The Loudoun County Design Cabinet, a volunteer group of architects, engineers, planners and designers working to promote high quality design in the county, on Tuesday presented the 2019 “Signatures of Loudoun” design awards.
Eight structures were held up as examples of superior design standards. It is the 15th year for the awards program.
This year’s winners were:
- 880 Harrison in Leesburg, an office built to house the Loudoun Water headquarters in the late 1980s has been converted into modern co-working space.
- The Academies of Loudoun south of Leesburg, a 315,000-square-foot school that brought the Academy of Science, C.S. Monroe Technology Center and the Academy of Engineering and Technology under one roof when it opened last fall.
- Ashburn North Parking Garage in Ashburn, which was built by Comstock Partners in anticipation of the extension of Silver Line operations next year. The structure includes space for ground floor retail integrated into the Loudoun Station neighborhood.
- Boulder Crest Institute for Posttraumatic Growth in Bluemont, a rural retreat that provides a rural environment for recovery and treatment of veterans and their families.
- Brambleton Office Building and Library, which combines a two-floor public library with office space in the Brambleton Town Center.
- Dulles South Recreation and Community Center in South Riding, which recently completed an expansion that included a large gym, aquatics center and senior center.
- Integrus Holdings, Inc./Fortessa Tableware Solutions, a landmark office building at the gateway to the core of One Loudoun.
- Mural at One Loudoun, which covers the rear of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and depicts local scenes on a large scale.
- Willard Intermediate School near Aldie, which rolled out new architectural concepts for school design in Loudoun.
“Creative design is about more than just aesthetics—studies have linked it to an enhanced sense of community. Every new construction project creates opportunities to build Loudoun’s identity,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer stated. “That spirit is captured in all of the winners, such as the re-imagination of 880 Harrison into a cutting-edge co-working space, as well as Fortessa Tableware Solution’s naturally-lit, industrial showroom in One Loudoun.”
The ceremony also featured a Vision in Design award, which recognized Kim Hart’s lifetime of contributions through the Windy Hill Foundation. The foundation was formed in 1981 to renovate and modernize housing in a black neighborhood on the western edge of Middleburg where 15 families shared six outhouses and two spigots delivering cold water. Today, the organization manages more than 250 affordable houses and apartments across the county.
“Kim Hart and the Foundation he served for 25 years have been instrumental in spearheading and developing the workforce housing movement in Loudoun County,” said Design Cabinet Chairman Alan Hansen. “In addition, the Foundation spends more than $200,000 each year to support several important programs for residents, including a year-round, after-school Study Buddies program.”
Bob Dale, executive director of Windy Hill, said, “receiving recognition from Loudoun County for the Windy Hill properties located in Loudoun is a great honor. With the newest addition of Heronview with its 96 units of workforce housing in Sterling, there are now a total of 261 homes that serve the low and moderate-income individuals, families and older adults in Loudoun. We are proud to be recognized for this accomplishment which we could not do without the steadfast support over many years by our partners and donors.”
Hart, who recently stepped down as Windy Hill’s executive director to launch his own affordable housing construction company, Good Works, said, “It’s hard to find a unifying theme that carries eight projects over 25 years. If anything, it can be said that workforce housing can be some of the best designed, best constructed, most energy-efficient, best looking housing in the neighborhood.”
He also credited two other individuals for their impact in the affordable housing effort. Hart said the ability of longtime foundation president, Joe Boling, a banker, to understand the complex financing of the projects was critical. He also highlighted the work of Sandy Shope, the county government’s first housing director and chairwoman of the Windy Hill Development Company, who devoted thousands of hours to expand housing options.