Designing in Alexandria: 2018 Architecture Symposium

The Department of Planning and Zoning will hold the City's third community architecture symposium on June 8 and 9 to promote public discussion about architecture and design in Alexandria. The City's first symposium, held in 2007, focused on historic preservation. The second symposium, held in June of 2015, discussed contemporary infill.

Page archived as of November 19, 2019

OverviewAlexandria Contemp Arch Symposium 2018

The 2018 Architecture Symposium will explore the ways that the entitlement process can identify and foster beautiful, timeless and compatible contemporary design for large new development projects in a city with 270 years of evolving architectural heritage. The City of Alexandria wants to facilitate a constructive dialogue with the community on how to foster a beautiful and healthy environment for future generations. Public officials, developers, architects and the community will be encouraged to fully explore the complexities and challenges of the City's development and design review process.  

The two-day event includes a reception and keynote panel discussion on Friday, moderated by Washington Post columnist Roger K. Lewis, FAIA, and features a display of Northern Virginia AIA design award winning projects and a tour of Dulany Gardens by the project’s landscape architect.  On Saturday, the community is invited to a light breakfast followed by guided bus tours of case study sites to discuss what was successful and any areas of potential improvement on future projects. 

To see the full video of Friday's event click here

Planning for GrowthCity Growth Crescent May 2018

Recently, the City has adopted several new small area plans within the growth crescent, where most development is expected to occur. Through 2015, plans in the growth crescent had 46.5 million square feet of development, of which 19.6 million were added since 1990.

Sequence of Events

Friday, June 8 - Reception and Panel Discussion
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Madison Auditorium North and South, 600 Dulany Street 

  • 6:00 p.m. -  Reception 
    The reception will include a display of Northern Virginia AIA design award winning projects and a tour of Dulany Gardens by the project’s landscape architect.  
  • 7:00 p.m. - Presentations and Panel Discussion

    The panel, consisting of architects Shalom Baranes, FAIA and Theresa del Ninno, AIA and developer Austin Flajser of the Carr Companies will be moderated by Washington Post columnist Roger K. Lewis, FAIA.  

    Topics suggested for the panel discussion will address the influences on development in Alexandria that can encourage high-quality design for the future: 
    • Does Alexandria have a distinct architectural style?  What is the difference between a building design that is “contemporary” and one that is “trendy?”  What makes a building timeless without becoming boring and monotonous?
    • Why do certain design approaches and building types occur in Alexandria?  How does the public review process affect building design?  Is better design achieved through more or less control?
    • What is the public value of good design and what features create these economic and/or social values?  What effects do design and the market economy have on the creation of high quality buildings in Alexandria?  What could be done in the City to achieve higher quality projects?
    • How does public/private open space effect livability?

Saturday, June 9 - Community Tours of Local Development Sites
Bus riders meet at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street - South Entrance
2018 Architecture Symposium Tour Map


Registration to attend the symposium is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Bus transportation to the Saturday tour sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Community members are welcome to use their own cars or alternative means of transportation to visit the tour sites at the given times. 

To register for the symposium, please visit our RSVP page. 

Parking and TransportationParking locations

Parking is available in the USPTO West Garage, on Elizabeth Lane between Eisenhower and Ballenger avenues. Parking fees are as follows:

  • Friday - $10 (Guards located in the upper atrium will validate which reduces the cost to $8.)
  • Saturday - Free
  • Street/Metered parking is available in the area. 

USPTO is also conveniently located across from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station and a short distance from the King Street Metro Station.

Panel Participants

Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and urban planner, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland College Park, a writer and a cartoonist. Mr. Lewis has degrees in architecture from M.I.T., worked as an architect in the Peace Corps in Tunisia from 1964 - 1966), and in 1968 helped establish and began teaching design at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, retiring from the university in 2006. 

Shalom Baranes is the founding Principal of SBA and has provided overall design and strategic leadership across the 175 member firm since its inception in 1981.  His commitment to fostering urban revitalization has established him as a recognized leader in Washington DC’s rejuvenation. With the guiding principle that contemporary expression and historic preservation are natural allies in the service of urban densification, his work has led to transformative changes throughout the Washington region. In addition to his specific project related work within the firm, Mr. Baranes has authored articles and lectured on design, urban planning and preservation issues. He was one of the youngest architects ever elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, and has received a number of personal honors, including the AIA Centennial Award and Tau Sigma’s Gold Medal.  He has been appointed to serve on the National Peer Review Panel by GSA, has served on regional and national AIA juries and has chaired the Architectural Review Panel for DC’s Redevelopment Land Agency.  He received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture degrees from Yale University.   

Ms. Theresa del Ninno is the president of Maginniss + del Ninno Architects, founded in Alexandria, VA in 1976.  Theresa attended the University of Notre Dame and is a registered architect in Virginia. She joined the firm in 2000 and was named a principal in 2006, taking an active role in the management of the firm. She has significant experience designing institutional projects throughout the metropolitan DC area, including Gaithersburg’s new youth center, a LEED Platinum project.  In Alexandria, she has been responsible for the design of the additions to Bishop Ireton High School, Lyles Crouch and James K Polk schools. Additionally, she has substantive international experience, managing her own consulting practice in Guinea, West Africa, and Dhaka, Bangladesh where she designed projects for such clients as the United Nations and international medical organizations.  She designs simple, elegant solutions to complex challenges, which have received a number of design awards. Active in her community, she serves on the Alexandria City Board of Architectural Review, Parker Gray District, and is the current president of the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter.  

AUSTIN FLAJSER  Austin Flajser
Austin Flajser is in charge of day-to-day operations of The Carr Companies with over 40 executive suite, hotel, commercial and retail assets under management in 8 markets across the country but focused in the Washington, DC area. These assets account for over $180M in annual operating revenue and over $200M of new projects currently in the development pipeline. Since joining the Carr organization at Carr Enterprises in 2004, Austin has overseen over a million square feet of development projects. Austin received his Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University, his Masters in Real Estate from Georgetown University and his Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University.



Contact Jenny Rowan, Urban Planner, 703.746.3833