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Jan/Feb 2012 Summer 2011 $24.95 USD $26.30 CAN



Bright Idea


There is nothing dull about the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. Foreman Architects designed the corridors to provide maximum efficiency as students traverse the school.

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on the cover 40 SPG Architects

SPG Architects was hired for a complete gut renovation and reconfiguration of a Manhattan townhouse to create the warm Moroccan home the client desired. The entrance features a dramatic staircase with a custom metal panel.

58 90 T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T R Y

ARCHITECTURE LE ADER S Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Creative Director Maria J. Owens Art Director Kris Apodaca Advertising Design Erika Bernetich, Jennifer Bitzinger Editorial Director Kate Darling Staff Writers Joel Cornell, Paige L. Hill Copy Editor Mariya I. Bouraima Content Directors Sophia Hartwick, Brandon McBride, Jill Patel, Quenshell Williams Vendor Relations Steve Peters Advertising Sales Farrah Hudson, Moe Kazemi, Mike Melley, Rob Prince Publisher Steve Reed Reprints/Circulation Anne Brewer

oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 Architecture Leaders Today is an international quarterly B2B trade journal that services the architecture industry in design/build, education and healthcare architecture, interior design, and residential and commercial sectors. ALT has a readership of 200,000 C-Level executives within the architecture industry. We do not accept subscription requests from the general public, however an abbreviated version is available on our website.


in this issue IN EVERY ISSUE

08 Staff Editorial 10 Guest Editorial 12 Industry News 13 Calendar 16 The Hot List 147 Advertising Index



24 Hickox Williams Architects

The architects at Hickox Williams don’t have to look very far for inspiration when designing residences for clients who live in some of the most picturesque parts of downtown Boston and the countryside of New England.

30 Robert Cohen Architects

This sleek design aesthetic coming out of this architect's mind is certainly the wave of the future -- residences with built-in yoga mats, green roofs and sunken lap pools in the foyer -- certainly far from what we call "traditional."

32 KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners

This firm elevates living to an art form with their whimsically traditional custom homes dotting the northeastern coast.

40 SPG Architects

Be it a rock n’ roll townhouse in Manhattan or a serene, eco-friendly home in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains, it will be impeccably designed with SPG Architects at the drafting table.

52 Zohreh Zand Designs

Architect and interior designer Zohreh Zand gets to make dreams come true by creating custom homes from scratch for her lucky clients in the Bedford, N.Y. area.


94 KG&D Architects

When Russell Davidson isn’t busy designing impressive schools in the New York area for KG&D Architects, he is serving as Vice President of AIA National.

100 Braun & Steidl Architects

It’s no wonder why this skilled firm in Ohio gets so many big name and repeat education clients since they opened in 1983 -- like Ohio State University.

104 Foreman Architects & Engineers

Foreman Architects & Engineers should get an A+ for their riveting education designs, like the highly efficient renovation of the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.

110 LKS Architecture, Inc. MULTIDISCIPLINE

54 Arthur Chabon Architect

Though based in New York state, Arthur Chabon’s global designs could pop anywhere, like in Palm Beach, Fla. or Aspen, Colo. where he recently finished major projects.

Considered the go-to firm in Atlanta, Ga. It should come as no surprise that LKS Architecture, Inc. was hired to design Emory University’s high-tech Data Command Center.

114 Triad Architects

The architects at Triad make major waves in the Midwest working on multi-million dollar renovations, like for the Westerville City Public School District.

62 Baker Barrios Architects

Baker Barrios Architects are taking a rundown Tampa neighborhood and giving it a second life as the family-oriented Encore Development inspired by the music legends who came before it.

66 OGP Architects

This northeastern firm’s work certainly has an impact on the communities where their designs come to life like three of their recent projects: a YMCA, lung research center and car dealership.

70 Penza + Bailey Architects

The wide ranging skills this firm possesses made it the ideal fit for both the uniquely soothing Maryland SPCA and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Delaware.

74 Florida Architects, Inc.

A burning building is generally an architect’s nightmare, except for this firm. They had the opportunity to design the Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex for student firefighters.

82 Winter Street Architects

Winter Street Architects’ unique skill set in systems integration and organization was the perfect fit for the multi-functional Needham Public Services Administration Building in Massachusetts.

84 SMP Architects

Uber-chic and leafy green, the sustainable designs out of this Pennsylvania firm of will weather the storm for years to come -- be it cozy inns or cutting-edge schools.


126 Staples & Charles Ltd.

Considering the museum visionaries at Staples & Charles Ltd. were first employed by design innovators Ray and Charles Eames in the 1960s, it is little wonder they were hired to work on Thomas Jefferson's gift to architecture: Monticello.

128 Kobi Karp Architects

This longtime Miami architect just made his home airport a bit more welcoming with a $70 million renovation and expansion of the three-hotel Marriot Miami Airport Campus.

130 Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects

This powerhouse firm knows no boundaries when it comes to designing luxury casinos – from Oklahoma to China, their work has infiltrated the gaming industry to critical acclaim.

136 Brown Chambless Architects

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians knew that they could count on this Alabama-based firm to design the high-end casino and hotel they had dreamed up: the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel.


65 Turner 92 Viridian 118 RSFI 126 SmallCorp

staff editorial

by Paige L. Hill


8 Architecture Leaders Today

New Yorkers look down on us in Washington, D.C. what with our lack of Duane Reeds, “good” pizza, and athletic teams in multiples. I’ve heard the New Yawker accented whispers on the D.C. metro (how do they live out here in the wild?!). I’ve seen the blogs dedicated to the “greatest city in the world.” Though I believe we Washingtonians actually have the upper hand with the leader of the free world living down the street from us; even I can concede New Yorkers look down on us in one way. Physically. All those skyscrapers! To “preserve the magnificence” of the White House and the Capitol, Congress enacted a law DC ST § 6-601 prohibiting private buildings from rising more than 20 feet taller than the width of the street in front of it. When these modern steel "skyscrapers" were first being built in the 1880s it was to the shocking height of 10 stories tall. What would these turn-of-the-century architects have called the Burj Khalifa at 829.84 meters tall? A sky-stabber? A sky-intruder? It just doesn’t have the same ring, which is probably why The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) uses the terms “tall” and “supertall” to describe buildings over 200 meters. Every January the CTBUH publishes a review of tall building construction and statistics from the previous year. Since 2007 these new buildings have continued to break the record for the number of 200 meter-plus buildings built from the year before. The projects in the last five years have been mostly concentrated to the Middle East and Asia. A record-breaking 17 projects standing over 200 meters were completed in 2011. The CTBUH report predicts this record-breaking trend will continue likely through 2020. “It had been expected that skyscraper completions would drop off very sharply after 2011, as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis,” the report reads. “Now however, due in large part to the continuing high activity of skyscraper design and construction in China, as well as the development of several relatively new markets, this global dip is no longer expected.” I’m all for innovation and breaking boundaries in the field of architecture. It certainly makes my job more interesting. But when does “innovation” just become an architectural pissing contest? And not only that, but a pissing contest which requires billions of dollars the U.S. simply does not have anymore. “Historically speaking, the United States experienced its skyscraper ‘heyday’ in the 1980s, when 49 of these buildings were completed,” the report reads. “During that decade China and South Korea each completed two buildings.” The U.S. built two of the 17 "supertall" buildings in 2011 (Frank Gehry's Eight Spruce Street in New York and Gyo Obata's Great American Tower in Cincinnati), which the report remarks is proof our country is severely lagging behind. I do not often have the chance to discuss politics in this magazine, but I believe I do represent a large number of Americans who would rather us stay focused on getting out of debt instead of beating China in building the next tallest building. I might even be able to trace how those 49 skyscrapers in the 1980s helped get us into our current debt-ridden position in the first place. The original skyscrapers were built in response to growing urban populations. The new money brought in by the industrial revolution, the surplus steel and migrant workers further supported their construction. These modern supertall buildings are generally mixed-use with a large emphasis on creating a tourist attraction out of the building itself. For instance, the top of the Great American Tower was designed to resemble the late Princess Diana of Wales' tiara -- also making the building just 26 meters higher than Cincinnati’s formerly tallest building. It only cost $322 million to beat 'em! Personally, I'm happy to leave Washington, D.C. out of the mix and wish I had the chance to thank the lawmakers who created the building law DC ST § 6-601. I can see the sun rising over the Washington Monument from my third floor apartment in the morning and watch it set over the Capitol as I walk home from work.

Photo by Julian Vu

Such Great Heights

guest editorial

by Emily Badger This article first appeared in The Atlantic as "The Surprisingly Complex World of Wayfinding" published on January 31, 2012.


Atlanta is no easy city for outsiders to navigate. It has seemingly three downtowns, plus three major interstates slicing through the core of the place, plus infinite maddeningly intertwined Peachtree streets. Los Angeles has neither an obvious street grid nor a comprehensive transit system that spans the entire city. Downtown Seattle actually has five street grids, all tilting on a slightly different axis. Washington, D.C., has diagonal boulevards that befuddle tourists. In a word, these are all cities that could use some wayfinding. A wonderfully designed place presents itself to tourists and residents alike with a kind of intuitive ease: the church is on the hill, the commerce is on the river, the boulevard leads straight to the main monument. Everywhere else, you need signs. Enter the urban wayfinding expert. This field – also known as environmental graphic design – fits a unique niche somewhere in between two- and threedimensional design, between building and landscape architecture, between the small scale (street signs) and really large systems (whole cities). “Architectural signage and wayfinding isn’t about building a nicely designed sign,” says Sue Labouvie, one such expert. “It’s about the information content and the analysis of the space or place that you’re trying to move people through, and coming up with a strategy of how you make this big complex thing simple and understandable to the user.” How do you clarify to people what a city is about, how they should move through it and where they can find all the really important stuff? A lot of older European cities are intuitively laid out. You know how the story goes: Then we invented cars and stopped designing places for pedestrians, and for the last half-century cities have focused more on helping drivers speed through than directing people on foot from the art museum to the mall. More recently, cities all over the world have turned to expert wayfinders to embed non-intuitive streetscapes with the information we need to navigate them. “When we have big cities,” says Labouvie, who is the president of Studio L’Image “they become so complex we have to then impose something like signage and wayfinding to help people move through these cities and feel comfortable doing that because of the way that the city was designed.” In 1995, Philadelphia launched one of the first pedestrian wayfinding programs, Walk!Philadelphia, which divided the city center into five districts (the convention center district, the historic district, the museum district, etc.), each with its own color-coded branding. The neighborhoods were then knit together by an extensive system of signs and maps. If you've been to downtown Philadelphia since, you may have appreciated how easy the convention center was to find. But you probably did not appreciate that someone had to design your path there. “My parents never understood what it was that I did,” Labouvie laughs. “People know what advertising is. They know how to sell products. But understanding that there are best ways of moving through cities, that there are cues that will help you do that, people don’t understand that until it’s really pointed out.” Overt signage is also just one component of wayfinding. Sidewalks tell pedestrians where they’re welcome. Public art draws people down a boulevard. Street lighting indicates where it’s safe to bike at night. Street banners tie together an entire community – and inform passing cars when they’ve left it. Many of these little nudges speak to us on an almost subconscious level. “Paris and a lot the main cities of the world have all sorts of visual cues that just get you where you want to be almost intuitively,” Labouvie says. “I do signage and wayfinding, but the less signs one needs the better." It is entirely possible to put up way too many of these things, and to do them all wrong ("sign clutter," Labouvie calls it). Of course, there's also some joy in being lost in the city, in stumbling upon side streets and unexpected alleyways. And so wayfinding is also about striking just the right balance between intuitive navigation and individual discovery. “It’s like IKEAs,” Labouvie says. “Part of it is they want you to get lost, because then you can find out what you want, or what you don’t want, but then they always give you cues to getting back to the main path."

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Finding Your Way Home

industry news Stories by Paige L. Hill and Joel Cornell

Renzo Piano's New $759 Million Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center Begins Construction

ATHENS, GREECE - Despite being at the very center

of the ongoing debt crisis that has plagued Europe for years now, Greece still moves forward with new buildings and infrastructure. Five years after the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced its intention to fund the development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), and two years after the ratification of the contract by the Greek Parliament, the beginning of the construction phase of the project becomes a reality, in accordance with the initial timetable. Excavation works commenced in late December

2011 in order to prepare the site for the actual construction which is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2012. The beginning of the construction phase comes at a very critical juncture in modern Greek history and brings a much needed sense of optimism and hope, as well as a whole range of significant economic benefits to the country. Approximately €1 billion of total economic stimulus will be derived from the upfront commitment in the construction of the SNFCC, while 1,500 to 2,400 people will be employed each year to support SNFCC

construction and all related industries. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is assuming the total cost of building and outfitting the SNFCC, estimated to be €566 million ($759 million USD). Upon completion, at the end of 2015, the SNFCC will be donated to the Greek State for public use. The early renderings of the SNFCC have circulated since 2009, and the completed design refines major concepts of the initial plan. The building will rise within the new 42 acre Stavros Niarchos Park, in the community of Kallithea.

NYC Residents Unhappy, Playgrounds Close To Make Way For High Rise between 2nd and 3rd avenues, is easy to miss, surrounded as it is by tall residential brick buildings. The acre-size site is home to a tot lot and playing courts that now sit behind a padlocked fence while developer Related Rentals tries to turn the popular playground into a residential luxury tower. Community Board 8 (CB8) is fighting back and the debacle of how Related was able to privatize a public space has become both a warning for the future and a worrisome precedent. The crux of the issue is the 1983 sale of the site directly behind the playground, the last phase in the development of the Ruppert Urban Renewal Plan, part of the Mitchell-Lama housing program. Related Rentals offered to pay the city $10 million for that site with plans to build a residential high-rise, the present Carnegie Park. The sale hinged on CB8’s approval to amend the site for residential use, the city intimating that the developer’s funding was necessary to build the nearby neighborhood senior center, Yorkville Gardens. The controversial motion, accused as being “emotional blackmail” by CB8 member Sam Hamoy, was passed. A Land Disposition Agreement was then drawn, stipulating that Related maintain the two public recreation sites prescribed in the Ruppert Plan and built by the city in 1978: Ruppert Park for 10 years and Ruppert Playground for 25 years. In 1997, the park, three blocks away from the playground, was transferred to Parks & Recreation. The playground, a time-release bonus, became private property. The community’s countermove is to file for a full public review under the Uniform Land Use Process. The ball is in the Department of City Planning’s court. 1212Architecture ArchitectureLeaders LeadersToday Today

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center image ©RPBW. Ruppert Park image used under Creative Commons from Jim Henderson

NEW YORK CITY - Ruppert Playground, a sliver of open space on 92nd Street

industry news

Architectural Billings Index Stays Positive Moving Into 2012 WASHINGTON DC - The Architectural Billings

Index (ABI) is staying up in the end of 2011, hitting 52.0 in both December and November, staying positive for two consecutive months for the first time in a long time. The last time it touched 51 before slumping was in August (anything over 50 indicates an increase in billings). The volatility of the past few months suggests cautious optimism and the fact that the index that tracks the 9-12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending is finally in a solid upward spring. "It's too early to be sure that we are in full recovery mod," said Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist. "Nevertheless, this is very good news for the design and construction industry and it's entirely possible conditions will slowly continue to improve as the year progresses." More good news emitted from the offices of the national AIA. Corporate profits have returned to pre-recession levels and as a result businesses are increasing their capital spending to take advantage of historic low rates for borrowing. The AIA's Consensus Construction Forecast projects a 6.4 percent spending increase for 2013. Baker notes that institutional work will not feel the uptick as strongly as health care, hotels, industrial plants and places of worship.

December Highlights: • the Midwest made the biggest leap to 53.1 (it was 50.9 in November) • the South hit 54.2 • the Northeast, 52.6 • the West sill lags in negative territory at 45.1 • Project inquiries are at a healthy sounding 64 The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is a diffusion index derived from the monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey, conducted by the AIA Economics and Market Research Group. The ABI serves as a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months. The indexes are developed from the monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey panel where participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased or stay the same in the month that just ended.

Industry Events INTERIOR DESIGN EDUCATORS COUNCIL ANNUAL CONFERENCE Sponsor: International Interior Design Association Ongoing, until March 25, 2012 Baltimore, Md. $445 The IDEC 2012 Annual Conference, commemorates IDEC’s 50th year as the leading organization for interior design educators. The conference will include a series of events and keynotes that reflect on past accomplishments and look to the future. IMPERFECT HEALTH: THE MEDICALIZATION OF ARCHITECTURE Sponsor: Canadian Center for Architecture Ongoing, until April 15, 2012 Montréal, Québec Health is a focus of contemporary political debate in a moment of historically high anxiety. Are architects, urban designers and landscape architects seeking a new moral and political agenda within these concerns? This event examines the complexity of today’s interrelated and emerging health problems juxtaposed with a variety of proposed architectural and urban solutions. HOSPITALITY DESIGN SUMMIT Sponsor: Hospitality Design (HD) Magazine Feb. 29 - March 2, 2012 • Palm Beach, Fla. Now in its 12th year, this is the industry’s only networking conference focused on ideas outside hospitality. Because everyone needs fresh thinking and new sources of inspiration, HD Summit is designed to sharpen the leadership skills executives need daily—and to provide the big ideas needed to stay ahead of the competition. AIA GRASSROOTS 2012 LEADERSHIP AND LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE Sponsor: The American Institute of Architects March 7 - 10, 2012 • Washington, D.C. This annual meeting offers opportunities for leaders from nearly 280 state and local chapters to exchange programs, best practices, and share and discuss information and challenges that relate to their experiences.

MIDDLE EAST OFFICE & HOSPITALITY PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS Sponsor: International Interior Design Association May 15 - 17, 2012 • Chicago, Ill. RCI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW Sponsor: RCI, Inc. March 15 - 20, 2012 • Dallas, Texas $410 - 490 ZAHA HADID: FORM IN MOTION Sponsor: Philadelphia Museum of Art Sept. 20 - March 25, 2012 • Phildelphia, Penn. CHINA INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR - OFFICE SHOW Sponsor: China Foreign Trade Centre March 27 - 30, 2012 • Guangzhou, China ALA LIBRARY INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS Sponsor: American Library Association June 2012 • Anaheim, Calif. COVERINGS: THE ULTIMATE TILE + STONE EXPERIENCE Sponsor: National Trade Productions April 17 - 20, 2012 • Orlando, Fla. UNBUILT WASHINGTON Sponsor: National Building Museum Nov. 19, 2011 - May 28, 2012 Washington, D.C. $8 AIA NATIONAL CONVENTION AND DESIGN EXPOSITION Sponsor: American Institute of Architects May 17 - 19, 2012 • Washington, D.C. $0 - 875

January/February 2012 13

industry news

Generator Studio image courtesy of Nelson-Atkins Museum. Broad Group imges: YouTube screenshot. E.P.A.: Comstock/Thinkstock; Washington, D.C. .: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Generator Studio Team Chosen to Build NelsonAtkins Museum of Art Pavilion

KANSAS CITY, MO. - A temporary pavilion that

applies current and emerging technologies will be built on the grounds of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to coincide with the exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs 1851 - 1939, opening April 14. Generator Studio, a Kansas City architecture firm, designed Sun Pavilion in conjunction with Los Angeles-based artist Tm Gratkowski, Brightergy LLC, Prosser Wilbert Construction and structural engineering firm Thorton Tomasetti. "In looking at all the proposals that were submitted, we saw the deep commitment to the craft of design," said Director & CEO Julian Zugazagoitia. "We were very impressed with the collaborations that formed as the result of our request for proposals, and the abilities of all the finalists to reach out to different fields of expertise to contribute to this project." In late November, the Nelson-Atkins requested proposals to construct a temporary pavilion. A pool of 15 entries was winnowed to five finalists, who presented their designs to a panel of judges that included Bloch Building architect Steven Holl. The open and fragmented geometry of the Sun Pavilion will be constructed on the southern front of the Kansas City Sculpture Park and will be powered by solar panels. Generator Studio, along with the other four finalists, have been invited to present their pavilion designs at PechaKucha, an architecture, design and art forum that will be held at the Nelson-Atkins on March 1 at 7:45 p.m. in Atkins auditorium. A PechaKucha presentations consists of 20 images that are each shown for 20 seconds as the speaker explains inspiration and process. 14 Architecture Leaders Today

Chinese Firm Broad Group Builds 30-Story Building in 15 Days - Demonstrating an unbelievable capacity for efficiency, sustainability, and high quality work performed at a stunning pace, Chinese sustainability firm Broad Group has recently finished construction on the new hotel, from foundation to lightning rods, in an astonishing 360 hours. Built by Broad Sustainable Building, Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changsha-based Broad Group,the firm utilized a large amount of prefabricated modular components in order to complete the entirety of the project in a just over two weeks. Despite many assumptions of fragility or a general lack of safety, the new hotel is magnitude-9 earthquake resistant, cut energy waste by nearly 500 percent and saw only 1 percent of the construction materials go to waste. Broad Sustainable Buildings' headquarters and R&D Center, situated in Xiangyin County of Hunan Province, features 220,000 sq. m. of workshops and 12,000 employee. Due to the success of these fast paced endeavors, the firm hopes to double the size of their workshops and their work force by 2013. Currently, the firm's goals a re to improve the R&D capacity of the firm by setting up uniquely structure supply chains, sell their buildings in compliance with local regulations and transfer their in-house technology to a 100 partnership enterprise that will see such buildings distributed across the world. This is not the first time Broad Group has made headlines with their revolutionary work. For the Shanghai Expo 2010, Broad Group erected a new six story building over the course of just 24 hours. For the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, the firm raised a new large pavilion to host the event over the course of just eight days. Broad Group has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2001, largely seeking to change the future of building. DONGTING LAKE, HUNAN PROVINCE, CHINA

industry news

USGBC Ranks the Top 10 States for LEED Certified Buildings in 2011 WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its

2011 list of the top 10 states for LEED certified commercial and institutional buildings per capita, based on information from the U.S. 2010 Census. The District of Columbia leads the nation by a long shot, with more that 31 sq. ft. of LEED certified space per person in 2011, with Colorado being the leading state, with 2.74 sq. ft. per person in 2011. Other top states include Illinois, Virginia and Washington, with 2.69, 2.42 and 2.18 sq. ft. of LEED certified space per person, respectively. "Looking past the bricks and mortar, people are at the heart of what buildings are all about," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair of the USGBC. "Examining the per capita value of LEED square footage in these states allows us to focus on what matters most - the human element of green buildings." LEED is the international recognized mark of green building excellence, with more than 44,000 commercial projects participating, comprising over 8 billion sq. ft. of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, more than 16,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 67,000 more homes registered. "Our local green building chapters from around the country have been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of green building policies and initiatives that drive construction locally," Fedrizzi said. "These states should be recognized for working to reinvent their local building landscapes with buildings that enliven and bolster the health of our environment, communities and local economies." "This is a great accomplishment for the D.C. metropolitan region and a testament to the drive, commitment and leadership of all those who live,

work and play in our community," said Mike Babcock, board chair of the National Capital Region Chapter of the USGBC. "We also realize that there is still more to do and hope to effectively guide the effort by engaging, educating and encouraging the dialogue around the value of sustainability." "Being in the top three is a testament to the diversity of stakeholders from across Illinois, who understand the significant environmental, economic, and social benefits related to LEED certification," said Doug Widener, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of the USGBC. "I applaud Illinois' diverse green building community on this outstanding achievement." Notable newly certified projects in 2011 include the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., which is distinguished as the older LEED-certified project in the world; the LEED Platinum Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colo.; the iconic Wrigley Building in Chicago, Ill.; Frito-Lay in Lynchburg, Va., which earned LEED Gold certification for the operations and maintenance of an existing building; the LEED Silver Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle, Wash.; Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md.; Yawkey Distribution Center of the Greater Boston Food Bank in Mass.; the LEED Gold Austin Convention Center in Texas.; SFO's LEED Gold Terminal 2 in San Francisco, Calif.; the LEED Platinum Hotel Skylar in Syracuse, N.Y.; and the LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis, Minn. In December 2011, USGBC announced that LEED certified existing buildings outpaced their newly built counterparts by 15 million sq. ft. on a cumulative basis. A focus on heightened building performance through green operations and maintenance is essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in the economy and the environment.

January/February 2012 15

the hot list


lost your marbles Marbellous Wood Floooring by Snedker Studio

You won’t want to cover your floors with rugs, carpets, bear skins or even furniture after installing these one-of-a-kind Marbellous Wood flooring from Snedker Studio led by wood master artist Pernille Snedker. Using an ancient technique to stain wood grain, Snedker uses bright pine wood to create a unique product. The natural growth rings lead him in drawing a rainbow of colors by hand. Each board is unique and they fit neatly into place using any regular hardwood floor installer.

16 Architecture Leaders Today

the hot list

light as a feather stiff as a board Omega-Lite Panel by Laminators Inc.

The Omega-Lite panels offer a highly decorative, yet durable surface finish for exterior wall surfaces made specifically for commercial spaces. The Omega-Lite board is made out of polyallomer and corrugated core which is sandwiched between two finished aluminum sheets. These lightweight panels are non-absorbent, water resistant and very easy to maintain. This product is the ideal exterior cladding choice for corporate projects and businesses and can be customized in any color to aid in branding on storefronts.

open sesame Global Entry System with HID Global by ASSA ABLOY

Fumbling around for your keys in the dark or locking yourself out of your home will be a thing of the past with the Global Mobile Entry System from ASSA ABLOY. Using Near Field Communications technology through HID Global’s network of secure identity models, all you need is your cell phone to enter your home, office or business. After a study concluded that the average American checks their cell phone every 30 minutes or so, but does not check for their keys more often than once in a 24 hour period, it makes sense to use one’s phone as a primary “key.” The series is compatible with all smartphones. January/February 2012 17

the hot list

soap opera Soapstone Utility Sink by Waterworks

Perhaps the most classic and respected purveyor of sink and faucets in the world, Waterworks presents an updated, modern take on their utility sink in etched soapstone. Handcrafted in charcoal gray soapstone, the utility-sized sink is perfect for a laundry room, mud room, gardening area or even as a dog’s bathtub. The hand scored, etched lines on the face of the sink add an element of texture and luxury.

on cloud nine The Eclipse Lamp by Creative Levitation Design

You’re just going to have to believe us when we say, this lamp is actually levitating. The Eclipse lamp is designed with a focus on modernism. You can see the fabric covered power cord running through the elegantly shaped and hand-crafted glass base, but from there is where it gets a little complicated. The lampshade is split in half with the top lit part levitating above the bottom. The in-house mechatronic team at Creative Levitation Design invents, develops and tests each magnetic levitation device before selling it to you. The hoverboard can’t be far behind.

18 Architecture Leaders Today

the hot list

when one door closes... Doors for Lualdi by Robert A.M. Stern Collection

Psychologists recently identified that walking through a doorway mentally cues your brain to “start a new chapter” in memory. The act of walking through a doorway can make someone forget problems and worries he/she was thinking about just moments earlier! Can you imagine what happens when you walk through a door designed by the dean of America’s most prestigious architecture school – Yale University? The Robert A.M. Stern collection of doors (produced by Italian company Lualdi) boast modern, traditional lines with natural wood finishes inspired by the New York pre-war apartment. Symmetric and balanced, they complement a range of contemporary interiors with subtle, timeless, American details.

January/February 2012 19

the hot list


sitting pretty mPosition by ProFim

You’ll feel like the king of your castle in this anatomically shaped throne aptly named mPosition. Part office workhorse, part recliner, this chair provides complete customization for every individual body and preference. The height, lumbar support, head rest and arm rests are all adjustable to your liking. The ergonomic seat is equipped with a retractable footrest to fully recline. The smoothly swiveling desk provides a stable foundation for a laptop. mPosition is recommended for the professional who wants to focus 100% of their attention on work without distractions — like architects.

cutting up "Paper Cut" Recycled Resin Panels, by 3form Varia EcoResin

Keep the story going even after you've stopped reading with these "Paper Cut" recycled resin panels from 3form's line of Varia EcoResin products. These high-end, seamless panels come with finished edges for an easy installation. These incredibly green panels use only recycled products and are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Perfect for a kitchen, bathroom, children's room or even an architecture firm. Though you won't find any recycled Architecture Leaders Today magazines in there, you can customize your panels to reflect a specific color scheme. From coral to turquoise, you will find something to suit your needs out of the 56 colors. 20 Architecture Leaders Today

the hot list

exquisite embers Reproduction Limestone Fireplaces by Exquisite Surfaces

Picture a roaring, glowing, crackling fire on a cold winter’s night. This age-old piece of entertainment is not going out of style no matter how big our televisions get; so, why not frame it in something it deserves. Exquisite Surfaces offers a wide selection of antique, limestone fireplaces salvaged from 18th and 19th century French estates ranging from rustic country mantles to the grandiose and ornate chateaux styles. And now Exquisite Surfaces is offering a more affordable selection of reproduction fireplaces. Each one is handcrafted and customized to suit your home.

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Outdoor Seating


Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Occasional Pieces



Noblest Art 24 Architecture Leaders Today


Hickox Williams elevates building to an art form on their many custom designed projects in the Boston and Cape Cod area. Story by Joel Cornell Photos Courtesy of Hickox Williams Architects

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PREVIOUS SPREAD: Sawyer’s Island. Rowley, Mass. This residence sits on one of the most pristine marsh systems in the U.S. ABOVE: This sitting room was built with the client’s exact lifestyle in mind. Utilizing their close relationship to the client, Hickox Williams was able to perfectly capture the flair and style of the client. OPPOSITE: Foyer. Featuring unique pieces, antiques and family heirlooms, the Sawyer’s Island residence was filled to the brim with personality, elegance and style.

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h, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words serve as inspiration to Hickox Williams Architects, and underlie their unique approach to design. As practitioners of the noblest of all the arts, Hickox Williams Architects has sought to identify the necessary elements of great architecture and led their clients through the process of realizing their dreams. The evolution of a design proceeds in steps: the first is to determine what is to be built. Rough sketches follow, then progressively refined designs before the construction documents are prepared. Finally, the firm brings in the ideal contractor and builds the project. With nothing more than what is necessary to the design, Hickox Williams Architects has brought elegance, inspiration and imagination to every project. Co-founded by architects Patrick Hickox and Brigid Williams, Hickox Williams Architects has designed some of the most striking residences in the Boston area and beyond. Hickox has dedicated his life to the pursuit of architecture. He has taken his years of experience as a brilliant designer and used them to build a team that inspires clients, contractors, and colleagues alike. His passion for architectural design reaches every corner of his life: from his hands-on approach to every project that comes to the firm, to his commitment to teach and guide young architects, to his work as a highly sought-after speaker and expert in the field of architectural history.


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ABOVE, TOP LEFT: Sawyer’s Island. Rowley, Mass. Kitchen. Catering to the particular habits, schedule and lifestyle of their client, Hickox Williams create a kitchen with a sublime flow and easy access. ABOVE, BOTTOM LEFT: View of a seating nook in the library. Hickox Williams made sure to leave room for the client’s extensive collection of books. ABOVE, RIGHT: Sitting room before a hallway. This warm, comforting aesthetic continues throughout the house.

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Williams has contributed her grace and insight as principal to each project since co-founding the firm in 1983. When sitting down with a client, Williams’ intelligence and instincts take over, drawing a client’s vision out of their dreams and onto paper. In Williams, clients find a rare marriage of elegant creativity and practical business acumen. She can design beautiful structures with pure form, then turn around and skillfully handle client concerns and contractor questions. Williams is a dedicated member of both the architectural and service communities. Throughout the lifetime of the firm, Hickox Williams Architects has studied centuries of the architecture of the Boston and Cape Cod regions. The principals and architects at the firm have built a reputation in the area’s most respected and sophisticated neighborhoods. The firm has built its success on optimizing their team’s technical skill and talent, their historical knowledge that is matched with modern energy and vision. Their greatest strength, however, may be the bond they form with their clients. Hickox Williams Architects take clients through every step: from discussing goals, to designing dreams. Frequently featured in national and regional publications, the firms’ principals represent expert advice and opinions, insightful and inspiring creativity, all paired with a complex attention to detail. ALT


ABOVE: Sawyer’s Island. Rowley, Mass. View from the backyard. Both the structural and the visual elements perfectly match classic New England styles. LEFT: View of the dining room from the staircase. Mixing cool whites and warm wood tones produces a breezy, comfortable home.

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Just the Right Stuff Simplicity, clarity and precision form the foundation for Robert Cohen Architect’s high standards. Story by Joel Cornell Images courtesy of Robert Cohen Architects


here will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons.” This quote from famed English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens speaks volumes about the way architect Robert Cohen conducts his business. Seeking to define the truest possible balance of art and science, Cohen stresses an approach to architecture as one of the fine arts instead of a standard trade. Before founding Robert Cohen Architect in 1990, Cohen worked alongside renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes at his New York City office. There, Cohen focused on many prestigious architecture projects, learning to accept only high quality results using the most rigorous methods developed for construction. When Cohen did finally strike out on his own, his focused switched to small renovations and the reconstruction of metropolitan apartments and townhouses. Though he still maintains an office in New York City, Robert Cohen Architect is currently based out of Westport, Conn. The firm’s recent Barn Modern project, in the N.Y. hamlet of Chappaqua, is a perfect contrast of Cohen’s experience in old and new. Created by the juxtaposition of rustic, hand honed wood timbers from agricultural structures and sleek, machined materials, bright colors and bold forms, this fascinating distinction further fostered high levels of integration and collaboration between old and new. In addition to renovating countless elements of the building, Robert Cohen Architect implemented several sustainable and energy efficient measures for the project, all at the behest of the client. “So much of our work is informed entirely by the client,” Cohen said. “We’ve always maintained as high a level of client interaction as we can feasibly manage. What’s more, whenever possible, we collaborate with structural, electrical and mechanical engineers early on in order to ensure that all conceiv 30 Architecture Leaders Today

VASTU MODERN, WESTON, CT This compact house includes a lap pool room as the entry foyer, home office, eat in kitchen, master bedroom suite with spa, living room, a second floor artist studio and future bedroom/artist studio for resale purposes. The first floor has a green roof with a yoga pad at its center.


able problems are eliminated at the earliest stages possible. Some clients want green technology to serve as a main aesthetic of the project; others prefer it to be hidden. In the case of the Barn Modern, as well as our Vastu Modern project, the client wanted to retain a heavy emphasis on green.” The Vastu Modern is the definition of the capitalization of space. A compact plan on a compact site, the project breaks away from the rustically integrated aesthetics of the Barn Modern. The project features a lap pool room that serves as the home’s entry foyer. Cohen created a bold and exciting entry with this feature, including a pivot bridge crossing the lap pool, forming a moat of sorts in the foyer. In a further break from these modern residences, Robert Cohen Architect’s recent Connecticut Colonial project closely observed the traditional colonial designs from Williamsburg, Va. and imported them into the rustic Conn. setting. As the clients led relatively busy lifestyles, Cohen implemented designs based on the family’s need for sustainability, comfort and convenience. One of these most prominent features was a beautifully designed greenhouse, inspired by the design features common in colonial era homes. “Every project we create isn’t just started by the client,” Cohen said,” it’s inspired by the client, it’s informed by the client and it’s virtually all but designed by the client. Every client shares with us their priorities, their desires, their dreams. It’s our job, then, to capture those in the most sensitive ways possible.” ALT

BARN MODERN, CHAPPAQUA, NY A contrast between old and new is created by the juxtaposition of rustic hand honed wood timbers from agricultural structures and sleek machined materials and bright colors and bold forms. The timbers support the glass exterior and continue into the interior. This combination captures characteristics of the respective backgrounds of the clients while integrating sustainable design. The existing 7,500 SF house is transformed into a gracious entry and entertainment space with a new master bedroom suite.

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Ski House. Stowe, Vt. View from the south. In keeping with Vermont’s vernacular architecture, this house features red lap siding, board-and-batten detailing, and a standing seam metal roof.

Maximum Potential

Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Jonathan B. Katz, Chris Dorsch and Chip Steel

32 Architecture Leaders Today


Through their vastly diverse portfolio and a one of a kind dedication to the ideals of their clients, KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners continue to deliver an expert approach to every project. January/February 2012 33



ne of the biggest issues in architecture, for us at least, is helping clients to maximize the value of their real estate through time tested advice,” said KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners Managing Partner, Ileana Martin-Novoa. “This idea spreads across all sectors, all projects. It doesn’t matter if the client has a multi-million dollar budget for an industrial facility, or much smaller resources for a residential renovation; each client seeks the best returns in terms of value, efficiency and aesthetics.” Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised between Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela, it’s quite an understatement to say that Martin-Novoa’s architectural background is varied. Alongside her partner and husband Jonathan B. Katz, the pair have established a uniquely inspired firm that works across the country, including projects in Puerto Rico. After meeting in the course of their architectural studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Katz and Martin-Novoa worked together to eventually found KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners in 1988. While many firms begin with their first projects in the residential market, KATZ/ NOVOA Architects + Planners held an initial focus on industrial projects. However, one of their residential renovations in Short Hills, NJ was widely heralded in the media, and the flood gates opened for them in the area of residential design. KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners provides the traditional scope of architectural services, but their involvement on many projects begins long 34 Architecture Leaders Today

before the preliminary design stages. Martin-Novoa and Katz are frequently hired simply for their insight, vision and advice. Clients approach the firm seeking a new home, but are not always ready to delve into the project so quickly. Utilizing their extensive and diverse backgrounds, Martin-Novoa and Katz will tour sites for clients, explore the possibilities of a renovation, judge budgets and goals, and so on. Having completed projects in New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Illinois, KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners will go wherever their clients ask. Not long ago Martin-Novoa was asked by a high school friend to give her opinion on a site in Palmas del Mar, on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast. Eventually, the firm designed the client’s new home in the tropical resort. This has led to new endeavors, as the firm has recently been approached to undertake a commercial project in the capital of San Juan. “We’re a boutique service-oriented firm,” Martin-Novoa says. “My partner and I are one hundred percent involved in every single aspect of our projects. We have a few people to help us with the production of our documents, our books, etc. The rest of it, the entirety of the designs and the work, is performed by my partner and me.” Utilizing such a unique and in depth approach to design, KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners frequently sees clients return for all of their building related needs. A few years ago, a family from the town of Far Hills, N.J. hired the firm to design an extensive renovation on their house. Not long after the renovation was completed, the same clients returned to KATZ/


OPPOSITE (TOP LEFT): Ski House. Stowe, Vt. Kitchen. OPPOSITE (TOP RIGHT): Ski House . Stowe, Vt. Back yard, and view of the great room at dusk. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM LEFT): KATZ-NOVOA worked closely with the rclients to create the ideal vacation home that the clients had always hoped for. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM RIGHT): Bedroom. In seeking to keep a singular and unified aesthetic, KATZ-NOVOA helped to influence every single detail of the residence.

TOP LEFT: The rooms in the Stowe house are as stunning as they are comfortable. TOP RIGHT: Built for more than just its beauty, the Stowe residence caters to the daily routines of its owners. BOTTOM LEFT: In recognizing the possibilities of a connection between nature and home, KATZ-NOVOA created a home that blends seamlessly with its surroundings. BOTTOM RIGHT: Elegant, timeless and serene.

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Private Residence. Mendham, N.J. This stately English Manor house is nestled on a secluded 24-acre plot of land, in prestigious Somerset County.

36 Architecture Leaders Today


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TOP LEFT: Mendham Residence. Kitchen. The timeless kitchen is elegant and formal, yet practical and comfortable; it was designed with great cooking and happy family celebrations in mind. TOP RIGHT: Foyer and staircase. The home comprises six bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom, plus and apartment over the garage. BOTTOM LEFT: The Mendham Residence takes advantage of natural light at every turn, and is a perfect blend of traditional aesthetics and modern living. BOTTOM RIGHT: View of the estate from the south. The property includes water features, rolling grass areas at the front and a steep section of woods at the rear. OPPOSITE (TOP LEFT): Interior areas, such as this view of the rear gallery, are dramatic and picturesque.

38 Architecture Leaders Today

OPPOSITE (TOP RIGHT): The family dining room features an oversized fireplace and breathtaking views of the Somerset Hills beyond. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM LEFT): A six car garage, plus two upper garage bays were designed as part of the estate to house the client’s antique car collection. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM CENTER): The stairways outside are as attractive and elegant as the ones on the interior. The house was designed with maximum ease of use in mind. OPPOSITE (BOTTOM LEFT): A series of arched openings, on axis with each other, create a dramatic sense of procession along the rear gallery.


NOVOA Architects + Planners asking them to assess a nearby property where they wanted to build a new home. The 24-acre site required an unusual amount of pre-planning: a stream that runs directly through the property required permits from New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection; the site’s topography dictated the location of the swimming pool to be in the front yard, necessitating a variance from Mendham’s Zoning Board of Appeals. KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners led their clients throughout the entirety of the planning process, including helping the clients procure the necessary permits and variances and coordinate with various consultants. “The design itself was incredibly detailed,” Martin-Novoa said, “and the construction documents were extensive and complex. The clients had a very specific idea of what they wanted: a traditional English Manor style home, entirely clad in stone with slate roofs, and we worked tirelessly to create our clients’ dream retirement estate.” “Additionally, the clients sought a very energy efficient home, so every component of the building, from the insulation, to windows, appliances and the geothermal HVAC system was specified with energy conservation in mind.” Orienting the house strategically on the property was a challenge due to the structure’s size and proportions, along with the topography and the unique views on the site. “Once the initial layout was complete, everything just fell into place.

The clients knew what they wanted; having worked with them before, we knew it too.” In the picturesque town of Stowe, Vt., KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners was brought on to renovate an old house in rather terrible shape. What’s more, the building was aesthetically bland and nondescript. “This was a house that could have sat on any property anywhere in the country, really,” Martin-Novoa said. “The clients wanted a home that was evocative of vernacular Vermont architecture. With that in mind, we got inspiration from the red barns that are traditional in the area.” The house itself was owned by two families. “So we had to reorganize the existing spaces very efficiently and create areas that would make the house big enough for the two families to share it together comfortably.” Furthermore, the Stowe house was very poorly insulated; this made it far too hot in the summer, and far too cold in the winter. Drawing on their extensive experience in energy-efficient design the architects created a comfortable interior environment for all seasons. As well, they specified sustainable materials and finishes to reduce the building’s life-cycle costs. Having greatly expanded the scope of their portfolio, KATZ/NOVOA Architects + Planners will certainly continue to deliver an expert approach to each project regardless of size. As the projects come to fruition, however, the firm is gladly being led by their clients into other sectors, including more commercial and industrial work. ALT January/February 2012 39


LEFT: The Leicester Home in Asheville, N.C. SPG Architects’ Eric Gartner got the chance to design a home for his mentor in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains’ foothills and overlooking pastoral hay farmland. RIGHT: Another shot of the Leicester Home reveals how on the uphill side of the home, the facade appears as a single-story wrapped in wood paneling.

The intriguing and modern residential designs from Manhattan-based SPG Architects are nothing short of breathtaking — be they in the big city or on a rural farm. 40 Architecture Leaders Today


ZEN & THE ART OF HOME DESIGN Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by Daniel Levin

January/February 2012 41



ot many architects get the chance to build a home for their mentor. Then again, not all architects have the talent and portfolio that SPG Architects’ Eric Gartner does. The Manhattan, mid-sized firm boasts big name (and style-conscious) clients like Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, along with a slew of city residences and projects throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Their modernist approach and dedication to blend in with the site makes for an unbeatable combo. So, when Gartner was approached by an old friend and mentor to design a sleek, green home on a picturesque piece of farmland in the mountain town of Asheville, N.C., he jumped at the chance to change up the traditional landscape there with one of his designs. “The site alone sold me on this project, I knew I really wanted to be a part of it,” Gartner said. The hilltop is located near a small wooded knoll in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking family-owned hayfields and farmland which the owner lends out. The owner, a former Fortune 500 executive, had tried retiring in Miami, Fla. and found that the humidity and hurricanes didn’t feel like a vacation, after all. “He grew up in Massachusetts and realized that he missed true springs and autumns in Miami. The expansive pastoral views, the weather and the trees brought him here,” Gartner said. When one approaches the Leicester home from the woods, it is a single story façade made up of rusty red corten steel, framed by dark wood. “When looking over materials for the exterior, it was apparent that the owner gravitated towards the rich rust browns and reds -- masculine warm colors. Corten steel popped into my head almost immediately,” Gartner said. Though the steel is only an eighth of an inch thick, it serves as a rain-screen overlaid on traditional exterior wall construction. Corten steel rusts quickly to a deep red, making for fantastic contrast with the greenery outside. One can see the lush, rolling hayfields in a straight shot through the large glass front door. “The owner said a sunset was particularly important to ending each day, so we worked to make the uphill Western view a major part of the home,” Gartner said. The south and west walls are nearly all glass-clad opening to 42 Architecture Leaders Today


OPPOSITE PAGE, FAR LEFT: The lush pastoral landscape of that the Leicester Home in Asheville, N.C. overlooks can be seen through the glass front door, surrounded in the rusty red corten steel exterior.

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP LEFT: One of the owner’s main criteria was that he could catch a sunset every evening. Though an uphill view, architect Eric Gartner suceeded in bringing the sunset to him via an expansive clad in glass so as not to interfere with the incredible views.

CENTER LEFT: The Leicester Home is divided into two “zones” with the master suite, kitchen, dining and living room getting the best views and natural sunlight on the top floor. Two guest suites and a media room is on the floor below, flush with the family-owned farmland.

BOTTOM LEFT: Architect Gartner capitalized on the panoramic views by using clean materials like glass, wood, corten steel and metal in the home. Even the custom fireplace is streamlined as to not interfere with the Asheville landscape outside.

THIS PAGE, ABOVE: This sustainable, native garden is just one of the many green practices the home boasts; including a white membrane roof, water retention tanks, geothermal heating and passive lighting.

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THIS PAGE, ABOVE: The Leicester Home, Asheville, N.C. The bedrooms, like this guest suite, offer more privacy while still bringing in natural light via strategically placed windows.

RIGHT, TOP: The bottom “zone” of the home can be closed off while the guest suites are not being used; therefore, making the home more energy efficient.

44 Architecture Leaders Today

RIGHT, BOTTOM: The corten steel it serves as a rain-screen overlaid on traditional exterior wall construction. The owner was drawn to warm browns when choosing materials, and SPG Architects identified the quickly-rusting, red steel as the perfect fit.

OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: Approaching from the nearby woods, the Leicester Home appears as a singlestory facade in rusted corten steel and wood paneling. The modern, boxy design surprisingly blends in with and juxtaposes the home’s natural surroundings.

FAR RIGHT, BOTTOM: The clean lines of the home are complementary to the materials: steel, wood, metal, concrete and glass.


January/February 2012 45


the rolling farmland and mountains beyond. The house, built on a slope, is divided into two distinct zones by levels to fit the owner’s lifestyle. From the bottom of the hill, the house appears as a two-story façade. The upper level includes a generous master suite, kitchen, living and dining areas. The lower level has two guest suites and a media room, all of which can be closed off when there are no guests. “He wanted a modest sized home; but, entertaining guests is also very important to him, so we found the perfect solution,” Gartner said. “The design is focused on well-executed details, good lighting and of course, the views.” With such a beautiful home situated in such a green spot, the owner wanted to do his part to preserve the area by requesting the design and build be as environmentally friendly as possible. The highly sustainable design and materials used will ensure a long survival. But it doesn’t end there. The site hosts a water retention program with rainwater collection tanks. The rainwater is redistributed to all the non-potable water uses for the home. The home also operates on a geothermal system for heating and cooling. The landscaping is also self-sustaining and drought resistant. A green roof overhead retains water and lowers the temperature of the rooms below. “Our design also capitalizes on not getting that heat gain during the summertime, by reflecting most of the heat that would be absorbed via a white membrane roof,” Gartner said. “After we started designing a light bulb went off in the owner’s head and he said he couldn’t build something completely new without making it as sustainable as possible.” Given SPG’s city headquarters, a good portion of their projects are renovations and interior remodels like the recently completed Murray Hill townhouse in downtown Manhattan. The residence, formerly of musician 46 Architecture Leaders Today


OPPOSITE PAGE, FAR LEFT: Murray Hill Townhouse in New York City, N.Y. From the street the townhouse appears to be two stories, but five more stories of the home lies just beyond the entrance. SPG founder and architect Caroline “Coty” Sidman led the project.

TOP LEFT: The loft-like feeling of the ultra tall ceilings in the living room is exactly what the owner requested and brings in natural light on the bottom level. SPG Architects also served as the interior designers on the project -- a service they offer all clients.

BOTTOM LEFT: The master suite boasts a custom bed inset in warm marble, leather and wood paneling. The clean lines and modern design was influenced by the owner’s own taste -Moroccan.

THIS PAGE, TOP: The kitchen is ready made for cooking and entertaining with an expansive wood island for food prep and eating, double range and double sinks. The Moroccan influence pops up in the details, like the custom, intricately patterned cabinets.

BOTTOM LEFT: The closet, dressing room and bathroom connected to the master suite echoes the unfettered and modern design throughout the townhouse. The warm wood paneling neatly hides clothing, shoes and accessories.

ABOVE: The master bath is a zen-like oasis for the owner -- all in white, wood, metal and mirrors. The recessed lighting and slim window near the bath provides for clean, ambient light.

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ABOVE: Murray Hill Townhouse, New York City, N.Y. The expansive views from the secluded porch off the back of the home boast the iconic Chrysler Building along the Manhattan skyline.

RIGHT, TOP: A detailed shot of the lace-like panel which divides the front hallway and the grand staircase. The custom-designed panel was inspired by the owner’s affinity for a Moroccan aesthetic.

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RIGHT, CENTER: The grand staircase easily and elegantly connects the seemingly disparate parts of the home: the front two-story facade and the five-story townhouse just behind.

RIGHT, BOTTOM: A longview of the entrance shows how the staircase leads to the back of the home and the hallway leads to the entertaining living room. The bottom recessed lighting makes for an elegant path.

FAR RIGHT: The skeletal staircase looms just behind the main living room where the owner likes to entertain. The great use of dark walnut factors greatly into the warmth of the interior design.


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Lenny Kravitz, was both a piece of real estate heaven and in rough shape when SPG was hired to the project. “There was quite a bit of water damage and the sense that there had been several remodels by all different firms – we needed to start from scratch and get back to the bare bones,” Gartner said. The project was headed up by his partner and founder of the firm, Caroline “Coty” Sidman. “We actually hired a structural engineer to help us with the reorganization and water-proofing. We are skilled, but if there is an expert we can consult, we always do.” Originally built in 1901 as a two-story carriage house, the small façade from the street conceals a six-story, 8,000 sq. ft. townhouse just beyond the entrance, by way of a show-stopping steel staircase which establishes the Moroccan-modern style of the home. The staircase unites the split section of the home’s living spaces like the grand, double height living room which belies the intimacy of the townhouse. “Warmth was the main theme of the home, so we used rich walnuts and hardwood floors, with lots of golden tones in the interior,” Gartner said. SPG Architects also did the interior design on the project. The owner’s affection for Moroccan details inspired a lot of the interior details like the staircase and the Moorish influence on the spatial language. The private outdoor space outside the penthouse suite gives an impressive of the Chrysler building and the New York skyline. Gartner, who has been working with Sidman for over 18 years, said he is no longer shocked with the high profile projects SPG Architects attracts given their work ethic and portfolio. “We have strong communication and listening skills,” Gartner said. “We like to help people find solutions and exceed their expectations. The home is where people are most invested, their personal finances and a deeper layer; something a bit more psychological and emotional goes into making one’s home. A home reflects one’s attitude, how they define their place in the world and how they share it with their family and friends. We like being a part of that process.” ALT

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OPPOSITE PAGE, FAR LEFT: Another shot of the master bedroom reveals the handsome marble fireplace and cozy sitting area. LEFT: The Moroccan influence really flourishes in the game room with the custom tile fireplace, whimsical light fixture and furnishings. ABOVE : Top, founder and architect for SPG Architects, Caroline “Coty� Sidman who headed up the Murray Hill Townhouse project. Bottom, Eric Gartner, architect who headed up the Leicester Home project in Asheville, N.C.

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Castles in the Sky


nterior architect and designer Zohreh Zand says she does not have any dominant style or look when it comes to crafting custom homes in New York City and the outlying areas. Luckily for Zand, the vision of her clients allow her the freedom to design residences that many would call “dream homes”. That was certainly the idea behind one of her recently completed projects in Bedford, N.Y. “The client wanted a French farm manor; something very unpretentious and relaxed, nothing gilded or golden. This was a large home, so we had to work to downplay the scale internally,” Zand said. The client commissioned Zand for a previous home that was meant to have a more refined and sophisticated look. But after a few years, they grew restless and decided a more relaxed home would be the ticket. “Just like one’s sense of fashion changes over the year, their taste changed from the grand look,” Zand said. “The home belonged to another real estate developer and when they saw it, they bought it; even though it didn’t have everything they wanted. The house was re-grouted and renovated internally. We had to gut out a good deal of the house to make room for the spaces they wanted in their dream home: a gym, a screening room and a library.” Zand created a wood paneled library to accommodate the curved space with a credenza top. Around the back of the curve facing the exterior, Zand’s team constructed built-in bookshelves to accommodate the client’s book collection and antique curios. Polished dropped wood beams contrast the lightly colored painted ceiling and emphasize the roundness of the room. Though a classic library requires no windows, Zand made room for high 52 Architecture Leaders Today

placed windows to draw in natural light. She added French 19th century leather chairs and an antique Persian rug to complete the look. When the client showed Zand a wooden English table that she wanted for the dining room, she had to find something that would satisfy both the client and the size of the room that was too large for the original table. In the end, a table was custom made in Italy for the room. “Since we had worked together before, they really trusted me with the interior design to bring to life what they wanted. They told us to just ‘take off ’ with the design and we did!” Zand said, again exhibiting her infectious personality and innate sense of design. Instead of a formal sitting room, the client asked for a cozy room for family gatherings and a large fireplace for relaxing on winter nights. Turning the large room into a cozy space meant downscaling in both architecture and interior design. The room already had dropped beams, so they were re-stained to give them a worn-in, country feel. An antique-looking Italian light fixture hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the room. On one end, Zand gave the clients their large fireplace wrapped in custom stonework that suggests a much longer history than the home actually has. The large wooden mantle complements the stone and echoes the dropped beams. “We blended French antiques with new pieces that have character. We were going for that lived-in look,” Zand said. She divided the room into two distinct sitting areas by pairing two English sofas back to back with accompanying chairs and coffee tables in slightly different styles. One of the sitting areas faces the fireplace; the other faces


OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: French Farm Manor, Bedford, N.Y. Zand had this one-of-kind dining table custom made in Italy and then designed the dining room around it. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Zand created a wood paneled library to accommodate the curved space with a credenza top. CENTER: Zand divided the living room into two distinct sitting areas by pairing two English sofas back to back with accompanying chairs and coffee tables in slightly different styles. JUST ABOVE: Another shot of the living room shows off the dropped wooden ceiling beams and stone fireplace . On the right sits an antique French chaise lounge framed by French doors which open to the countryside.

Interior architect and designer Zohreh Zand first garnered international attention while an undergraduate and she has not slowed down much since. Story by Paige L. Hill the family’s entertainment area. A French antique chaise lounge is framed by the large glass French doors which open to the outside. “The most beautiful part of this home is really where it is situated. The project was all about windows. It opens to the most beautiful nature,” Zand said. “My client said she would be very unhappy if any of that scenery was covered up, so in some rooms we don’t have window treatments at all.” The living room does include custom draperies made in England in a 19th century style, but they are pulled back to reveal the home’s backyard. The 20-acre property boasts green rolling hills on which the clients have their pet llamas running around. No other homes can be seen from their property. “It’s an amazing oasis,” Zand said. The clients asked her to design a large area in that outside oasis for entertaining their two daughters, their one grandchild and hopefully more to come. So, Zand created a large sundeck with outdoor fireplace and barbecue next to the existing pool. The pool house doubles as another sitting area, complete with a television, small kitchen and the availability to turn it into a guest house, should they need the extra room for guests. His and her changing rooms round out the luxurious space. “Their daughters live in Manhattan apartments, so when they come out with their children to visit the grandparents they will have plenty of space to run around,” Zand said. “They are even making a playroom for the grandchildren. I think their overall goal was to get their families out to see them.” Zand studied Interior Architecture at the College of Decorative Arts (affiliated with the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris). As just a college senior,

Zand’s innovative design and construction of a cultural center in northern Iran garnered the attention of the then-ruling Empress Farah Pahlavi, who met with Zand and gave her a prestigious award. Zand then pursued her master’s degree in interior design at New York’s Pratt Institute. Following years working in firms throughout Manhattan, Zand was able to open her own firm in 1983, Zohreh Design, Inc. Zand has employed an expert team of international architects and designers to assist with her varying projects, from high-end commercial to custom residences, tailored to each client. Zand says she values her creative freedom the most. “At this point in my career, everything comes in through referral and word of mouth,” Zand said. “It’s an incredible feeling that I am able to depend on the quality of our past work to keep us busy with many future projects.” ALT


Providing high-end carpentry work for over 39 years, Gary Evans Carpentry of Northern Westchester County, New York provides masterpiece carpentry alterations and additions to luxury homes throughout Westchester County. Evans is proud to work with Zohreh Designs in crafting exquisite homes primarily in Chappaqua. See ad on page 144.

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Perfect Setting No matter what client, context or challenge, Arthur Chabon Architect has demonstrated time and time again their unique ability to delve into the mind of the client and bring to life their deepest dreams Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Arthur Chabon Architect


efore he dove headfirst into the vast realm of architecture, master designer Arthur Chabon attended the Rhode Island School of Design in order to further his passion for sculptures. Always with the intention to one day seek a career in design, Chabon’s highly artistic beginnings served to inform the entirety of his career. Encompassing a wide range of high end residential and institutional work, Chabon’s true genius is reveal in his unique ability to extract the dreams and fantasies from a client and build them, brick by brick. Founded in 1998, Arthur Chabon Architect began, as many other firms do, with a heavy focus on residential work. However, it quickly became apparent that the firm is not many other firms. Soon, Arthur Chabon Architect took large steps forward into the world of major estates, all across the United States. Additionally, however, the firm still performs a wide array of institutional work, as well as smaller renovations and additions in their home town of Irvington, N.Y. Utilizing the firm’s broad expertise and their uncanny ability to infiltrate the mind of the client in order to bring their dreams to fruition, the Palm Beach Synagogue community asked the firm to unify their already disparate community and worship centers. Originally, when Arthur Chabon Architect came on board, the Palm Beach Synagogue consisted of two separate buildings. The congregation owned one building on the street corner, as well as a similar building one block down the road. Soon enough, in 2004, the Palm Beach Synagogue purchased the building in between the two, and sought out Arthur Chabon Architect in order to make them one. “This project has been one of our longest lasting; it’s been very difficult and January/February 2012 55


complex, but still it’s been a fantastically unique experience,” Chabon said. “The Palm Beach Synagogue wanted us to take the three clearly separate buildings, and make them feel as if they were one. We were tasked with making the plans coherent and creating a proper flow between all three. “At the same time, however, we were dealing with three separate buildings each of which retained a unique historic value for the town of Palm Beach. We had to honor the precise historic guidelines governing the buildings. Basically, we had two opposing goals to accomplish at once. For the Palm Beach Synagogue and the local Jewish community, we had to blend the buildings into one cohesive unit. Meanwhile, we had to keep the very distinct aesthetics of each building separate and unique so that their historical value would remain intact.” While the original building for the synagogue was concrete and stucco on brick, the other two were constructed out of coquina stone, a very popu 56 Architecture Leaders Today

lar material locally sourced from the state. Through their expert approach, Arthur Chabon Architect was able to unify the facades in terms of color and materials, while at once honoring their distinct backgrounds. Further, the firm faced several challenges based on the unique liturgical needs of the Jewish community. The sanctuary, for instance, had to face East. Unfortunately, this was exactly where the original entrance was, and so the firm had to entirely rework the paths, aisles and flow of the building in order to remain consistent with the faith-based needs of the Jewish community. Also, many Orthodox synagogues feature dividers to separate the men and the women during times of worship. But, the diverse congregation held many different levels of direct observance of these traditions. Thus, it was difficult for the firm to bring to life a design that wouldn’t alienate the less rigorous believers while also not frustrating the believers who wanted the barriers to be denser, higher, etc.


“It was like designing 20 different houses for 20 different people all at once,” Chabon said. “Along with these reworkings and renovations, we also designed the gold candelabras which were cast by a foundry in Colorado along with all other liturgical furnishings. We worked with a local artisan on the stained glass. Every bit of custom furniture for the synagogue was designed in-house. The client maintained an unprecedented level of involvement throughout the entirety of the project. “What’s more, in a community like Palm Beach, we had some expectations of the level of wealth within the synagogue. We recognized the context, and were able to adapt our designs. Having the synagogue come off as too lavish would be a bit of a turn off to many; but the designs are still elegant and beautiful, as one would expect in a place of worship.” In Palm Beach, a rather wealthy community, expectations in design are as high as they can be. Similarly, Arthur Chabon Architect faced a unique level

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Palm Beach Synagogue. Palm Beach, Fla. Sitting room. The goal of this project is to seamlessly integrate the interior spaces of three distinct buildings and create a coherent identity for their historical facades ABOVE, LEFT: The interior architectural language is an eclectic mix of Moorish, Eastern European and oriental motifs. ABOVE, RIGHT: Pulpit. As an additional space for this growing congregation became necessary, Arthur Chabon Architect was brought on to bring the sum of their parts together into one unified expression of faith.

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THIS PAGE: Sunshine Ranch. Aspen, Colo. Working closely with famed designer Rose Tarlow, Arthur Chabon Architect developed an interior architecture that evokes the sensibility of a mountain home while maintaining an air of classical serenity and restraint. OPPOSITE, TOP: The informal spaces are distinguished by rustic materials like reclaimed French limestone floors, timber beams, and antique architectural artifacts. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: The formal rooms are characterized by intricate classical details and significantly more refined materials throughout.

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ABOVE: All throughout the residence, the authenticity of the design is largely achieved through the authenticity of the materials and antiques. ABOVE: Arthur Chabon Architect seamlessly integrated into the architecture chimney pieces, antique doors, and limestone surrounds purchased by Rose Tarlow in Europe, scaling the rooms and ornament in harmony with these elements.

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of expectations with their recent Sunshine Ranch project in the prestigious community of Aspen, Colo. The project was a very intimate collaboration between Arthur Chabon Architect and the office of famed West Coast architect, Rose Tarlow. Having worked together several times before, Chabon and Tarlow brought a one of a kind design to the project. “This project was all about collaboration,” Chabon said. “We both picked up the design where another had left it off. We worked quite intimately with the client as well, as we rescaled a lot of the spaces. In working with Rose, we were able to reorganize the spaces slightly. We worked on creating a house that felt very classical and formal in its design, but at the same time was very comfortable and related to the sensibilities of mountain living. It’s all about creating that balance that was appropriate for a community like Aspen, but still retained that pragmatic appeal. “The informal spaces are distinguished by rustic materials like reclaimed French limestone floors, timber beams, and antique architectural artifacts. The formal rooms are characterized by intricate classical details and significantly more refined materials. Throughout, the authenticity of the design is largely achieved by the authenticity of these materials. We seamlessly integrated into the architecture chimney pieces, antique doors, and limestone surrounds purchased by Ms. Tarlow in Europe, scaling the rooms and ornament in harmony with these elements.” ALT


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Fascinating Rhythm

With projects such as Tampa’s Encore development, Baker Barrios aims to infuse their work with culture and heart. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by Ben Tanner Photography


usic and architecture may first appear to have little in common, but look a little closer and you’ll soon see how the harmonious structure of a well-timed waltz has the same discipline and flair of a well-designed home – like the Encore development being built in the birthplace of America’s jazz movement in the heart of Tampa, Fla. Designed by Baker Barrios Architects, the Encore development is under construction and is already receiving applause for its innovative housing. The firm recently was honored with a Master Planning and Urban Design Award from the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission. The Encore project – a public private partnership between the Tampa Housing Authority and Bank of America Community Development Corporation – will transform 28-acres of land located between downtown Tampa and Ybor City as a LEED-ND Certified, mixed-use, transit oriented community throughout the next decade. “Encore has been such an interesting project because it is located in a blighted neighborhood with a long history of segregation,” Tim Baker said, architect and founder of Baker Barrios Architects in 1993. “Since the 1870’s this has been like a city within a city of African Americans which became very culturally rich and musical. James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, among others all started to write music in that neighborhood.” The complete build-out of the $600 million project will provide more than 1,500 work force housing, senior and market rate residential units, 200 hotel rooms, a 35,000 sq. ft. grocery store, 180,000 sq. ft. of office space, 85,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a middle school, an African American history museum, multiple public parks and recreation spaces. “This has always been a vibrant community in spirit and now we want to reflect that in our design,” Baker said. The formerly barrack-style homes in 62 Architecture Leaders Today

a neighborhood often referred to as “The Scrub” will now be comfortable, desirable housing for deserving families. Baker Barrios also resisted using a traditional grid style for streets and buildings in favor of a more freestyle flow to echo the musical theme. Music, in particular, aided the firm in naming the development, Encore. “The central avenue through the Encore development has been named Ray Charles Boulevard after one of the area’s most famous natives,” Baker said. The eight-story Ray Charles building will be focused on active senior living and keeping the family together in multi-generational living situations. The units will feature cantilever balconies and the non-uniform placement of the building’s windows will take on the staccato Charles’ music. The nearby Ray Charles park will feature a large statue of the music icon. The first building the firm has broken ground on is the “Ella” after Ella Fitzgerald. These multi-storied apartments are sized and priced to attract young families and neighborhood-minded tenants. With a nod to the traditional African American lifestyle that once thrived in the area, the Ella affordable housing units all feature a small outside space to act as the “front porch.” Those porches are meant to be the welcome mat to passersby and other members of the community “Our work is not just functional; not just housing and store. It speaks to the history and the future community. Our design is not static by any means, we’ve incorporated a lot of rhythm into the exterior design of the places,” Baker said. “That sort of dynamic is what makes this neighborhood really come alive and we hope it will continue to be a staple in this community for years to come.” The project will be ongoing, but will allow residents to move in as buildings are completed. Widely recognized for creating world-class hotels and resorts, cultural arts


OPPOSITE: Ella at Encore, Tampa, Fla. Currently under construction, the Ella is the first building to break ground on a 40+ acre mixed-use redevelopment district in downtown Tampa. The Ella is named after famous local, Ella Fitzgerald. The musical theme is used throughout the development as a nod to musical greats who once resided there. Rendering by Baker Barrios Architects. BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Principals Carlos Barrios and Tim Baker RIGHT & BOTTOM: The Plaza, Orlando, Fla. Situated in the epicenter of downtown, The Plaza is home to Baker Barrios Architects’ headquarters and is considered Orlando’s premier location for commercial and residential tenants. The towers were designed by Baker Barrios Architects and the South Tower lobby (pictured) was designed by the firm’s Interior Design Studio.

venues, convention centers, mixed-use properties and higher education facilities, Baker Barrios was a perfect fit to meet the unique needs of liberal arts school Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. The firm broke ground last fall on a new, university-owned hotel, Alfond Inn, to welcome visiting students and family. “We approached this project as designing the gateway to the university since it will be the first impression for so many visiting the school and for potential students,” Baker said. The roughly 100,000 sq. ft. facility will feature approximately 112 guest rooms, 8,000 sq. ft. of ballroom and meeting space, an iconic conservatory, signature restaurant, elevated pool deck, bar, fitness center and a series of courtyards. With the construction, Rollins anticipates adding 200 interim and 100 permanent full-time jobs to the local workforce. “The core of this project is truly giving back to the school and the students, so we acknowledged this project was unlike designing any other hotel in our design,” Baker said. The new hotel, which will serve as guest lodging to both Rollins and the greater Winter Park community, is possible thanks to a $12.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The unique structure of the Foundation grant creates an endowed fund that will be used to establish the Alfond Scholars program—the College’s premier scholarship fund, which will offer full scholarships and provide additional

financial aid to deserving students for years to come. Net operating income from the Inn will be directed to the fund over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later. “Though this hotel will boast all the modern amenities, we really looked at the history of this area and the influences on the design in creating our own,” Baker said. “People like Louis Comfort Tiffany really brought art nouveau into play with exaggerated and highly stylized iron work and manicured landscaping.” Landscaping was a significant driver in creating the perimeters of the new hotel by choosing to preserve the 100-year-old oak trees which canopy the campus and build around them. The Alfond Inn incorporates both the art nouveau style and the lush gardens of the campus in the elaborate courtyard. The Inn wraps around the courtyard boasting 80-year-old palm trees and dark red bougainvillea. Just overhead is a richly ornate iron clad glass roof. “The courtyard really became the driver in the whole project,” Baker said. “The courtyard’s garden is what makes staying at the hotel a unique experience both to the Winter Park area and to the university.” Looking to the future, the Baker Barrios Architects firm is taking on more mixed-use projects, especially those with a history and a culture which can be reincarnated in their innovative designs. ALT January/February 2012 63

products & services

THIS PAGE: One Eleven, Orlando, Fla. Turner Construction and Baker Barrios Architects collaborated on the Dynetech corporate headquarters -- a signature tenant of this class A, mixed-use building in downtown Orlando. Formerly known as the Dynetech building, One Eleven was designed by Baker Barrios Architects and defines the Orlando skyline. Photo by Ben Tanner Photography OPPOSITE: Amway Center, Orlando, Fla. Populous, in partnership with Baker Barrios Architects and Turner Construction brought a new life to Orlando by providing a LEED Gold venue for the Orlando Magic basketball games, concerts and other large-scale events.

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products & services


aker Barrios Architects isn’t your runof-the-mill architecture and interiors firm. The cultured vision of partners Tim Baker and Carlos Barrios is grounded in innovative and functional design, focused on the clients, and respectful of contractor input throughout the process. Their focus on problem-solving and a team environment is what has made them successful over the years, and the crew at Turner Construction agrees. “The outstanding thing about working with Tim and his staff is that they understand how to merge innovative design with value-driven methods of construction,” said Mark Batia, Turner’s project manager on the Dynetech interiors project. “They do not shy away from understanding the details of how things go together. They are strong advocates for their client, while at the same time showing a true respect for and willingness to work with the contractor to create beautiful designs that stay within budget.” Batia added that Baker’s support staff has a significant impact in the success of a project. “Tim Baker’s entire staff embraces his desire to create a culture of collaboration and creativity in working with Turner for our mutual client,” Batia said. “They have a committed and focused standard of care and quality in their work and their relationship with our Turner organization.” Turner Construction also credits their solid working relationship to Baker Barrios’ mission to assemble a team of outstanding professionals within an enjoyable and nurturing environment to produce innovative ideas and quality design which results in firm and individual growth, recognition and profitability -- a trait that came in handy on Turner’s recent LEED Gold Orlando office renovation project.

“The impressive patience of Chad Byerly and Rob Blakeslee with the necessities of working around an occupied office setting, while staying focused on the interior detailing truly made the office design an award winner,” project manager T.J. Sellers said. “It is very refreshing to work with an architect that works as your partner in solving these types of details and challenges that are often associated with interior build-outs and retrofits.” Baker’s “anything is possible” attitude is what makes him an ideal builder’s architect. “Baker Barrios is a reflection of Tim and Carlos; they are dynamic advocates for their client’s vision and design desires at all times during the course of our work with them,” said Bryan Boykin, Turner’s Orlando manager. Baker Barrios’ work in Orlando and Tampa, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga. has changed the cityscapes and put them on the map. “In our management of the new LEED Gold Amway Center, we feel that Baker Barrios inspired and infused many of the outstanding interior design elements within the new complex and the richness of their talent on this project is only surpassed by the delight of the crowds using the spaces within the center that they helped to create. Tim and Carlos are to be commended for their role on this important piece of civic architecture for the City of Orlando and the Orlando Magic.”


Tim Baker and Carlos Barrios of Baker Barrios Architects’ long standing partnership with Turner Construction is no coincidence — they strive to be ideal “builder’s architects.” Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by John Randle Photography

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All Together Now Architects Richard Pratt, Barry Gordon and Charles Stults together form the three pillars of OGP Architects, a firm focused in the Northeast bringing endless possibilities to their communities. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Bill Taylor 66 Architecture Leaders Today


LEFT, TOP: Porsche NE Regional Support Center. Palmer Township, Penn. In keeping with the prestigious reputation of Porsche, OGP Architects provided state of the art working spaces for the crews. LEFT, BOTTOM: In order to compliment the fantastic array of cars on display in the show room, OGP Architects gave the project a high design matched with flawless efficiency. THIS PHOTO: Staff alike who approach the Support Center are instantly made aware of their rather luxurious surroundings.


efore he was an award winning architect, inspiring designer and champion of renewable energy systems and historic preservation, Richard Pratt, AIA, was the son of a self made man, a jack of all trades. Pratt’s father owned his own business, developed a custom mill work company and instilled in his son these values necessary for one who would go on to help shape the world around him. It was these hard won ideals that fostered Pratt’s desire to help create a positive impact on his community and others. Today, Pratt’s work as Partner of OGP Architects has further demonstrated his continuing commitment to positive change through architecture. The firm was founded on similar ideals by Eugene O’Connor in 1972. Having opened

up shop with just one large project in his portfolio, O’Connor had taken the approach of an architect for his community. Though he surely wasn’t opposed to them, his aim was not to take on the highest profile jobs in the area. He was not concerned with awards or prestige or high design; instead, O’Connor wanted to do the kind of architecture that people needed. In 1998, Partner Barry Gordon, AIA, joined the firm, and in 2009 Charles Stults, AIA, LEEP AP BD+C became the third partner. Together, these three formed a unique set able to specialize in a generalist firm. Stults’ insight into all things sustainable permeates through each project, while Gordon’s specialty has long been in health care. Pratt, meanwhile, serves the firm as an expert in all things industrial.

In a recent project for Porsche, OGP Architects was hired to work directly for the developer and contractor hired by the client. As the design architects, the firm was first and foremost given the task of pursuing the use of new materials and establish a threshold for recycled content. The project features minor amenities such as sustainably built showers, parking for energy efficient vehicle, and a bike rack. This helped to gain valuable LEED points and demonstrates their commitment to fostering environmentally responsible behavior on the part of clients, customers and employees alike. “Clients, like Porsche, that embrace sustainability certainly their own desires, but we’re able to steer them towards the most cost effective measure from the beginning,” Stults said. “This is more January/February 2012 67


BELOW, TOP: Old Bridge YMCA. Old Bridge, N.J. In order to provide state of the art athletic facilities, such as the competetive pool area seen here, OGP Architects gave the center only their very best. BELOW, BOTTOM: The front entrance to the YMCA represents efforts on behalf of the community to bring people together in health and in fitness. OPPOSITE: Altoona Lung Discovery Center. Altoona, Penn. In addition to state-of-the-art CT scanners, diagnostic tools and a new sleep lab, this new facility represents not just a new growth in the Altoona community but in our understanding of lung disease in general.

than just building orientation or site selection. Once everything is agreed upon, we delve into the design and identify what opportunities exist for efficient or sustainable measures. “With a client as globally recognized as Porsche, most of the materials at our disposal were predetermined by their own internal designers. However, when it was up to us, we aggressively pursued a flexible, sustainable method. Fortunately, the client was very adamant about offsetting their impact on the environment. In the end, our ability to fine tune their designs brought a huge level of value to the project, for Porsche and for everyone involved.” Having worked many times previously with the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, including the renovation of their headquarters, OGP Architects’ most recent YMCA project in Oldbridge, N.J. was yet another example of the firm’s ability to bring unprecedented value to the 68 Architecture Leaders Today


client. Due to the YMCA’s reliance on membership fees and naught else for their funds, they did not have the funding necessary to pursue LEED certification. That certainly did not rule out their interest in sustainable measures, however. In addition to their standard array of sustainable design measures, OGP Architects designed the project with the future in mind. The sloped roof of the pool was oriented south and was designed in such a way that solar PV arrays could easily be installed with no renovation needed. Also, the middle roof drains all water to the rear, leaving the building open to a rain water collection system in the future. All materials used were natural, especially as a personal, tactile interaction with the children at the YMCA was important. OGP Architects also helped the YMCA keep maintenance costs at a minimum through their insightful designs. All of the wood, linoleum, brick, slate and concrete materials can be easily

recycled, and the materials used in the entire building are also meant to be maintenance free for as long as the building stands. In Altoona, Penn., OGP Architects worked with their long standing client, Leonard S. Fiore, Inc., on a design-build project that included a new Lung Disease Center focused on sustainability. Though OGP Architects had little interaction with their client’s client for this renovation, everyone involved benefited from the common desire to do right by the county, the client and the community. “The aspects of the older parts of Altoona that the building owner cherished were the historic brick structures from the industrial neighborhoods,” Pratt said. “The design of the new building was focused on the use of brick, with accents at the top of arched windows. No one here wanted the building to look too industrial, so we designed it to fit the vernacular of the neighborhood in which

it is set. Further, the client wanted to make sure that the rooftop equipment wouldn’t be visible to the public, so we raised the walls above the second floor and nestled the equipment under a shallow sloped metal roof in keeping with the aesthetics of the industrial vernacular.” The new lung clinic will enable the medical practice, based nearby, to expand and help more people. The 15,000 sq. ft. clinic will also house a sleep disorder clinic, a CT scanner, diagnostic equipment and the offices for the Lung Disease Foundation of Central Penn. “With each one of our projects, our intent is always to exceed expectations,” Pratt said. “Sure, we’d love some award winning, magazine cover worthy project, but to date the clients in our portfolio haven’t offered this opportunity. We’re here for our clients, and to bring them value through good design. ALT

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Every Which Way But Backwards Penza + Bailey Architects bring their clients’ dreams to life by keeping the lines of communication consistently open. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Anne Gummerson

RIGHT: VAMC Ambulatory Surgery GI Wilmington, Delaware. In developing a tight-knit, design oriented group with the hospital, Penza + Bailey Architects was able to give new hope to ailing and wounded veterans. FAR RIGHT, TOP: The newly renovated hallways Penza + Bailey Architects provided avoid at all costs the sterile, frightening and otherwise bleak aesthetics common in hospital environments. FAR RIGHT, CENTER: These new reception, administrative and waiting areas are meant to maximize efficiency and keep visitors happy and healthy. FAR RIGHT, BOTTOM: Utilizing ann extensive history in the meidcal field, Penza + Bailey Architects was able to provide state of the art operating suites.

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he daughter of an architect, builder, developer and jack of all trades, Laura Penza grew up on the job site. Early on, her path towards architecture was clear and her work up and down the East Coast helping to cement that future. In 1989, Laura’s husband Jeff Penza founded his own firm with a heavy focus on commercial projects, accessibility work and custom residential design.. Laura joined him there in 1991. Meanwhile, Dan Bailey utilized his nearly 35 years of experience in the industry when he became the lead of Amos Bailey Arnold + Associates. Performing a wide range of work over countless building types and sectors, all across the United States and into the British West Indies, Bailey helped to establish his firm’s influence across these regions. After collaborating on several projects together as separate organizations, the two firms eventually decided in 2007 to merge. Penza Bailey Architects was born. “Due to the diversity of both of our firms, our eventual merger created a uniquely broad firm; Penza Bailey Architects has become more diverse and flexible than ever,” Laura said. “Our approach and the scope of our services varies greatly with each job. In the natural course of our work, we form close and long lasting relationships with our clients. Like many good firms, a large majority of the projects we do outside of our traditional geographic range comes from satisfied clients who want us to bring their next project to fruition, no matter what kind of project that may be.” In holding their aspirations of stellar design, flawless service and inspired communities above any need for the bigger or more ego-driven designs common among architects, Penza Bailey Architects has completed an astonishing amount of non-profit work, some of it completed without pay. Recently, Penza Bailey Architects worked with the Maryland SPCA located in their home town of Baltimore. As part of a design-build project with Constantine Commercial Construction, the team was able to execute a unique and value-driven design-build project. Pulling together a specialized team of civil, structural and MEP engineers, Penza Bailey Architects utilized their unique ability to bring every member of the team, MDSPCA staff included, into a tight knit, design-oriented group. “Prior to this, the MDSCPA staff operated in a double wide trailer. The first thing we noticed was the need for a careful separation of the two


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important functions,” Laura said. “Incoming animals needed an area where owners would come drop off their pets, which is never a pleasant experience. The adoption entrance needed to reflect a much more joyful place, which was in line with its use as this was where new pets were being picked up; a very happy experience indeed. “Our task was to create a new and efficient space, beginning with the demolition of the trailers. We provided new sprinkler and safety systems in order to protect the humans, cats and dogs alike. This was a major challenge and cost, as the site is far up a hill, but this was still extremely important to the staff and donors. Now, their new center features all new, state of the art surgical and exam areas, one for cats and one for dogs. Additionally, the staff wanted to not only speed up the processes but keep the animals healthy, happy and calm.” On the other side of the spectrum, Penza Bailey Architects recently completed work for the Department of Veterans Affairs for their new VAMC Ambulatory Surgery GI Center in Wilmington, Del. “My very first VA project was completed way back in 1981, and our experience with their unique set of needs and desires has only grown since,” Bailey said. “Since that time, the VA’s approach to design has changed drastically. Here, our primary goal was to renovate the complex medical components of their existing facility inside an 11-story hospital. When working within the context of an existing, fully operational hospital, there are things that must take place in order to allow construction to occur and not disrupt or affect hospital operations. For instance, the four operating suites we designed needed medical systems and gas feeds which, due to the logistics of the facility, had to come from above and below, both of which were medical or pathology suites that were being used at the time. This required a great degree of complex coordination, which is fortunately our specialty.” In gutting and renovating an entire floor, Penza Bailey Architects gave the VAMC Center a new post-anesthesia care unit, several new medical offices, four state-of-the-art operating suites with various supporting spaces, as well as a new reception area, administrative offices and waiting area. “In our minds, no matter what the client needs, our goal is to understand those needs and desires and nurture a special relationship,” Laura said. “We like to meet with clients in their homes or in their facilities so we can get a sense of their likes or dislikes. We work closely with them, and prefer faceto-face meetings. There are always variables in terms of budget, cost, value, scope of work. We give our valued clients our full attention and provide the designs that make their dreams come to life.” ALT

OPPOSITE: Maryland SPCA Baltimore, Maryland. This new waiting area is brighter, cleaner and a happier place to adopt all around. LEFT, TOP: With the best interests of owners, staff and pets in mind, Penza + Bailey Architects provided a great new environment. LEFT, CENTER: These adoption areas allow for maximum privacy for new families seeking a furry addition to their family. LEFT, BOTTOM: The administrative areas Penza + Bailey Architects keep comfort, efficiency and aesthetic pleasure at a maximum. ABOVE: With the comfort of the animals at the forefront of their designs, these new holding areas keep the cats and dogs as happy as can be.

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Indian River State College. Ft. Pierce, Fla. Stately, elegant and brimming with pride, the new Vernon Smith Public Safety Education Building is a new opportunity designed by Florida Architects, Inc.

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Where the Sun Shines Brightest

Working from the heart of the Sunshine State, Florida Architects, Inc. brings their expertise and vision to clients across all sectors and industries. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Lapeyra Photography and Michael Lyell

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BELOW (top): Indian River State College. Ft. Pierce, Fla. This new state of the art fire safety training facility is used by fire departments near and far.

BELOW (bottom): View of the front facade. Built practically, but with a stately style clearly in mind, this new public safety center will be training safety officials for decades to come.

MIDDLE: Fire training facilities such as these frequently see damage, and Florida Architects, Inc. created a center that will be useful and pragmatic far into the future.

FAR RIGHT (top): Not just for fire and public safety administrators, these combat training facilities are highly specialized and required the specialist’s touch from Florida Architects, Inc. FAR RIGHT (bottom): These call training centers complete the total scope of the public safety training center’s agenda.

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lorida Architects, Inc. performs their astounding scope of work from their offices all across the state of Fla. A full-service design and architectural firm, which also goes so far as to include planning, interior design and construction administration services, Florida Architects has maintained the breadth and the expertise to make a lasting impact on one of America’s most popular tourist destinations. With offices across the Sunshine State, from Central Orlando and Ft. Pierce to Panama City, Florida Architects, Inc. has been able to touch on every project type and sector imaginable. The firm’s portfolio reaches from highly specialized educational projects to commercial, hospitality, sports and recreation, medical and historic renovation projects. Established in 1995 by leading architects Joe Sorci, Mark Anderson and Markus Gemsch, the firm has performed work in every corner of the state and beyond. Prior to the inception of the firm, the founders had already been working together for more than 20 years in various private and public endeavors. “Our design solutions are economically responsible, functionally appropriate and innovatively executed,” said Sorci. “And our commitment to personal service is unsurpassed. People support that which they help create.” Thanks to a growing list of repeat clientele, Florida Architects, Inc. has

since expanded to include four principals and five registered architects. Most recently, Florida Architects, Inc. has become a Woman-Owned Business, providing growth and ownership opportunities well into the future for their current graduate interns working on registration. Keeping in tune with the constantly evolving technologies and design enhancements, Florida Architects, Inc. is also a member of USGBC and is proud to have six LEED AP’s on staff. Run by veteran architects who have maintained a diverse array of projects throughout the years, Florida Architects, Inc. believes that the best design is a product of creative collaboration. The firm’s diverse team of designers, administrators and management personnel work closely together to meet their clients’ individual needs and see their vision brought to fruition. Further, Florida Architects, Inc. is highly proficient in designing within an array of construction delivery methods, including design/build, construction management, conventional bidding and fast-track. The firm believes that building facilities (consisting of the site, buildings and equipment), can and should promote a positive and productive working environment. The physical elements of design should support, facilitate and enhance the client’s mission, procedures and policies. In executing such a highly regarded method of design, Florida Architects, January/February 2012 77


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OPPOSITE, TOP LEFT: Indian River State College. Ft. Pierce, Fla. The Brown Center, a new academic center for the college, features state of the art technology matched with smart design and sustainable design elements

OPPOSITE, TOP RIGHT: The Brown Center accommodates sustainable energy programs support education and economic development. In seeking the best education, cutting edge technology was integrated into every facet of the design.

OPPOSITE, BOTTOM LEFT: The Brown Center maintains an emphasis on an “idea to market” philosophy. The “idea” side includes labs for entrepreneur development, strategic planning and market analysis; while the “market” side is comprised of technical and vocational labs.

Inc. recently worked with their neighbors in Ft. Pierce, the Indian River State College. Having worked with the college on many various projects over the years, the firm was able to bring a highly customized set of designs that ideally suited the needs of the unique student body. Most recently, Florida Architects, Inc. created a new Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex that will see use by a wide range of students, personnel and faculty. An eight building planned phase construction project, the new Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex features over 125,000 sq. ft. of space that will be used to train more than 500 working professionals and students every day. One particular specialized component is the 18,000 sq. ft. Regional Crime Lab and Medical Examiners Facility, which will provide its services to the four counties surrounding the Ft. Pierce area. Additionally, this center will also provide continuing education for various nationwide public safety professionals and traditional students as well. Alongside the new, state of the art ME facility and crime lab, Florida

OPPOSITE, BOTTOM RIGHT: In partnership with FP&L, a nuclear energy training lab will support the existing FP&L Power Plant Tech program, including a dedicated, two story space for a Flow Loop Simulator Training Apparatus, the only one of its kind in the state

BELOW: Alongside such highly technical lab spaces are labs for photonics, biotechnology, alternative energy, hydrogen fuel cell studies, bio-fuels and more.

Architects, Inc. also designed a new 50,000 sq. ft. Vernon Smith Public Safety Education Building. This new building includes a cutting edge virtual reality use-of-force training simulator, emergency operations center with included dispatch training center, and a high liability facility for training in tactical movement, defense tactics, medical response, simulators and more. Not just meant for domestic defense forces, the facility features a six story fire fighting training tower and a dive training lake. Another project that the firm completed for the Indian River State College is the newly completed, three story, 64,000 sq. ft., $18 million Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Ft. Pierce Campus. The facility accommodates Sustainable Energy programs supporting education and economic development in the Treasure Coast region with an emphasis on “idea to market” philosophy. The building is comprised of a business, or “idea” side that includes labs for Entrepreneur Development, Strategic Planning, Marketing Analysis, Design, Administrative Offices and also houses a January/February 2012 79


LEFT: Pasco-Hernando Community College Spring Hill Center. Dade City, Fla. If the blue skies and palm trees weren’t enough to tip you off to the Floridian location, Florida Architects, Inc. makes sure that the designs mimic this sunny aesthetic.

Virtual Incubator as a resource for start-up businesses. The “market” side of the facility is comprised of Technical and Vocational labs for implementing and constructing innovative concepts with an emphasis on sustainability. Further reinforcing the broad scope both this particular project and the firm’s vision and talents, the Public Safety Education Building is designed with the comprehensive form of public safety in mind. Not just covering physical safety, the facility also serves law, public safety and criminal justice students alike with a mock court room, featuring a full range of booking and jail cells. Just west of Orlando in Dade City, Florida Architects, Inc. was selected as the architects for the master plan and phase one development for the new Pasco-Hernando Community College’s Spring Hill Center. In seeking to bring about a design that everyone at the community college would be a part of, the firm began to create the designs through a series of Master Planning workshops with a 20 member committee. The Pasco-Hernando Community College was thoroughly represented 80 Architecture Leaders Today

RIGHT: Chosen for their flexibility, their vision and their ability to adapt, Florida Architects, Inc. brought unprecedented levels of quality and assurance to their collegiate client.

throughout the course of the design process, as Florida Architects, Inc. sought out their wants, needs and desires across every facet of the design. Further, both the President and the Vice President of the college, including all department heads, were involved in the project. Due to the community’s involvement and the environmental sensitivity of the site, Florida Architects, Inc. took great care to address the concerns with a sustainable design approach. The $43 million first phase will include seven unique buildings, including a broad range of facilities, maintenance areas and chiller plants. The designs, across the board, are all designed for maximum flexibility, as the use of each building may change on a whim. The infrastructure is designed with an ultimate program in mind that will stretch out several decades into the future. “Joe Sorci and Florida Architects, Inc. have made an indelible impact on the history and the future of Pasco-Hernando Community College,” said Pasco-Hernando Education Director and President. ALT


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Streamlined and Structured Good engineering comes first in the designs coming out of Winter Street Architects, like on the green Needham Public Services Administration Building. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by Winter Street Architects


hen the town of Needham retained Winter Street Architects out of Salem, Mass., it wasn’t because they were looking for a firm that could simply deliver good design; they needed a firm that specialized in systems integration and complex organization to meet the needs of their multi-functional Needham Public Services Administration Building (NPSAB). Since it would be home to a plethora of community services and public servants, like a temporary office for the town’s mayor, the space needed to be both fully functional and convertible to the various tenants. “A couple years ago the marketplace really defined Winter Street as a firm that could handle 82 Architecture Leaders Today

building coordination and critical data center organization,” Mark Meche said, founding partner and principle at Winter Street. “We’ve done a lot over the years, but very early on we indoctrinated our team that to work here means you need to be a master of systems integration. Our designs have good engineering at the core.” The two-story structure features private and open offices, conference rooms and public meeting spaces all while maintaining a strong design that is committed to green building and practices. The roof was outfitted with solar panels, the building is heated and cooled via ground source heat pump systems, the building maximizes daylight and uses a Building Automation System to actively manage energy.

Just outside, the structure is landscaped with drought tolerant and native plant species; as well as, 100 percent of the storm water is reclaimed on site. Though Needham didn’t pursue LEED, the building did receive a Green Building of America Award easily. “Though this is wealthy community, they do not waste any money. It was very important to them that this building not be draining natural or financial resources once built,” Meche said. The town’s previous public services building had been constructed in the 1950s. The new structure was completed $400,000 under budget and within the 10 month timeline they set out – making for very happy clients. Winter Street Architects constructed


OPPOSITE PAGE AND JUST ABOVE: Needham Public Services Administration Building; Needham, Mass. The two-story structure features an array of private and open offices, conference rooms and public meeting spaces while maintaining a strong design that is committed to green building practices. The roof is outfitted with solar panels, the building is heated and cooled via ground source heat pump systems, the building maximizes daylight and uses a Building Automation System to actively manage energy consumption.

the highly flexible structure so that it could also be easily renovated in future decades. “We came in early to do deep programming. We interviewed department heads and tried to find common solutions. My definition of a good idea is one that kills three, four or five birds with one stone; and, that’s what this building is all about.” Once one peels back the layers the building is relatively uncomplicated, but organized in a sophisticated manner which lends itself to much future iteration. The corrugated metal exterior and elegant industrial look also gives the building a sense of restraint. “Sometimes the design gets away fromt eh concept, but this is not one of those moments,”

Meche said. “The reception to the building has been incredibly positive overall. It’s a bit of the standout with the metal siding, but with all the trees and the nearby reservoir it also truly blends in with its surroundings.” Meche founded Winter Street Architects with Paul Durand with the intent to focus on intelligent design and how their work can enhance a client’s functionality. Up next for the firm is a project for EBay in Salt Lake City, Utah, the second of its kind for the firm. “The phone has been ringing off the hook,” Meche said. “We’re so pleased there is a place for a firm like ours and that we continue to work on challenging and different projects every day.” ALT

THIS PAGE, ABOVE: The Portsmouth Fire Department’s Station 2 in Portsmouth, Mass. Winter Street Architects’ clean lines speak of the fire station’s modern technology, while their use of local materials and classic brick echo back to the history of the fire department in the area.

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Sustainability That Fits “I t’s all about being appropriate,” said David Ade, AIA, LEED AP, Principal of SMP Architects, about his firm’s concentration on sustainable and energy efficient design, primarily for governmental, academic and other institutional clients. “Early on, before anything else takes precedence, we have to make sure that our design strategies are a good fit for this specific client in this specific situation.” “Within the parameters of sustainability, we not only have an obligation to respect the environment and our natural surroundings, as well as save our clients money; but we must make sure that the end result is always a well-designed building. We strive to be very aware that we can’t just start decorating our buildings with every sustainable or efficient measure that’s out there. As with every aspect of architecture, context is critical. We can’t let green become a fashion statement or some trend that will be prone to overexposure. We need to understand each client’s needs – not only how they want the

With a keen focus on institutional mission, SMP Architects views design as an opportunity to explore, embrace, and demonstrate what sustainability means for each client. Story by Joel Cornell

Photos by Penn. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources & Kalkin Photography LLC

building to operate and function, but also what they want the building to say about them as an institution.” Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Pa., SMP Architects maintains a focus regionally, targeting projects that are within a half day’s travel. Yet, when there is a good fit with the right project, which has occurred on a number of occasions since the firm’s first green building over twenty years ago, their talents have been put to great use as far away as Michigan, West Virginia and Florida. One recently completed project in collaboration

OPPOSITE: Nature Inn. Bald Eagle State Park, Penn. The natural setting and highly sustainable elements here garnered recognition from the Green Building Association of Central Penn. ABOVE: Combining natural elements, soft colors and fluid architecture, the Nature Inn is an ideal retreat.

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ABOVE: The Nature Inn utilizes the abundant natural light to great effect. OPPOSITE, TOP: The views here at the Nature Inn are absolutely stunning, and SMP Architects made sure to take full advantage of such grand vistas. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM LEFT: With a warmth and comfortable aesthetic like nothing else, SMP Architects has made the Nature Inn into the perfect getaway. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM RIGHT: The outdoor firepit serves as a popular gathering place during the dusk and nighttime hours.

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with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages facilities within the state park system, SMP Architects brought to life a new model for the park’s guests in terms of overnight stays. As an alternative to traditional cabins and camp sites, the Nature Inn project provides opportunities for visitors who wish to experience the park, but desire the comfort and amenities that an inn provides. The first of its kind, the LEED Gold Nature Inn is located in Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, Pa. Designed as a prototype, the Nature Inn was conceived as a model of environmental responsibility that can be modified to meet the specific needs of different park programs and site conditions. “The idea here was to come up with modules of rooms, building blocks, that could be sited differently for each future development, with different orientations, building lengths, etc,” Ade said. “Essentially, we designed a typical unit that could be adapted to appropriately fit into a variety of conditions. The client’s goal was a high level of comfort for overnight accommodations, yet strong

connections to the park. From a sustainability standpoint, it was clear that each building would have to be sensitively integrated into the outdoors to enrich the guest experience. Energy efficiency and environmental stewardship are messages that are conveyed throughout the facility, educating guests on the ways in which the Nature Inn respects the natural resource that is the park system.” As a hotel, the Nature Inn has many water usage needs. Thus, it was vital in the minds of SMP to integrate a rain water harvesting system, which is one of the green strategies that is visually celebrated in the design. Further, the firm introduced a heating and cooling geothermal well system along with a solar thermal hot water system. What’s more, the guests are easily able to monitor their energy usage through a systems interface in each room, giving them a unique perspective on the Inn’s sustainable design strategies. Just a brief subway ride from the firm’s offices in Center City Philadelphia is the Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, which SMP designed in collaboration with another Phila-


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delphia firm, SRK Architects. This new public high school is built on a brownfield site in a neglected neighborhood of Philadelphia that was starved for green space. The project was embraced by the neighborhood as one of the initial steps towards establishing a highly sustainable community. Because it has transformed the former deteriorated urban landscape, it has become a symbol of the long term benefits of sustainability. Located adjacent to the elevated subway system right across the street, the design team was quick to embrace the vitality and sense of movement of the City’s public transportation aesthetic into the design of the building. “This location also presented noise challenges unique to the urban site. The design concept for the school was developed, spatially and acoustically, with the proximity of the train always in mind,” Ade said. These efforts produced a design that made certain that the classrooms were as far from the source of noise as possible, while the more active public spaces, such as the gymnasium and main entrance lobby were located closer to the street and subway. Once again, key green strategies strongly shaped

the design. The U-shaped organization of the building allows for natural light to penetrate each room, greatly decreasing artificial lighting and air conditioning loads. The building’s central circulation spine creates a compact, easy to navigate school while offering connections to the landscaped courtyards, vegetated roofs and site amenities. The facility’s low maintenance and highly efficient geothermal heating and cooling system are a first for the school district and are projected to cut energy use by 30 percent. Low-flow plumbing fixtures use harvested rainwater that has been collected in cisterns. Achieving LEED Platinum, it serves as an example to other public school districts in the region. At the front entrance plaza, a dramatic “recycled landscape” utilizing recycled pavers, concrete slabs and stone from the original site was planted with low maintenance vegetation. It has become a community focal point and favorite gathering spot. “Students have been instructed on these site design strategies, as well as the many other green features of the projects – these kids have become sustainability ambassadors, jumping at the opportunity to give tours to parents and other members

OPPOSITE, TOP: Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. Transparency - both looking into and out of the building - was a key design concept.

TOP RIGHT: Even the gymnasium benefits from natural light, making this space a great venue for both sports and community events.

OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: The street facade combines elements that reflect the factory aesthetic of the industrial neighborhood as well as that of the adjacent elevated train.

BOTTOM LEFT: The cafeteria of the first LEED Platinum high school in the country is shielded from late day sunshine by fritted glass and native trees and shrubs.

TOP LEFT: From the head of the main stair, students can enjoy dramatic views of the elevated train, the lobby and the large intensive green roof.

BOTTOM RIGHT: The dramatic dance studio is naturally ventilated and lit with clerestory glazing and borrowed light from the adjacent single loaded corridor.

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of the community,” Ade said. In a similar endeavor, although on a tighter site, SMP Architects worked with the Germantown Friends School on their new LEED Gold Sustainable Urban Science Center for their upper school community. “We collaborated with Health Education Resource Associates, a local laboratory planning consultant, to design the most functional layout to create the ideal classroom spaces,” Ade said when speaking about the initial design process. These layouts would ultimately become the building blocks around which the design was developed. With a building program of six labs, faculty offices, student resource rooms and study spaces, SMP faced the challenge of placing the new building on a tight urban site. The development of the design also came with huge stormwater management requirements and campus planning considerations. The original site master plan put the building on one of the furthest points away from the center of the school. An existing adjacent parking lot also 90 Architecture Leaders Today

meant that students seeking the new Science Center would have to first navigate around the parking lot. With limited opportunity for outdoor space, SMP Architects sought to take advantage of expanding a small existing courtyard space by locating the building toward the heart of campus. Their proposal saw the new Science Center replace the parking lot and reorganize the parking spaces out of site, behind the building. Using the ideal classroom module as building block, the firm created a design that organizes the classrooms around a single loaded corridor with expansive views to the new landscape courtyard, which was developed in collaboration with ecological landscape architecture firm, Viridian Landscape Studio, also of Philadelphia. SMP worked closely with the science faculty to explore opportunities for teaching moments where sustainability could be an integral part of the building’s educational program. “The design engages students on a number of levels that vary from the visible celebration of

features like the rainwater cisterns to the deeper research opportunities that the building monitoring system provides about the seasonal, weekly, and daily performance of the building systems,” Ade said. Through other strategies such as vegetated roofs, carefully placed rain-gardens, photovoltaic arrays, and building systems that are exposed throughout the interior of the facility, SMP provided the school with a design that integrates with their a science curriculum while also serving as daily inspiration for the scientists and researchers of tomorrow. At every opportunity, science and sustainability are advanced through conversation and exploration, supporting the school’s mission of lifelong learning and stewardship of the natural environment. SMP Architects, including Ade’s fellow principals, Missy Maxwell, AIA; Jane Rath, AIA; and Todd Woodward, AIA, LEED AP, bring clients a uniquely informed approach to sustainable design, an approach in which client mission is embraced as a means to inform each project. ALT


LEFT: Sustainable Urban Science Center. Philadelphia, Penn. Green roof.The environment takes center stage here in this highly sustainable building, where efficiency is key. ABOVE, TOP: In seeking to provide not just a sustainable building, but a sustainable pedagogy, SMP Architects integrated a wide range of monitoring devices that allow the school community to understand how sustainability works.

RIGHT, TOP: The storm water management systems integrate vegetated roofs and raingarden landscaping with rainwater harvesting cisterns. RIGHT, BOTTOM: The Physics Classroom is cantilevered over the first floor meeting rooms, shading the glazing while also providing and demonstrating a teaching tool of structural design.

ABOVE, BOTTOM: Daylighting in classrooms is balanced by introducing it from several orientations. The building structure is exposed throughout, minimizing the need for additional finishing materials.

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products & services




Story by Joel Cornell

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products & services


he granddaughter of a landscape architect, Tavis Dockwiller wanted a career that was the perfect union of the natural sciences and her own artistic ambitions. After leaving Penn State with a degree in landscape architecture, Dockwiller found a career with the highly regarded landscape architecture firm Andropogon. Soon enough, Dockwiller and one of the founding partners at Andropogon left to start Viridian Landscape Studio in 1999. “Before anything else, we made the decision that we wanted to focus on built work,” Dockwiller said. “Some in our industry like to stay on the academic side of things, but we wanted to take on the projects of all sizes, in all regions, so long as we could design sites using an ecological framework. This idea has evolved into a mission to help people understand how soils, water and vegetation must work together. With this large-scale understanding we are able to design beautiful alternative storm water management systems and other innovative site feature that achieve both short-term client goals and long-term ecosystem goals.” Viridian Landscape Studio’s scope encompasses everything from master planning through construction documents. Further, the firm works with clients for many years after initial project completion, as their site designs evolve with passing time. For the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, Viridian Landscape Studio was asked to design a new entry. Viridian’s entry sequence rid the site of an all concrete plaza and awkward ADA access instead creating an egalitarian approach through a vibrant woodland garden. In this highly urbanized setting, the firm worked with an older building and plaza atop a subterranean parking garage. Working closely with the project’s structural engineers, Viridian Landscape Studio’s design respects structural limitations yet supports a beautiful landscape. Further, the site falls on the North side of a very tall building, which creates a very shady and dry site. Viridian Landscape Studio studied Pennsylvania’s dry northern woodland slopes and based the planting plan on that ecotype. The wooded paths and plaza offer a respite perfectly reflecting the goals of the Nursing School. At the Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, another very urban site, the firm was asked to lend its expertise at developing not only the site design, but linking it to the school’s teaching goals. The result is a site, including an interactive courtyard that highlights the path of rain water from pavement into plant beds where it infiltrates and evapotranspirates and can be measured by budding scientists! This project meets and exceeds the goals of the Philadelphia Water Department for on-site stormwater management. Recently, Dockwiller served as one of the primary authors for the High Performance Landscape Guidelines for 21st Century Park for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. “We’re helping cities to manage combined sewer overflow while creating beautiful places for people.” Dockwiller said. “We’re using soil and plants to develop revolutionary systems that heal the stormwater cycle and will have enduring positive impacts on our ecosystems and therefore our quality of life. We hope that the beauty of our work both aesthetically and technically, particular with this new set of landscape guidelines, inspires and transforms the building industry.” January/February 2012 93


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As Vice President of the AIA National, Russell Davidson has been a driving force in architecture both locally nationally in leading the veteran KG&D Architects firm.

PROJECT Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by David Lamb Photography

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hen you leave your home in the morning, we want you to go to a building that we have designed,” said KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC President Russell Davidson. “We keep a very diverse staff, which means that we can design anything and everything that is needed in the public sector. Our styles and designs will vary greatly, depending on the client, the context and the intended use. But above all, for me personally, it’s the ability to enhance the efficiency of architecture that has driven me this far.” Having led KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC through well over half a billion dollars worth of work during his decade long tenure as President, Davidson was first recruited to the firm in 1986 as an associate right out of graduate school. As the firm continued to grow and evolved throughout the region through their focus on schools, colleges, churches and other public buildings, Davidson eventually rose to the position of partner in 1994, and the firm became what it is today. Originally founded nearly 70 years ago, KG&D

Architects & Engineers, PC has created a major impact on the landscape of New York, as well as other surrounding states. As a one-stop, full service firm, KG&D provides not just complete master planning services, architecture, and interior design, but acts as an advisor on facility operations, as well as providing graphic arts and communications services. What’s more, Davidson plays an active role in the national architectural community and furthering his industry’s best interests. Since 1999, he has served in various national board positions for the AIA, as well as having served in the past as President of the AIA New York in 2007. He is also the Elected National Vice President of the AIA for 2012-2013 and will serve as one of the eight elected leaders of the 85,000 member association. The biggest clients for KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC are the public school districts across New York, the largest therein being the Yonkers Public Schools. With over 3.7 million sq. ft. of space in need of professional attention, Yonkers has worked alongside the firm not just

PREVIOUS SPREAD, TOP: Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab. Pleasantville, N.Y. Exterior. PREVIOUS SPREAD, BOTTOM: Post Road Elementary School. White Plains, N.Y. Panorama of the stately exterior OPPOSITE, TOP: Post Road Elementary School. Nothing says elementary school like a brightly colored library (with particularly low shelves) brimming with great books. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab. With plenty of spaces set aside for unique projects, this lab creates a perfect environment to foster creativity. ABOVE: The Media Arts Lab seeks a stunning design that reflects the inspiration it hosts inside.

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to assess the conditions of all district buildings, but also to put plans in motion for all foreseeable increases in enrollment. Most recently, KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC completed the Post Road Elementary School for the White Plains City School District. Originally, the firm was asked to do a standard, all encompassing assessment of the building. This was done in order to explore the feasibility of adding a full day kindergarten program to the district, with a focus on district wide master planning that included the careful evaluation of elementary space needs and the most critical building issues within the district. The planning study included life-cycle cost analysis and the exploration of multiple design options that would accommodate the elementary education program. The result became a plan for infrastructure upgrades at several buildings, two athletic stadiums with synthetic turf fields and the replacement of the out-of-date Post Road Elementary School, which was originally built in 1914. Further, in 2010, KG&D Architects & Engineers, PC earned the new elementary school an Energy Star Rating of 100, making it the most 98 Architecture Leaders Today

energy efficient public school building in the state of New York at present. The firm integrated a geothermal heating and cooling loop system into the project, which would in turn allow them to run district-wide summer school programs out of the facility at much lowered costs, which was quite necessary as the biggest issue for the district originally was budget concerns. “The original proposal was relatively costly,” Davidson said. “Before the school board would move forward, they wanted to form a citizens’ committee from the area in order to judge the feasibility. As is the case with most citizens’ committees, they were generally opposed to any additional costs, particularly those that they viewed as unnecessary. We did start off with some difficulties, but as we gradually grew their interests in building, it became clear that the need was there. The citizen’s committee eventually came to believe in our approach, and that the best solution was to replace the building. If that was to be done they said, then they wanted it to be as energy efficient as possible. “The actual designs for the building arose out

of dozens of meetings with not only the school board and the citizens’ committee, but with the teachers and the students as well. Each group was able to participate in judging how each space should be laid out. We configured the cafeteria, the gymnasium and the auditorium so that they could be open for use at nights for the community. The educational spaces were safely separated, and in the end both the internal and external spaces on the grounds wound up much larger than they were before. The end result was a $38.7 million project that stood at just about 90,000 sq. ft.” In the nearby town of Pleasantville, N.Y., KG&D completed a new Media Arts Lab at the Jacob Burns Film Center. The not-for-profit film center maintains a focus on visual literacy for students of all ages. Their programs teach film making and animation from elementary school students on up. The film center had been running projects in various facilities all over the region, but they wanted a new centralized facility they there could do such things nearer to their main viewing facility. Just down the street from the center’s flagship theatre, the 27,000 sq. ft. educational center is the venue


FAR LEFT: Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab. This video lab center offers state of the art technology to students and faculty alike. LEFT: The balcony of the Media Arts lab is meant to allow for students, faculty and visitors to share ideas and inspire each other in new, creative directions. BELOW: The exterior of the Media Arts Lab at dusk utilizes every ray of natural light to great effect. Further, the sustainable nature of the building gives it a longevity for decades to come.

for the instructional programs in film making and multi-media appreciation. The center holds corporate offices for the client, as well as state of the art, professional film studios which include editing rooms, special effects spaces, a screening room, and general purpose spaces for events. “Knowing our approach to energy efficiency and sustainability ahead of time, our client came to us committed to a sustainable approach from the outset,” Davidson said. “They came to us exactly for our focus, which is based on listening, imagining and building something more than buildings. They understood the essence of our approach, and brought us on board early so we could similarly understand their approach. We attended the opening of their children’s animation festivals and their red carpet openings. This gave us the chance to talk to their students and understand the culture of their organization.” In the end, the new Media Arts Lab accomplished all that the client sought, and more. The project exceeded LEED Gold standards and responded precisely to the client’s aesthetic, budgetary and programmatic needs. ALT January/February 2012 99


Braun & Steidl Architects has been working both locally and nationally to leave every client completely satisfied by bringing their successful mix of loyalty, longevity and skill to the drafting table. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Feinknopf Photography

STAYING POWER TOP: The ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL) in Columbus, Ohio This enclosed walkway lies along the North South axis that connects the ESL to the existing adjacent research building. BOTTOM: Completed in 2010, the ESL is a partnership between The Ohio State University and the Science and the Technology Campus Corporation that celebrates an academic and private collaboration.

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riginally, partners Jack Braun and Doug Steidl worked together at an architectural/engineering firm, where they managed an internal department focused primarily on architecture as a support for engineering projects. In October of 1983, seeking to focus their talents on “real” architecture, the duo established Braun & Steidl Architects in Akron, Ohio. With no clients and few resources, the new firm began with some local industry relationships and built their very successful practice from there. Based upon meticulous attention to detail and an overriding focus on the client, Braun & Steidl Architects established a formula of success that refuses to fail. “Above all, I think what has been most valuable to our success is that we enjoy a great deal of repeat clientele that know that even after many years, they will still find the same fervor for their projects and will often find the same architect picking up the phone today,” said Braun & Steidl Architects President, Charles Schreckenberger. “The purest testament to our quality longevity and philosophy of client relationships above all else is that through diversification and an unwavering commitment to clients’ needs, we’ve remained highly sustainable throughout the highs and lows of the economy, both locally and nationally.” Initially, the firm’s focus was on higher education and hospitality. In 1994, a new office opened in Columbus, Ohio, specifically created to cater to the increasing amount of state government and civic work. Today, the firm has continued to diversify, taking their higher educational work to a new levels and their hospitality work beyond their geographic region to new places around the United States and Canada. A thoughtful ownership transition occurred in 2002 with four Principals taking over from the original owners. Along with Schreckenberger, the other owners are: Robert Habel, Vice President; Phillip Steinberg, Principal; and James Bresler, Principal.


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102 Architecture Leaders Today


For the nearby Cleveland State University, located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Braun & Steidl Architects was tasked with replacing their Brutalist Style 50-year-old Student Center. Having been built during a time of civil unrest, the building turned its back to the city and opened primarily inward to campus creating a disconnect with the activity of the urban context. In collaboration with internationally renowned architect Gwathmey Siegel & Associates of New York City, Braun & Steidl Architects sat down with the President of the University who stated his desire to make this new structure the “Front Door” of campus and the new image of the University. The solution was to embrace the University’s Master Plan, creating a building program that emphasized student engagement and urban integration. The goal was to become a partner with the city offering an iconic building for all to experience. The building accomplished those goals by responding to the growing student population, with a shift to becoming a more residential campus, the new Student Center is the focus of community life for the University and the “living room” for students. The three-story central atrium allows natural light into the building and provides transparency to view activities happening both inside and out. The building exterior is incredibly impressive in form and material. The building concept eliminated the physical barriers presented by the former structure, with the new building designed for LEED Silver. The Ohio State University is home to the one of the world’s largest radio frequency research institutions in world. The building provides dynamic spaces for technology entrepreneurs, accommodates growth of academic offices and promotes the creation of a vibrant world class research park that supports innovative University, government and industry partnerships. The firm designed an array of faculty research offices, all surrounding a core of graduate pods. This allows for unprecedented levels of interaction during research. Along with the main laboratory, five additional lab bays are available for lease to private industry partners, with potential to deliver innovative economic and societal values. Because of the intention to encourage university/government/private research, a public gallery space was designed for displaying accomplishments. Materials utilized throughout the buildings exterior and interior convey a playful economy emphasizing simple, highly creative solutions. Currently, the firm is in the midst of rolling out new strategic initiatives meant to capture emerging market shares. “Our focus will certainly remain on higher education, hospitality and civic clients. The sheer variety of building types within these three niches requires us to have deep knowledge of our clients business. Fortunately, the loyalty we experience with our clients and staff alike keeps us at the forefront of design.” ALT

OPPOSITE: The main entry opens into a two-story public gallery. ABOVE, LEFT: The southeast stair brings natural light into the building and encourages interaction among users. ABOVE, RIGHT: The shape of the Vivaldi Horn is prevalent in wireless communication research and is used as design inspiration throughout the building, including the lobby’s concrete floor.

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THIS PHOTO: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Center, Corridor. If the Foreman Group has anything to say about it, the days of bleak and dreary school hallways. OPPOSITE: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Center, team -focused science lab. Having an extensive array of experience in how students traverse a school over the course of the day, everything from the halls to the labs are optimized for maximum efficiency.

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all for one

With a unique structure and a totally comprehensive scope of services including architecture, interior design, and electrical, structural, and mechanical engineering, all under one roof, the Foreman Group is poised to take on any project, of any size, with any client. The results speak for themselves. Story by Joel Cornell Photos courtesy of Foreman Architects Engineers, Inc.


nly a select few architectural firms operating today can so easily insulate their control over quality, design and value. At the Foreman Group, the sheer diversity of expertise and quality workmanship allow for a one of a kind experience for clients from any industry, for any building type. Through their unique array of engineers, architects, project managers, and construction specialists, the Foreman Group only ever has to look next door for the solutions they need. Composed of six individual companies, each with its own astoundingly talented staff of special-

ists and designers, the Foreman Group is uniquely able to bring value, timeliness and high quality to every project. Originally, the firm began in 1956 with Foreman Architects & Engineers, a small, family-owned firm run by industry veterans. “At all times, we’re dealing with rather complex systems in every building we take on,” said Foreman Group Executive Director, Phillip Foreman. “According to Engineering News Record, nearly 80 percent of all HVAC systems do not work as intended upon initial installation. The reason for this is that there tends to be a lack of communication between different companies, each of whom January/February 2012 105


has different interests in any given project. That’s why we’ve create a company structure that allows us to internalize every aspect of the design, the engineering, and the construction.” Alongside Foreman Architects & Engineers, Foreman Program and Construction Managers allows the Foreman Group to serve as a single authority on all matters over the course of the project. For over 15 years, this teaming of architects, engineers, program managers and construction managers has brought clients a unprecedented level of value and quality. The common ground shared by these two companies facilitates a more efficient and cooperation working relationship between design and construction management staff. This directly translates into more accurate cost estimates, quicker turnaround on construction submittals and requests for information, and increased value all around for the client. This single source responsibility structure and the Foreman Group’s unique desire to achieve a common goal continually produces the most successful construction projects. 106 Architecture Leaders Today

In addition to their all-encompassing design and construction structure, the Foreman Group also includes Foreman Building Commissioning. The commissioning process ensures that the building will operate per the owner’s original functional concept for the facility. This essential element in the Foreman Group’s approach reaches across all of their projects, in all sectors and building types. “The term commissioning as we know it in the building industry came about from the U.S. Navy,” Foreman said. “The Navy would commission submarines before they even got put into the water, largely because their systems were so complex. Especially with the recent surge in sustainable and energy efficient technologies, the need for forethought, early commissioning and a single source design structure is more pressing than ever.” On the specialist side of the firm, perFOREMANce Roofing Specialists, which is managed and operated by registered architects and engineers, lends a much needed expertise to the Foreman Group. With designers coming from backgrounds

with extensive roof detailing experience, all utilizing the latest in thermo-graphic imaging technology, perFOREMANce Roofing Specialists has helped the Foreman Group in performing $10 million in successful roof construction every year. To keep every facet of every design in check, the Foreman Group founded a new division, called Reviewing and Proofing of Specifications and Plans, or RAPOSAP. This element of the firm can translate into major bottom line savings for every client through preventing the need for future change orders and claims before construction even starts. Composed of a team of industry veterans, RAPOSAP can handily review construction and design documents and identify errors that would have otherwise resulted in rapidly escalating construction costs. Never ones to shirk their philanthropic duty, the Foreman Group founded the sixth and final element of their group, The Foreman Foundation. Established in 2000, the Foreman Foundation established the Foreman Foundation Research Laboratory at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey


OPPOSITE: Featuring incredibly stylish lounges, bright colors and ingenious layouts, this high school is the crown jewel of the school district. ABOVE: There is no lack of color, curves or styles throughout the hallways and classrooms. RIGHT: Although color, style and brilliance were at the forefront of the designs, security and efficiency are still of the utmost importance. BELOW: Utilizing this beautiful combination of glass, brick and wood, this high school truly stands out amongst the others in the school district.

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ABOVE, LEFT: With such a large student body, the Deer Lakes High School wanted wayfinding efficiency at a maximum. ABOVE, CENTER: No more claustrophobic hallways or stuffy classrooms. The Deerk Lakes High School is open, airy and utilizes an abundance of natural light. ABOVE, RIGHT: The general assembly spaces and audotirum are a perfect combination of elegance, utility and forethought. RIGHT: Sustainably built, with the ever-growing student body in mind, the Deer Lakes High School gives the students something to be proud of.

108 Architecture Leaders Today


Medical Center. Utilizing the vast assortment of philanthropists and similar endeavors, the Foreman Foundation seeks to help scientists and doctors see an end to melanoma for patients of all ages across the country. Utilizing this all-encompassing structure composed of professionals of the highest caliber, the Foreman Group recently finished work on the Deer Lakes High School. Many decades ago, this Russellton, Penn. high school was originally constructed by the Foreman Group as one of their very first projects. This most recent endeavor would see the firm return to the site for a total renovation. The Deer Lakes High School shares a suburban site with the District’s sports stadium and two ball fields. Several years earlier the stadium had been renovated, but the high school building had seen very little updating since its construction in 1971. After a building-wide feasibility study, the District decided to go ahead with a complete renovation of the building. Working with incentive funding from the state’s Department of Education, and a Governor’s Grant to subsidize the LEED certification process, the District felt there would be an advantage to the population of the school and

the District to attempt to achieve a LEED Silver certification. Through the Foreman Group’s effort, the project is now expect to achieve LEED Gold certification. The building houses a 1000-seat auditorium, a gymnasium, a natatorium, a library, a fullsize kitchen, a cafeteria, music rooms, typical classrooms, specialty labs / shops, and the District’s special education and guidance offices. The solidly-built masonry exterior walls needed to be cleaned, but little else. Most of the existing major spaces and interior corridors are faced in brick with terrazzo floors which have worn very well. The fact that very little renovation had occurred over 35 years is testament to the quality of the building’s construction. Because of the incredible depth of the firm’s involvement, the Foreman Group was able to breathe new life into the Deer Lakes High School, all on their own. With their unique structure tailored around the needs of each client, the Foreman Group stands out as an all-encompassing building firm of the absolute highest caliber in terms of value, quality and vision. ALT January/February 2012 109


From a young age, Lisa Stacholy was keenly aware of the finer mechanics of how we use space. Today, her firm LKS Architects, Inc. is the go-to firm in the Atlanta area for a vast range of unique design opportunities that need solutions. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by LKS Architects, Inc.

S ABOVE: Emory University Data Command Center. Druid Hills, Ga. Built for more than pure efficiency, this data center blends cutting edge technology with state of the art architectural design. OPPOSITE: Stately, critical and timtely, the work LKS performed for the new data center sets a new standard for technology-oriented buildings.

pread across the suburbs of Chicago are many different residences – residences that did not like the suburbs of other towns in America because of the influence of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In turn, these powerful designs have influenced generations of architects and continue to direct many today. “I knew in my heart, from a young age, that there was something a bit different about certain buildings in my neighborhood,” said architect and principal founder of LKS Architects, Inc., Lisa Stacholy. “Growing up in suburban Chicago, I’d visit friends who lived in homes designed by Wright and always found something wonderful yet ineffable in the design of these homes. This early awareness granted me a unique and early understanding of our spatial environment. “Soon enough, I found myself in shop classes and spending my free time figuring out how things worked, how they worked well, what could happen to make them not work, etc. In retrospect, it was never a conscious choice to go into architecture,” Stacholy said. “But, step by step, I eventually came to get my undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Florida, where I experienced a built environment driven by “common sense” environmental response. I was so used to the classic styles in Chicago, that seeing architecture that was more of a response to the native and natural environment was very refreshing, and at the perfect time in my development as a young designer.” Though very aware of building practices, Stacholy thought it was necessary to learn more about the reality of construction i.e. how buildings go from the design on paper to habitable structures; She ventured off the traditional ‘architects path’ to obtain post baccalaureate degree in building construction. “In architecture, you can design, you can plan and you can fix; but I think, there always has to be a crossover between these fields in order to make build-

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THIS PAGE: Emory University Data Command Center. Utilizing an intimite knowledge of how tech flows through the campus, LKS was able to maximize the efficiency of the Emory work flow.

ings happen well,” Stacholy said. “So many architects I’ve seen in the industry have this attitude of, ‘I’m the architect, I know everything.’ Not true. We are all just another cog in the wheel, and I think architects are supposed to join together with contractors, subcontractors, property managers, program managers, specialists and consultants; all of us working together will make that really neat building; not for our individual ego, but for the client, user groups and occupants. My background in building construction has given me the chance to really communicate with contractors and solicit their experience and expertise which teaches me how to be better equipped to not just design buildings, run my business, and work closely with everyone involved and come out with a fantastic end product.” As Stacholy has worked her magic on project after project since her firm’s inception in 1995, the astounding variety of her portfolio has given LKS Architects, Inc. the ability to face conceivable projects with confidence and insight. Today, the firm’s projects are mainly in the field of restorations or rehabilitations, utilizing Stacholy’s intimate and hard won knowledge of how architectural, design and building problems can be solved. True solutions are often stumbled upon by free thinking about the crux of the issue with the full design team. When Emory University needed to renovate their data command center, 112 Architecture Leaders Today

OPPOSITE: Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Atlanta, Ga. Originally founded in 1930, the Yerkes Center represents a new era in scientific understand, facilitated by efficient layouts and cutting edge technology.

they faced the fact that the data center managed not just the entirety of the data for the mainframe for the entire campus and the university’s hospital. The command center needed to stay online throughout the duration of the renovation, including at point at which the servers themselves would need to be relocated. “Mission-critical would be an understatement,” Stacholy said with a laugh. “We were relocating the data command center to another space in the same building, but we were severely limited by the existing infrastructure. So, we had to come up with fairly creative adaptive solution in order to make things work in this six-sided box. If I didn’t have knowledge in construction sequences and programming, and a good team, this project would have been much harder to manage, with a plethora of “failure opportunities.” “Through my experience, I saw a way to program the spatial needs of the three main work groups involved. We provided the working groups with the infrastructure they needed, while we obtained the time, space and tools we needed to renovate the space. What we turned the data command center now resembles a NASA space center rather than an old university building. The folks who work in that area really like it!” In working closely with the university’s audio/visual vendor, LKS Architects was able to integrate a great many technological improvements and


infrastructure for future upgrades that the data command center so desperately needed. These upgrades range from dual projectors with seamless overlap from the overhead projects, to the ability to query the servers that were in one location from any one of the work stations in the different areas of the center. The project also used a unique “puck” system for a 3” raised floor which handled all the electrical wiring, data and telephone cabling without the unsightly telephone pole look or overweighting the building structure. This low profile floor system also allowed the installation of new data command desks to be fully connected at the new location, with the relocation of the existing desks at the beginning of the next shift. This helped the operations leap frog the relocation process as the renovations came through beautifully. Instead of maintaining her firm’s focus on one particular building type or another, Stacholy takes her understanding of how the system is laid out and specializes in the renovations of every project type imaginable. At the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, LKS Architects, Inc. has managed many renovations of all different building types, most recently the center’s clinical research laboratory. This project is a biosafety level two (BLS2) facility. Other projects on the campus have been BLS3 and BLS4, with each subsequent level requiring much more facility control and precision.

“At this facility, every project is where every minor issues would have a major impact,” Stacholy said. “One particular project issue involved a connection between a fume hood that could potentially come into contact with airborne material and the HVAC system which wasn’t adjusted properly. We coordinated with the mechanical engineer who originally designed the building, as well as the mechanical engineer who worked with us on the lab design, along with the campus safety office and the subcontractor who installed the fume hood. “Originally, we thought it would be best to have an air-tight seal, in order to provide as much security and safety as possible. However, it all boiled down to a thimble connection and the relationship between where the duct came out of the ceiling, the level of sealant and the amount of air space required around the hood. So, an air tight design worked in opposition to the flow the fume hood needed the space for the connections to work properly. “When you have a challenging, atypical problem that needs a solution, we can be there as the ones who can step up, clean up and solve the challenges that are out there every day. It is really nice at the end of a project, when the space is being used for it’s designed purpose, so see that it works well for the occupants. This makes me smile.” ALT

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Building Our Future From multi-million dollar commercial renovations across the country to adaptive reuse projects for the local Ohio school districts, Triad Architects has proven their vision to be one of integrity, understanding and collaboration. Story by Joel Cornell Photos by Triad Architects


ABOVE: Westerville City Public School District Administratiion Building. Westerville, Ohio. Tired of the gray, boring, old admin buildings of yesteryear, Triad Architects sought to create a center for learning that was as bright and vibrant as the minds of its inhabitants.

ver the 12 highly successful years of their partnership, Triad Architects and the Westerville City Schools District have maintained a uniquely personal relationship. Not only has Triad become the district’s sole source of architectural services, but many of the children of the staff members at Triad Architects attend the Westerville schools. “Although our offices are located in Columbus, Ohio, I personally live out in Westerville,” said Triad Architects Principal and Partner Bob Gibson. “Two of my elder sons have graduated from Westerville high schools, and my daughter is currently a senior there as well. These personal connections certainly give us a vested interest in the welfare of our client. But, it’s also important for us to consider that not only are the futures of every child in the district at stake, but the Westerville City school system is the single largest land owner in the city. Anything and everything we do for this client will have profound effects on our community.” Founded in 1997 by principals Dave Price and Clyde Henry, Triad Architects has maintained a weighty presence in the public sector with a focus on the Central Ohio region. As the firm became well known in public sector circles, it was not long before clients in retail and various commercial industries were knocking on their doors, eager to take the firm all across the United States. Although the firm’s founders have since retired, principals like Gibson have been working diligently to keep the firm on top. For their public clients, Triad Architects supplies a rather enhanced array of construction administration services. Though the firm rarely if ever acts in a construction management capacity, they perform an outstanding amount of services outside of the tradition scope of an architecture firm. The firm has been well known as technical experts on a wide variety of construction projects, largely due to the variations in size from project to project. “We’ve done major projects for major clients, with a great many projects coming in at around the $20 million mark,” Gibson said. “However, we also perform an extraordinary amount of jobs that are on a much smaller scale. Sometimes we’ll do an entire stadium, sometimes the project only encompasses the bleachers. It’s largely due to these smaller projects that we’ve been able to maintain our technical expertise. “When we’re doing larger projects, we don’t get to spend much time on every little detail. But, when the project only consists of those little details, we understand both the finite and the infinite details, down to the last bolts and bricks.” Triad Architects signed their first contract with the Westerville City School District in 1999. At that point in time, the district had just passed a new bond issue, which is they manner in which school projects are funded. Standing at just over $99 million, the bond issue encompasses a variety of projects for 23 different schools, and was the single largest bond issue in the state at that time. Previously, the school district had been working with another architect. At this point, Triad Architects was building their focus based on school project after school project. With their first contract, the firm successfully completed renovations for four different schools in the district. Just one summer later, Triad Architects finished up their largest single package for the school district yet, which encompassed the renovation of 10 of the schools nearby. Today, Triad Architects has been the school districts sole architect for every summer since their first project. January/February 2012 115


Most recently, Triad Architects completed work of the school district’s Academic Enrichment center. Originally built in the 1970s in order to house single district offices, the building was to be renovated and transformed into a place of opportunity. The reusability project was focused on the Westerville City School District’s Educational Opportunities for Success (EOS) program. This program focuses on those students who aren’t doing as well as they should be in a traditional classroom setting. The EOS program was previously houses in a series of modular trailers outside of one of the high schools; not exactly the most inspirationally minded setting for those struggling with their dedication to school work. Utilizing a more hands on approach to education, the EOS program focuses on keeping class sizes small. Further, the curriculum is largely centered on areas that are specifically tailor to help young people become successful immediately after high school though not necessarily vocational skills. This pragmatic and forward thinking approach, led by Dr. Michelle Klein has sought to give different students a different kind of inspiration that will lead them to equal amounts of success. “We met frequently with Dr. Klein in the earliest stages of the project,” Gibson said. “What she wanted us to focus on was not a traditional classroom set-up, but rather we were searching for a more collaborate, open and in depth setting for the students. What we came up with was four vastly different classrooms, each of which was designed to feel as open as could be. Nothing is rectilinear; each room is open to another. There are lots of glazing and glass, but still a bit of privacy. “We looked at all sorts of different models, but there are many elements in this project that you’ll find in an internet cafe or modern retailer Wi-Fi environment. I’m talking about these nice, comfortable, soft furnishings, plenty of space and break out areas, along with uniquely blended colors that give a certain light and individual life to each room.” At the same time, Triad Architects also managed the adaptive reuse of the Westerville City School District’s Administration Building. Through their designs, the firm consolidated the administration facilities to the higher floors of the building, leaving the first floor ready to be used for preschool and early learning. In matching the wishes of the clients, the firm avoided segregating the administrators and placed a learning center in the central office. “In the administration building, we knew that it had to accommodate the necessary office functions while still meeting the unique needs of younger children,” Gibson said. “We utilized iconic images of Westerville, all of which were scaled down for preschoolers. We have walking paths of cobblestone and grass in the lobby, there’s a lake inside complete with a dock in a place called Westervillage. In Westervillage, there’s a pet store with a doggie in the window, there’s a gas station with an old fashioned pump, a fire and police station, lamp posts, everything; all scaled down for the young children who will spend time learning on the first floor. “This project had some rather unique elements to it. But, due to our extensive experience in education and our ongoing relationship with Westerville, it couldn’t have come out better.” ALT

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FAR LEFT: Westerville City Public School District Administratiion Building. Westerville, Ohio. When the school district came to Triad Architects, they came seeking a new vivacious center that would blow any other admin center out of the water. The result is clear. LEFT: The admin building is more than just an office space. It’s a gathering place where the environment fosters creativity, communication and development. BELOW LEFT: No more boring, stuffy old offices. Triad Architects is looking to change the way we see our surroundings with bright designs such as this. BELOW RIGHT: Westerville City Public School District Academic Enrichment Center. Westerville, Ohio. This kid sized town is meant to provide a playful environment that can educate as well.

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products & services


Office furniture dealer sustainably restores and refinishes high end office furniture at affordable costs. Story by Julian Vu


rom small businesses to large government buildings and everywhere in between including the Ohio State University and Westerville City Schools, Columbus-based RSFI Office Furniture provides central Ohio with high quality office and school furnishings at affordably low costs. Few retailers in the United States make it possible for everyday offices to afford furniture lines like Herman Miller™, Steelcase™ or Haworth™, however RSFI has developed a solution that is sustainable along with a low cost of entry. Using advanced practices and technology, RSFI purchases liquidated office furniture then reconstructs the product to new, factory conditions. RSFI uses the utmost care in stripping pieces down to the core, and re-building them with new higher quality components and materials. In addition to offering a wide array of reconstructed pieces, RSFI also carries new and lightly used office furniture. Central to RSFI’s success are the relationships forged with clients. Although RSFI is constantly expanding business, a strong amount of RSFI’s clientele is based on repeat business. This is on account of RSFI’s attention to working with clients’ needs in the design process. In the case of Triad Architects, RSFI was brought in by Westerville City Schools due to RSFI’s proven track record in not only reconditioning pieces, but also promptness. Although the Westerville project had adequate time for planning and installation, RSFI is ready and able to respond to furniture needs in extremely short timeframes as well. With as little as a 24-hour turnaround period, if an office within central Ohio needed to add ten workstations or cubicles with short notice, RSFI can easily meet that demand. 118 Architecture Leaders Today

When working with clients like Westerville City Schools, one of RSFI’s greatest assets is the ability to custom fit spaces regardless of size and uniqueness. Often times, spaces may have columns or other structural obstructions that do not fit standard configurations of furniture presenting challenges for interior design. RSFI’s solution is two-fold; they use state of the art layout software that is matched to a well-stocked inventory of pieces of varying sizes making it easy to adapt to specialized situations. RSFI is also able to tap the catalog of top manufacturers of new furniture giving clients the ability to mix and match with pieces that may not be in RSFI’s immediate inventory. Re-constructing office furniture is one of the most sustainable practices in the office furniture industry today. There are currently little to no programs for recycling office furniture, and many discarded pieces end up sitting in landfills. Rather than selling only used furniture, RSFI has effectively found a way to make old furniture new again. There is virtually no way to distinguish between a brand new Herman Miller™ office unit, and one reconditioned by RSFI, other than significant cost savings. RSFI Office Furniture is proud to work with both Triad Architects, and Westerville City Schools, and looks forward to continue a successful partnership in supplying high quality office furniture at a savings. RSFI’s work is not only environmentally sustainable, but has a direct impact on educating Ohio as the savings presented by RSFI are directly reflected via increased money saved for books, classroom supplies, computer labs, and other educational spending.

hospitality & niche

COOL AND CURATED The museum-minded professionals at Staples & Charles Ltd. in Washington, D.C. are selected by the best museums in the world for their expertise in planning, designing and envisioning unique experiences. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos courtesy of Staples & Charles Ltd.

120 Architecture Leaders Today

hospitality & niche


homas Jefferson’s home, the pristinely placed Monticello, is considered a national treasure and a tribute to early American architecture. It is difficult to imagine why anyone would mess with a good thing; but, when the Thomas Jefferson Foundation began planning a new visitor center they choose to work with the nation’s premier museum designers and visionaries, Robert Staples and Barbara Fahs Charles, to expand the visitor experience and understanding of Jefferson’s his mountaintop plantation. “When we first began working with Monticello we were just hired to conduct an interpretive study on why people come to see the home and ways to extend their visit,” Charles said, co-founder of Staples & Charles Ltd. “We found that visitors were only staying two hours because there was not enough at the site to engage them after viewing the home. We presented Monticello with our ideas on how to make this amazing home into a day-long destination and their response was very positive.” The popular figure in American history has generated plenty of research over the years, but the firm had to conduct their own as to what would work best for today’s museum goer. The project began with creating the Thomas

Jefferson Visitor Center to welcome visitors to Monticello and engage them in an interactive history of the president, his ideas and the creation of the home. Jefferson’s words became a motif throughout the center. Key words like “Liberty,” “Equality,” and “Slavery” were imbedded in the bluestone lobby floor. When a user interacts with the word a quote from Jefferson begins to form around their feet and then pops up as a projection on an adjacent wall. “I call what I do three-dimensional editing in the way a good book editor edits a manuscript. While it has physical form, it is quite different from architecture in that it is totally content driven,” Charles said. The successful completion of the Visitor Center has led to additional projects focusing especially on the enslaved workers and servants at Monticello. “The interpretation of slavery is a difficult, but historically important for the story here,” Charles said. “For many years Monticello has been researching the hundreds of slaves who built Monticello, worked the fields, and served the Jefferson household, and it became time to share this knowledge with the public.” Working alongside Thomas Jefferson Foundation staffers Elizabeth Chew January/February 2012 121

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PREVIOUS SPREAD, LEFT: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. The cast concrete tetrahedron ceiling in the Asian Art Gallery provides the museum goer space for one’s eyes to wander. PREVIOUS SPREAD, RIGHT: In the African Art Gallery, Staples & Charles Ltd. design used gradual steps to display the artifacts. THIS PAGE, TOP: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. The Louis Kahn concept for moveable “pogo panels” allows myriad permutations of layouts in one space, as here in the collection of Modern and Contemporary Art. THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. The museum boasts an impressive collection, including this vivid Mark Rothko. OPPOSITE: Another perspective of the pogo panels shows how they can be used in conjunction with display cases for works of art.

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and Justin Serafin, Staples & Charles Ltd. studied the lives of slaves at the estate and created a vision for how to express that beyond the house -- the slave quarters and workshops on Mulberry Row. Named for the mulberry trees planted along it, Mulberry Row was the center of plantation activity for both white and black artisans. There, iron and woodworking facilities and areas for raising poultry and slaughtering livestock would serve as a link between the plantation at large and the domestic operations, like kitchen, dairy, and smokehouse. Archaeological finds such as slave-owned ceramics and workmen’s tools will be on will be on display as part of the exhibit. The new interpretation is slated to open in early spring of this year. Another presentation is in the cellar of the house. “We’re showing how the household slaves ran Monticello on a daily basis,” Charles said. “They were going up and down this very thin staircase between the kitchen and the main part of the house. When people like President James Madison came to visit, his accompanying slaves brought news and gossip from other plantations.” A “discovery area” features unique, interactive elements geared particularly

towards younger museum goers, like a working dumbwaiter and laundry tools. “We used the ‘if we think it’s fun to play with, they will think it’s fun’ approach to designing the discovery section,” Charles said. Given the two founders’ background working for renowned designers Ray and Charles Eames before launching their own studio, Staples and Charles should certainly know how to have fun at the office. Their unique approach to how design influences our interaction with information goes beyond the brick and mortar which houses it. “We met working there during such a vibrant period for design,” Charles said. “Bob is a trained industrial engineer and was with the Eameses for 16 years, mostly working on aluminum furniture design. When I got there in 1967 they were working on the national aquarium and doing more with exhibits and interpretive planning. The Eames office truly shaped how I approach design and how I define my career.” It’s safe to say that their work has shaped two of the foremost art galleries in the country as well -- The Detroit Institute of Arts and The Yale University Art Gallery. Staples & Charles Ltd. were brought on the Yale project in 2003 January/February 2012 123

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to reconfigure the main gallery spaces using moveable “pogo panels” originally created by modernist architect Louis Kahn, who designed the museum and also taught at the university for 10 years. The simple wooden panels stretch the entire height from the gallery floor to ceiling with spring-loaded “pogo sticks” on the top and small legs at the bottom. The panels are secured by the pressure of the “sticks” against the concrete ceiling, making hundreds of permutations of gallery space and “flow” available to the museum. Staples & Charles Ltd. went into the university’s archives to see how Kahn originally used them and play with recreating and reinventing some layouts. “Some major artwork hangs on these, so it was important for us to make sure that the panels are 100 percent structurally sound,” Charles said. “The effect is all of this space and airiness surrounding these major pieces of art.” Staples & Charles Ltd.’s meticulous work did not go unnoticed. The Yale Center for British Art, another Kahn-designed gallery that was still under construction at his death in 1974, hired the firm last summer to conduct a study on how their “pogo panels” could be re-designed to better serve their current needs. 124 Architecture Leaders Today

“Though the designs for these panels was completed after Kahn’s death, the drawings showed vast differences between various prototypes he was experimenting with,” Charles said. They ended up sticking as closely as they could to Kahn’s original concepts in recreating the panels and the layouts. Shortly after the Yale project started in 2003, Staples & Charles Ltd. were hired as part of The Detroit Institute of Arts’ expansion project, working on the reinstallation of the permanent galleries, and recently on the Gallery of Islamic Arts. “Though this is truly an art-centered museum, they have been expanding their exhibits in new directions like exploring more of the history and religion that shaped the art,” Charles said. “They created several teams of curators, educators, conservators and marketing people who worked on suites of galleries. They then selected us to bring their ideas to life.” As The Detroit Institute of Art hoped to stay open as long as they could during the expansion, the teams worked in phases on various parts of the museum. “It was a marathon!” Charles said. “We worked in four phases and kept

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moving with what time we had. The bulk of the museum opened in 2007, but not the Islamic collection, so we kept working there after the museum re-opened.” The team brainstormed that the gallery should have an overall feeling of Islam’s history, presence and reflect the design of the countries where the religion is mainly practiced. Islamic architectural details are echoed in the arches and wall colors. Despite the tight constraints of the nine ft. ceilings in only a 5,000 sq. ft. space, Staples & Charles neatly worked in both the joy and solemnity that The Detroit Institute of Art hoped to convey. “We have one corner of the exhibit which is just sacred manuscripts with truly fragile documents and ancient Korans,” Charles said. “We designed a series of cases lit with fiber optic lights in a railing that the viewer can lean on to get a better look without damaging the Korans.” Charles said it would be hard to identify where their unique firm will take them next, but that she will enjoy the ride. “We’ve been incredibly lucky to find work that truly stimulates us intellectually, mentally and even emotionally,” Charles said. “Our culture continues to value art and history, and we want to continue to be a part of that celebration.” ALT

OPPOSITE: The Visitor Center at Monticello, the historic home to Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. The Crossroads exhibit features information on the many different lifestyles the residents and employees spent at Monticello. ABOVE, TOP LEFT: “To Try All Things,” one of the exhibits in the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center at the entrance to Monticello, reflects Jefferson’s enlightenment thinking through features artifacts and objects.

ABOVE, BOTTOM LEFT: The Visitor Center boasts a modern, fresh look with interactive videos and information at every level, for young and older museum goers, such as here in “The Boisterous Sea of Liberty.” ABOVE, BOTTOM RIGHT: This particular exhibit focuses on the the design and construction of Monticello, including the drafting table where Jefferson worked out the plans.

ABOVE, TOP RIGHT: Another exhibit, “Making Monticello,” features Jefferson’s drawings and the global inspiration behind his design of Monticello.

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useum-quality exhibit cases, picture frames and an ever-expanding line of archival products have built SmallCorp a sterling reputation in art and architecture circles. The firm is well-known for innovation, quality and attention to detail, working with designers, architects, fine framers and conservators around the world. In 1968, Van and Molly Wood started manufacturing acrylic display products for sculptors and artists in Washington, D.C. The product line quickly grew to include museum-quality picture frames, and since 1987 the firm has focused on archivally-correct materials and fabrication methods, becoming an industry leader in this important field, and collaborating with many of the finest museums in the world. Today, SmallCorp serves museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts, where SmallCorp collaborated with museum planners and designers Staples & Charles, Ltd. museum planners and designers based in Alexandria, Virginia, on the new permanent gallery of Islamic Art. The company employs thirty craftspeople in a 36,000 square foot facility, which has been powered by solar electricity since 2008. The company has long engaged in sustainable practices, such as improving energy efficiency, and locally composting and recycling material waste to minimize its impact on the planet. SmallCorp’s focus on conservation has long meant the conservation of all resources – both natural and cultural. The company remains family 126 Architecture Leaders Today

owned, with day-to-day management in the hands of the Woods’ son, Hoyt. “We’re constantly investing in R & D to be able to deliver the highest quality and meet the evolving needs of our clients. Many of the lessons we learn along the way become part of our standard line, but the client-centric projects are where we learn and grow,” said Mr. Wood said. This was certainly true of SmallCorp’s involvement with the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery, housed in Louis Kahn’s spectacular 1953 entrée into museum design. The multi-year renovation focused on returning Kahn’s building to its original sleek, contemporary look. Polshek Architects developed the master plan. Staples & Charles Ltd. was tasked with developing exhibit furniture to complement the modern interior. Working closely with Staples & Charles Ltd. on the design, and with Yale’s curatorial team on the functional and archival requirements, SmallCorp developed a line of exhibit cases whose clean lines and frameless vitrines fit the building’s look and make the object on display the focus of attention. The resulting line of cases features interchangeable vitrines and pedestals of varying sizes and heights, allowing for simple and flexible re-configuration of the cases as exhibits and materials change. The cases can be easily assembled, are simple to move and level, and easy to maintain, saving art handlers and maintenance staff countless hours of labor. SmallCorp is currently working with Yale to develop a new exhibit case line based on historic models, as Yale lovingly restores the historic Swartwout

and Street Hall art galleries to their former glory. The new cases will maintain the look and feel of the early 20th century, updated to include the latest archival components. In all, SmallCorp will manufacture nearly 150 cases to outfit the museum in preparation for a 2012 re-opening. Last year, the company replaced fiber-optic lighting in a series of exhibit cases at Yale’s Haas Family Arts Library with low-profile LED lightbars, to reduce energy consumption and eliminate the noise and heat associated with fiber-optics. “LED lighting is quickly becoming one of the most exciting things we do. I don’t think anyone else has developed products specifically for the art and museum industry like we have” said Van Wood, who remains closely involved in the research and design side of the business. SmallCorp’s LED product line now includes custom-manufactured dimmable spotlights designed for museum environments, as well as LED lightbars that are both dimmable and color-adjustable. This unique feature allows exhibit professionals to calibrate light levels and colors to best highlight the object(s) on display. Museums and designers in other parts of the world have been quick to adopt LED lighting technology. SmallCorp recently manufactured and installed a thirty foot long case for the textile room at Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino in Santiago, Chile, to display and protect one of the most famous pre-Columbian textile collections in the world. The case features automatically-opening archival display drawers and motion-activated LED downlighting. The LEDs

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provide enough light for patrons to navigate the gallery without exposing the objects to direct light. As a part of the same project, SmallCorp outfitted the entire exhibit with motion-activated LED lighting. As a result, objects in the collection are exposed to nearly 75% less light. SmallCorp is currently building LED lighting into exhibit cases for clients across the country, including some that run on rechargeable battery power. Architects and designers love the flexibility this allows in exhibit arrangement, as lighted cases no longer have to be located near power sources or lit externally. The development of the archival product lines has not overshadowed the picture frame side of the business. SmallCorp’s finished corner aluminum picture frames are known to fine framers, galleries, artists and photographers worldwide. Their frames are slim, low-profile and precisely-machined while maintaining a hand-made look. High-quality finished corner frames are also available in hardwoods and raw steel. In addition to a line of stock profiles, SmallCorp regularly manufactures custom profiles and extra-large frames for special projects, and has developed unique, proprietary framing systems for several world-famous photographers and artists. SmallCorp credits their success to their careful consideration of client goals, archival requirements and quality manufacturing. This allows them to find the appropriate balance of conservation, exhibition and budget to meet their customers’ needs. “Thankfully, we have a lot of clients who trust us, trust our judgment, and know we will look out for their best interests” said Molly Wood. January/February 2012 127

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Convenient Cosmopolitan Oasis Kobi Karp’s renovation of the Marriot Miami Airport Campus draws travelers. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos courtesy of Marriott International and KKAID


iami International Airport (MIA) just got a little more welcoming to travelers following the $70 million renovation and expansion of the three Marriot Hotel properties located within the highly trafficked international airport. Thanks to local architect and visionary, Kobi Karp, the Marriot Miami Airport Campus now includes the Miami Airport Marriot, the Courtyard Miami Airport South and the Residence Inn Miami Airport South -- all located just a mile from MIA. The location offers not only the convenience and affordability many travelers and business persons desire in an airport hotel, but also a beautifully landscape area with secluded, comfortable respites from their hectic schedules. “We are very excited about the transformation of the entire Marriott Miami Airport Campus,” said John Mulrey, general manager, Marriott Miami Airport Campus, in a press release. “We pride ourselves on offering friendly, exceptional service to make our guests feel at home, and the renovations provide enhancements for business and leisure travelers alike.” For the Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design firm, the sizeable project consisted of the new construction of a six-story Residence Inn and new construction of the ten-story Courtyard Marriot. The architectural services included the restoration and renovation of the existing full-service Airport Marriot. The most eye-catching change made to the Marriot Airport was the addition of an impressive entryway. This entryway also adopts the Marriot brand’s imaginative “M.I. Greatroom” concept which boasts a media zone, complimentary WiFi and a day/night bar. These three trendy zones of the M.I. Greatroom is meant to encourage both work and relaxation for guests 128 Architecture Leaders Today

just off the immediate lobby area. Karp referred to the project’s design as seeking to create a “cosmopolitan oasis.” That 366-room Miami Airport Marriot is truly the center of that oasis with the upscale Cane Fire Grille Restaurant and Lounge and a Starbucks. The unique “campus” concept offers amenities such as state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities, a 2,800 sq. ft. health club, PURE rooms outfitted with advanced air filtration systems, heated pool, and even remote airline and baggage checking to make for stress-free travel. Not only that, but the campus offers complimentary grocery shopping and same-day dry cleaning. The 163-suite Residence Inn offers an experience perfect for longer stays in the hotel’s studio, one- and two-bedroom suites for complete comfort. Each suite is equipped with a kitchen with full-sized appliances and internet access. The 300-room Courtyard Miami Airport South is a perfect setting for business meetings and events with 2,900 sq. ft. of meeting space over six meeting rooms; a GoBoard™ providing up-to-date local information, weather and maps, high-tech functionality; and a Champions Sports Bar, featuring 23 HD TVs. The campus’ exterior design of all three hotels is a unique mix of both recognizable “Marriot” and the fresh, bold feeling of Miami. The interior design, also under Kobi Karp’s keen eye, was supplied by Adriana Hoyos, boasting a clean, vibrant design and colorful furnishings fitting for the tropical climate of Miami. Hoyos was the perfect fit for such a high-profile project. The overall success of the project should be no surprise to Miami residents -- over the past two decades Karp’s team has completed more than $10 billion in commercial, residential and mixed-use properties. ALT

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OPPOSITE: The Marriot Miami Airport Campus in Miami, Fla. includes the Miami Airport Marriot, the Courtyard Miami Airport South and the Residence Inn Miami Airport South -- all three just one mile from Miami International Airport. The $70 million renovation and expansion was headed up by local architect Kobi Karp, who describes the finished project as a “cosmopolitan oasis” for travelers and business persons. ABOVE: The 163-suite Marriot Residence Inn is a six-story new construction for the firm. The idea of a lobby has been replaced with trendy zones for lounging and meeting up with TVs, a bar and comfortable furnishings. LEFT: Marriot Courtyard Airport. The 300-room Courtyard is perfect for business meetings and events with 2,900 sq. ft. of meeting space over six meeting rooms, wireless internet and a Champion Sports Bar BELOW: Marriot Residence Inn Airport. The hotel’s studio, one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens are perfect for longer stays.

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Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects has completed over 400 hotels and over 130 casinos successfully over the past 40 years. During the past seven years alone the firm has been behind the designs of more than $2 billion in casino projects throughout the U.S. and Canada. Afew of their projects are pictured here, clockwise from just above: The Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Okla.; The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev.; and The Buffalo Thunder Casino in Santa Fe, N.M.

Buffalo Thunder Casino Image Š Cornell & Company/Mike Wilson 2008

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Betting on the

Best Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects is designing the dream casino and resort for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma — due to open its doors fall 2012. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos courtesy of Thalden Boyd Emery Architects

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BELOW: Richard Emery, President and principle at Thalden-BoydEmery, stands in the firm’s office in front of several renderings of successful casino and hotel projects.


ichard Emery can tell you how much casinos have changed since the 1980’s when they boasted simple designs, cheap food and as much gaming as they could cram into one room. “Casinos have come a long way over the past 30 years,” Emery said, principal at ThaldenBoyd-Emery Architects. “So many of them were not exactly what architects dreamed of designing. But now casinos and hotels present a really luxurious and unique experience. They bring in world-class chefs and the best entertainment acts in the country. The designs of the casinos and hotels are now meant to attract all types of customers who are seeking more than just a good card game.” Thalden Boyd Emery Architects has completed over 400 hotels and over 130 casinos successfully over the past 40 years. During the past seven years alone the firm has been behind the designs of more than $2 billion in casino projects throughout the U.S. and abroad. So, when the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma sought out a top notch firm to design their dream casino project, they contacted Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects. “I really think it was our strong experience in Indian country that helped get us the job,” Emery said. One of the firm’s partners, Chief Boyd, is of Cherokee Indian descent himself and takes particular pride in researching and designing casinos that reflect different tribes’ cultures. Working out of the firm’s nearby Tulsa office, a design came together that would play up the chief ’s experience in integrating tribal elements and the Eastern Shawnee’s incredible location for the casino overlooking Ottawa County. The new $87 million casino is located just off Interstate 44 near Oklahoma’s border with Kansas and Missouri in Seneca, Mo. The casino rises up from a wooded hill overlooking the highway and the scenic Lost Creek. The 80,000 sq. ft. casino resort will have a 117-room hotel, a large fine-dining Mexican restaurant, a food court and 1500 gaming machines. The casino is expected to open in the fall of 2012. “When we initially sat down with the tribe they said they didn’t want the space to feel like other Native American gaming places,” Emery said. “The more we talked the more they realized there are ways we could include their heritage in our design and still be relevant to today’s trends.” The new Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma casino will be the 13th gaming establishment and the second-largest casino in Ottawa County. Inspired by the casino’s wooded environment, the firm designed a rustic, lodge-like hotel and casino using a great amount of local wood and stone. Along with the gaming floor the facility includes a 630-seat bingo hall that also serves as a concert venue and a multi-purpose conference room. “Though we wanted the gaming experience to evoke the same excitement as Vegas, this is not a Vegas crowd – this casino is going to attract outdoorsmen and travelers,” Emery said. “What we landed on is a perfect balance between making references to their heritage and the modernity of the 132 Architecture Leaders Today

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THIS PAGE: Eastern Shawnee Casino; Seneca, Mo. The casino and adjoining motel is sits on a high bluff just off of Interstate 44 near the borders of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. It is set to open fall 2012. BOTTOM, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: The 80,000 sq. ft. casino resort will have 1500 gaming machines. The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma sought out Thalden-BoydEmery for their unique design which alludes to the tribe’s history and keeps up with today’s trends. Along with a large food court, the casino and motel will feature a large, fine-dining Mexican restaurant. Adjoining the casino will be a 117-room luxury hotel with modern conveniences and warm interior designs.

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THIS PHOTO: Wildhorse Resort and Casino; Pendelton, Ore. The new Wildhorse Hotel 10-story tower includes 202 additional luxury rooms including 32 suites. The expansion also made room for an indoor and outdoor swimming pools, five-theater cineplex with a 3D movie screen and and expanded arcade and game room.

Image © Wildhorse Resort and Casino

BELOW: From left to right: HK Patel, Director of Production; Nick Schoenfeldt, Vice President; Richard Emery, President; and Chief Boyd, Partner, discuss the Eastern Shawnee Casino project.

times. We spent an enormous amount of time studying their history and their artifacts so we could expertly make symbolic references.” One such reference the firm created was a round, limestone fireplace which sits in the middle of the lobby to welcome the guests. The idea of forming a circle around a fire refers to the tribe’s marking for a gathering space. Another marked difference from other casinos is the tribe’s unique business plan which keeps investing back into their community by using their own construction company, Tulsa-based Red Stone Construction Services. “It’s not often that the client is also a major part of the construction process, like also being the contractor; but it has definitely made us a tighter team,” Emery said. “It has made decision making much more streamlined.” The project was first conceived in 2006, and though the recession hit quickly thereafter, they continued with a groundbreaking in November 2010. Plans are also in motion to erect a 40-stall RV park near the casino with all the high-end amenities and an adjacent travel plaza. “It is very important for tribes to be diversified in their investments, so a project like this will represent a variety of businesses for them to run,” Emery said. Thalden-Boyd-Emery Architects are diversifying as well with several casino projects in motion in Asia. “We have made a significant move into the Asian markets and have even opened a collaborative office in Guangzhou, China,” Emery said. “Anyone in our industry knows that Asian casinos are booming right now. Though many projects are in their infancy, the numbers coming out there are very strong. We are working on hotels that combine high-end casinos with golf courses, shopping and entertainment venues. Increased tourism and casinos simply go hand in hand in 2012.” ALT 134 Architecture Leaders Today

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LEXINGTON 818-768-5768

Lexington is a full service theming contractor offering clients a seamless experience from pre-construction through installation including real time estimating, technical design and fabrication. Lexington specializes in creating architectural ornamentation, themed environments, custom furnishing, signage, character lighting, water features, and rock work for casinos, hotels, restaurants, retail, and cultural centers. Lexington’s in-house staff of talented technical designers, project managers, artists, sculptors, carpenters, metal workers, and installation managers provides clients with a superior finished product. Lexington offers inclusive services to the casino architect, developer and general contractor. See ad on page 140.


Anderson-Perry congratulates Wildhorse Resort & Casino and Thalden Boyd Emery Architects on the successful completion of the casino expansion project. Anderson-Perry was privileged to have been able to work with Thalden Boyd Emery Architects and the Wildhorse team on this exciting project, which is a testament of shared vision and pursuit of design excellence by both companies. Anderson-Perry thanks Thalden Boyd Emery Architects for allowing the opportunity to be part of their success. Anderson-Perry & Associates, Inc. (AP) has worked with Wildhorse Resort & Casino over many years to provide the infrastructural and site development improvements needed to support the Wildhorse Resort & Casino. For the recently completed multi-million dollar expansion project, AP provided surveying, civil site design, and construction engineering services to the Casino as a subconsultant. Civil improvements included roadways and a 1,700-space parking lot with water, sewer, and storm sewer infrastructure services. Work had to be phased and coordinated so that the existing resort and casino could remain open and available to customers throughout the construction activities. The entire project (including approximately 45 acres of site improvements) was constructed in just over a one year period. For communities and organizations that need technical assistance in building infrastructure, AP can help clients control design and construction cost with an effectively managed business process that is focused on our clients’ needs, budgets, and schedules. From small scale projects such as campus improvements for schools to multi-million dollar business parks and casinos, clients continually turn to AP for the site civil work for their projects. AP regularly teams with architects to provide civil engineering support for planning, programming, design, and construction activities.

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Brown Chambless Architects brought to life the luxurious hotel and casino the Poarch Band of Creek Indians imagined. Story by Paige L. Hill Photos by Brown Chambless Architects


he Poarch Band of Creek Indians couldn’t be more pleased with their recently completed gaming destination -- The Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Ala., designed by the gaming gurus, Brown Chambless Architects out of Montgomery, Ala. The property boasts 225,000 sq. ft. made up of 57,000 sq. ft. of gaming and a 17-story, 236-room resort style hotel. “We’ve had a long standing relationship with the Poarch Creek tribe and they have been a pleasure to work with,” said Don Brown, founder of the firm. “When we first sat down with them, they described a casino that would help them compete in the larger market with a luxurious design scheme.” In decades past, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians endured challenging economic times until Tribal Chairman Eddie L. Tullis led them to petition the U.S. government to recognize a government-to-government relationship with them and dedicate 229.54 acres to their reservation. Part of that land the tribe acquired is where the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel now sits -- a prime location along a north/south thoroughfare of the area. The acquisition vaulted the project into a reality -- the $245 million property officially opened in January 2009 on the 35-acre site. Today, they are the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama. The Poarch Band operates a variety of economic enterprises, including three gaming facilities, which employ hundreds of area residents. The tribe is also an active partner with the state of Alabama, contributing to economic, educational, social and cultural projects that benefit both tribal members and state residents. “They wanted not only to not only provide for an amazing gaming experience, but also be host to a four-star experience for all interested guests,” Brown said. “This is not only an opulent resort and hotel, there is also a first class cooking school and 136 Architecture Leaders Today

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, LEFT: The Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, Atmore, Ala. The view from the pool of the glass clad, 236-room resort. The 9,000 sq. ft. addition of a worldclass spa will feature steam rooms, whirlpools and lounges to relax in.

The grand entrance to the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel uses natural form materials like steel, glass and stone as a nod to the Poarch Band of Creek Indian Tribe’s historic use of raw materials. The 57,000 sq. ft. casino space features an elaborate ceiling.

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LEXINGTON 818-768-5768

Lexington is a full service theming contractor offering clients a seamless experience from pre-construction through installation including real time estimating, technical design and fabrication. Lexington specializes in creating architectural ornamentation, themed environments, custom furnishing, signage, character lighting, water features, and rock work for casinos, hotels, restaurants, retail, and cultural centers. Lexington’s in-house staff of talented technical designers, project managers, artists, sculptors, carpenters, metal workers, and installation managers provides clients with a superior finished product. Lexington offers inclusive services to the casino architect, developer and general contractor. See ad on page 140.

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THIS PAGE, TOP: Neptune Technology Group Inc. in Talahassee, Ala. The southern headquarters of this meter reading production company speaks of Brown Chambless Architects’ ability to create high-end, modern commercial design. THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Since Neptune introduced its first water meter in 1892, Neptune has amassed over 119 years of experience in superior service to the water utility industry. They chose an architecture firm that could bring to life the business design they hoped would reflect their product. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: River Region Health Center, Montgomery, Ala. Brown Chambless broke ground on the $15 million project in 2009. The health care facility will open its doors for patients and health care professionals soon. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: The construction of the River Region Heath Center was funded by the city of Montgomery, the Montgomery County Commission and a generous federal grant.

several restaurants for the foodies.” The Center Bar is a great spot to kick off a night of gaming. The unique wood ceiling represents the movement of wind and the bar’s shape resembles tumbling boulders and water. The Taste Buffet features around-the-world cuisine, while the Fire Restaurant is a more fine dining option with seafood and steaks. The Grill features a menu of old-fashioned Southern favorites. The resort is also home to conventions and business meetings with a 6,000 sq. ft. meeting space and families with an extensive pool, too. “We took the tribe’s culture and traditions seriously into the design process,” Brown said. Each guest’s arrival is oriented on a north/south axis while a stone wall cuts it on an east/west axis – the cardinal points of direction are very important to the tribe. The 17-story hotel is an all-glass structure with bronze elements alluding to wind, water and fire. Atop the structure is a bronze beacon symbolizing wind which is illuminated at night. “The tribe’s appreciation for very basic materials

comes across in how we used steel cladding and stone in free, natural forms on the exterior of the building,” Brown said. “We were able to highlight a palette of wood and stone to reflect how they see nature’s functionality. As a result, the presentation is exquisite and detailed and uncluttered.” The deluxe hotel features 236 spacious guestrooms and suites. Each of the rooms includes such amenities as 42” flat-screen televisions, pay-per-view movies, coffee makers, refrigerators and in-room safes. Guests have complimentary, in-room access to high-speed Internet – both wireless and DSL. Wind Creek also offers four villas, which range in size from 800 to 1,200 sq. ft., and come complete with stone fireplaces, dining tables, and see-through balconies. The 57,000 sq. ft. gaming floor houses 1,600 of the newest electronic Class II gaming machines, including many in-house progressives. The gaming area sits sunken down and features beautiful high ceilings in a sweeping oval setting. The handsome skylight, sparkling light fixtures and plush furniture

makes for highend casino experience akin to Las Vegas. The casino’s elegant high-limit room provides enough space for 126 guests to try their luck at a host of gaming machines that range from $5 to $50 denominations. Tribal art and jewelry is sold in the casino’s gift shop, too. And if neither the cooking school nor the casino tempts a guest, perhaps Wind Creek’s outdoor amphitheater will -- the venue celebrated its grand opening with a special performance by country star Reba McEntire. A 9,000 sq. ft. addition is currently in the works for an extensive spa, as well. The facility will feature men’s and women’s steam rooms, sauna, whirlpool and relaxation lounges. “We think that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are extremely satisfied with the presentation,” Brown said. “The design reflects their culture in honest way and provides a relaxed expression for the customers who stay at the facility. For the tribe members, the elements of their culture are easily recognized. This was very important to us as architects and we don’t take this task lightly.” ALT January/February 2012 139


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Hickox Williams Architects Inc 58 Winter St #5 Boston, MA 2108

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Arthur Chabon Architect PC 3 W Main St #204 Irvington, NY 10533

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Avitecture, Inc. 1 Export Dr Sterling, VA 20164 Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. 189 S Orange Ave #1700 Orlando, FL 32801


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SPG Architects 127 W 26th St #800 New York, NY 10001

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KG & D Architects 285 E Main St Mount Kisco, NY 10549

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Braun & Steidl Architects Inc 1041 W Market St Akron, OH 44313

Lexington 12660 Branford St Los Angeles, CA 91331

Brown Chambless Architects 260 Commerce St #200 Montgomery, AL 36104

Lks Architects, Inc 1848 Independence Sq D Atlanta, GA 30338

Cape Design Engineering 191 Center St #201. Cape Canaveral, FL

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Florida Architects Inc 1217 Delaware Ave Fort Pierce, FL 34950

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Foreman Architects-Engineers, Inc. 525 W New Castle St Zelienople, PA 16063

OGP Architects LLP 102 N Main St Hightstown, NJ 8520

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