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 and thoughtfully ordered residential and commercial
projects that are sensitive to site, program and budget. Materials are
employed with honesty, integrity and ecological awareness. Interior spaces
are active and intricate, tranquil and minimal. 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, while
including considerable client interaction.
Design solutions arrive through the thoughtful manipulation of light, color,
texture, form and geometry, culminating in architecture that is simultaneously
complex and distilled. 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
The office of Robert M. Gurney, FAIA has created a body of work that has
won more than two hundred sixty local, regional and national design awards,
including two National AIA Honor awards, six National AIA Housing Awards,
three American Architecture Awards and three national AIA Small Project
Awards. The office’s work has been published in numerous local, national
and international magazines, books and periodicals, and is the subject of a
monograph, “Modern Order: Houses by Robert Gurney”.
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.
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20016 Washington DC