The American Institute of Architects – Richmond chapter annually holds Architecture Week in April. This year though, AIA Richmond is switching things up and trying for an Architecture month as they work to find ways to give back to the community as design professionals
We talked with Patrick Thompson and Krystal Reid from AIA Richmond about this event:
What is the benefit for people Church Hill and the East End?
Patrick: We want to invite people that live in Church Hill to meet with design professionals, contractors, and engineers to help them with design questions or any design or construction related issue they may be having. For example, say someone is thinking of an addition to their house but has additional design or construction questions. They could stop by and spend an hour with an architect or contractor to help them come up with options.
What inspired AIA Richmond to reach out and teach the community?
Krystal: AIA RVA knows connecting with the community is important. We want to create an awareness of who designers are and what we can provide for our community. We see Meet the Designer as one of those ways of making this happen. AIA Richmond actually decided to hold an Architect’s Month. Other chapters in the country are still doing an architecture wekk.
How prepared should people be when they come to the consult?
Krystal: People should be prepared to discuss their particular project or issue. They can bring photos, drawings, etc to explain what they are wanting to discuss. During these consults, buildable documents or sketches cannot be provided by our volunteers. However, they will provide guidance and answer questions. So, the more information or questions people can provide about their particular issue, the more robust and informative the consultation can be.
Patrick: As prepared as possible. Or not. Seriously though – when people sign up we will reach out to them and get a brief summary of the issue that person is having so the consultant will be prepared in advance to help answer their question. Any photos or sketches of the problem in question would be helpful.
How long are the consults?
Patrick: The consults will be an average of 15 minutes. However, it will vary case to case. Some people will only need 5-10 minutes while others will need close to 30 minutes.
Krystal: This will depend on the number of people who sign-up. Maximum will be 30 minutes.
What are you working on in the East End? Anything fun?
Krystal: BCWH is working on the Church Hill North Parcel B project – the mixed-use building on Nine Mile Road. (Editor’s Note: More on this in another article!)
Patrick: I have multiple active projects but unfortunately, none are in the East End right now. I am working on two parking garages for the DC Metro Silver Line expansion in Loudoun County, working on a new Residential Facility for Norfolk State University, working on the habilitation of the St. Luke Building in Jackson Ward, working on the rehabilitation of a building at 111 East Broad Street (old jewelry store), and just finished up the rehabilitation of Central National Bank downtown.