Each year, the American Institute of Architects’ Virginia Chapter presents its Test of Time Award to a building between 25 and 50 years old that has served its tenants and the wider community admirably. This year’s winner is the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Richmond’s Carillon District designed by the notable late architect Ulrich Franzen.
ArchitectureRichmond’s profile of the church in our Architectural Inventory can be found here. We also paid tribute to Franzen, a nationally known architect who spent much of his life in New York after immigrating from Germany, with an obituary in 2012. That article can be found here.
The AIA cited the First UU’s strong geometry and clear construction logic as factors contributing to its aesthetic and material longevity. Recent renovations to the building by Quinn Evans Architects were also acknowledged for their sensitivity by the jury. The award helps to solidify the status of First UU as a regionally significant piece of modernist architecture and an important part of the character of the Carillon District.
Interior photography by author
Exterior photograph by Ansel Olson. Image courtesy Quinn Evans Architects.