to members.  Herrington designed the PowerPoint so that “Advocacy 101 offers numerous opportunities for a presenter to offer topics for which architects can actively advocate and present stories from his or her experience.” Click here to read more about the program. Thank you to Bruce Herrington for developing this resource!

Emerging Professionals

Site Visit: Waites Building

Thursday, Jan. 26 [tentative]
4:30 pm
7th Ave South and Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South
RSVP to kathryn@aiabham.org by Jan. 24th

Join us as we visit a new mixed use development in downtown Birmingham, the Waites Building, designed by Williams Blackstock Architects. The building boasts more than 40 1 and 2-bedroom apartments and retail space on the ground floor with confirmed tenants such as Taco Mama and Farm Burger (YUM!!).

Parking: Street parking. Very small lot on 7th Ave between the building and Our Place lounge if you can get a place there.

PPE: hard hats, closed toed shoes, safety vests. Please make every effort to bring your own! No guarantees the contractor will have extra.

Studying for ARE 4.0?

If you’re just picking up study books for the first time or for the seventh time, AIA Birmingham is here to help! We have Kaplan study guides for ALL ARE 4.0 sections available for checkout from our study library. All we require is a $50 cash (refundable) deposit. Check out period is for 2 weeks. Email kathryn@aiabham.org for more information or to reserve your set!

Recap: Site Visit to Pizitz Food Hall

On Thursday, December 8th the AIA Birmingham Emerging Professionals toured the Pizitz Food Hall. Will Buie of Appleseed Workshop led the tour. Appleseed and Golden Construction are building out 11 of 19 food stalls and 2 of 3 restaurants in the food hall, which is the first of its kind in Birmingham. Our EPs learned about the complicated mechanical systems required to accommodate so many full kitchens in one small area, the historical preservation requirements, and the logistics puzzle the architect and contractors are working with daily to please both inspectors and their clients (just imagine having 11 clients at once on one project!) Thanks to Appleseed Workshop and Golden Construction for allowing us the opportunity to tour this wonderful space! The soft opening is scheduled for mid-January, so be sure to visit this incredible new addition to the Birmingham food scene. Click here to see more photos!

Alabama Center for Architecture


Join the ACFA for the 2nd Annual Posters, Pints & Pies exhibit opening reception on Thursday, January 19th from 6-8 pm at the ACFA. $5 cash donation gets you in the door, pizza from Dave’s Pizza and beer from Cahaba Brewing Company, and a chance to see more than 60 music posters from local collectors. Click here to view the Facebook event!

Want to put your collection on exhibit? Fill out this form to be considered:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd20xEUOAKwB51VUpz8I-KfuQAqUuCKlr1OoL5qjhbOwJDzCg/viewform

Ornaments & Prints Still on Sale!

Order now at www.alcfa.org!

We still have a handful of ornaments and prints available for sale! Remember, the ACFA commissioned 4 local artist/architects/landscape architect to paint a watercolor of four of our local landmarks. The goal of this fundraiser (of course besides raise money) is to promote awareness of our landmarks and encourage people to visit them, support and promote local artist, and promote the architectural/design profession. The ACFA will donate a $1 back to each corresponding landmark and the remainder of the proceeds will support ACFA K-12 educational programs and lecture series.

Click here to order 

Two exciting exhibitions from Sara Garden Armstrong

Breath and Shadow at the Alabama School of Fine Arts
Light and sound connect with painted shadows to three-dimensional forms and transform the ASFA gallery into a living, breathing environment of air, sound, and light.

Echo, the after party at 21st Street Studios (above the Alabama Center for Architecture) – enter through yellow door in the alley.
The large-scale drawings explore the relationships of the sculptural forms as organic landscapes using charcoal, graphite, acrylic, pastels and fiber on paper.

Breath & Shadow
Opening reception Feb. 2nd, 5—7 pm Vulcan Materials Gallery
1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.

Echo, drawings curated by Cumbee Tyndal
Opening reception Feb. 2nd, 6—9 pm  21st Street Gallery
111 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd S.

ASFA Gallery Hours: M—F 8:30—4:30 pm
21st Street Gallery  Gallery Hours: Sunday 1—4 pm and by appointment
Both exhibitions: Feb. 2 — March 4, 2017

AIA National

Get your Creative Juices flowing! 2017 AIA SPP Pop-Up Competition

2017 AIA SPP Pop-Up Competition is open, with the theme Reflection. The winning entry will be presented at AIA Convention 2017, Orlando.

Call for entries: Emerging Professionals Exhibit

Citizen Design” is the 2017 theme of this annual exhibit of architecture, design, and art. We will showcase entries on AIA.org and at AIA headquarters in Washington, DC. Deadline: January 9, 2017

Deadline extended: 2017 Diversity Recognition Program

This submission deadline has been extended. The AIA Diversity Recognition Program recognizes architects, components, and others for exemplary commitment and contributions to diversifying the profession of architecture. New deadline: January 11, 2017. Online submission portal

Knowledge Community opportunities

Career Center

Jobseekers – we have TONS of new jobs listed on the website! Don’t miss AIA Birmingham’s Career Page for the latest local opportunities. Check out the AIA Career Center for all the hottest jobs and access to the Career Learning Center, which encourages an integrative career and professional development process that enhances your skill set.

Employers – post your jobs on the AIA Birmingham website! FREE for local member firms. Email Rhea or Kathryn for more details.

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