For more than 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA works to promote the value of the architectural profession and to advance the living standards of people through an improved built environment. Representing approximately 70,000 members nationally, 2,000 statewide, and more than 200 members in Western North Carolina, this three-tiered organization is the largest voice in the architectural community.
AIA Asheville unites the community of design professionals who live and work in Western North Carolina. AIA Asheville seeks to build affiliations with other community-based organizations and local or regional boards and commissions in order to address issues of concern for the region such as historic preservation, smart growth, sustainability, green building, affordable housing, and more. Membership is open to all registered architects, and architectural interns, employees, and professionals in allied businesses.
In Asheville, Architecture has been a key ingredient in the economic success of the region. While the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains attracts visitors, it is the built environment that runs a close second to fueling tourism, business growth, and new residents. The Biltmore House, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, one of the earliest leaders of AIA, Grove Park Inn, Downtown’s restored commercial districts, and historic neighborhoods all play a major role in making the area vibrant. We are known as a center for the preservation of Arts and Crafts design and we boast the second largest collection of Art Deco buildings on the east coast, second only to Miami Beach, Florida. Asheville and the surrounding area continue to draw creative people to the region. There is a huge interest in sustainable design in the area. Many green developments have taken place in the last few years and the community is dotted with unique contemporary up fits of existing buildings as well an eclectic mix of new contemporary homes and commercial buildings. AIA Asheville participates in the community by providing educational opportunities for their members and the public. The organization regularly holds lectures, screens films, and architecture and art exhibits. Scholastic Arts Awards, CANstruction, HATCH, are just a few of the community projects that AIA Asheville helped coordinate. In 2010, our members gave over 1,000 hours in community service and $5,000 in donations to local non-profits. Whether you are an architect, want to hire an architect, need information about WNC architecture, or just want to get involved in the design community, AIA Asheville may be able to help you.