Lancaster, PA: The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pennsylvania recently named Tippetts/Weaver Architects of Lancaster as the recipient of the 2022 Architecture Firm Award. This is the first time since its inception in 2013 that the prestigious award has been given to a firm with a female founder. Wendy H. Tippetts is one of the two founding partners of Tippetts/Weaver Architects, and for over thirty years has led the design direction and culture of the firm.
“T/Wa creates beautiful architecture for everyone, crafted with deep thought and care, constructed with materials choreographed in logical but poetic ways, that moves us in its power to reimagine the building stock of Lancaster, PA and the surrounding communities,” wrote Chris Dawson, AIA LEED AP BD+C, one of eight architects from across the state to serve on this year’s nomination committee.
The Architecture Firm (of the Year) Award recognizes a Pennsylvania firm whose passion and practice have produced notable architecture for at least a decade. Deserving firms have demonstrated excellence in design and leadership through any combination of the following criteria: the breadth and/or depth of their portfolio, a healthy firm culture, influence on the practice of architecture, and exemplary outcomes for clients and/or society.
Tippetts/Weaver Architects was chosen from a pool of four nominees submitted to the committee by the nearly 3,000 members of AIA Pennsylvania. Tippetts/Weaver is not only the first firm from Central Pennsylvania to have been chosen for the award, but also the smallest.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized among our peers across the state for our design excellence, breadth of experience, and community contributions,” said Wendy Tippetts. “Since founding the firm in 1987 with Gary Weaver, we have sought to create timeless architectural solutions that satisfy and delight. Our success comes from collaboration, from being good listeners, and from a commitment to make Central Pennsylvania a great place to live.”
Working in the small cities, towns and rural places of Central Pennsylvania, T/Wa mixes a modern aesthetic with historical context to create timeless spaces that lift the spirit and make people feel good about where they live, work, and play. Their projects include the Fulton Theatre expansion and Actor’s Housing, the Lancaster Science Factory, the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster Conservancy in Lancaster; Historic Fairmount affordable housing, Keystone Kidspace, and St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in York; Newville Town Center mixed use housing/commercial in Newville; Bucknell University Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Lewisburg; and numerous residences (including new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse) across the area. In their 35-year history, T/Wa has been recognized with more than fifty awards, including design awards from the Central Pennsylvania AIA Chapter and from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, multiple Annual Awards from Preservation Pennsylvania for historic and adaptive reuse projects, and many awards from the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, Historic Trust of Cumberland County, and Historic York, among others.
The firm of 10, including 6 registered architects, strives to make a positive and transformative impact. Their work is informed by sustainability, diversity, and inclusion, and they have pursued projects to address issues of inequity, including affordable housing, public access to health care, and minority-based community enterprises. In the last five years, $300k in-kind services have been donated to nonprofits. As individuals, the team participates in volunteer activities and events, assists local nonprofits, and serves on boards and committees. In addition, T/Wa members are active in the Central Pennsylvania AIA Chapter, including two team members who have served as president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter Board of Directors.
ABOUT AIA PENNSYLVANIA The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), AIA Pennsylvania, represents nearly 3,000 members across the Commonwealth working at the forefront of a nearly $17 billion construction industry. AIA Pennsylvania advocates for the value of architecture and policies that promote economic prosperity and the health, safety, and welfare of the public. As a membership organization, the chapter provides architecture professionals with the statewide community, advocacy, and knowledge to affect positive outcomes through the power of design.