David W. Ricks, AIA
President & Design Principal
Start Date: July 1993
David plays a central role in all aspects of the firm's work with primary focus on design, client development and firm oversight. He is engaged with every project and works with his team to cultivate and maintain the firm's reputation for responsive, high quality design and seamless project management services. One of David's primary responsibilities is to insure every project gets off on the right foot. The seminal moment of every project occurs in the first client design meeting where the design's trajectory is typically established. To assure the best possible outcome, David personally develops the initial concepts. Variety is the most effective method to uncover the best and most appropriate solution. David produces multiple design alternatives for comparison. Exposing the client to a range of solutions provokes "out of the box" thinking and provides the homeowner with options to make informed choices. This inclusive design method has proven value. "Our clients never look backwards or doubt their decisions going forward!" After the concept is selected, David continues to oversee the design's development to ensure that subsequent design refinement and detail choices are informed by the original design concept.
David has 38 years of experience in the practice of architecture. Upon graduation, he accepted a staff architect position with, distinguished modernist architect, Frank Schlesinger, in Washington, DC. After completing several notable projects, including the US Embassy and Marine Guard Quarters in Puerto Prince, Haiti, David took a project-architect position with the venerable Washington firm of Keyes Condon & Florence (KCF is now the Smith Group). KCF was a high profile commercial architectural firm with a reputation of producing the city's finest architecture and its best architects, as quoted from Benjamin Forgey, the former Architecture Critic for the Washington Post. After 11 years at KCF, rising to the level of Junior Partner and managing projects for an "A" list of corporate and private institutional and commercial clients, David decided the time was right to strike out and start his own firm.
After 14 years of commercial architecture, David longed for a more personal and hands on style of practice where design and craft were paramount, the client was also the end user, and project outcomes could be managed and better controlled by the architect. David's focus on a residential practice came after completing several homes. His young firm was recognized immediately for its well-conceived, high design solutions that took a sensitive approach to the existing homes and neighborhoods in which they were built. Benjamin Forgey, the Architecture Critic for the Washington Post, published an article highlighting the firm's work on the front page of the Style Section. The high praise Mr. Forgey bestowed throughout the article put the firm squarely on the map.
Since then, David has taken great care to develop and maintain the firm's hard earned reputation for consistent, outstanding design and project management service. Firm projects have won numerous design awards including Regional AIA Merit awards, local design awards, Historic Preservation design awards, and "Green" design awards.
In addition to firm responsibilities, David actively shares and promotes architecture and his professional design expertise. He is an active member of the AIA and a frequent speaker on matters of residential design and remodeling.
David recognizes the aquired skills of an experienced architect are unique. He has always felt civic responsibility to share that knowledge with his local community. David currently serves as a Planning Commissioner for Arlington County, VA. Prior to that he served 9 years as Chair of Arlington's Design Review Committee (DRC) and Co-Chair of the Historic Affairs Landmarks Review Board (HALRB).
David has served as a guest critic on design juries at numerous Schools of Architecture including the University of Maryland.
David holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He is licensed in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. David is a member of the Washington, DC Chapter of the AIA and past member of both the Potomac Valley MD and Northern VA Chapters of the AIA.
Steven T. Crawford, RA
Senior Associate & Project Manager
Start Date: 1997 - 2003 & 2007 - Present
Like David, every client working on a project with DWRA will work with Steven. He is engaged early at the concept design stage and becomes the primary point of contact once a project moves into the design development phase. In addition to outstanding design skills, Steven is an excellent communicator who is able to distill and relate crucial project information and choices comfortably, thoroughly and in an orderly fashion. In addition to design and project documentation, Steven performs energy evaluations, manages schedules & budgets, arranges showroom visits and assists in all material and finish selections. Steven epitomizes the old architectural adage, "attention to detail". His organizational skills are a lynch pin in DWRA's promise to provide clients the highest and most responsive architectural service.
Steven has 20 years of experience in the practice of architecture. His early work experience includes internships at the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) and JWF Architects in Harrisburg, PA. Upon graduation he moved to Washington, DC and took an intern architect position with Archetype where he worked on additions and restorations to a number of historically significant buildings that include the Decatur House, Anderson House (The Society of the Cincinnati Headquarters), and Mt. Vernon. In 1997, Steven joined DWRA. After 7 years he decided to branch out and explore the residential construction side of the business. After a 4 year stint at the Design/Build firm Morris-Day, Steven returned to DWRA as a senior associate.
Steven holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute). He is a licensed architect and former member of the Northern VA Chapter of the AIA.
Christian C. Dvorak, RA
Chris has his own company specializing in architectural drafting and support services. He has become well known within the industry for his superior skills and knowledge of the sophisticated architectural object based software, ArchiCAD, which he first learned while employed at DWRA. Chris joined our firm in 1998, and after 8 years, decided to pursue interests in addition to architecture. He continues to collaborate with DWRA on a regular basis. In addition to CAD experience, Chris is skilled in construction technology, including structural framing and building envelope detailing. Chris provides DWRA valuable support to our CAD and production drawing capabilities. His command of ArchiCAD, and intimate knowledge of DWRA's prescribed method of drawing, detailing and CAD layer organization, makes him a valuable and highly effective support team member.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute) and is a licensed architect.
Jon Zhang, PE
JZ Structural Consultants
Jon has provided his engineering services and expertise for every DWRA project over the last 6 years. His responsibilities include review and comment on DWRA prepared foundation plans, framing plans, framing sections, lateral wind bracing diagrams, and all structural detailing. Jon prepares final load calculations and verifies all structural member sizes. If deemed necessary by the Architect, he will also make site visits to assess specific existing or new construction conditions of concern.
Jon has practiced engineering over 30 years. Prior to starting his office in 2004, Jon worked for a variety of Northern Virginia engineering firms including Ehlert/Bryan, Inc., Pond & Company, and Consulting Engineers Corp. His structural analysis expertise includes office buildings, schools, multi-family apartments, shopping centers, townhomes and single family homes.
Jon holds a Master's of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Hefei University, China. He is a licensed engineer in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Andrew T. Ricks, PE
Website Designer & Developer
Andrew is a licenced Naval Architect and Marine Engineer. He currently works for NAIAD Dynamics after a tour with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics.
As a freshman in high school, he began working at DWRA over summer and winter breaks, initially assisting in an administrative capacity. Andrew quickly advanced to computer drafting and 3-D modeling. He introduced the office to an early release of the now widely used and popular 3-D software, SketchUp. It was immediately embraced and remains an office mainstay modeling tool for compelling quick studies and client presentations. Eventually, Andrew was asked to assist in the creation of the firm's website. His knowledge of the Dreamweaver software, skill in writing code, and keen eye for graphically sophisticated web design, proved indispensable.
Andrew continues to support the website when needed. Based on continued positive feedback from our many website viewers, his original web design continues to be a success.
Andrew recieved his Bachelor of Engineering and Master's of Ocean Engineering from The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Margo H. Ricks, PE
Current Website Developer
Margo is a licensed Mechanical Engineer. She is the head engineer for Solar Solutions, the largest solar PV developer and installer in Washington DC.
While an engineering student Margo also served as the DWRA webmaster. She worked in the office during summer and winter breaks, and remotely during the academic year. She continued to advance the website and made her own imprint on its design.
Margo continues to consult with DWRA for website management. She is also available to assist and help educate DWRA clients who contemplate installing a PV solar system into their project.
Margo recieved her Bachelor of Engineering from the A. James Clark School of Engineering, Univeristy of Maryland in College Park, MD. She is currently completing her 1st year of Graduate School at John's Hopkins in Electrical Engineering.