reIMAGINE: Creating New Uses for Old Buildings

  • Date

    Wednesday, May 08 2024-Thursday, August 29 2024

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

Every building represents an investment of money, effort, and materials. A building’s owners, users, and even its neighbors therefore have a strong interest in its continued viability. That is why any structure that survives long enough is likely to undergo regular maintenance, occasional restoration, or possibly comprehensive renovation. 

Even so, some buildings inevitably become obsolete due to changes in business practices, technology, demographics, or other factors. Fortunately, many structures facing obsolescence can be converted to purposes other than the ones for which they were designed—a process known as adaptive reuse. Essentially a form of recycling at a large scale, adaptive reuse offers numerous potential advantages over new construction, including:

Environmental benefits

  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Energy savings 
  • Reduced construction waste

Economic benefits

  • Cost savings
  • Increased property values
  • Opportunities for emerging businesses

Social benefits

  • Preservation of cultural heritage
  • Community revitalization
  • Neighborhood diversification

Adaptive reuse is already a cornerstone of the design and building industry. According to the AIA Firm Survey Report 2022, renovations of existing buildings accounted for 46% of architecture firms’ billings in 2021. The global consulting firm Deloitte has estimated that upwards of 90% of real estate development may be focused on renovation and adaptive reuse in the near future.

This exhibition presents 19 buildings in the Washington area that architects have recently reimagined, bringing new life to structures that might otherwise have been doomed to disuse, decay, and ultimately the wrecking ball. 

Select Images

A building with a glass roof

Description automatically generated   A group of people working at computers in a large room

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400 4th Street, SW, which was built as a warehouse,                        Press House, a former printing plant adapted as offices by Torti Gallas   converted into the Washington Design Center, and                          Urban with Hickok Cole designing the interior for its own office

then renovated by SmithGroupJJR as the Museum                         Photo © Garrett Rowland           

of the Bible. Photo © Alan Karchmer

A building with trees and plants in front of it

Description automatically generated     A building with glass doors and a walkway

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Chapman Stables, a residential complex                                Park + Ford, a pair of former offices

adapted from a historic stable and garage by                        converted to residential use

Studio Twenty Seven Architecture. Photo ©                          Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS

Anice Hoachlander                                                                    Photo © Anice Hoachlander         





Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners 
DPR Construction 
David and Patricia Haresign

Gilbane Building Company

Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS 
Eric Colbert & Associates 
Hartman-Cox Architects
Hickok Cole 
Studio Twenty Seven Architects 
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company 
Anice Hoachlander/StudioHDP 
Judy Davis/StudioHDP

Jon Hensley Architects
KUBE architecture

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA, District Architecture Center 
CURATOR AND SCRIPT WRITER: G. Martin Moeller, Jr., Assoc. AIA, Independent Curator and Writer/Editor of ArchitectureDC 
EXHIBITION/GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Jennifer Byrne, Live.Create.Play. LLC®
EXHIBITION AND PROGRAMS COORDINATOR: Molly Ford, District Architecture Center

DAC thanks David Haresign, FAIA, of Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS, who originated the idea for this exhibition series. 


INSTALLATION: Cross Museum Services


Cooling the Planet one Step at a Time: 15 Ways to Reduce Your Home Carbon Footprint

Widespread and destructive wildfires in places like California and Canada, strong hurricanes intensifying quickly and occurring more frequently, record high temperatures, and more-intense rain events leading to flooding are some of the long-anticipated consequences of climate change. Reducing carbon emissions can help mitigate these impacts, and while doing that in a major way will require actions from governments, industries, and communities, our choices as individuals can also play a part—as long as we know what to do. So, what steps can each of us take with our homes and how we live in them to help the overall effort to reduce carbon emissions?

This exhibition shows 15 simple steps we can each take that can have an immediate impact on our home-related carbon footprints. It also presents a few additional steps, if you want to take things a little further. These are by no means the only possible actions, but they can make for a good start.


Cooling the Planet one Step at a Time: 15 Ways to Reduce Your Home Carbon Footprint is organized by the District Architecture Center. This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of DAC’s Sustaining Firm Members.

Executive Director, Exhibition conception and script: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

Editors: Jonathan Penndorf, FAIA, and Ronald O’Rourke

Exhibition Design: James B. Hicks, III

Exhibition and Programs Coordinator: Molly Ford

Printing production by BluEdge

Adrienne Moumin: In Another Life

In this exhibition, artist Adrienne Moumin presents a collection of her works that display her unique style of photo collage. Geometric abstraction through repetition of images is key to Moumin's approach, as she endeavors to create optical effects in her pieces that vary with distance and perspective. Throughout the creation of her collages, which are all 100% handcrafted, Moumin strives to create drama. She employs her photographic medium to generate captivating images that appear as though they were computer generated, rather than meticulously forged by hand.

While at first many of Moumin’s monochromatic pieces may appear to be digitally created, closer inspection reveals the intricate texture and layering that go into each collage. Many of these collages are reimagined conceptualizations of simple structures, such as light fixtures, doorways, and arches. These simple structures are reborn through Moumin’s collages, to be presented in the way that Moumin experiences them. Many of the pieces are places or things that hold sentimental value to Moumin and evoke an emotional response.

Selected Images

ChicletBouquet of Lightspaper Lanterns

Chiclet (top left)

Bouquet of Lights (top right)

Paper Lanterns (bottom)

About the Artist

Adrienne Moumin is a visual artist based in New York, NY and Silver Spring, MD. Moumin specializes in printed black & white photography and handmade photo collage. She is best known for her “Architextures” photo series, which is inspired by architecture and urban landscapes. Her work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions since 1997, throughout the entire United States.


Adrienne Moumin: In Another Life is organized by the District Architecture Center in collaboration with the artist, Adrienne Moumin.

Executive Director: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA
Exhibition and Programs Coordinator: Molly Ford
Printing production by BluEdge

Architecture as Freedom

Architecture as Freedom features the design of five regional offices across rural Bangladesh constructed for BRAC, the world’s largest non-governmental development organization.

A broader philosophical motivation undergirded the design: How do we create buildings that offer its primary clients—poor rural communities who come to BRAC offices to receive different services—an experience of hope and freedom? These projects highlight architecture’s ability to play transformative roles in spatializing freedom by ensuring people’s unobstructed accessibility and movement, thermal and social comfort, and by creating spaces where their ability to co-design development solutions is enhanced.

About BRAC

The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) was founded in 1972. This organization seeks to create a “world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential.” This globally known organization works in 11 countries, including Bangladesh, to eliminate extreme poverty and empower people with financial mobility and capacity building.


Architecture as Freedom is organized by The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning with the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism (Ci+AU) at BRAC University in cooperation with the District Architecture Center for the SIGAL Gallery.

Curator: Adnan Z Morshed, PhD
Co-curators: Md. Faysal Kabir and S.M. Shafaiet Mahmud
Research Assistants: Esrat Jahan Onty, Adnan Sakib, Juliana Dimeglio, Brad Tigges, Tawsif Munawar, and Sadia Ishtiaque, Juliana Keagle, MaryJane Hughes, Melissa Kazanci, Noshin Tasfia Proma, Matthew Zernis, Juan Soto, Braden Gilmore

Photo Credit
Roofscape, BRAC office, Jhikargacha, Jashore / Photo © Asif Salman

Ricardo J. Rodríguez De Santiago: Present Futures

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing how artists make art. And it’s disrupting the art world. Here, the boundaries between human influence and machine creation are clouded. But AI brings imagination to life in new and innovative ways, and the results may surprise you.

Ricardo J. Rodríguez De Santiago knows a little something about AI-generated art. With more than 8,000 digital artworks, you might call him obsessed. He works with text-to-image algorithms to create images he describes as “present futures.” For him, AI is a generative tool that is experimental and iterative, even controversial—and that's OK.

With this exhibition, the artist presents a collection of AI-generated images that raise questions on architecture, climate change, and politics in his native Puerto Rico. Using the power of AI, Ricardo creates imaginary worlds framed between pain and recovery to highlight Puerto Rican resilience in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Fiona.

Selected Images

Artworks by Ricardo J. Rodriguez De Santiago

Satellites (left)

FEMA—Faded Echoes, Muted Actions (top right)

Post Apocalyptic Before the Storm (bottom right)

About the Artist

Ricardo J. Rodríguez De Santiago (@bytesandmortar) is known for his thought-provoking and progressive insights into the architecture and technology realms. His 15-plus years of architectural experience began in his native Puerto Rico. Since 2018, Ricardo has held several leadership roles connected to the American Institute of Architects. Accolades include National Top 50 Adoption Leader, Young Architect of the Year, and Emerging Architect of the Year. He has also lectured extensively in the US and abroad.

Ricardo, a progressive thinker and critic, brings a distinct perspective to the exhibition. Notably, he holds a specialized certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Harvard Business School Online, complementing his Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico.


Ricardo J. Rodríguez De Santiago: Present Futures is organized by the District Architecture Center in collaboration with @BytesandMortar for the Suman Sorg Gallery. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support is provided by Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members.

2023 Awards Show

The 2023 Awards Show combines award-winning projects from two of AIA|DC’s largest competitions:

  • Chapter Design Awards
  • Washingtonian Residential Design Awards

Each year, our competitions recognize practitioners 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 2023 winners!

2023 Chapter Design Awards

The Chapter Design Awards not only illustrate the wide variety of services performed by architects but also demonstrate the value of good design.

The annual AIA|DC Chapter Design Awards competition is open exclusively to registered architects and invites submissions in four distinct project categories: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Historic Resources, and Urban Design/Master Planning. The jury may then recommend one of the following: Citations in the areas of Sustainable Design, Universal Design, Design and Wellbeing, and Urban Catalyst; Award; and Grand Award.


Jennifer Yoos, FAIA, LEED AP / VJAA: Minneapolis, MN
Adam Yarinski FAIA / Architecture Research Office: New York, NY
Michael Frederick, AIA / Frederick + Frederick: Beaufort, SC
Amy Gilbertson FAIA / Trivers: St. Louis, MO
David Darling FAIA / Aidlin Darling Design: San Francisco, CA



  • ADU Crestwood by McInturff Architects
  • Apex Clean Energy Headquarters by William McDonough + Partners
  • Capital One Hall by HGA, Inc.
  • Clerestory House and Middle Garden by Colleen Healey Architecture
  • Msheireb Downtown Doha Phase 4 by HOK
  • The Brooks Short-term Family Housing by Ayers Saint Gross
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Headquarters by STUDIOS Architecture

Historic Resources & Preservation

  • 1222 22nd Street NW by Perkins&Will
  • Carver Hall by Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS
  • Renovation on Logan Circle by Colleen Healey Architecture
  • The Assembly by ZGF
  • Thurston Hall by VMDO Architects

Interior Architecture

  • Community of Hope Family Health & Birth Center by Gensler

Urban Design & Master Planning

  • Franklin Park by STUDIOS Architecture

Jury Citations


  • Park + Ford by Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS

Equitable Communities

  • Langston Terrace Revitalization and Sustainability Plan by Beyer Blinder Belle
  • Prather’s Alley by EL Studio


  • U.S. Green Building Council, HQ Renovation by Perkins&Will

2023 Washingtonian Residential Design Awards

The Washingtonian Residential Design Awards recognize residential projects, regardless of size or classification, based on excellence in total design, including aesthetics, programmatic response, and sustainability.

For 42 years, AIA|DC and Washingtonian magazine have co-sponsored an awards competition that recognizes excellence in residential design throughout the Washington metropolitan region. The competition is open exclusively to registered architects.

Eligible projects represent single-family, multifamily, or mixed-use residential buildings that characterize new construction, remodeling, additions, or adaptive reuse. Specialized housing such as senior living centers, dormitories, and emergency shelters for natural disasters may also be considered, as well as projects with universal design principles.


Gregg Novicoff, AIA / Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects: San Francisco, CA
Alex Gauzza, AIA, LEED AP BD+C / ISA: Philadelphia, PA
Anne Fougeron, FAIA / Fougeron Architecture: Paris, France



  • Clerestory House by Colleen Healey Architecture
  • Empty Nester by Wouter Boer Architects
  • Renovation on Logan Circle by Colleen Healey Architecture
  • WIMA 36 by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect


  • Garden Portal ~ A Glass Kitchen in a Historic Bungalow by WAK TOK

Multifamily Housing

  • Slowe Hall by Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS


The 2023 Awards Show is organized by the District Architecture Center for the SIGAL Gallery. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support provided by AIA|DC Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members.

Executive Director: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA
Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs: Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA
Design made possible by ArchiCAD20, courtesy of Graphisoft
Printing production by BluEdge

Small Objects, Big Ideas: The Architect’s Model

In Small Objects, Big Ideas: The Architect's Model, we celebrate the architectural model as a tested instrument in the design process. From education to practice, these small informative objects offer big, exciting ideas.

For architects, the model is a vital communication tool. It differs from loose freehand sketches, intricate technical drawings, or sleek computer renderings. Models link design intent and building execution. They are life-size buildings in miniature.

Models play an important role in the creative and technical development of projects. They give designers the power to experiment and solve problems. They also help clients imagine a design. Models can save time and money. They can also sell a project, and that's good news for everyone.

Explore 30 models representing working projects, completed projects, and theoretical projects.

Participating Architects, Designers, and Artists

Adrienne Moumin, Cooper Carry, D. A. BOOTH ARCHITECT, Division1 Architects, Douglas Crawford Architect, EL Studio, Gensler, KGD Architecture (formerly Kishimoto.Gordon PC), McInturff Architects, Perkins&Will, Rameez Munawar, SGA COS LLC, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, SmithGroup, The Kurylas Studio, Tom Shiner FAIA, and Winstanley Architects & Planners

Participating Students

Ben Wang (B. Arch., SU) and Lawry Boyer (B. Arch., SU), Jake Easton (M.Arch.3, VT), Jake Eaton (B.S. Arch., CUA), Nathaniel Brown Jr. (B. Arch., UMD), and Zhenghao Gong (B.A. Arch., UMD)


Small Objects, Big Ideas: The Architect’s Model is organized by the District Architecture Center for the Suman Sorg Gallery. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support provided by AIA|DC Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members.

Executive Director: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA
Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs: Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Design made possible by ArchiCAD20, courtesy of Graphisoft
Printing production by BluEdge

ABroad Perspective

The District Architecture Center is pleased to host ABroad Perspective, an exhibition of student design projects from The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning’s Foreign Studies Program, directed by Associate Professor Lavinia Fici Pasquina.

The exhibition features thought-provoking architectural ideas from Rome, Italy, Valletta, Malta, and Pantelleria, Sicily and is organized under five themes: Bridging Habitats; Climbing to Sustained Wellness; Rome: Then and Now—Between Fiction and Reality; Winergy—Envisioning a New Wine Museum in Pantelleria; and Portrayed Architecture: A Portrait Gallery in Malta.

With these projects, students were introduced to concepts of sustainability, equity, and vernacular building materials and techniques, and they were challenged to incorporate the historical lessons of the past and the foreign country’s cultural diversity into a contemporary architectural intervention.

Lavinia Fici Pasquina

“The students come back with a changed perspective as they learn to embrace different cultures and are exposed to social issues,” explains Fici Pasquinia. Additionally, “I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to expose students to different cultures, especially in Europe, which has such a deep history in architecture. I then focus on teaching them how to incorporate the lessons of the past into contemporary architecture. Moreover, I have witnessed the transformational effects that foreign studies have on the personal, professional, and spiritual growth of our students.”

An Italian architect, Lavinia has taught and directed design studios abroad throughout her professional career. She has been able to leverage her Italian citizenship, profession, and connections to provide an enriched experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.


ABroad Perspective is organized by Lavinia Fici Pasquina, Associate Professor at The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning in cooperation with the District Architecture Center for the SIGAL Gallery.

The exhibition is made possible by The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning.

Organizer: Lavinia Fici Paquina

Digital Consultant: Hussam Elkhrazz

Woodshop Curator: Lorenzo Cardim De Almeida

Exhibit Collaborator: Four Hewes

Student Exhibit Collaborators: Cameron Hennessey and Camila Rodriguez

Jack Hornady: Road Trip

Influenced by American Realism and mid-century modern graphic design, artist Jack Hornady fuses two timeless subjects in his colorful paintings: architecture and automobiles.

Hornady, a Connecticut native living in Maryland, is drawn to the past—memories from his childhood in the early 1970’s, when minimalist roadside buildings still dotted the landscape and cruiser cars ruled the open roadways. For onlookers and collectors alike, who share a connection to this era, Hornady’s paintings will lead you down memory lane.

Step back in time with 21 dreamy scenes on view in Jack Hornady: Road Trip. Reminisce about this bygone era with vintage roadside diners, retro motels, mid-century office buildings, and obscure strip malls. Imagine road trips in a 1963 Pontiac Catalina, 1956 Ford Fairlane, and other classic cars.

Selected Images

Jack Hornady Photos


Bowling League, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 in. x 24 in. (left)

Candy Apple Red Cadillac, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 in. x 24 in. (middle)

Department Store, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 in. x 24 in. (right)

Courtesy of Jack Hornady

About the Artist

Jack Hornady

Jack Hornady is an illustrator, painter, and educator originally from Connecticut. He teaches graphic design at American University and has worked with local youth to encourage their creativity. His artwork, featured nationally in group exhibitions, can be found in corporate and private collections across the U.S. Hornady earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.


Jack Hornady: Road Trip is organized by AIA|DC in cooperation with Jack Hornady for the Suman Sorg Gallery. The exhibition is made possible with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Additional support provided by Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members.

Executive Director: Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs: Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Art Handler: Hank Griffith

Print Production: BluEdge

Sforzina: Designs for a Modern America, 1924–1941

Before the opening of the famous Paris Exposition in 1925 that solidified Art Deco, the roots of the style were already planted in the United States by French designer Edgard Sforzina. In his short but prolific career in America, Sforzina worked on several notable projects, including interior design and furniture for George Gershwins’s Riverside Drive apartment and the Cincinnati Union Terminal.

This exhibition shares just a few of the hundreds of designs that Sforzina created during his nearly 20-year career in the United States. From the material presently known, he was exceptionally talented and multi-faceted. Sforzina was an artist, artisan, industrial designer, interior designer, and architect.

In early 2019, Northern Virginia resident Denise Allen approached the Art Deco Society of Washington with an inquiry about an extensive collection of drawings, photographs, prototypes, and professional records in her possession: the work of her grandfather, Edgard Sforzina. Since then, Denise, along with Art Deco Society Board Member Jim Linz and professional curator Deborah Sorensen have sorted, catalogued, scanned, and photographed more than 500 items in the collection.

We hope this exhibition will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do further research to help us better understand the full extent of Sforzina’s story and his contributions to Art Deco design.

About Edgard Sforzina

Edgard Sforzina was educated at the Ecole Nationale des Art Decoratifs in Paris. During the first half of his career, he worked for some highly regarded Parisian interior design firms and furniture manufacturers before entering the service in World War I. After the war, Lucien Alavoine & Company hired him as a designer. Three years later the Company sent Sforzina to work in their New York office.

Sforzina formally immigrated to the United States soon after, settling with his family in New York. He was active in the U.S. for two decades, working independently and in partnership with others. He was also employed by the architecture firm, Fellheimer & Wagner, the principal architects of the Cincinnati Union Terminal. Sforzina died at the age of 60 after a brief illness in early 1941.

About the Art Deco Society of Washington

The Art Deco Society of Washington is a non-profit organization incorporated to foster awareness, preservation, and appreciation of the Art Deco period in the Washington, DC area.


Sforzina: Designs for a Modern America, 1924–1941 is organized by the Art Deco Society of Washington in cooperation with AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery.



Denise Allen, granddaughter of Edgard Sforzina

Jim Linz, The Art Deco Society of Washington

Deborah Sorensen, Curator

Jennifer Byrne, Live/Create/Play


The Art Deco Society of Washington

David M. Schwarz Architects

Karen Burditt & Steve Knight

Linda & Jonathan Lyons

Rubylane Antiques