Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, was appointed the 84th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at a ceremony in December, taking the helm from outgoing president RK Stewart, FAIA. Purnell is the design principal of Devrouax + Purnell Architects, a 35-person firm that he and his business partner Paul Devrouax started in 1978 in Washington, D.C. Its portfolio includes several large-scale sports and entertainment facilities such as the Washington Convention Center; the Verizon Center, formerly the MCI Center; and a new ballpark for the Washington Nationals, which it currently is designing with HOK Sport. The firm also specializes in monuments. It is working with Roma Design Group on the new Martin Luther King Memorial, to be located on the National Mall, and it designed the African American Civil War Memorial, in Washington, D.C. RECORD’s news editor, James Murdock, sat down with Purnell in 2007, before he assumed the presidency, to learn more about him.
Why did Purnell decide to run for the 2008 AIA presidency? In a word, he says, “service.” (0:54)