The vast majority of houses constructed today are anemic replications of beloved houses built in a bygone era. Synthetic reproductions of time honored materials and thoughtless design process predominates. Wooded sites with rolling topography are leveled and rendered treeless. Molded styrene, plastics with embossed wood grain, and foam covered with resin reduce materials to flat, superficial images. Vinyl windows with artificial muntin bars are employed with no regard for orientation. This greatly compromises our sensual gratification and ecological awareness.
Once exposed to natural forces these houses will deteriorate rapidly and require great and unnecessary expense to repair or replace. Environmental illness and unfavorable response to synthetic materials, carcinogenic adhesives and suspect plastics will reinforce the notion that we respond to natural materials physically as well as psychologically. Our office believes that architecture must break from unnatural and unhealthy imitation.
The office of Robert M. Gurney, FAIA is dedicated to the design of modern, meticulously detailed, thoughtfully ordered residential and commercial projects sensitive to site, program and budget. Materials are employed with honesty, integrity and ecological awareness. Regardless of project size or budget, our office is committed to producing buildings and spaces that strive for design excellence.
Whether working in complex historical districts or on a vacant site, the design process involves an understanding of site specific issues of location, landscape, history, availability of materials and construction methods. The design process includes considerable client interaction.
Design solutions arrive through the thoughtful manipulation of light, color, texture, form and geometry. An understanding of current technology, attention to detail and awareness of location, landscape and history lead to design solutions that respect historical, topographical and regional context without being revivalist. Projects are designed to be durable, timeless and appropriate.
The office of Robert M. Gurney, FAIA has created a body of work that has won more than one hundred sixty local, regional and national design awards, including two AIA National Honor Awards, five National AIA Housing Awards, An American Architecture Award and a Wood Design Award. In addition the office’s work has been published in over one hundred seventy local, national and international magazines, books and periodicals. The work of Robert Gurney is the subject of a recent monograph, “Modern Order Houses by Robert Gurney” and Robert Gurney is included in Architectural Digest’s “New AD 100”.
Accomplishments in design are complemented by involvement in service activities to the profession and to students of Architecture. Robert Gurney has served as a member of the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Board of Directors, Design Committee, Schools Connection Committee and the Virginia Society State Design Committee and is currently a member of the VSAIA Honors Committee. Robert Gurney was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2002.