Details – Design excellence or whimsy demonstrated in the form of minutiae or finishing touches, which visually delight or offer a sense of continuity with Loudoun’s history. Be creative! Tell how the physical project demonstrates design excellence and makes a lasting mark on Loudoun. These projects may also mirror Loudoun’s reputation as a place of rich contrasts.

Familiar – Design excellence demonstrated in the exceptional attention given to surrounding buildings, places and details during the project design. A highly “contextual” design solution in which the newly “adopted child” looks as if it had always been a visually harmonious member of the larger family of forms, textures and colors which can be found in the neighborhood.

Infrastructure – Design excellence demonstrated in infrastructure such as facilities, utilities, roadways, bridges, streetscape, parkways and trails.

Interiors – Design excellence demonstrated in an interior space. This could include space in residential, commercial, retail and public-sector structures.

Legends – Recognition for design excellence over a period of 25 years or more – the “test of time.” These projects or places are more than a spatial experience. They have become icons of our collective memory which make Loudoun County unique.

Makeovers – Design excellence demonstrated in the form of historic renovation and/or adaptive reuse. These projects may mirror Loudoun’s unfolding reputation as a place of rich contrasts. Projects characterized by the preservation of a piece of Loudoun County’s unique history.

Public Spaces – Design excellence demonstrated in the form of public greens, plazas and squares, which, by their attributes, have become a favorite mixing place. These are places where exceptional design has created gathering places that are icons of a community.

Pace Setters -Recent, visually groundbreaking projects which continue to shape Loudoun County as a unique environment. While Loudoun’s local vernacular buildings, places and details mark the community’s beginnings, these projects mark its current state of affairs and potentially set the pace for the future. Pace Setters may well be the Legends which the Signatures of Loudoun program honors a quarter century from now.

Students’ Choice – One of the winning projects will also be chosen by a panel of Loudoun high school students and graduates as best representing Loudoun County design excellence.