Richard E. Collins, 70, a retired professor of architecture at Catholic University and a founding partner in the Washington architectural firm of Collins & Kronstadt, Leahy, Hogan, Collins and Draper, died of emphysema Friday at Holy Cross Hospital.

A practicing architect in this area for 25 years, Mr. Collins designed many award-winning low- and moderate-income residential communities, including Sursum Corda ("Lift Up Your Hearts"), a community in northwest Washington that won the Washington Board of Trade Award for Excellence in Architecture and the Honor Award for Design Excellence from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He was born and reared in Staunton, Va. After graduating from the Catholic University School of Architecture in 1932, he married and settled in the area. He lived for more than 40 years in a house he designed and built himself in Silver Spring. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring.

Before establishing his own firm, Mr. Collins was a designer for the Navy Department's Bureau of Yards and Docks.

Survivors include his wife, Cecelia, a son, Richard Jr., and two daughters, Kathleen Stevens and Mary Lee, all of Silver Spring; another daughter, Margaret Ives of Columbia, Md.; two sisters, Frances Hamill of Los Angeles and Margaret Masters of Hyattsville; a brother, John R., of Silver Spring, and 13 grandchildren.