Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, a principal at Devrouax + Purnell Architects and Planners PC in Washington, D.C., was inaugurated as the 84th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during ceremonies held on December 15th 2007. He succeeds RK Stewart, FAIA, and will represent the more than 83,000 AIA members in the coming year. Purnell was elected at the AIA 2006 annual convention in Los Angeles, and has served as AIA first vice president this past year.

His inaugural speech highlighted the need for collaboration among design professionals, developers and politicians to best address challenges such as urban sprawl, deteriorating schools, affordable housing, transportation infrastructure and public health, safety and welfare with a sustainable perspective. He also called for forging stronger alliances with professional organizations, community leaders and product manufacturers to further common causes.

Purnell added, “We have to take a serious look at who we are as well as the rising generations of young women and men in this country who would and could and should consider architecture as a profession. We must be more representative of the society we seek to serve. We must actively, creatively and with an unshakable commitment to succeed, pursue this diverse representation. We must pursue it not simply as a moral, but a professional imperative.”

Noteworthy projects that his firm has designed include the Washington Nationals baseball team Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. Convention Center, Martin Luther King Memorial, MCI Center (now Verizon Center) and PEPCO headquarters.

Purnell's leadership within the AIA has spanned several years having served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director from 2003-2006, as well as serving as president of AIA / Washington, D.C. in 2003. His contributions to the architectural profession were recognized with his investiture in the American Institute of Architects' College of Fellows in 1991.

About The American Institute of Architects
For 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 members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real. www.aia.org