Throughout the summer of 2011, a panel of 67 judges comprised of experienced building industry professionals visited new homes and communities in the Mid-Atlantic region that had been nominated for the annual Great American Living (GALA) Awards. Sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) and the Washington Metropolitan Sales & Marketing Council (WMSMC), the GALA Awards—formerly Monument Awards—honor excellence in new home architecture, interior design, sales and marketing in our region.
“The GALA program is the most prestigious residential design, sales and marketing competition in the metropolitan Washington market,” says Jane Lyons, a principal of Lyons & Sucher Advertising and longtime member of GALA’s planning committee. “A number of industry professionals, from builders to architects, have judged these awards for more than 50 years. To win a GALA is considered the ‘Best of the Best.’”
This year’s festivities were held at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner, Virginia, on October 27. Entries filled 90 categories; those pertaining to architecture and design included single- and multi-family homes; town homes and condominiums; custom home and remodeling projects; and land and site planning.
With approximately 150 award winners in total, the coverage on the following pages is limited to those in the architecture and design categories (scroll down to see the full, alphabetical list of winners in these categories); pictured are some of the Grand Award winners, which include the categories of Home and Community of the Year. The three Grand Award-winning companies receiving the award for Winner included Courtland Homes, Dreamhouse Studios and Smith Associates, which together won in the category of Home of the Year, Detached, for a home in Wedderburn Estates. This is a new community about two miles from the busy Vienna/Tysons Corner, Virginia, area that features 23 semi-custom houses, many of which back onto the Washington and Old Dominion hiking and biking trail. Like the winning model, the homes all come in a range of traditional brick-and-fieldstone façades that ensure a distinctive look for each house.
Home of the Year, Attached, went to Miller and Smith and Creaser O’Brien Architects for the Indigo model at Brambleton, part of the Grand Vista Collection of townhomes in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Indigo model is built in the Prairie style, with three bedrooms and modern accents; like its counterparts in the community, the home features a wall of windows and 2,900 square feet of space.
The winner of Community of the Year was Chancellor’s Row, a set of four-level town homes in the Northeast Washington, DC, neighborhood of Brookland near Catholic University. Sustainable, rowhouse-inspired home designs include exposed brick walls and brick stoops with wrought iron rails; rooftop terraces and professional landscaping are part of the package.
Peter Gulick, president and CEO of Gulick Group, Inc., received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The following companies were winners in one or more of the 2012 GALA Awards’ design and architecture categories:
Banks Development Company
The Building Group
Carlyn and Company
The Christopher Companies
Clark Builders Group
Creaser O’Brien Architects
Gruver Cooley Corporation
James McDonald Associate Architects
The JBG Companies
Joy Custom Build
Miller and Smith
Pinnacle Design & Consulting
Residential Design Group
Smith & Associates
Soave Real Estate
Thomas French Architect, PC
Torti Gallas & Partners
Trammell Crow Residential
W.C. Ralston Architects
The Wormald Companies
**Out of the array of interior design magazines, Home and Design magazine stands out as a primary idea source for luxury home design and building/remodeling features. Wonderful visuals of custom homes and eco-friendly resources are combined with expert advice to provide a fundamental reference point for bringing amazing home interior design and remodeling projects to life.