W Hoboken offered a unique opportunity for this world-renowned firm. Robert Siegel reminisces about the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and working with his late partner Charles Gwathmey.
Reader & Swartz
Embracing the environment, Reader & Swartz Architects design with a sense of whimsy, modernity and all-around good taste that takes your breath away.
Serving only well-heeded clientele, modernist Seth Howe talks about the real difference between working in New York and L.A., and the greatly anticipated release of HOWELINE.
ARCHITECTURE LEADERS TODAY
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 RY www.architectureleaderstoday.com
Volume II Spring 2011 $24.95 USD $26.30 CAN
ARCHITECTURE LEADERS TODAY 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 RY www.architectureleaderstoday.com
HELMAN SECHRIST | 74 LE AVING BEHIND A LEG AC Y Its the attitude of leaving clients with nothing less than perfection that keeps the Indiana-based architecture firm of HELMAN SECHRIST with plenty of clients.
on the cover
06 Editor’s Note
Gwathmey Siegel Associates
10 Hot Products Directory
The W Hotel in Hoboken, N.J. is an iconic landmark right on the waterfront where Manhattan unfolds before your eyes. Nightlife, dining and shopping are just steps or a ferry ride away. Photo courtesey of Gwathmey Siegel Associates.
132 Advertiser Index NORTHEAST
18 The Galante Architecture Studio From a very young age, Theodore Galante was encouraged to build and create. Today, the firm has a strong focus on exploring three dimensional ideas and values a hands-on approach to learning.
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 RY
ARCHITECTURE LEADERS TODAY
22 Gwathmey Siegel From iconic apartment buildings and hotels to public libraries, medical treatment centers and museums, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects is among New York City’s most esteemed architectural design firms.
Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange
28 Mangan Group
Creative Director Emily Detoro Art Director Stephanie Hess Director of Advertising Julian Vu Production Coordinator Jason Rone Asst. Production Coordinator Elizabeth Macks Photography Editor Ian Palmer Video Director Susan Maybach
Editorial Director Kate Darling Editorial Production Joel Cornell Copy Editor William Finch Asst. Copy Editor Amy Roberts Content Directors Brandon McBride (National), Lisa Dowty (SW), Juan Stewart (NE), Mike Rodgers (W), Cyndel Ponce (Intl) Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Eric Miller, Steve Peters Advertising Sales Director Peter Jostens Advertising Sales Coordinator Patricia O’Brien Advertising Sales Moe Kazemi, David Levi, Tom Nichols, James Banks Publisher Steve Reed Circulation/Reprints Anne Brewer oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 www.architectureleaderstoday.com 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.
4 Spring 2011
A leader in the world of BIM technology, Mangan draws off the experience of its architectural practice to provide a useful, data-rich building information model, giving clients a competitive edge.
30 Elmslie Osler Architect PC Starting her career as a model, Robin Elmslie Osler now focuses on retail architecture and has successfully rebranded many of today’s most popular retail chains such as Anthropologie.
38 STUDIOHOWE A self-described modernist in theory and style, founder and owner Seth Howe draws inspiration from everything around him and is sensitive to how his clients will experience and move through their spaces.
48 Northeast Regional Marketplace WEST
52 TSArchitects TSArchitects has worked hard to become pioneering experts in architectural design software and has succesfully completed many projects with the BIM technology.
54 D.S. Ewing Post-and-beam cabins iconically sum up the old days of the midwest. D.S. Ewing combines the perfect amount of old and new to create breathtaking and sustainable projects for his high-end clientele.
62 Opticos Design Inc. While some see the pain of urban sprawl, Daniel and Karen Parolek and Stefan Pellegrini try to see things a bit differently within the scope of design and have focused their firm toward the beauty and opportunity for change.
114 South Regional Marketplace INTERNATIONAL
66 West Regional Marketplace
116 Linda Neri Baebler Architects & Associates
Being born into a family of construction people and having a natural passion for the arts, Laura Neri Baebler discusses her path to success as a small, woman-owned, minority business owner.
68 Four Points Architectural Services
124 J.A. Matthew Architect, Ltd.
This Ohio-based firm believes that diversity is key in today’s economy and despite never specializing, their experience and quality as architects have brought them many years of growth and success.
72 HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture Never failing to deliver anything less than excellent, this Indiana-based firm believes that design philosophy is important but that design is really about the clients wants and needs.
Joseph Matthew came into the architectural design industry during an era where black men and women of great talent found severe difficulty in engaging themselves within the professional sector.
130 International Marketplace PRODUCTS & SERVICES
46 Resource Furniture
82 Karlsberger Architecture Inc.
Both elegant and stylish, the custom crafted furniture from NYC-based Resource Furniture is the perfect addition to any space-saving design, and with competitive prices its sure to fit the budget.
Focusing on energy efficiency from the get-go, Karlsberger Architects embraces healthcare architecture that is sustainable and beautiful and serves every need of not only the client but their patients as well. What’s more? They recently designed the world’s first LEED-Platinum hospital.
89 Midwest Regional Marketplace SOUTH
92 Reader & Swartz Architects Beth Reader and Chuck Swartz like beautiful spaces that embrace their environment. With a sense of whimsy, modernity and all-around good taste, this firm has a detailed touch that leaves you saying “Wow!”
70 VendRick Construction, Inc. With high annual growth and a backlog of work standing at a worth of about $22 million, the relatively small staff that VendRick Construction, Inc. began with in 1993 has remained the stable foundation of their success to this day.
80 Bob Miller’s Appliance Co. Locally owned since 1981, Bob Miller’s prides itself on bringing projects to life with a variety of exciting, stylish and technologically innovative appliances.
88 Paul J. Ford and Company
104 Alleguez Architecture, Inc.
With professional engineer registrations in all 50 states, Canada, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Paul J. Ford is ready to offer their quality structural engineering services to anyone in need.
Starting in the education architecture industry, this firm has branched out to offer interior design services, now working with federal and local governments, offices and healthcare facilities.
111 McLees, Boggs & Selby Architects
Despite its small size, this firm, based in central Georgia, leverages its skills with BIM software that enables them to manage a significant number of $10 million-plus projects.
It started as just a bright idea, but brothers Jim and Russ Wilson turned that idea into the innovative and stylish phenomena that has people saying “turn up the humid!”
Architecture Leaders Today 5
A little something to go on. It’s a small world, architecture. In just this spring issue of ALT, many of our subjects have crossed professional paths in one way or another. To start, you’ll read about a model-turned-architect who was schooled by former colleagues of the late Charles Gwathmey, whos partner Robert Siegel is also featured. This individual, as well as another featured architect, have both worked on various projects for Kate Spade; the latter recently completed a project at Beekman Place, which is featured again in a separate feature. In a different vein, you’ll read about one architect’s criticism of the Design Build Institute of America, which happens to be headquartered in the same building as ALT publisher, oZ World Media. Intriguing how interconnected industry leaders can be, yet while all are successful in their own right, having such varying approaches to a common goal. Here are some of the most notable quotes from this issue:
“What we all need to understand is that good design takes many forms. I’m tired of hearing people say, ‘I don’t like it, it’s contemporary, or Spanish, or rustic, or Old World.’ Instead they should be asking, ‘was it well executed?’” D.S. Ewing
in the language of a businessman then you can get them interested in green building. If you go the wrong way you won’t even get to bat. And the environment isn’t going to get better unless business is engaged.” Pieri & Associates
“All architects are trained to be generalists and problem solvers. I think we’re best when we keep our pencils sharp and our scope broad… The hardest client to deal with is the one who cannot tell you what he wants.” Helman Sechrist
"Success is not just about changing what professionals know, but knowing how to rely on the basic, ageless principles of good planning and adapting them to today’s world. Sun, wind, rain, snow, oceans, rivers, flora, fauna and earth are still with us today. Humans will always need to consider these basics and plan ahead. A brighter future will be one that relies more on conserving natural resources and reducing energy use. Future growth, development and the success of landscape architecture will be with those who listen to the land best.” Meisner + Associates
“There are a lot of hotel architects out there who do what we do all day long. It’s not rocket science.” LLW
“If you design a building to be energy efficient and to produce its own energy, it’s much better than greenwashing with recycled windows or reclaimed wood flooring. While using sustainable materials is important, in the end it’s a focus on energy.” Zach | de Vito
“Many of my colleagues ask how I put up with residential clients, like a couple or family who disagree concerning one infinitesimal detail or another. I’ll turn around and wonder how they work with conglomerates behind walls of red tape.” Bickford & Co “Many clients are reducing the hierarchy within offices. There are still basic work stations, but those are evolving. Nobody wants to work in the infamous cube.” McMahon
“Necessity is the mother of invention. And with a diverse array of project types, the more eccentric and difficult the clients’ problems are, the more we are driven to find the highest quality solution, which gives our clients a much better building at the end of the day.” LNB
“When I graduated from Howard, we were taught to think that if young black architects wanted survival, we had to be twice as good as our white counterparts. There were no intrinsic racial element to this; it was entirely factual.” J. A. Matthews
“Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Venice are like facets of someone’s delirious mind. There is more freedom in L.A. to explore and experiment, while New York is more conservative.” STUDIOHOWE “I don’t want to design a building that’s bad for the environment. Architects are supposed to be optimistic and positive people…. If you talk
TODD WEAVER email@example.com
William graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. He writes for a variety of trade publications in the U.S. and abroad.
Joel uses his background in technical writing to translate complex jargon into vivid narratives. Past works include projects with the State Department, the DOD, World Bank and many retail giants.
6 Spring 2010
Anne’s writing experiences have taken her places that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. With a B.A in Creative Writing from Tulane University, Anne freelances for a variety of publications.
With a diverse background in B2B magazine writing, ranging from framing to fashion, Marylyn brings a unique perspective to Industry Leaders Today. Her assignments have taken her everywhere, including New York Fashion Week
Based in Atlanta, Felicia is a freelancer. A University of Maryland graduate, she has contributed to several magazines including Today’s Chemist at Work.
Joan’s experiences as a writer have taken her places that wouldn’t have been possible in other careers. Her success is evident in the awards and recognitions her writing has received.
Rebecca enjoys a career of writing about critical issues and prominent business leaders of our time. Her work has been recognized both locally and nationally.
Amelia earned both a B.S. in journalism and anthropology from the University of Texas. Currently based in London, she writes for a variety of print and online publications both in Europe and the U.S.
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we scoured the Energy,Tech, building and design markets to bring you our favorite new products to line your projects .
tetrad mega by Brave Space Design http://www.bravespacedesign.com/
These Brooklyn-based designers are hitting home with that bit of inner nerd in all of us. These environmentally sustainable, green-built shelves come block by block, so you can customize your own. They’re also offered in colored or bamboo finishes and in large and small sizes. The key detail to these 11-inch deep shelves is their beveled edges. They give the piece an “unreal” optical quality, taking your shelves beyond the realm of practicality and into art. Reversible and interchangeable, these sturdy blocks will provide for endless stacking configurations and a lifetime of enjoyment.
10 Spring 2011
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Not only can you get these tiles in any color or pattern but Florâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modular square carpet system can be arranged in any way that suits your space, making the options endless and available for your ever changing design needs. And, with some of the lowest VOC emissions in the residential industry, as well as using varying degrees of recycled materials you can feel good about using this product!
2 over the range by KOBE http://www.koberangehoods.com/
The sleak, stainless-steel body and the softly curving glass canopy make this wall-mounted, circulating hood an attractive addition to any kitchen. Not only is it pretty, but its quiet too. Operating at a reduced sound level than most other kitchen hoods, you will be able to cook in peace. Architecture Leaders Today 11
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crazy cool windows by GlassX http://www.glassx.ch/
Using high-tech salt-hydrate phase change material (PCM), this Swissmade window glaze deflects high-angle sunlight and keeps your rooms cool. The PCM technology stores energy generated from the sun that builds up on the exterior of the window and reuses it to either heat or cool the inside of the building. Used in Europe for the past decade, this cool, new, hyper-efficient product is soon to make its debut in North America.
12 Spring 2011
drip, drop by canlis glass http://www.canlisglass.com/
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This organic blown glass raindrop chanelier is one of the many artfully designed and beautifully crafted glass works by JeanPierre Canlis. This 8-piece chandelier is a dramatic piece for any room. Hanging from a 36” round metal base, the raindrops are designed to be illuminated from the exterior providing the brightest rain you’ve ever seen.
by tempachair www.tempachair.com/heated-hammock.html
Maybe its been a really long winter... but we think this is the greatest product ever! Now, you can extend your outdoor enjoyment to days and nights when it’s a little chillier than normal to relax in a hammock. With carbon fiber heating elements sewn into the comfortable quilted fabric that warms from the shoulder to lower back, you can stay cozy day and night. This snazzy hammock fits two people and the battery operated thermostat allows for 3 different warmth settings.
Architecture Leaders Today 13
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7 baby, light my fire
designed by Paul Cohen manufactured by EcoSmart Fire http://www.ecosmartfire.com/en/home
Revolutionizing the world of fireplace design, EcoSmart creates beautiful, contemporary fireplaces designed with a futuristic appeal to complement your contemporary decor. The best part? These denatured ethanol burning fireplaces are ventless, allowing for use in just about any space. 14 Spring 2011
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8 staff pick!
donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t throw stones by SolTech http://www.soltechenergy.com/en/
After years of research, the Swiss company SolTech Energy developed these new, sleek and modern passive solar glass roofing tiles using their patented solar thermal light absorption technology. The glass tiles not only look amazing atop your home but have a longer life expectancy than conventional clay or concrete roofing materials. The system is designed to be integrated into the houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing energy system whether it is ground source heat pump, air heat pump, pellet boiler, oil boiler or electric boiler.
Architecture Leaders Today 15
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9 paper craze by Graham and Brown http://www.grahambrown.com
Bound to strike your fancy no matter your taste or style, Graham and Brown is on a mission to revive the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love of patterns. From simple elegance to funky florals to whimsical color schemes, their newest collections bring you affordable designer wallpaper that will make you never want to leave your home again. 16 Spring 2011
NORTHE A ST
INSIDE: THE GALANTE ARCHITECTURE STUDIO, GWATHMEY SIEGEL, MANGAN GROUP, ELMSLIE OSLER ARCHITECT PC, STUDIOHOWE, RESOURCE FURNITURE
The W Hoboken Hotel & Residences, Hoboken, N.J. Photo courtesy of Gwathmey Seigel Associates.
GALANTE ARCHITECTURE STUDIO
THE SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION OF FABRICATION AND DESIGN
by Joel Cornell
grew up in a family of builders and makers,” said Theodore Galante, principal and founder of The Galante Architecture Studio. “We had a wood and steel shop in our basement where we made stuff. That’s what we did to entertain ourselves. We started learning how to make things and how to use tools very early. I knew how to weld by the time I was nine years old and everything just progressed from there.” With a knack for drawing and knowledge of materials and building it was just the natural flow of events that led to a career in architecture. Galante pinpoints his career in architecture to his first job between high-school and college while working in a cabinet shop. “I was detailing all the cabinets for shop drawings, which are then submitted to architects for review,” Galante said. “For one set I was working on, the architect called me in to meet with him and he offered me a job.” With only three people at the firm, Galante could be fully involved in all the pieces of the puzzle, from helping with early stages of design and model-making all the way 18 Spring 2011
though site construction. It was three years later, armed with a hefty amount of practical experience, that Galante pursued a formal education in architecture. It’s from this background that The Galante Architecture Studio was born and exists today, 12 years later, with a strong focus on exploring three-dimensional ideas and valuing a hands-on approach that encourages intimate involvement with projects. “We have a shop here which allows us the ability to explore ideas in prototype form and develop them,” Galante said. “That was the premise on which the firm was founded. We have evolved over time by relative scale and complexity but we started out doing very small projects. While project size has increased, we are still comfortable keeping small projects in the portfolio. By nature, they require us to tinker with the details, which are where things really come together.” The range of services the firm provides is extensive, ranging from master-planning, full building design, to corporate interiors. They also focus on designing specialty fabrication pieces. Galante believes their ability
to integrate custom fabricated pieces in a fairly atypical way sets them apart. He cites the Silk Road project as an example of his company’s ingenuity. “It is a product of digital fabrication,” he said. “In an early stage we met with fabricators that could cut and treat materials in certain ways and we designed to their tools and equipment. It’s a way of bringing fabricators and manufacturers into a discussion early on and integrating their process into what we are doing. That’s fairly different from other firms that are designing to a standard form and not necessarily thinking about how fabrication is done. We take the standard and tweak it slightly and it comes out of a history of knowing how to get things built.” Working in the Northeast, primarily Boston, New York City and Delaware, presents a unique set of design challenges for the firm. “It’s a lot different than working in a warmer climate like Florida,” Galante said. “Energy efficiency is key around here. People are really concerned with how a building performs. The lifecycle of a building is very different. You have extremely cold temperatures in the winter and then 100-degree temperatures in the summer. Buildings have to be able to perform and be flexible enough to withstand those kinds of extremes. As a result, all the components that make up a building are going to be bigger, thicker and heavier; trying to get them to be elegant, lighter, smaller
and thinner takes a bit of effort. There’s a lot of negotiating with manufacturers, clients and fabricators to see that we can get these things to work in a way that isn’t customarily done. At the end of the day, it’s the pursuit of an elegant design solution that can stand up to extremes.” One small example of this approach can be seen in a project currently underway, where they are installing a new 15-by-45 foot ceiling window on a fourth-story loft. “The most common approach uses big, thick, aluminum mullions, which make it look unconsidered and overbuilt, as opposed to our approach, which uses smaller steel mullions and larger panes of glass with higher insulation values,” Galante said. “The materials, details and approach will result in a more elegant project.” As part of focusing on climate challenges, Galante’s firm holds sustainability in constant focus. Each project is a study in how to use rapidly renewable materials, improve air quality, reduce heat island effect and more. It’s not uncommon to see FSC certified wood OPPOSITE AND THIS PAGE: Ashby Free Public Library, Ashby, Mass. The Ashby Free Public Library is a passive solar building intended to serve as a model for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The project is an 8,000 sq. ft. addition to an existing masonry library. The two-story 14,500 sq. ft. structure houses a children’s library on the lower level. The upper level contains the young adult, main adult, diverse media, periodicals and director’s office areas. The resulting efficient plan separates children and adult programming, while allowing integration on various levels. The South facing glazed portion acts as a passive solar element, allowing the warmth of winter sun to enter, with shading applied for the summer months. A combination of cork flooring, low VOC compounds and FSC certified wood siding allows the building to soften it’s environmental impact. Wetland site conditions resulted in complicated regulatory review and approvals at the local, state and federal levels. The cantilevered stacks and reading room hover above wetlands and provide shaded parking to reduce the need for cars to use air conditioning as they drive away. Photos by Ron Cowie.
Architecture Leaders Today 19
or some similar material as standard course in their projects. “We work to get solar panels and solar thermal hot water systems installed,” he said. “We are always highly energy-conscious and we work with clients to make sure that comes together. In all renovation projects involving a building envelope, the roof has gone from black to white, reducing heat island effect – including our own office building in Cambridge.” On a day-to-day basis, Galante is involved in every aspect of the firm. With an in-house staff of six LEED Accredited Professionals, there is a very tight-knit atmosphere with everyone involved in all aspects of the projects. It’s a 20 Spring 2011
very hands-on approach and reminiscent of the architecture experience of Galante’s youth. “There is an influential learning curve here,” he said. “People understand all aspects of what it takes to put a project together. I hire people with knowledge sets that keep the firm advancing, and serve the best needs of the client. I have a guy who was a carpenter for many years and is very good at thinking through how something is built. He understands a wall section from the inside out. I have others who were trained in foreign countries who might think about history with a bit more perspective, still other that focus more on computer modeling, helping the client understand how the entry sequence
THIS PAGE: Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road, Boston. As a gathering place for musicians and executive offices for Silk Road, this project has to bridge two worlds. The digitally fabricated stacked wall replicates the silk road trade route. Production was developed by tracing the body of a cello, constantly trying to define the edges. The drawings were then stacked one on top the other, resulting in a porous divider. The wall divides as much as it connects; musician gathering space to creative planning staff. The Silk Road project is one of many strong links between Harvard’s new campus on the Boston side of the Charles River and its more traditional Cambridge home. This portion of campus is starting to ask new questions with unexpected results. Photos by Paolo Carissimi.
of the building unfolds.” Like everyone across the country, the economy has impacted business for Galante, mostly increasing the competition. Firms that were once commissioned for much larger projects are now going after projects of all sizes, increasing the number of candidates a client has to choose from. “It’s been a tougher haul to pull in projects because we’re competing with firms that have a higher name recognition, and that have been around for 30 or 40 years. Clients are less willing to take risks with lesser known firms like ours. However, because we work directly with fabricators we are able to control costs much earlier than in other firms. We
are able to safely manage the client’s money in a much more stable way; by sorting out how things are going to be made while they are simultaneously being put into the drawings - not after.” Despite the increased competition, the firm has been fairly stable and growing, citing 2008 and 2009 as two of their best years. They are currently planning some larger projects like an Amtrak train repair facility, slated to be 1,400-feet long - the size of the Empire State Building lying down. “It represents a scale shift that I never imagined when I started the practice, but one that we are comfortably embracing,” Galante said. ALT Architecture Leaders Today 21
Big Name, Big Projects and a Beautiful Outcome BUILDING UP NEW YORK CITY’S SKYLINE IS JUST ONE OF THE STOPS ALONG THE WAY TO GREATNESS FOR GWATHMEY SIEGEL & ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS by Anne Brouilette
Walking around New York City is like flipping through a portfolio of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects’ past work. And that portfolio spans the city -- from iconic apartment buildings to some of the city’s most prestigious hotels, from public libraries to culturally prominent museums, Gwathmey Siegel is among city’s most well-known and diverse architecture firms. Robert Siegel and Charles Gwathmey were high school friends before business, who reunited while apprenticing at the same architecture firm, Edward Larrabee Barnes. “We went from employees of a firm to actually creating our own firm, in part thanks to the work given to us by the firm we had been working for,” Siegel said of forming Gwathmey Siegel, which opened in 1968 “When I joined the firm, its embryonic state had already been started,” Siegel said. The firm began designing private residences before branching out. “We began to take on university buildings,” Siegel said “Early in the firm’s career, we received national design awards from the AIA for work done on the State University of New York’s Purchase campus and Princeton University’s Whig Hall, a specialized student center.” The firm has grown considerably since then having completed a wide variety of projects, including the Morgan Stanley World Headquarters in Times Square, a 52-story office building with over one million sq. ft., the Basketball Hall of Fame, numerous university-related projects, commercial development and private residential projects. “It’s always been a non-specialized firm,” Siegel said. “We’ve enjoyed doing a wide variety of work. We never really wanted to specialize in a particular building type. It’s been a practice where we’ve been dealing with specific usergroups that are going to occupy the buildings, as well as a developer-oriented practice, where buildings are built and then tenants come at a later date.” From universities to museums to multi-family THIS PAGE & OPPOSITE: The W Hoboken Hotel & Residences, Hoboken, N.J. Unusual for a hotel of this size, GSAA designed both the interior and the exterior. Photos courtesy of Gwathmey Seigel.
22 Spring 2011
condos and hotels, each new assignment is handled by a team who has years of experience in those fields. Recently, the firm completed the Setai Fifth Avenue, a 57-story hotel and condominium. Siegel said that to ensure that the building is sympathetic to its historical surroundings, the firm composed the façade out of stone and recessed the windows to relate the 10-story base building to its landmarked neighbors. The 57-story tower is set away from the street and topped with a dramatic crown which marks the building’s peak on the New York City skyline. Several other architects also approached the project, but none could get their design approved by the various commissions who are involved with historic sites, Siegel said “You develop a reputation for excellence in certain building types,” Siegel said. “Invariably, if you’ve done a number of wonderful buildings, for instance we’ve done a lot of very interesting libraries, you find yourself on the list for new library projects.” Gwathmey Siegel has completed many museums, as well. One of the projects for which they’re best known is their work on the
Guggenheim Museum expansion, a building known as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces. The project included the addition of the annex building and the below-ground expansion, in addition to the complete renovation of the interior. When working on the United States Mission to the United Nations, a 25-story tower designed to very specific security criteria, the firm collaborated with the Foundation for Art & Preservation of Embassies (FAPE), an organization that brings artwork to embassies. “Art is a universal language,” Siegel said. “It becomes a great diplomatic tool. The U.S. Mission is a wonderful project.” Traditionally architecture firms design the base building while a hospitality oriented interior designer is brought in to design the interior of rooms and public spaces. But more recently, Gwathmey Siegel has been asked to work on the interiors as well as the buildings. For the W in Hoboken, N.J., a waterfront hotel facing Manhattan, they designed the building and its interiors. “It’s very unique in the hospitality world. This was a very good opportunity for us and it’s been very, very successful,” Siegel said.
Architecture Leaders Today 23
24 Spring 2011
THIS SPREAD: The W Hoboken Hotel & Residences. Photo courtesy of Gwathmey Seigel.
Architecture Leaders Today 25
THIS PAGE: The Cleveland State University Student Center. The central concourse of the building acts as a connector between the street on one side and the campus on the other. OPPOSITE PAGE: The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Calif. GSAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new addition adds 125,000 sq. ft. of exhibition state. Photos courtesy of GSAA.
26 Spring 2011
“Our engagement with the client is intense,” Siegel said. “It’s similar to designing a house for a family. You start with an early discussion about program and use, and you work together on solutions, then you go through the process of helping them occupy and use the building. It’s a close collaboration with a client.” Siegel defines their style as “classical modernist,” not overloaded with historical design references, but not forsaking history completely. “There are many situations that welcome our approach to architecture, particularly within the campus-context or cityscape when you’re making buildings adjacent to many other buildings.” The firm’s senior associates oversee and lead the various teams that are working on each project. At a high, Gwathmey Siegel employed 75-80 architects, though they usually average about 55-60, with 25-30 active projects happening at any given time. Each architect is assigned to a smaller studio, of which there are usually eight or nine, and those studios work vertically on all aspects of a project. Siegel prefers this vertical studio approach to a horizontal one, where the firm would have design architects, technical architects and interior designers all working on many projects at once. At the firm, each architect gets to see their vision realized by working on it from start until completion. Despite being one of the most internationally recognized architecture firms, with a lifetime achievement award under their belts, Siegel and Gwathmey always kept a hands-on approach. Working at a large, shared desk, the two would collaborate on designs and ideas before bringing them to the rest of their team. “Charles and I and an associate would be the nucleus for the project,” Siegel said. “As the project developed, and our relationship with the client developed, one of us would continue close collaboration, all the way through completion.” That means making all the major presentations, drawing and designing, and working on detail-refinement. Siegel has been the partner-in-charge of many of the studio’s larger, more complex projects. Gwathmey preferred to focus on smaller projects with a single, strong client, concentrating on residences and select museums. But for each project, the two teamed-up at the beginning to get the job off the ground. “We would conceptualize these ideas on how to approach the design of the building together, and as the design became more developed, we would split, mostly by our different personality types.” “The whole idea of synthesizing a design, and working with many different user-groups, which you find on a large project, was something I enjoyed doing and something that Charles didn’t enjoy as much.” “Charles was remarkably good at working with very accomplished, single people with very strong personalities who were accustomed to pretty much running their own businesses. He could relate to them very well and he could get them to understand a better way to do things.
He was extraordinary at that.” The two also split up office duties in the same manner. Gwathmey was the figurehead, working with editors and writers, being the public face for the company, while Siegel handled the in-office duties, including billing, income and staffing. “I was naturally more of a management oriented type of person, so that was easy for me to do. Charles enjoyed being the figurehead, which he did incredibly well. The division of labor happened so naturally.” Siegel credits this to their long history together. Having met in high school, where they both played varsity sports together, there was a huge amount of respect for each other. “We enjoyed seeing each other and working with each other. It was pretty special.” Charles Gwathmey passed away in 2009 of esophageal cancer. “He was an iconic figure, a wonderful communicator and rain-maker. The loss of Gwathmey has been difficult, especially in combination with the tough economy.” Gwathmey had a strong hand in creating the internationally recognized firm that exists today, and his legacy isn’t going anywhere soon. The firm
has taken on new work in the past few years and has been able to complete their projects. “We’re a smaller operation now than we were ten years ago. But I’m optimistic,” Siegel said. Looking to the future, Siegel wants to ensure that the firm is recognized for its incredible talent, despite not having the legendary Gwathmey with them anymore. “This is a very strong design-oriented office. “It has not been publicized as much that way, the work has often been categorized as that of Charles Gwathmey. But it’s really the work of Charles, me and all of our incredible architects as well. We’re good at making interesting, strong works of architecture, but ones that feel comfortable within their context. It’s inventive and often unexpected, but it’s not extreme to the extent that the user and the client have a very difficult time accepting why it looks the way it looks.” As the recipient of the AIA’s highest honor, the Firm Award, for “approaching every project with a fresh eye, a meticulous attention to detail, a keen appreciation for environmental and economic concerns and a strong belief in collaborative effort,” Gwathmey Siegel represents a unique approach to design that has set it in a class of its own. ALT Architecture Leaders Today 27
| adaptive reuse
A LEADER IN BUILDING AND REMODELING THROUGH BIM TECHNOLOGY by Felicia Willis THIS PAGE: Mangan Group studio. Both the interior and exterior of the studio was renovated creating a functional, open space for the architecture firm. Photo by John Mangan. OPPOSITE PAGE (LEFT): Hilbert Residence. Mangan Group took on this prarie-style re-do of a 1950s rambler. Photo by David Kidd. (RIGHT) Private residence on Carlton Lane. BOTTOM: Plank Residence. The completed home, a new build on an infill lot. Using BIM allowed the firm to get a clear visualization early in the project. Photo by David Kidd.
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John Mangan has architecture in his blood. Raised As the company continued to grow and expand with in Queens, N.Y., he began working with his father, an the addition of BIM, so did the projects. architect, at the age of 17. After receiving a bachelor’s “In 2005, I bought a historic building in Takoma Park, in architecture from Penn State, Mangan ventured Md.,” Mangan said. “We converted it into our office to the Washington, D.C. area where he sharpened and used a lot of sustainable concepts and products his craft working at other firms, before founding his such as cork floors, showers, bike racks and low VOC own, Mangan Group. paints and carpets. We put our money where our The company began modestly from the basement of mouth is in terms of using sustainable designs and his suburban Washington, D.C. home in 1995. Mangan products for our own offices.” Group primarily took on residential work in those first In 2008, Mangan Group won the Maryland National years, and then branched into the commercial world Capital Building Industry Custom Builder Awards’ in the early 2000s. (MNCBIA) Environmental Award for these renovations. “We’ve managed to develop a decent niche in both A year later, won the Peerless Rockville Preservation the high-end, custom new home and remodeling Award for a historically sensitive renovation and markets in the Washington, D.C. suburbs,” Mangan addition on another project. said. “In 2003 we converted the company to BIM, “I believe there will be increased pressure and incenwhich set us apart from more than 95 percent of the tive to renovate existing structures, especially in the firms at the time.” Northeast, where existing infrastructure is already in BIM technology’s impact on architecture was place,” Mangan said. “Over the last three years a much fairly dramatic. “We were well ahead of the curve larger portion of our work has involved working with on that,” Mangan said. Drawing off the experience of its architectural practice to provide a useful, data- HESS MECHANICAL/COMFORT SYSTEMS USA rich BIM, Mangan Group Hess Mechanical, a full service mechanical contractor licensed in Maryland, gives clients a competitive Virginia and the District of Columbia, has been providing both plan specification edge in an increasingly chal- and design/build services in commercial and industrial construction applications lenging real estate market. since 1980. Hess Mechanical self-performs plumbing, HVAC and sheet metal work. While BIM is typically used All work is performed in-house, from coordination of drawings and prefabrication of pipe and duct systems, to on-site preparation and installation, allowing Hess in larger projects, Mangan Mechanical to maintain control over a project’s quality, safety and scheduling. Their has become so proficient technical experts design, install and maintain plumbing and HVAC systems for that they use it even the office buildings, hospitals, universities, laboratories, government installations and smallest residential projects. hotels. For more info visit www.comfortsystemsusa.com.
existing structures to one extent or another.â&#x20AC;? Mangan Group has collected other awards from MNCBIA, including Best Custom Home of 2003.The company teamed with builder Rosenthal Homes for the Best Kitchen, Bell Builders for Best Custom Home 3500-5000 sq. ft. and Patrick K. Keating Inc. for Best Custom Home Under 3,500 sq. ft. Mangan Group is a member of the AIA, NAHB and MNCBIA. The company is eager to establish recognized leadership within the green building sector and is moving forward in terms of green and sustainable designs; two of the seven Mangan employees are LEED Accredited Professionals. John Mangan said that he and his team all
believe that the architect should be as an important part of the project as the other players; and, that bringing the project in on time and on budget is also his main concern. Mangan Group is an efficient architecture firm that makes optimal use of technology to reduce design time and streamline project delivery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Providing solutions to our clients design needs is our reason for being in business,â&#x20AC;? Mangan said. According to Mangan, the company is now developing a method for going into existing commercial buildings and streamlining the space, so that it runs more efficiently and cost effectively. ALT
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30 Spring 2011
Changing Design, Designing Change Openness, collaboration and an honest sense of clarity have come to define the legacy of Elmslie Osler Architect. by Joel Cornell
Despite her upbringing in a family of worldrenowned architects, it wasn’t until nearly a decade into her modeling career that Robin Elmslie Osler took her first steps towards what is today her highly successful New York-based architecture firm, EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect. With a vast residential portfolio and work involving the rebranding of many of today’s most popular retail chains, Osler has built up
her ancestral legacy of brilliance through a variety of projects. Osler’s grandfather, Emil Lorch, was the founding dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Architecture. Her great uncle, George Grant Elmslie, was the most commissioned founding architect of the Prairie School of Design, second only to Frank Lloyd Wright. Her father, who just last year closed his firm
at age 88, and brother are award-winning architects, and her sister is an accomplished interior designer. “I was raised in this environment that was very intense in terms of architectural awareness,” Osler said. “At the time, I was young and thinking of becoming an architect, there weren’t any female role models working as architects. Honestly, the idea never really entered my mind. I knew I was interested in art and design, however, so after graduating from high school, I attended Kenyon College in Ohio to complete a degree in art.” Two years into her degree, Osler attended Temple University ’s esteemed Tyler School of Art, pursuing a specialization in metals and smallscale sculptures. However, just after finishing a year at Temple, Osler realized that she still was not entirely fulfilled. She moved to Philadelphia to begin her modeling career, initially working for famed fashion designer Oscar de la Renta as his house model. A short two years later, she moved to Europe, modOPPOSITE PAGE: Anthropologie, Burlingame, Calif. This store feaeling for designers and tures ipe wood dowels, copper rods, stacked crenellated concrete, punctured steel screening and translucent resin inserts. Photo by photographers such as Helmut Newton. Elizabeth Felicella. “I lived in Paris for about three and a THIS PAGE: (RIGHT) Anthropologie, Alberquerque, N.M. This store half years, before living in Italy for five features an entry of reclaimed barn wood and blackened steel. years,” Osler said. “Living in Europe, I Photo by Robert Reck. (LEFT) The façade of the Anthropologie was able to travel extensively and I took store in Huntsville Ala. features a 2,000 sq. ft. living wall installation. Architecture Leaders Today 31
in a lot of architecture. It was a great part of my heritage and I always held a passion for it. Much of the modeling work I did in Europe was in some of the most incredible and architecturally significant spaces; I only realized why that was when I returned to school.” After a decade of working internationally as a model, Osler was ready to move on to the next stage in her career. After an intensive architecture program with Columbia University that had her working with some of New York City’s finest design firms, she at last returned to finish her undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Virginia. Upon graduation, she went on to obtain her master’s degree from the School of Architecture at Yale University in 1990. A stint at a small local firm was quickly followed up by a job in New York City with a new firm founded by two former colleagues of renowned architect Charles Gwathmey. Shortly after leaving this firm, Osler was approached to act as the architect for a local townhouse 32 Spring 2011
renovation. This would be the unofficial beginnings of her firm, EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect. In 1996, upon the completion of the townhouse renovation, EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect was officially open for business. One of Osler’s first commercial projects was a 4,000 sq. ft. combination design studio/showroom/manufacturing space for world-famous fashion and accessory designer Kate Spade. During these early years of the firm, Osler taught courses in design at Yale University, City College in New York and Parson’s School of Design. “We act as a full service firm, from schematic design all the way through construction administration,” Osler said. “Additionally, much of our work in the retail and commercial sectors has extended to include rebranding through design.” Much of EOA’s rebranding work began through their projects with women’s apparel brand Anthropologie. The company had been working with the same design firm since their beginnings, and needed a fresh point of view. “The company was already quite success-
ful, and we had to work within the confines of their brand,” Osler said. “We were still able to push their design vocabulary in a more contemporary direction. We did 14 of their stores, and other retailers began to seek us out when they wanted to refresh their image. The biggest difference in the way we work in retail is that we think like architects, and not like designers or merchandisers. We think more spatially and sculpturally, with a deeper analysis of the retail process.” Central City East in downtown Los Angeles is colloquially and infamously known as Skid Row. The neighborhood is generally considered to house the largest population of homeless people in the U.S. The per capita income stands around $14,210, with 41.8 percent of the population below the poverty line. It is also the location of one of Osler’s most beloved projects, an urban farming project known as The Food Chain. “The Food Chain is an architectural and planning intervention which aims to eradicate hunger in urban areas. Utilizing existing infrastructure, The Food Chain includes a series of vertical ‘food walls’ capable of providing the homeless and economically disadvantaged with immediate access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Food Chain is designed as a green path, comprised of a network of vertical farming walls
for growing produce and kitchen/education hubs that serve as community centers. Included within the vertical farming walls are storage containers for gardening tools that also serve to display donor names and identify the project. There is also a “mobile kitchen” element in the form of pedicabs retrofitted with food prep surfaces that travel to local neighborhoods showing residents how to prepare meals with food from the walls. “The walls are made up of a total of 180 growing panels with approximately 4,000 fruit and vegetable plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, leeks, spinach, onions, melons and a variety of other plants which will rotate as the seasons change. Storage boxes for tools, seeds, and soil are installed on the walls. Anyone can harvest the food, free of charge at any time. The kitchen and classroom facilities which are within walking distance of the walls are inserted into existing vacant or underused structures such as garages and loading docks, where local chefs and educators will teach workshops and classes that are free and open to the public.” “The community in Skid Row has grown upon a foundation of service for the homeless,” Osler said. “We worked closely with California Polytechnic State University to make sure that
THIS SPREAD: Anthropologie, Huntsville, Ala. The façade features a 2,000 square foot living wall installation and is clad in whitewashed slats of reclaimed barn wood inspired by old fences found on farms in the South. At night light shines through the wood slats to create a glowing effect. Photos by Robert Reck.
Architecture Leaders Today 33
(ABOVE) Kurkova Residence, New York, N.Y. The dressing room with a bench upholstered with Marimekko fabric. Photos by Frank Oudeman.
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the food grown on The Food Chain would be healthy and flush as we were installing the plant containers. I will never forget standing in one of these courtyards in Skid Row and watching as hummingbirds and butterflies began to appear in the area. I thought they were beautiful, but the residents and workers were absolutely stunned; no one who worked or lived in that neighborhood had ever seen such a creature in the area before. “An administrator from the school where one of the walls is located related a story to me about a young kid who had never tasted a tomato. He had only ever encountered one on his McDonald’s hamburger, and was wondering what that shiny, round red thing on the wall was. He bit into it like an apple and immediately his eyes grew wide and he didn’t know what to say. The first thing he asked was if he could take the tomato home and show it to his parents. An experience like this could go on to entirely change that kid’s idea of what food is and what it should be. That, to me, is far more fulfilling than any design or building could be,
no matter how gorgeous or stunning. That is what architecture should be.” Summarily, the modern vision that embodies EOA is best expressed in the words of Osler’s great uncle George Grant Elmslie: “Shall we be cultured aesthetes and dilly-dally with our jobs or put on our dungarees and learn the significance of architecture by laying stone and brick for awhile, mixing mortar and sawing wood. Learn of the strength and durability of materials; know of society and its myriad needs and aspirations. Read fairy stories; read Keats, Shelley and Whitman. Absorb a sound and understanding knowledge of the incredible inventions of our day and go to it. There are no fixed formulas; no dry standards; no such thing as composition. There is only one thing to achieve and that is an architectural organism. Composition is dead; an organization is alive... vivid... responsive to conditions; and eloquent of the spiritual association of function and form. Travel the frank and courageous road whereon may be seen the real contributions to ages gleaming in the sunshine.” ALT
Architecture Leaders Today 35
THIS PAGE: (TOP) The Kurkova Residence, New York, N.Y. The master bedroom. (MIDDLE) The living area of the Kurkova residence features warm Brazilian teak that covers the floors and wraps up the walls and onto the ceiling. (BOTTOM) The kitchen in the Kurkova home. OPPOSITE PAGE: A 19 ft. long cowhide storage unit guides guests from the entry to the public spaces of the apartment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the dining, kitchen and living areas. Red suede lines a niche that can be exposed or partially concealed depending on the position of the sliding translucent glass panel. Photos by Frank Oudeman.
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NORWEGIAN WOOD FLOORS Leading the industry in providing environmentally sustainable and attractive wood flooring in the New York area, Norwegian Wood takes pride in the floors they install and service for commercial and residential clients throughout the five boroughs and parts of the Tri-State area. As a wood flooring contractor, Norwegian Wood works with homeowners, architects, designers, management companies and general contractors to deliver not only a quality product, but personalized service when installing and refinishing wood floors. A component of Norwegian Wood’s success is the working relationship they have with Elmslie Osler Architects. Many of Elmslie Osler’s larger wood flooring projects such as 1965 Broadway, 103 Greene Street, and 92 Laight Street were contracted with Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Wood believes that working with Elmslie Osler is important because of their shared vision for designing high-end products that are both conscious of environmental impact and of high quality. Many of Elmslie Osler’s projects are designed for highend needs which Norwegian Wood not only delivers, but delivers at a price competitive to its’ competitors Elmslie Osler’s discerning eye for detail has given Norwegian Wood the opportunity to work with clients who see the value in using FSC certified and sustainable woods. Norwegian Wood also encourages using environmentally conscious products like ones that have low or zero VOCs. Some of the low VOC and sustainable brands that Norwegian Wood uses are WOCA finishes, Osmo Polyx and Rubio Monocoat. For more information on how Norwegian Wood can be of service, please visit www.norwegianwoodfloors. com – or call 718-218-8880. Architecture Leaders Today 37
| custom homes
HOWE to build your dreams
by Rebecca Rodriguez
modernist architect, seth howe, looks to art, photography and philosophy for inspiring designs 38 Spring 2011
Architecture Leaders Today 39
| custom homes
eth Howe is not just an architect. He’s a designer who strives to imbue a rich, yet simple, open beauty through paintings, photography and philosophy. A self-described modernist in theory and style, he’s sensitive to how his clients will experience and move through their homes. With a keen eye to the way spaces are filled (or remain empty), Howe is interested in how light and a person’s five senses effect their perception of a space. His unique sensitivity to art and perceptions of beauty allow
PREVIOUS, THIS & OPPOSITE PAGES: The Frank Residence, Sag Harbor, N.Y. A new 4,000 sq. ft. waterfront residence on Sag Harbor Bay. Materials include stucco, mahogany, stainless steel, blackened steel, cladding and limestone. The first level features an entry courtyard, entry hall, two guest suites, media room and a pool. The second floor features the main living spaces and the master suite, accessible via stairs or elevator. Photos by Chris Foster.
him to explore design on an intuitive level. “The objective of my architecture is to explore how one experiences the physical world through space and time. Functional requirements aside, architecture needs to inspire and make people feel optimistic,” Howe said. “There is an underlying theme in my work about perception, movement and time. Architecture should unfold and reveal itself as one moves through space; it should be an exciting and dynamic experience.” Howe caters to well-heeled clients mostly in the Hamptons, New York City and Los Angeles, as well as high-profile clients like Kate Spade and Gwen Stefani. He maintains his open, free-flowing style while incorporating the specific desire of each client. He often uses
natural woods, leather, art glass, nickel and custom metalwork, with an eye towards clean and refined detailing. The recently completed Frank Residence, a 4,000 sq. ft. waterfront home located in Sag Harbor, N.Y. was a “dream” for Howe, the client having embraced his vision at the outset. The streamlined design features clean and simple details, with full glass walls and sliding doors which offer seamless sunset views over the bay. Elements like the glass elevator that rises up through a mahogany core, the walled entry court that protects the first floor from the street and the custom home theatre and multi-room music and video system designed by AV Design Group make the house feel intimate and comfortable, yet still luxurious.
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To Howe, creating stunning designs is just as important as how they speak to the personality of each client. On a 2008 Sagaponack, N.Y. project, his largest residential project coming in at $4 million, Howe tackled the renovation of an 1820s farmhouse and the design of a 5,000 sq. ft. modern addition. The addition was designed to be the main living quarters and took aesthetic cues from the traditional style of the old farmhouse. The farmhouse was then converted into a guest house with sitting rooms throughout. Howe opened up both floor plans to take advantage of the natural light, embracing his modernist vision while still complementing the traditional accents. The project has been recognized locally for its eco-friendly elements and overall design.
Architecture Leaders Today 41
| custom homes
Before STUDIOHOWE became the awardwinning residential firm it is today, Howe focused largely on commercial work. The firm was started in 2001 and currently has two offices - one in East Hampton, N.Y. and the other in Los Angeles, Calif. One of his first large clients was Starwood Hotels, designing for their Sheraton, Westin and W branches, which enabled him to expand his office to 16 employees. His largest project was a 2002 Sheraton Hotel lobby with a budget of $22 million. However, after Sept. 11, 2001 the hotel market in Manhattan fell apart, causing Howe to refocus his business on the residential side, where he now employs a smaller staff. Today, his business is about 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial. Howe received his bachelor’s in architecture from Cornell University in 1983. To broaden his experience, he spent a year studying in Florence and traveling throughout Europe. In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked with the late Franklin D. Israel as a senior associate for five years. He was a project designer and architect for the Weisman Pavilion, a private modern art museum for renowned collector Frederick R. Weisman. When he returned to New York in the mid ‘90s Howe focused on painting and photography, traveling with architecture critic Herbert Muschamp for The New York Times, where Howe’s photos where later published. Howe went on to earn a Master’s of Fine Art from Hunter College in 1998. Traveling between Los Angeles and New York City expands Howe’s horizons and keeps his creativity fresh. He sees the two cities as complementary. “Los Angeles unfolds itself as you spend more time there, whereas New York City is more manageable and easy to get a gauge on,” he said. “Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Venice are like facets of someone’s delirious mind. There is more freedom in L.A. to explore and experiTHIS & OPPOSITE PAGE: Sagg Main Residence, Sagaponack, N.Y. Studio Howe renovated this early 19th century farm house with a new, modern wing totaling 8,000 sq. ft. Materials used include cedar siding, stucco, zinc, stainless steel and concrete. Photos by Eric Striffler.
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Architecture Leaders Today 43
| custom homes
ment, while New York is more conservative.” Because of this cultural juxtaposition, Howe often finds himself dancing around the conservative nature that he meets in New York and the Hamptons while trying to infuse his design sense into a project. Howe said he doesn’t mind the commute between the two offices and spends about two weeks at a time at each location. Though he considers New York his home base, he tries to keep a balance between the two. He juggles six to 10 jobs at a time so he can “keep them all in his brain at the same time.” Another recent project, The Bell Residence in Beekman Place, combined three gutted apartments to create a 4,000 sq. ft. gracious, neoclassical home of nine rooms and a wraparound terrace. The new design incorporates a central rotunda entry hall, which pulls all the rooms together. All the woodwork, including doors, cabinetry and moldings and decorative metalwork were custom built. Materials included French limestone flooring, wide-plank walnut flooring, mahogany paneling, nickelplated metalwork, Carrara marble, Bendheim art glass, Nanz hardware, leather flooring and fiber-optic lighting. Over the next five years, Howe would like to see his company grow and develop, while maintaining a boutique style offering personalized services. But by nature, Howe says he is restless and likes to get his hands into different aspects of art and philosophy. He reads the works of phenomenologists Henri Bergson, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein and is influenced by conceptual artists Fred Sandbeck and James Turrell. When it comes to architecture, Howe looks to Luis Barragon , Louis Kahn and Alvaro Siza. Part of his experience has influenced the development of a new furniture line, HOWELINE, which will debut in fall 2011. All table prototypes have bases made of a single piece of aluminum, bent to form a sculptural ‘space’ and tabletops of resin and lacquered wood acting as infill. For Howe, furniture design is ultimately based on the same conceptual notion as architecture: space, form and light. It is this notion that Howe not only lives and works by but is continuously learning about through his many creative facets. Howe sums up his modernist ideals with a quote from writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” It serves as an appropriate reflection of Howe’s design sense of open space, minimalist philosophy and sense of beauty and peace in the spaces he creates. ALT
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THIS PAGE: The Bell Penthouse, Beekman Place, New York, N.Y. A complete gut renovation of this 4,000 sq. ft. penthouse of a prewar building now features an entry rotunda, kitchen, solarium, formal dining room, library, living room, bar, guest room and master suite. Materials include limestone & walnut flooring; custom paneling, moldings, and cabinetry throughout; custom nickel plated stainless steel light fixtures & detailing; mahogany paneling and leather floors in the library; and antique early 20th century French light fixtures throughout. Photos by Sharon Risedorph.
nothing short of
The New York company of Resource Furniture provides customers with high-quality, sleak designs at competitive prices. by Joel Cornell
The wide array of modern and innovative furniture for the office or home provided by New York City-based Resource Furniture is equally elevated in both style and quality. Their custom manufacturers are located principally in Italy, with a few select products from Spain, and supply them with a catalog of unique beds, tables, chairs, desks, stools and so on that have drawn clients to their showrooms from around the world. Among the most unique of their catalog, and truly amongst the entire industry of custom furniture, is their Space Saver line, which must be seen in action to be entirely appreciated. Upon deciding to leave behind a 20 year career in the furniture industry, both Ron Barth and his partner Steven Spett realized they were leaving the same company, The Pace Collection, at around the same time. They both left the company, one of the first importers of Italian Furniture into the U.S., with quite separate intentions. As they departed, they traveled to Italy together and soon went into business on
46 Spring 2011
their own, forming Resource Furniture in 2000. In that very first year, Resource Furniture made great strides as an international retail and distribution company. Their lines of furniture for the outdoors, the office and the home showed a unique eye for spatial understanding and design-oriented thinking. Their furniture is crafted by master Italian and Spanish artisans working with only the best materials and by exceptional factories with the most advanced, high-tech machinery for furniture manufacturing in the world. Shortly after beginning the company, in 2001, Barth and Spett discovered the line of furniture that would grant them great success and set them apart in the industry. The Space Savers Collection by Clei is much more than high-quality, exceptionally engineered transformable systems and folding tables. For some, these lines of beds, sofas, tables, seating and desks can make a difference worth far more than the most extravagant price tag. “For many people, especially in an urban setting, your bed is the most costly piece of real estate,” said Barth, president of Resource Furniture. “An average queen size bed is around 35 - 40 sq. ft. In an apartment in downtown Tokyo or Sydney or Hong Kong, the cost of each sq. ft. is unimaginable. Currently, in Beijing, the average in the heart of the city is approximately $550 per square foot. That’s an enormous sum; putting down a 35 sq. ft. will cost an apartment
owner nearly $20,000 worth of space that you’ll only use when you’re sleeping. It’s that same problem in every major metropolitan area around the world. “Customers have come to us with the dilemma of trying to comfortably fit a family of four into a one-bedroom apartment. With traditional lines of furniture, the only options are to move into something bigger and far more expensive, or to move far outside the city. We are the new solution. Now, you can have a one-bedroom apartment that has two bedrooms at night, and a den and a living room during the day. “People come to our showroom in New York City from Mumbai, Mexico City, Toronto and Los Angeles just for a tour. The furniture itself has become a viral attraction; millions of people on the web have marveled at how unique our products are and the change it can bring to a client’s life.” Over the past three years, perhaps because of the manner in which these economic times have forced people to focus on how every cent is spent, Resource Furniture has grown over 600 percent. When clients are under dire situations of debt, inability to sell their house or improve their credit, the transformative properties provided by Resource Furniture’s Space Saver collection allow clients to obtain gorgeous, high quality, imported furniture with a real and new purpose. ALT
| regional marketplace
Fine Home Construction 2228 Montauk Highway Suite 1 Post Office Box 1768 Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Phone: (631) 537-1414 Fax: (631) 537-8416 GraystoneBuilders@msn.com
Graystone Builders is proud to be a partner of Robert Lund Architects. We wish them continued success. 48 Spring 2011
Architecture Leaders Today 49
INSIDE: TSARCHITECTS, D.S. EWING ARCHITECTS, OPTICOS DESIGN STUDIO
A Residential Project in California Photo courtesy of D.S. Ewing Architects
BRINGING PLANS TO LIFE
LEADERS IN THE HIGH-TECH DESIGN REVOLUTION, TSARCHITECTS IS BUILT AROUND 3-D MODELING AND CLIENT SATISFACTION by Rebecca Rodriguez
ABOVE & OPPOSITE PAGE: Bridge Street Town Centre, Huntsville, Ala. Bridge Street Town Centre is a mixed-use project composed of high-end retail shops, a 14-plex upscale movie theater, a Class-A office building and an upscale hotel centered around a 10-acre man-made lake. The concept was to create a retail street reminiscent of a Mediterranean village which would be so unique and timeless that it would become a destination point drawing people from the surrounding areas. There are 14 separate retail buildings, few of which are on the same angle with each other. This was done to create the main meandering street with nooks and side streets that gives people a real sense of place. In order to achieve a sense of timelessness the building materials were varied so that the center didn’t appear to have been constructed at the same time.
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During the dawn of high-tech design software around The Bridge Street project features a timeless, Euro2004, TSArchitects, Inc., became pioneering experts, pean marketplace feel with meandering streets and a often answering technical questions from other archi- provincial atmosphere. A mix of independently owned tectural firms or guiding the Autodesk company on markets and stores mingles with a movie theater, hotel, its new Revit design program. When Revit first came convention center and a six-story office building. TSA out, TSArchitects dived at the opportunity to work in designers did not want a typical strip mall feeling and 3D just as their new firm was opening. And the timing there were no big anchor stores involved. The Revit couldn’t have been better as they started working on a design software came in handy when trying to show large-scale retail project in Huntsville, Ala., that ben- the client how a bridge would appear 12 feet above a efitted greatly from the usage of Building Information man-made lake on the site. The software actually allowed Modeling (BIM) software. the client to see what the bridge would look like from “We started with no practical experience with it,” said a gondola or boat passing underneath. TSA also took Alan Tomasi who partners with Chris Serrao at TSA. advantage of the software’s motion component and “It was a big challenge, a big concept, and a big new was able to show the client a mini moving model of program for a big project.” how the 13 buildings would be laid out. Trained in three days on Revit, TSA employees “jumped “The design software allows us to be better designers right into it” as they began the Bridge Street Project for our clients and contractors as well. We always put in Huntsville. TSA’s project was the largest Revit project at the time alongside New York’s Freedom Tower. As a Revit pioneer TSA had BREEN ENGINEERING a direct line to the Autodesk company in case Dynamic, multi-disciplinary engineering firm, BREEN Engineering any problems popped up with the software. At Inc. of Los Angeles, Calif. was the principal mechanical, electrical a local convention when the program was still and plumbing design consultant for this high profile retail and in its infancy, the guest speaker got stuck on a mixed-use project. BREEN’s work included electrical distribution question and an Autodesk representative asked and site lighting as well as shell design for all retail spaces and one of TSA’s employees to address the issue. the six-story office structure. With value engineering leadership “There are a lot of architects who just say that and successful integration of services, BREEN oversaw site utility they embrace technology, but we actually do,” engineering and the subconsultants providing specialty designs, Tomasi said. “It’s a great marketing tool for us. including the hotel and movie theatre. BREEN Engineering provides comprehensive civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing We put a strong emphasis on design. We like and fire protection engineering design services in a wide variety of to think we we’re an early adapter and leader sectors, including retail, hospitality, medical, residential, educational for the Revit program.” and federal. For more information, visit www.breeneng.com.
a set of 3-D images in the hard set. It helps them quickly get an image of what we want to do. Efficiency and quality go up as a result,” Tomasi said. TSA, based in Los Angeles, Calif., recently converted two hotels in downtown L.A. into low-income housing. The client wanted to retain the original ornate, classical feeling of the hotels. Always putting the client’s needs first, TSA delivered. “We offer good design and good service. We look after repeat clients and enjoy our relationships with them, often going the extra mile to service them,” he said. “We’re a small to mid-size firm and offer more boutique services,” he said. Currently TSA is working on some smaller projects, a symptom of the recession. The recession has had a major impact on the company and they have trimmed to four employees. They are anxious to see signs of recovery and have the office space and hiring power to bring more people on when needed. Tomasi said the firm enjoys tackling large-scale projects and will accommodate whatever volume comes in. They never intended to be a big firm, but will grow to whatever work load comes in, he said, adding that they are currently juggling around 10 to 15 projects. Clients have also commented that they like the professional, user-friendly feel of TSA’s website, which displays large portfolio photos with detailed descriptions. The company is sending out fewer print brochures. “With our website, everything is there. It’s easy to navigate, it’s clear, the content and design of pages is well-done. Often you go to other architecture websites and the pictures are postage-stamp size. We want big, clear images because architecture is a very visual art,” Tomasi said. Helping to lay the groundwork of softwareaided design, TSA remains in the spotlight as a company that is forward-thinking and dedicated to providing the highest quality work for its clients. ALT
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At Home on the Range Offering architectural services since 1972, D. S. Ewing Architects Inc. provides complete design service throughout both the design and construction phases of a project. by Joan Tupponce
Since 1972, D. S. Ewing Architects Inc. has provided complete design services throughout the design and construction phases of a project. “My practice is about design and project type diversity,” said Douglas Ewing, F.A.I.A. “Most firms become stylists and specialize in a particular project type. Design diversity appeals to a broader range of clients and ‘project type’ diversity gives an office security when a particular project type is not in vogue.” One of the firm’s most interesting projects was the Shining Mountain Ranch in Montana, a master plan design of a 4,500 acre cattle ranch and the architectural design of a 10,000 sq. ft. rustic post-and-beam lodge for family and business gatherings. The firm also designed two rustic guest cabins. The next phase of the project is a great ranch house for the owner and the design of a working ranch center complex. “I had been dying to design rustic buildings for a long time,” Ewing said. In this design, Ewing showcased a unique style that reflected turn-of-the-century designs found in national park structures. The lodge THIS PAGE: (TOP) Entrance elevation on the North side of the lodge displaying splayed moss rock stone walls for snow build-up and a reclaimed slate pyramid terraced roof which emulates the pine trees. (BOTTOM) Looking out from great room through the daylighting wall and veranda to the distant views. OPPOSITE PAGE: Lodge meeting and dining space show daylighting through southern glass walls and covered verandas. Natural fire killed log trusses utilize knife plate detailing to save costs. Custom iron chandeliers by Ted Docteur. Photo by Jason Graham
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OPPOSITE PAGE: South facing entertainment veranda with steel glazing wall for daylighting. Cantilevered postand-beam construction eliminates typical shear walls.
was designed using sustainable concepts with old materials, old metals, reclaimed woods and no grading. Logs used in the project were burned Ponderosa pines, fir and lodgepole pines reclaimed from the Yellowstone Park fire of 1988. “The logs were black and very dry from the fire,” Ewing said. “You could knock two inches of black bark off and expose the rootbeer colored cambium layer of the tree.” All the moss rock and field stone in the project was taken from the ranch itself. Ewing also used wood paneling that was reclaimed from barns and other structures. The green slate roof was reclaimed from an old building in Vermont. The spiritual lodge, the first building in the project, is a gathering place for friends, family and business associates. The owner’s ranch house is currently being designed and will start construction in a year. The entertainment complex being planned will include a spa, swimming pool, NBA basketball court, shooting and archery ranges and virtual golf. An equestrian center is also part of the complex. “It will look like a village of seven structures that evolved over the years,” Ewing said. “The ranch will become a family destination and a private friends resort.” The post-and-beam log design has become a model for other architects to use in developing rustic architecture. “The craftsmen that worked on this project were the best log constructors in Montana,” Ewing said. “It was a springboard for concepts and ideas for other projects.” Shining Mountain Ranch is the third loginspired project for Ewing. He also designed an entertainment saloon and three guest cabins for Ralph Lauren’s Double RL ranch in Colorado. “Mr. Lauren wanted a place to view old western movies on his ranch. In response, I created an ‘old’ high mountain saloon that appears to have been modified and added on to for over 100 years by different ranchers,” Ewing said. “The media room is off the saloon and under the grass roof. This is a magical entertaining space where guests get lost in time.” The guest cabins were designed using reclaimed wood and materials. “We used tree bark for the roof on one cabin,” he said. Ewing enjoys the relationship he develops with clients. “I want to be one-on-one with my
THEODORE DOCTEUR, BLACKSMITH Theodore A. Docteur is a blacksmith. Indeed, an architectural ironwork specialist, Docteur designs and produces some of the heaviest and most well-constructed iron commissions available today. Investment-grade and museumquality. Extraordinary fit and finish. He considers it a privilege to work with D.S. Ewing, and an honor to have his pieces showcased in D.S. Ewing’s architecture. Please call Theodore A. Docteur at (406)-370-4250. Architecture Leaders Today 57
TIMBER BUILDERS Timber Builders specializes in timber framing and log crafting. Formed in 1994, company founders Mark Gantt and John Perry each have over 25 years experience in timberframe construction. While their roots are in traditional timberframing, they also enjoy the variety and challenges of integrating timber craft with contemporary design and engineering. Timber Builders has done several projects with Doug Ewing. Ewing’s innovative designs and use of quality materials bring out the best in Timber Builder’s craftsmen. Timber Builders provided timberframing, finish carpentry and custom millwork for the main lodge of Shining Mountain Ranch. Additionally, Timber Builders provided full construction services for a guest cabin on the Shining Mountain Ranch. The core of the guest cabin came from an existing antique hewn-log cabin located on the ranch. Timber Builders documented, dismantled, relocated and restored the antique cabin. They took great care in sourcing additional materials appropriate to the character of the project to complete the design. Antique hewn-logs were matched and the roof structure was crafted with logs salvaged from forest lands on the ranch. In addition to working with reclaimed materials, Timber Builders use forest-salvaged standing-dead as well as radio frequency kiln dried timber. Although their predominant market is in the intermountain West, they have also completed projects from Virginia to Hawaii. For more information visit www. timberbuilders.com.
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clients and work with a private individual or a corporate head, as opposed to design by committee,” he said. Ewing compares good architecture to great artwork. “You realize the artist sat in the studio and wasn’t influenced by anybody and created a true piece of art,” he said. “I think of architecture in the same way. The smaller the control group, the better the result.” One home that Ewing redesigned overlooks the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The warm and earthy heavy-timber building sits on a hillside with eucalyptus trees and deer trails. Ewing designed the renovation for his son. It’s a contemporary post-and-beam house that was awarded seven National Design Awards in 2010. “It’s a total glass box with views 70 miles away to Palm Springs,” he said. Buff and Hensman, a Los Angeles-based architecture firm known for its post-war designs, originally designed the home. “They did case study houses in the 1950s,” Ewing said. “They were some of the first contemporary modern houses in the country.” The one-level, 1,500 sq. ft. home had been abandoned for 10 years and was deteriorating when Ewing came across it. His redesign included complete new footings of sustainable xypex THIS PAGE BELOW: East down slope view shows Douglas fir post-and-beam construction and solid glass walls for daylighting and extended views to Mount San Jacinto 70 miles in the distance. OPPOSITE PAGE: The upper great room and lower den/ TV room are warm, inviting natural contemporary spaces using several different woods of Douglas fir, Western red cedar, strand bamboo flooring, mahogany cabinetry, wenge and red oak tables and natural bamboo shelving; all highlighted by natural daylighting.
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concrete with fly ash to anchor a 1,500 sq. ft. addition that enlarged the house to two stories. “It was a very simple house on a steep slope,” Ewing said. “The original architect did a neat job.” The home’s dimensions were unique at 17 feet wide and 100 feet long. “In the middle it has a bend of 12 degrees and then it goes straight,” Ewing said. Ewing built the new first floor 11 feet under the original home, giving it 10-foot ceilings. It was all built with vertical grain Douglas fir, exposed concrete and glass. Some of the wood was left natural; some had transparent black stain. Diagonal steel tubing was used for seismic bracing. The rest of the home is basically glass. The upper floor of the home has an open plan with a library and office. The lower floor has a den/study, master bedroom, gym, guest bedroom and bath and a fishing room/bar. There is also a wine cellar encased in concrete underneath the house. Ewing also restored and stabilized the downhill slope outside the home and created decks eight to 10 feet above ground using steel framework and aluminum grating decking terracing down the slope. “It allows sunlight for planting below,” he said. “My son loves the home. He’s having a great time living in it.” While he works mainly west of the Missis 60 Spring 2011
sippi River, Ewing’s projects have spanned the world. He has completed a recreational resort in Australia, a housing project in Mexico and projects for Universal Studios in England, France and Spain. “I’m on project number 1,725 right now,” he said. One of his favorite projects was a home he designed near the Santa Barbara coast. The adobe-style home was located on four acres in equestrian country. Earth from the site was used to make the adobe blocks and crushed red brick was added to make the roof tiles. All the walls are 20 inches thick. “It’s a sustainable true Old-World house,” Ewing said. “What we all need to understand is that good design takes many forms. I am tired of hearing people say, I don’t like it, it’s contemporary, or Spanish, or rustic, or Old-World. Instead they should be asking themselves: was it well executed?” ALT THIS SPREAD ABOVE: The front renovation included raising the entire structure 30 inches higher with heavy timber and Western red cedar siding. This structure is a 99.5 percent new or renovated structure. THIS SPREAD RIGHT: The kitchen utilizes open, transparent and opaque storage systems, natural finished mahogany and Douglas fir, concrete floor tile and stainless steel and granite countertops; all keying on distant views and daylighting from floor to ceiling windows. All photos courtesy of D.S. Ewing Architects.
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THE fUTuRE of PLAcE
The Berkley-based firm of Opticos Design, Inc. is catalyzing social and environmental change by creating ideas and solutions in relation to where and how people live. by Joel Cornell
Somewhere in their time spent together studying architecture at the University of Notre Dame, Daniel and Karen Parolek and Stefan Pellegrini all began to see things just a bit differently within the scope of design. Where some saw the pain of urban sprawl, they saw the beauty of opportunity for change; instead of seeing regulations as restrictions, they saw a change in approach to accomplish the greatest end possible. Today, Opticos Design, Inc. is the firm that the trio built from the ground up just over 10 years ago. It stands on the spur of a new evolutionary step within the design of the modern urban environment and is eager to explore what is possible within our communities and ourselves. When the group left school, they each immediately branched out to pursue new heights of design. Daniel Parolek started his career with internationally-renowned architect Robert AM Stern in New York City. When his graduate urban design thesis, ”Envisioning a More Sustainable Pattern of Growth for California’s Central Valley,” won an international design competition, it afforded him the opportunity to start Opticos. He quickly picked up additional recognition by winning a competition to design a gateway for Washington, D.C. Karen Parolek helped pioneer the fields of information architecture and usability while creating way-finding and signage systems for Disney’s town of Celebration, Fla, downtown Manhattan for Pentagram and then working on web portals with Snap.com/NBC Internet. Stefan worked with Urban Design Associates helping establish a model for the transformation of public housing projects into diverse mixedincome, mixed-use neighborhoods. He also played an instrumental role in the resurrection of the architectural pattern book while there, before moving on to graduate school, winning an SOM Fellowship, and finally joining Opticos. “At Opticos, our work has grown beyond the boundaries of a conventional architecture and planning practice,” Parolek said, “We have found this necessary to address the complexities of urban, mixed-use projects, and transit-oriented projects for our clients. This has allowed us to be at the forefront of the shifting market demand for sustainable urban living. At a building scale this often includes designing “missing middle” 62 Spring 2011
housing like duplexes, townhouses, courtyard apartment buildings, bungalow courts and similar housing types that provide a wider range of choices beyond a single-family home or a large mixed-use condo building, but are not being built by too many developers and are often discouraged by bad zoning regulations. These housing types provide high-quality living, often in smaller footprint spaces, and the regulations we write remove the barriers and create incentives for these types of housing to be built.” Designing innovative housing types is at the core of Opticos’ architecture practice. Their architecture-scaled work focuses on buildings that reinforce the civic aspect of community
THIS PAGE: Opticos employees use transit, walking or bicycles to get to work. Clockwise from top left: Daniel Parolek, Christopher Janson, John Miki, Karen Parolek, Stefan Pellegrini and Natasha Small. Photo by KDIPhotography. OPPOSITE PAGE: The plan and form-based code for the Crescent Heights neighborhood in Hercules, Calif. has been carefully planned to integrate the existing historic factory clubhouse and administration building. Units with spectacular views of Mount Tamalpais and San Pablo Bay are strategically carved into the existing topography, giving the sense of a European hilltown. The plan and form-based code for the 30-acre Hercules Bayfront site integrates 1,224 residential units, 42,000 sq. ft. retail and 215,000 sq. ft. commercial and flex space around a new Amtrak Station, ferry terminal and regional bus station located on a new mixed-use main street. It is a LEED-ND Stage 1 Gold plan and has been endorsed by Association of Bay Area Governments.
and strive to incubate small, local businesses. One example of this is their built-green certified South Main live/work building in Buena Vista, Colo. for developer Jed Selby. Selby lives in the two-story townhouse and uses the ground floor flex space as the real estate sales office for the new urbanist neighborhood he is developing. Opticos won the 2009 national GreenWorks design competition for their courtyard housing solution for an infill site in Santa Fe, N.M. The project, which integrates six units on a quarter acre in an existing neighborhood, provides a model of how traditional, regionally-specific design elements can combine with more hightech green components to provide affordable green housing. Much of their work is transit-oriented. Their Hercules Bayfront master plan and form-based code is for a 37-acre site just north of San Francisco. It will include 1,300 residential units, approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and commercial, an Amtrak station, a potential ferry terminal linking to San Francisco, several public buildings and connections to the regional Bay Trail. It was recently awarded Level 1 Gold Certification for LEED-ND, a new rating system for neighborhoods and won a 2010 Gold Nugget Award of Merit for Best Infill, Re-Development or Rehab Site Plan. It was also named a Bronze Catalyst Sustainable Community by the State of California. Opticos is currently working with the City of Mesa, Ariz. to complete a downtown master plan and form-based code that will capitalize the light rail extension into their downtown. The city hopes to utilize the form-based code
to create a strong downtown identity that will attract prominent businesses to downtown. Opticos has also played a key role in the Pleasant Hill, Calif. Transit Village. Their direct involvement began over nine years ago, participating in the initial charrette and creation of the form-based code and has since led the project’s design review. The Pleasant Hill Transit Village, now called Avalon Walnut Creek at Contra Costa Centre, had its grand opening in October 2010. All of Opticos Design, Inc.’s work is kept by what they call their “triple bottom line”. While all businesses have a financial bottom line, Opticos Design, Inc. also keeps environmental and social standards that absolutely must be met as well. To confirm this commitment, Opticos became a founding B-Corporation in 2007. “We founded our firm over a decade ago with the intention of having a positive impact
HALL PLANNING & ENGINEERING, INC. Hall Planning & Engineering, Inc. specializes in walkability for traditional neighborhood design at the block, neighborhood and regional scale. HPE designs thoroughfares and networks for downtowns, new towns and suburban retrofits. In addition, HPE’s conventional practice includes traffic impact analysis, area-specific plans and citywide transportation plans. Special capabilities include the use of Synchro traffic software to prove the performance of walkable transportation designs. HPE also applies a walkability index to assess the quality of the walking experience. As a charrette team member, HPE fulfills the need for transportation expertise to discuss and resolve public works and emergency response issues. For more information on HPE, please visit www.hpe-inc.com. Architecture Leaders Today 63
in the world. In our design work, our goal is to help build and strengthen communities by contributing our design talents and knowledge of how the built environment influences strong communities. In our business practice, our goal is to make sure we are supporting the people that work with us and protecting the environment while being responsible about our financial bottom line.” Opticos’s work extends nationwide and includes several projects for the new urbanist icon, Seaside, Fla. This work includes a master plan for the evolution of the beachfront and town square, serving as architect of record for Leon Krier in the design of his civic tower within the master plan and designing two small groups of market buildings flanking the Krier Tower. Opticos also had a satellite office in Seaside for two years, enabling them to serve as strategic design advisor to town founder Robert Davis as the town architect. The implementation of the master plan began in March of last year. Opticos is also at the forefront of the zoning reform to create walkable, sustainable urbanism called form-based coding. Opticos principals Daniel Parolek and Karen Parolek coauthored what critics are calling the “definitive handbook on the topic,” Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities and Developers, which was published by Wiley in 2008. They are also founding board members of Form-Based Codes Institute, a non-profit think tank. Their form-based code work has ranged from an award-winning downtown mixed-use master plan and form-based code for Benicia, Calif. to citywide zoning code updates with form-based code integration for Livermore, Calif. and Flagstaff, Ariz. to consultation for cities such as Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville, Tenn. Most recently they started working with Beaufort County, S.C. to replace their zoning code with a form-based code to protect their rural character, reinforce the unique smalltown urbanism and allow new development that reinforces this character. “We love to work with both developers and municipalities, to create vibrant, walkable, urban places and remove barriers for the creation and revitalization of these places. We provide the invaluable service of giving developers a predictable path to entitlement for Smart Growth projects and assuring communities a high-quality implementation of their long-term vision,” said Pellegrini. Opticos Design, Inc. has maintained partnerships with some of the world’s finest small design firms. Their endeavors to keep only the best and brightest on their team and their unwavering dedication to their triple bottom line have kept them on the forefront of new and evolving design ideas, as they work towards an unimaginably bright future. ALT
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THIS PAGE: (TOP) The Livermore Village, situated at the core of Livermore’s downtown and near a commuter train station and regional transit center, incorporated 281 residential units, 6,000 sq. ft. of retail, and 4,500 sq. ft. of artists’ space onto a 5.5-acre site of a failed strip mall. In this plan, Opticos created unique, high-density courtyard housing and used park lifts to minimize the parking footprint. This project won an international Making Cities Livable Award in 2007. (BOTTOM) Octavia Blvd. Infill Housing, 2005 San Francisco Prize Competition award winner, features a conceptual building design for four units on a 15 ft. by 120 ft. wide lot along the new Octavia Blvd. Green building principles are applied with the use of solar panels, passive solar heating and shading with bays and shutters to reduce the heat gain in the summer.
THIS PAGE: (TOP LEFT) The $4 million renovation and revitalization of the historic Robert J. Cabral Station area in Stockton, Calif. had its grand opening in August 2010. The historic train station serves as the headquarters and terminus of the Altamont Commuter Express, which plies daily trains between Stockton and San Jose, Calif. Opticos Design provided master planning and project architect services for the project. (TOP RIGHT) Opticos Principals Stefan Pellegrini, Daniel Parolek and Karen Parolek. Photo by KDIPhotography. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Aerial view of how the Seaside Beachfront and Town Square will look once the master plan is completed. Opticos has provided master planning services for the project since 2003, working closely with a consortium of architects, including Leon Krier. They are currently engaged in design for a pair of market buildings flanking the square. Implementation of the master plan began in March 2010. Digital rendering by Opticos.
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| regional marketplace
INSIDE: FOUR POINTS ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES, VENDRICK CONSTRUCTION, HELMAN SECHRIST ARCHITECTURE, BOB MILLERS APPLIANCE CO., KARLSBERGER ARCHITECTURE, PAUL J. FORD & CO.
Diamond Lake Family Lodge Photo courtesy of HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture
THE BENEFITS OF DIVERSIFICATION FOUR POINTS ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES, INC.
by Joel Cornell
o many architecture firms working around the country today serve one particular niche. Whether the niche is elementary schools, oncology treatment centers or established chain restaurants, architectural specialization allows a firm to explore every facet of one building type. To the credit and the benefit of Four Points Architectural Services, Inc., they have endeavored to keep their range as broad as their talents by offering a comprehensive range of architectural and design services for any client of any mindset. “Our diversity has truly been our saving grace,” said president and founding principal, Dave Hawk. “Especially in these difficult economic times, our ability to undertake a wide range of project types has allowed us to keep our heads above water, while increasing our range with every different project we take on.” Based in northeastern Ohio, Four Points Architectural Services, Inc. has been building both relationships and projects of equal quality for many years. Hawk and co-founding principal, Mark Ferguson, both graduated from Kent State University’s School of Architecture in the mid1970s and late 1980s respectively. Kent State University’s School of Architecture offers one of the most rigorous and demanding architectural 68 Spring 2011
programs in the country and their interior design program is among the top 12 in the nation. Initially, Hawk and Ferguson explored their own careers separately. Their work early on in their careers carried them through a vast assortment of companies that today reflect the kind of diversity their firm embodies. They both worked separately for different architectural firms, both large and small, in addition to several design/ build firms, large-scale engineering firms and general contractors in the area. In Hawk’s 12th year working as a principal at a large local architectural firm, and in Ferguson’s sixth year as a project manager at the same firm, the two decided to start their own company. Hawk and Ferguson were faced with a life changing decision and eventually they decided to blaze their own trail. Dave sold his shares in their previous firm and in 2000 they founded Four Points Architectural Services, Inc.
“Before we founded Four Points, we had been working for a firm named after the two founding principal architects,” Ferguson said. “However, those two architects had long since left the company and we both felt that the name didn’t properly represent what clients received when they came to us. So, we decided to name our new firm based upon the philosophy we wanted to uphold, not ourselves.” The firm is based, as their name suggests, off of four philosophical points. The first is their consideration for appropriate solutions. Every project is unique. The individual owner’s needs, aesthetics, budget and time frame must be THIS PAGE: Church of the Lakes United Methodist, Canton, Ohio. The project involved multiple additions and renovations. An expanded sanctuary meets the demands of the growing congregation. A new 12,000 s.f. educational wing improved on their daycare practice and added classrooms for grades 1-12, a meeting room and a computer lounge.
J.W. DIDADO ELECTRIC J.W. Didado Electric is a leading supplier to commercial and industrial electrical customers and offers a unique, total solution for design/build construction that takes customers from concept to completion quickly and cost-effectively. J.W. Didado is proud to work with Four Points Architectural Services, providing for their commercial electrical needs. For more information on J.W. Didado Electric, please visit www.jwdidadoelectric.com.
examined. The solutions must take into consideration all aspects of each owner’s unique set of circumstances and will be tailored to meet these needs. Another major focal point is ensuring technical competence. Once the appropriate design solution is determined, the project must be developed in a manner that assures success. Whether a project is a new building or a renovation, it shall be developed and detailed in a way that assures the owner’s needs are meet. Teamwork is also a paramount concern in the firm’s daily operation. Every project requires involvement from more than one person. Expertise and innovation are brought into a project when diverse individuals are brought together to form a team. Teams are required for small, simple projects, as well as the more complex projects. Teams generally consist of the owner, members of the firm, outside consultants and the contractors. Outside team members contribute expertise in the areas of engineering, specialized planning and specialized productions methods.
Last, and perhaps most important, is the team’s obsession with ethics. Every project must be completed in an ethical manner not only for the client, but also for all people impacted by the client. Fair treatment of all parties involved in each project and public well being is of the highest importance. “For us, the right thing to do is always the only thing to do,” Hawk said. “Such is our approach to sustainable design and efficient systems and ideas. Sometimes there will exist a solution that is easier or less expensive or less time consuming. Unless that solution is also the proper solution that best serves and fulfills the needs and desires of our clients, it is not our solution.” Combined, Hawk and Ferguson have over 50 years of architecture and construction experience. Despite never deciding to focus their efforts on one niche, their experience and quality as architects have brought them many years of growth and success. “On every project, we actively endeavor to never push ourselves or our own preconceived
notions or style onto a client,” Hawk said. “We tailor our comprehensive suite of services in order to embody exactly what our client requires. Mark and I have a history of working with large firms doing large-scale projects. Although we’re a small firm, with just four registered architects and two technicians, one of whom is a LEED Accredited Professional, our range of experience greatly exceeds even the oldest firms, particularly those who only take on one project type or another.” Although Four Points Architectural Services, Inc. has seen continued growth since their first years, they have enough experience with larger firms to realize what happens when a firm grows. Above all, the firm is dedicated to growing only by continuing to exemplify the quality that they always have. The firm has succeeded by building a reputation for the highest quality, within budget and schedule every time, and refuses to grow beyond or without these essential cornerstones. ALT
(TOP) Power Company - Regional Dispatch Operations Center, Akron, Ohio. The 30,000 sq. ft. facility accommodates10-30 people daily and adapts to accommodate over 100 people during power emergencies. The main workspace features three video walls displaying power grids, additional offices, training rooms and a conference room. (BOTTOM) Lakeview Village Apartments, Middlefield, Ohio. This 76-unit renovation project is one in a long tenured relationship with the affordable housing owner. The exterior of the apartments were upgraded, providing a contemporary look while also establishing privacy screening. Interior renovations provided new finishes, kitchens and bathrooms. Energy efficiency was also peaked as a result of the design. All photos courtesy of Four Points Architectural Services, Inc.
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VENDRICK CONSTRUCTION INC.
A SMALL FOUNDATION SUPPORTING BIG GROWTH by Joel Cornell
With high annual growth and a backlog of work standing at a worth of about $22 million, one would think VendRick Construction, Inc. would be a massive corporate construction firm with countless bustling employees. On the contrary, the relatively small staff that VendRick Construction, Inc. began with in 1993 has remained the stable foundation of their success to this day. “Our real specialty lies in our ability to properly manage and utilize our short list of highly trained and experienced employees and subcontractors who we rely on like family to make sure that our clients budget, scheduling and aesthetic needs are met every step of the way,” said Frank Vendemia, president. Vendemia began in the industry after receiving his degree in civil engineering. In his senior year in college, he worked with Derrick “Rick” Dickson, who managed his own construction company. Right out of high school, Dickson entered into a local carpentry apprenticeship program. He worked with a local commercial contracting company for nearly two decades before starting his own business. It was this company that Vendemia worked for before he 70 Spring 2011
wanted to start his own business. Vendemia and Dickson decided to partner, and see how that suited them and their goals. Should any problems arise, they would go their separate ways. To this day, Vendemia and Dickson have been doing what they love and have kept their business and their passion going strong. “For the most part,” Vendemia said, “we tend to handle public works projects such as large multifamily complexes, school renovations and medical facilities. We don’t always take on the most attractive or visible projects; that’s not our aim. We want to work on projects that fit our forte. Whether we’re working on a public bid project for a school renovation or a design/ build project for an apartment complex, we’re able to provide the ultimate service to our clients by keeping our management teams small and project-oriented, while relying on a family of experienced employees and specialized subcontractors and specialists who are the absolute best at what they do.” Located in Brookfield, Ohio close to the Pennsylvania border, VendRick Construction, Inc. operates locally in a 60 mile radius. Despite
the fact that VendRick’s annual revenues have grown by millions of dollars every year, they focus on building projects locally. They can utilize their knowledge of the area, its nuances and its residents to give their clients the highest quality building program. “We do as much of the work ourselves as we can manage,” Vendemia said, “but once we’re outside our internal capacity to perform efficiently, we reach out to our roster of quality subcontractors to work with people we know and trust to get the job done right and on time.” VendRick Construction, Inc.’s philosophy promises the continued involvement of at least one company principal on each and every project, as well as the commitment to quality construction by the entire building group working as a single team. Both Rick and Frank attribute the company’s success to their faith, family, and friends. By focusing on building proper relationships and teams as much as they concentrate on the buildings themselves, VendRick Construction, Inc. is able to maintain a history of quality projects done on time, every time. ALT
| custom homes
HELMAN SECHRIST architecture by Joel Cornell
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Many firms espouse a design philosophy which attempts to synthesize their core beliefs about space, light, aesthetics and the built environment. Elkhart, Ind.-based HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture, as in all of their endeavors, has a different approach. “While our design philosophy is certainly a product of all these foundational architectural components intermingled in thoughtful and dramatic ways, in some ways Brad and I take our own ‘good design’ for granted,” said owner and founding principal Jeffrey Helman, AIA. “We never hope to create anything less than excellent.” “I believe our true design philosophy is not really about style or materials or rooms; it’s about discovering a true understanding of our client’s own personality, and then to be the instrument to express that personality in built form.” Jeff Helman and his wife Jamie Helman, an artist and interiors specialist, began the firm as HELMAN Architecture + Design in 1990. Their aim was to provide traditional full-delivery architectural services in a generalized practice. After experiencing growth and success in just a few short years, they expanded the company in 1992 by adding Helman Properties. This new branch of the company would, in the future, serve as a vehicle by which they could acquire and develop real estate projects, both new construction and renovations alike. “Our original mindset upon founding the firm was based on our intent to provide unique, affordable and high-quality architectural designs for residential, commercial and institutional clients throughout the Midwest,” Helman said. “We provide a tailored service that fits the unique characteristics of each project. Our deliverables range from site selection and master planning to full documentation of projects with complete oversight of the construction phases. We have even gone as far as to provide design/build construction services to clients that wish to have us actually build the project.” With such a natural attention to detail, it’s no wonder that Helman and his rapidly expanding team began to focus their firm in the sector of high-end residential work. Although their talents are quite frequently called upon in the commercial and institutional sectors, the majority of their projects remain custom, single-family residences. “All architects are trained to be generalists and problem solvers,” Helman said. “I think we’re best when we keep our pencils sharp and our scope broad. Still, our passion and our method put the majority of our work into custom, highend residential projects. “Not many architects specialize in custom residential work, because it’s difficult to base a business solely in that sector, which can be unstable and unreliable. However, if possible, we would focus entirely on custom residential work, because that’s where our passion is. I would hate to exclude other opportunities by cornering ourselves into a niche, but to create a special home to fit the unique vision and living environments for a particular family to grow, breathe, relax and reside in is extremely fulfilling.” 74 Spring 2011
“I believe our true design philosophy is not really about style or materials or rooms; it is about discovering a true understanding of our client’s own personality.” Jeffrey Helman, owner and founding principal
OPENING SPREAD: The Diamond Lake Family Lodge is a grand interpretation of the mountain lodges of Colorado. This legacy home provides family entertainment space for three generations, featuring natural stone, shake shingle, large-scale cedar timber trusses and a main round space on the front that provides a screened gathering area. THIS SPREAD: The Diamond Lake Residence is positioned on a narrow lot with walk-out lower level and two-story glass façade. The style is a contemporary interpretation of a Mediterranean root; materials combine stucco and large-scale timbers. The entry portico emphasizes contemporary interpretation of classical elements, with rustication provided by large-scale timbers.
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THIS PAGE: (TOP) The Diamond Lake Cottage B is a contemporary interpretation of the shingle style on a narrow lake lot, with master suite tower, private deck and rounded living area with spectacular lake views. Includes full two-story stone fireplace and custom maple truss mantle. Top photo by Barb Zappia. (BOTTOM) New Buffalo Preserve Home. The modernist vocabulary is pushed to the limit with full two-story windows that have been angled outwardly to provide maximum views of the nature preserve beyond. Decks at every level provide access to the outdoors, in addition to the uppermost level’s “tree house” loft space and deck that provide an exhilarating height and view of nature. Photo by Susanna Hoover. OPPOSITE PAGE: The Eagle Lake Residence is designed in the classic Mediterranean style with the street elevation depicting the precise integration of entry and landscaping required on narrow lake properties. The two-story, rounded-entry tower emphasizes the front porch and entry door. Photo by David Hubler.
After many years of success, Helman Architecture + Design transitioned to its current state of HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture in 2003 with the promotion of longtime employee, Brad Sechrist, to the position of vice president. Sechrist, who has been with the firm since its founding in 1990, signaled a change and broadening in the scope of services that the company offers. Today, their range extends to the full breadth of design suite services, including 3-D animation, rendering and modeling, interiors planning, abbreviated consultation and much more. The process in which the firm operates is highly intimate. Not only are they working with the client to design the most intimate building for their daily life, but they work closely with the client to understand their needs, desires and lifestyle, in order to provide them with the absolute best in both design and the final product. “The hardest client to deal with is the one who cannot tell you what he wants,” Helman said. “I believe our success is dependent upon our ability to read our clients and their ability to speak openly with us from start to finish. Our best projects are the ones that have the highest degree of owner involvement, when they have an idea of what they want. When we can read and manifest their vision in the new home, their delight in the project is overwhelming, having been able to dream it and then having it executed properly.” With most of their high-end residential work in Indiana and southern Michigan, many projects are waterfront properties. Eagle Lake, Diamond Lake and Lake Michigan are three of the many lakes in the area, and all feature a high concentration of the firm’s projects. “Building on the water presents a very unique set of challenges,” Helman said. “Not only must one deal with the often very restrictive zoning challenges of most jurisdictions, but there is the financial obligation to maximize the investment value of typically very expensive waterfront land. Our ability to merge the objective requirements of land use and zoning obstacles with the subjective
SWEETWATER INTERIORS Named one of Architectural Digests outstanding interior designers of the Midwest, Goshen, Ind.-based Sweetwater Interiors designs unique spaces based around French country and British Colonial styles. Deborah Carpenter, ASID, works with clients like Helman Sechrist to enhance current residential spaces with unique, yet comfortable touches. For more information please visit www.sweetwaterinteriors.com.
SQUARE 1 BUILDERS Square 1 Builders understand building a new home is a major investment and possibly one of the most important decisions a family will make. That’s why choosing the right builder and architect is the first step in ensuring your satisfaction in a sound investment. For more information on how Square 1 Builders can make your client’s new home a reality, visit www. square1builders.com Architecture Leaders Today 77
| custom homes
design goals of the clients is what results in an extraordinary home being created from within the constraints of extraordinary challenges.” “When we get around these lakes, we’re always vulnerable to soil conditions that are rather poor. Where conventional wisdom would suggest you shouldn’t be building there, you have to do quite a bit of engineering to get it done right. In the past few years, we’ve had quite a few of those projects. “Other unique site conditions involve special zoning, setbacks or restrictions that place extraordinary constraints on-site, sometimes making it appear impossible to build on it. From a practical perspective, we take great joy in making something undesirable or unusable into something valuable. Our experience in dealing with extremely difficult site conditions, whether in regard to soils or zoning, is what sometimes creates the most unique architecture, responding fully to the environment in every way and rendering a beautiful structure with meaning and purpose.” Above all, the minds at HELMAN SECHRIST Architecture have a masterful grasp on the overarching sense of how place becomes home. Their passion for custom residential architecture stems from their belief that architects must recapture their influence in a timeless building type that has increasingly relied on these nebulous needs. When clients experience the type of space and experience that they can deliver, they just then begin to understand the effect that place can have on day to day life. ALT THIS SPREAD: The Sanctuary Residence. The great room features large-scale timber trusses and a twostory stone fireplace. The master bath is an open and luxurious space featuring a curved plate glass “clamshell” shower with river rock stone floor. The project also features an extravagant powder bath with natural tile, metallic paint, ground edge granite tops with vessel sink and a custom light fixture unique to this home only. Photos by Hilliard Photographics.
“I believe our success is dependent upon our ability to read our clients and their ability to speak openly with us from start to finish.” Jeffrey Helman, owner and founding principal 78 Spring 2011
BRINGING LUXURY HOMES TO LAKE MICHIGAN
by Joel Cornell
All along the coast of Lake Michigan are some of the most picturesque vistas in the Midwest. Dotting the 1,600 miles of shoreline along the lake are many of Century Builder’s finest custom residences which match the surrounding environment in their beauty, timelessness and value. For over 35 years, Century Builders’ owner and president Jim Sieradzki has been working throughout the Michiana area, which includes much of northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Their projects have pushed the boundaries of traditional custom residences throughout the area, largely through their unique understanding of space and their utilization of the cutting-edge technology. “We’ve been working with Helman Sechrist for many years now,” Sieradzki said. “Their desire for brilliance in design has matched our own every step of the way. The plans they create are always perfectly detailed and allow us to provide exactly what the owner or client envisions for their home.” Century Builders’ projects with Helman Sechrist have always shown a unique attention to detail, resulting in distinctive and personally engaging spaces. Their level of personal interaction with client and architect alike demonstrate their understanding of the line between necessity and luxury, and where the two intertwine beautifully in high-end custom residences. ALT
Michiana's Luxury Home Builder
“We create homes that offer all the
luxurious amenities, architectural detail and enduring value that our clients deserve. Our customers are our future.”
Jim Sieradzki, Owner 229 Red Coach Dr, Suite 104 • Mishawaka, IN, 46545 Phone: 574-277-4171 • Fax: 574-277-4202 firstname.lastname@example.org
BOB MILLER’S APPLIANCES AND MATTRESSES
by Joel Cornell
When you think of glamorous possessions and beautiful things, appliances would not normally make the list. But with more social events happening in the kitchen and innovations in technology (like a refrigerator that e-mails you maintenance reminders) appliances have taken a position of note. “Appliances can be exciting now. They have a big influence on our daily lives. People gather together in the kitchen,” said Lisa Miller, who with her husband Chris, owns Bob Miller’s Appliance and Mattress Showroom. Today’s appliances have changed since Bob Miller’s began in 1961. Bob Miller’s works closely with its builders and contractors to insure complete satisfaction in planning, decision making, installation and servicing everything they sell, from a basic washer to a professional grade built-in refrigerator. “The contractors, designers and customers seem to really enjoy the planning phase of the kitchen. Our showroom is set up with many different kitchen vignettes so clients can be creative with ideas,” said Miller. Along with style and design, consumers are very aware of energy consumption. Appliances must now meet guidelines to be considered
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energy efficient and the manufacturers are listening. Refrigerators are using less energy with new designs like four-door refrigerators that have a middle drawer at counter height that’s accessible to the whole family, with most of the refrigerator remaining closed 80 percent of the time. The front- and top-load high-efficiency washing machines use far less water than the traditional top-load machine, down from 50 gallons to as little as 14 gallons. It’s no secret that the changing face of the economic climate has affected everyone. “We have worked with many builders and designers over the years,” said Miller. “Everyone has slowed down. Our goal is to offer builder discounts and give the best possible customer service. Our sales staff is committed to insuring that every detail of the purchased products fit into the scheme of the kitchen. The brands we carry are endless, from all the basics such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchen Aid, Amana, Frigidaire, LG, Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, to the mid- to high-end like Jenn Air, Jenn Air Pro, Electrolux, Sub Zero, Wolf, Viking, Northland, Scottsman, U-line, Vent-A-Hood, and more…” For more information on Bob Miller’s Appliances and Mattresses, visit www.bobmillers.com. ALT
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Karlsberger their groundbreaking design has made this firm a national leader in healthcare architecture by Felicia Willis
Karlsberger was founded in 1928 in Columbus, Ohio by Louis F. Karlsberger, AIA. Karlsberger began his practice to implement his strong theory of what constituted good home design. His work was quickly recognized as superior, with special attention paid to energy efficiency. In the 1940s, he turned his attention to the needs of cities, particularly healthcare projects. The firm’s first hospital project was the St. Anthony Hospital in Columbus, and with it, a new generation of healthcare architecture was born. Karlsberger has been known for their healthcare work ever since. In 1957 Karlsberger’s son Robert L. Karlsberger joined his father’s practice and succeeded his father as CEO in 1975. Robert shared his father’s passion for designing healthcare facilities that were not only efficient to operate, but also allowed the patients greater dignity and provided their families comfort. He was a huge advocate for planning and constantly explored ways to reduce operational and construction costs. He expanded the firm’s geographical footprint to include not only Ohio, but the entire East Coast. “Robert broadened our practice to take it out of the Columbus region,” said current CEO Sandra Shield Tkacz. “We became well known around
the state, and ultimately became a national practice, with a concentration in healthcare.” Since the Karlsberger family stepped down in the late 1980s, the firm has had several CEOs but continues to enjoy the title of groundbreakers in their field. Tkacz, a Richmond, Va.-native, joined Karlsberger Architects in 2009 as senior vice president and director of planning. In September 2010, Tkacz took on the role of first female CEO in Karlsberger’s long and illustrious history. With a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and a Master’s of Architecture from Harvard, Tkacz is well prepared for the job. “I have been in healthcare design for my entire career,” Sandra said. Her client experience includes Akron Children’s Hospital , Norton Kosair Children’s Hospital and Bon Secours Health System just to name a few. “I’ve also been very active over the course of my career in teaching and community involvement. Before I came to Karlsberger, I was a healthcare principal with Odell Associates in Richmond, Va. and I’ve also been active in the AIA and the ACHA.” The TriPoint Medical Center is one of the firm’s recent and award-winning projects. Located in the Cleveland, Ohio area of Concord
Township, the new medical center campus is approximately 44 acres. The campus encompasses a 90,000 sq. ft. medical office building and the 300,000 sq. ft. replacement hospital. Karlsberger’s focus for this project, which was completed in 2009, was to create a healing environment that engaged patients and their families, was efficient for physicians and staff and provided both inpatient and ambulatory care. This goal was met with a 125-bed community hospital including emergency, OPPOSITE PAGE: Seton Family of Hospitals, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, Texas. A 169-bed hospital, designed to celebrate the community and culture of Austin, Texas, to serve the medical needs of the community, to draw and retain leading healthcare professionals and to provide opportunity for future growth. The hospital was awarded LEED Platinum in March 2009, allowing it to become the world’s first hospital to achieve this status. THIS PAGE: (LEFT) From left to right: Char Hawkins, interior designer; Jim Malench, project manager; Bob Grundey, executive architect; Jonathan Gyory, director of design; and Susan Long, director of interior design, collaborate in a team meeting. (MIDDLE) Sandy Tkacz, AIA, ACHA, NCARB, CEO, leads a master planning study team work session alongside Susan Long, Director of Interior Design. (RIGHT) A project kick-off meeting with a longstanding client in Karlsberger’s main conference room was a comfortable, collaborative and exciting environment.
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THIS SPREAD: Dublin Methodist Hospital, Dublin, Ohio. Designated a Pebble Project by The Center for Health Design, this 94-bed hospital revolutionizes healthcare delivery by optimizing the medical, spiritual and emotional well-being of patients, families and staff.
obstetric, outpatient and imaging services. The facility also has medical/surgical and ICU beds, a cafeteria and various support services. The attached MOB contains hospital support services such as a physician’s lounge, health information management, conference center and private physician’s offices. While the design of the facility is obviously important, the campus design did not take a backseat and the landscaping at the medical center is impressive. Inspired by a stream that goes through the site, the landscape architects utilized it as a unifying element. The stream was metaphorically channeled into the healing garden, the chapel, main entry garden and gratitude garden. Within this environmental retreat are seating areas, assorted sculptures and a water feature that are all integrated beneath mature canopies and accented with forest plant material, linking it with the adjacent preserved stand of forest. The path throughout is decorated with boulders and plants and leads directly into the chapel. The landscaping also boasts a multi-tiered waterfall, stream and koi pond with chairs and rockers. The overall budget for the TriPoint Medical Center Project was $150 million. Karlsberger also had the privilege to work with All Children’s Hospital to design a 259bed replacement facility, whose construction budget came in at $195 million. “Our projects range from small renovation or 84 Spring 2011
new construction projects to new healthcare campuses, as well as master planning and consulting services. We can provide our clients a full spectrum of design services,” Tkacz said. The firm also has a strong national presence in laboratory and justice design. An important aspect of the work the firm undertakes is evidence-based design (EBD). In 2005, EBD became one of the firm’s initiatives based on staff research. Gathering invaluable information from their research has allowed Karlsberger to develop a design process that infuses projects with current and broad-based evidence, not only from their own work, but from leading healthcare resources. The firm as a whole is a staunch proponent of sustainable design solutions wherever possible. They believe that good design and sustainable design are synonymous. Forty-five percent of Karlsberger staffers are LEED Accredited Professionals and the company is a corporate partner in the Green Guide for Health Care. Karlsberger planned and designed the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas which is the world’s only LEED Platinum hospital. Next on the Karlsberger radar is their continued geographical expansion. “Right now we are continuing to strengthen our market share in pediatric healthcare design and community healthcare design” Tkacz said. “Additionally, we are looking at strategic alli-
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ances that take us into new markets. We have recently entered into a strategic alliance for joint venture with a large international firm, the IBI Group headquartered in Canada. We will be able to offer our clients additional resources and knowledge networks.” Karlsberger Architects currently has two offices: headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and a second location in New York. “Over the last 20 years, Karlsberger has been recognized nationally as a leader in healthcare design, and in particular, pediatric healthcare design,” Tkacz said. “We’ve designed over 75 pediatric healthcare projects around the country. We are proud to be a founding platinum partner of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.” Recent notable projects include the LEED Silver Franklin Woods Community Hospital and Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, Tenn., SUNY Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., Norton Brownsboro Community Hospital in Louisville, Ky. and Dublin Methodist Hospital in Dublin, Ohio. ALT
HZW ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS Throughout the wetland delineation and permitting process, HzW’s staff of wetland biologists has been proud to collaborate with Karlsberger in the planning and permitting of LakeHealth’s new TriPoint Medical Center. HzW shares the vision of evidence-based design—recognizing that the high quality of the hospital environment has a positive effect of the patient experience. Congratulations to LakeHealth and Karlsberger. For more information on HzW and environmental regulatory compliance, visit www.hzwenv.com
THIS PAGE: Sandra Shield Tkacz, AIA, ACHA, NCARB, CEO. OPPOSITE PAGE: (TOP LEFT) Mountain States Health Alliance, Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Johnson City, Tenn. A 37-bed tertiary care children’s hospital within a hospital includes a dedicated pediatric emergency department with its own entry and treatment zone; a pediatric surgical suite with two operating rooms and its own pre/post op, holding/ recovery and several PICU, med/surg and NICU beds. (TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM) Lake Health, TriPoint Medical Center, Concord Township, Ohio. A member hospital of The Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project Initiative. The 125-bed community hospital includes emergency, obstetric, outpatient, imaging services, medical/surgical and ICU beds, and includes an attached Medical Office Building.
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PAUL J. FORD AND COMPANY
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY by Joel Cornell
Paul J. Ford and Company has been providing quality structural engineering services since 1965 to a diverse list of clients involving a wide variety of structural design project types. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the company also has offices in Orlando, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga. The company holds professional engineer registrations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Puerto Rico. Paul J. Ford and Company provides structural engineering services for the design of new structures (including buildings, communications towers and monopoles and electric transmission towers), the design of foundation systems, the investigation and/or analysis of existing structures and the rehabilitation of existing structures. The staff at Paul J. Ford and Company are qualified and prepared to provide structural design services from programming to site inspections during construction. Over the years, they have earned an outstanding reputation by providing complete and accurate contract documents in a timely manner and by responding to field conditions with
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practical solutions. Their experience and sound technical capability, coupled with an extensive library of state-of-the-art design and analysis computer software, allows for the application of creative and efficient solutions to the project at hand. Since their founding, the growth of the firm has been directed to maintaining a high level of quality and service to all clients. For the past 35 years, Karlsberger has been one of those valued clients. As an industry leader in the design of healthcare facilities, Paul J. Ford and Company is honored to have served as Karlsberger’s structural engineering consultant on dozens of major healthcare projects throughout the nation. Within the past five years, the four most recent projects with Karlsberger (the All Children’s Hospital and Medical Office Building in St. Petersburg, Fla., the TriPoint Medical Center in
Concord, Ohio, and the Dublin Methodist Hospital in Dublin, Ohio) represent more than $400 million in state-of-the-art healthcare facility design and construction. Paul J. Ford and Company values their association with Karlsberger and looks forward to continuing a successful relationship with them well into the future. For more information on Paul J. Ford and Company, please visit www.pjfweb.com. ALT
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| regional marketplace
INSIDE: READER & SWARTZ ARCHITECTS, ALLEGUEZ ARCHITECTURE, MCLEES, BOGGS & SELBY ARCHITECTURE
The Royal Palm Hotel in Miami, Fla. Photo courtesy of Alleguez Architecture
building beautiful places with soul and purpose by Joan Tuponce
Dusk shot of the Songbird Lane residence, located on a rural, five acre site and surrounded by mature trees. Photo ÂŠ Allen Russ/HDPhoto.
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eth Reader and Chuck Swartz founded Reader & Swartz Architects in 1990 in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Their projects have involved many of the older homes in the area, including their own home which was originally built in 1968. “We hated it at first sight,” Swartz said. “It was a tract house at the top of a hill in Winchester.” However, the building’s allure was its majestic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “We lived in it for four years while we plotted its demise,” he said. Originally, the house had a 4/12 gable roof, a boxy floor plan and a minimal number of small windows, making it difficult to take in the views afforded by the location. The second floor of the home cantilevered two feet past the first floor. “There were six foot eight inch ceilings in many rooms of the house,” Swartz said. Their redesign opened up the house, bringing in a flood of light and taking advantage of the views of the mountains to the East. “In the end, we were trying to make an open, modern building that looked out over the mountain, the town and the valley,” he said. The couple wanted to use the skeleton of the house as they reworked the design. The outline of the old 4/12 gable roof, for example, is expressed on the underside of the new scissor trusses, and
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also in the new gable end glazing. The existing studs on the gable ends were kept and stripped to create a structure to support the new library shelves. “We turned them into something useful,” Swartz said. The shelves are accessed on one side of the gable by an alternating tread staircase, and, on the other side, by a 12-foot high, oak rolling ladder salvaged from an old telephone building. “My father had worked at the telephone company,” Swartz said. “The ladder was used for the racks of floor-to-ceiling equipment in the old building.” The design gives the home a unique feature. “You can walk on top of the refrigerator to get books,” he said, noting that the large refrigerator is housed in an attractive red plywood cabinet. The redesign flipped the living and sleeping levels of the house. Reader and Swartz live on the top floor of the 2,500 sq. ft. home. “It’s about the average size of a house in the United States,” Swartz said, also noting that the couple added an addition on the back of the house that includes a carport, a master bedroom on the first floor and a living space on the second floor. The new 16-foot deep, three-story, inverted shed-roof addition, facing the mountain, is made of glass, exposed structural steel and cedar. “There is steel that angles out of the back of the house,” Swartz said. “We were working with that. We needed steel structurally since we had so much glass so we decided to express it in the design.” The couple’s home was just one of their many innovative renovations in the area. Their firm
completed another renovation called Songbird Lane in the Virginia countryside. The plain looking farmhouse was built in the 1970s. “It was a two-story nondescript vinyl baby blue box,” Swartz said. “Our clients considered tearing it down but they felt like they should use the resources instead of scrapping it.” The house had one good feature. It sat on the right place on its site, a spot surrounded by trees. In their design, Reader and Swartz used the twostory core of the farmhouse and the garage in the design but created a new roofline and added two wings to the building. “We wanted to maximize the sun path to the South,” he said. “The kitchen was geographically in the middle of the house. We took a section of the kitchen and made it open to upstairs.” Cedar tree trunks were used to hold up the columns in the kitchen. The cabinets in the kitchen extend to the upstairs. The opening in the room connects it to the children’s areas above and adds daylight to the center of the house. Building was done with an eye toward the environment. “The materials were chosen for sustainability,” Swartz said. “For example, the boulder in the living THIS PAGE: (TOP) Songbird Lane front entry court. Photo © Judy Davis/HDPhoto. (BOTTOM LEFT) Songbird Lane master bedroom with glass corner and walls of integrally colored plaster and maple veneer plywood. Photo © Judy Davis/HDPhoto. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Cedar tree trunks support beams in the kitchen and yoga room. Photo © Judy Davis/ HDPhoto.
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| architectural products
THIS SPREAD: The kitchen cabinets at Songbird Lane are made of maple, sorghum, bamboo and sunflower seeds. Two of the cabinets extend to the second floor level, and hold trees. Custom millwork by Dovetail Millwork. Photo ÂŠ Judy Davis/ HDPhoto
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room, placed as a sculptural object, was unearthed during excavation for the geothermal system.” The passive solar design saturates the home with daylight. The exterior of the building is skinned in cedar siding, arranged in horizontal and vertical patterns and punctuated by art panels that range in size and are randomly placed. “We put the art in dedicated areas,” he said. “It’s definitely an interesting skin on the outside.” The home also includes high efficiency HVAC, including ground-loop geothermal, as well as radiant floor tubing and on-demand tankless domestic hot water. Other environmental features include high performance windows and glazing, high efficiency appliances, 100 percent recycled gypsum wallboard and local sourcing such as local cherry and maple interior hardwood flooring, harvested observing the standards of sustainable forestry management. Reader and Swartz have had some rather unique projects such as Loft Upon Cork in a historic downtown, which entailed the renovation of, and a small addition to, a vernacular Victorian house THIS PAGE: (TOP LEFT) Swartzenreader Haus Kitchen above front entry of house. Photo © Anice Hoachlander/ HDPhoto. (TOP RIGHT) Swartzenreader Haus. The renovated house, with new roof trusses and three story glass, cedar and steel addition facing views of the mountains. Photo © Anice Hoachlander/ HDPhoto. (BOTTOM) The living room of the Swartzenreader Haus has an inverted shed roof, pine shiplap walls, and a leather shag rug. Photo © Anice Hoachlander/ HDPhoto. OPPOSITE PAGE: Swartzenreader Haus. The “Swiss Army Staircase” accesses the gable end library walls, made from the skeleton of the house’s original, exposed wood studs. Photo © Anice Hoachlander/ HDPhoto.
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DOVETAIL MILLWORK As Reader Swartz’s preferred provider of custom millwork, Matt Spence, master craftsman, has contributed to many of the northern Virginia’s most prestigious establishments. For more information on how Dovetail Millwork can add to the sucess of your next project, see page 114.
built in the late 1800s. Originally four apartments, the house was converted into two with the owner living in the second floor loft apartment. “When he moved from New York, he had books and art,” Swartz said. “We took the apartment and turned it into a salon and private museum.” The kitchen, while modern, pays homage to the homeowner’s childhood kitchen in Liverpool in that it contains a large table in the middle that works as a work/prep area as well as an area where the family can eat. In addition to the kitchen, bath and bedroom, the project houses a garden library overlooking a Karesansui rock garden, a windowless secret library and a barrel-vaulted main salon. Unique features include a changeable wooden apparatus called a Wundercamera in the main salon that holds a variety of items such as a collection of art objects and antique scientific equipment, and an Art Deco handcrafted Murano glass chandelier in the windowless library. The building, along with an adjacent house also owned by the client, encloses an intensively landscaped, formal garden. Because the building is situated in a historic district, the street front THIS SPREAD: Reader and Swartz office, The City Meat Building. Bold colors on the façade make the building’s architectural features stronger. The first floor window scrims are an enlarged historic photograph of the butchers who worked in the building in the 1930’s. Photo © Judy Davis/HDPhoto; (TOP) Chuck Swartz and Beth Reader outside their office. Photo by Nathan Webb.
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facade was left unchanged. The only change along the alley facade was the addition of the second floor library, clad in a pop art, Sol LeWitt-inspired lap siding composition. The team used more artistic license with the courtyard facades, facing a private garden. The courtyard elevations are a juxtaposition of existing pieces, sympathetic renovations and contrasting modern insertions. “There was a lot of collaboration with the client and the builders who are amazing craftsmen,” Swartz said. “We do a lot of listening to our clients. We try to find the spark or delight in what the client has said and then push it for all its worth.” ALT OPPOSITE PAGE: Loft Upon Cork. The windowless, “secret” library, with dark chocolate walls, and a non-electric, Art Deco, Murano glass chandelier. THIS PAGE: (TOP) The kitchen continues the feel of the house, with exposed brick walls and ample space for art and oddities. (BOTTOM) The main salon, with the Wundercamera display apparatus; The main salon has a balcony facing the courtyard and formal garden. Photos © Reader & Swartz Architects, P.C.
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A Work of Heart
The Miami Architect, Ana Alleguez, puts her heart into every project. As a female in a field dominated by men, she stands tall with a heafty list of repeat clients, government work and a portfolio as diverse as the city she lives in. by Rebecca Rodriguez
Ana Alleguez, RA, AIA, LEED AP was given the opportunity to live out what could possibly be called an architect’s dream: to work on a project where her vision would be realized without outside encumbrance, to be trusted fully and to work from the heart. When the Conchita Espinosa Academy project in Miami came her way it was “love at first sight” for both parties. Alleguez graduated as part of the second graduating class from the school in Miami, now in its 77th year after originally being established in Havana, Cuba. The K-8 school and the architect it helped mold as a child seemed destined to come together. “Once they realized it was me, their former student, and we had our first meeting, it was meant to be. I knew their educational approach and vision,” Alleguez said. The large, four-phase project is still ongoing and Alleguez said she is putting her heart and soul into it, working to make it one of her signature projects. And anyone who sees the colorful and whimsical playfulness of the interior and exterior designs of the kindergarten learning center part of the school can tell she knows how to deliver a polished, clientpleasing design. “Working with Ana has been an enriching experience,” said Maribel Z. Diaz, director of Conchita Espinosa Academy. “I have known her since she was seven years old. The same qualities of discipline, quiet observation and determination that she showed as a child continue in the adult and are combined with her professionalism, talent and impeccable ethics.” The master plan includes four projects in which the kindergarten learning center, middle school classrooms and auditorium reconstruction have been completed. The last phase includes a two-story main administrative building and a library media center which is anticipated to begin in 2012. For the state-of-the-art auditorium, now known as the Rosita Segovia Theater, Alleguez wanted the space to become a venue for the entire school; but in particular, the conservatory THIS SPREAD: Ana Alleguez, RA, AIA, LEED AP on the jobsite at Florida International University (FIU) during weekly site inspection of the new Lecture Hall for the College of Medicine. Photo by Claudia Caccia.
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THIS SPREAD: (MAIN IMAGE) Main reception area and central corridor with whimsical openings allowing borrowed light to enter the building. Photo by Carlo Guzman de Jesus.
(DETAIL SHOTS TOP TO BOTTOM) New CEA Kindergarten Learning Center view of the West and North elevations which display a treble clef and staff near the main entry and building blocks along the North side; musical notes spell CEA. Photo by Ana Alleguez. Multipurpose room with panoramic view of the school’s expansive field. Photo by Carlo Guzman de Jesus; Kindergarten Classroom. Photo by Carlo Guzman de Jesus; Newly Renovated Rosita Segovia Theater; Photo by Ana Alleguez.
orking with Ana has been an enriching experience. I have known her since she was seven years old. The same qualities of discipline, quiet observation and determination that she showed as a child continue in the adult and are combined with her professionalism, talent and impeccable ethics. Maribel Z. Diaz Director of Conchita Espinosa Academy 106 Spring 2011
since the arts program plays such an important part in the teaching approach, offering clarity and balance of sound along with an inviting atmosphere. The original auditorium had moveable seating in dire need of updating. The seating area was converted to a 200 theaterstyle, fixed-seating auditorium where a sloped floor and vision angles makes every seat the best seat in the house. New theatrical lighting/ sound system, air conditioning, finishes and acoustic treatment were also added. The kindergarten learning center is about 10,500 sq. ft. and contains the office area, six classrooms, restrooms, support spaces and a multipurpose room. The double-height, multipurpose room provides a panoramic view of the school’s expansive field and will serve as a venue for a diverse array of activities ranging from interactive storytelling to small music
or dance recitals. The exterior facade is playful with window openings that allow natural light into each space and feature alphabet and number building blocks which characterize the facility. The whimsical openings are also reflected along the central corridor providing views into the classrooms and allowing natural light to trickle through the building. Colorful, square, geometric patterns appear on the floors of the classrooms and hallways, mimicking the windows in the classrooms and doorways. Additionally, the center will have a new protected playground along with smaller yard areas adjacent to and directly accessible from each classroom. Carol Diaz-Zubieta, the middle school principal for the Conchita Espinosa Academy, had nothing but gratitude for Alleguez’s hard work on the project.
“Ana and her team are a pleasure to work with,” Diaz-Zubieta said. “If there was a problem at the job, they were quick to respond and tackled the problem with efficiency and professionalism. They actually made the whole project exciting, enjoyable and worry-free for me. I knew that with Ana we were in capable hands. I look forward to continuing working with her.” Alleguez, celebrating her 15th year in business in Coral Gables, Fla., said she has a hands-on approach with clients that sets her apart from the competition and allows her to deliver the exceptional service, value and quality of work which is her highest goal. From day one, clients are included in communication and the first step Alleguez takes is to listen to them to get a clear understanding of their goals so they can be translated into an architectural project.
“I don’t change what they want. I reflect their needs into an architectural language,” she said. “We need to listen to clients and make them a part of the process from the preliminary planning phase through construction completion. They always know what to expect. I don’t pull the wool over their eyes. Communication is important and I have an open-door policy. They’re welcome into my office at any time and it’s the same with my staff. My clients see that I perform how I say I will perform. With clients, you’re only as good as your last project.” Repeat business and referrals is how Alleguez generates most of her business. Alleguez will take on residential, commercial, institutional and government work. She is currently engaged in projects with Miami Dade College, Florida International University, Miami-Dade County Fire Department, and others in the Architecture Leaders Today 107
private sector. Alleguez completed a number of projects, such as a student services center, mailroom and computer courtyard for Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican Campus that are “outstanding,” said Brian A. Stokes, director of administrative support services at the InterAmerican Campus. “Alleguez has a knack for incorporating the end-users’ ideas into each and every project and bringing these ideas to life. Her firm remains one of those firms that can always be counted on to perform at optimal levels and deliver the end product on schedule and hassle-free,” Stokes said. She has been working with Miami Dade College on projects for the past 10 years and was honored by being inducted into the MDC Hall of Fame for Outstanding Achievement in Architecture in 2007. Alleguez has also made a mark on the community having designed nine Miami Dade County Fire Stations and several Park and Recreation Department projects such as The Roxcy O’Neal Bolton Women’s History Gallery and Tropical Park Equestrian Center. Currently, Alleguez Architecture, Inc. has completed the design of the first Miami Dade County LEED Silver fire station, Miami Lakes Fire Rescue Station 65. Similarly, Alleguez has had the opportunity to work on several retail centers where she’s worked closely with private developers and Publix Supermarkets Having grown up in Florida, she received her Associate in Arts from Miami Dade College, Bachelor’s in Design from University of Florida and her Bachelor’s in Architecture from University of Miami. She worked for several large firms after college which handled a lot of government work, such as designing Miami International Airport’s cargo clearance center. Before opening her own firm, Alleguez worked with well-known Florida architect Thorn Grafton who she considers a mentor. She believes being a female architect gave her an opportunity to receive government work after starting her own firm. This experience provided stepping stones into developing private projects. She definitely sees herself in a predominantly male profession, but she doesn’t feel intimidated by this. “I have had to prove myself more and work harder to create a level playing field,” she said. “It’s a man’s world, but that’s never set me back.” As principal, Alleguez is involved with the daily business of the firm, as well as every aspect of all projects through completion. She even goes to the one-year warranty follow up walk-through to ensure quality. There are typically 15-20 projects of different sizes and in different phases in progress at one time. With seven on staff, she holds weekly meetings in which she meets with each project manager to receive the status on projects and manage the scheduling. She prides herself on meeting milestones and getting work finished on time when the client expects it. “I like wearing the different hats, but I don’t THIS PAGE: Historic Replication and Restoriation of Art Deco Royal Palm Hotel in Miami Beach: Façade of main entry. Midnight Affair Design Excellence Awarded in 2004.
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micro manage. I allow my staff to do what they do. They’ve proven to me they’re good and we work well as a team and give clients what they need,” Alleguez said. Alleguez Architecture prides itself on repeat clients. The firm got its kick-start from government work and she sees that as her bread and butter that has kept her business going through the recession. Being certified with the federal government as a small business, she would like to see more federal jobs arise in the future, but she is determined on staying the same size company. “I don’t envision becoming a large firm. In five years I would like to continue operating the same type of office and still enjoy what I’m doing. Designing and seeing my projects come to fruition is my passion,” she said. ALT
W THIS PAGE: (TOP) The Tropical Park Equestrian Center is the first of its kind for Miami-Dade County and South Florida. This stately center provides a state-of-the-art show arena covered by a 200 ft. by 275 ft. standing seam metal roof superstructure (BOTTOM) The promenade defines the pedestrian access and pathway to the facility. During events, promenade is used for vending kiosks creating a fair-like experience in a tropical setting. Photos by Ana Alleguez.
e need to listen to clients and make them a part of the process from the preliminary planning phase through construction completion. They always know what to expect. I don’t pull the wool over their eyes. Communication is important and I have an open-door policy.
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One Small Firm Juggles Many Big Projects TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE DIGITAL AGE, MCLEES, BOGGS & SELBY ARCHITECTS HANDLE A HEAVY CLIENT LOAD WITH PRECISION AND EASE AND ALWAYS DELIVER THE VERY BEST. by Rebecca Rodriguez
ith a client-based philosophy and a firm grasp on digital rendering technology, McLees, Boggs & Selby Architects are able to tackle large projects, often juggling several at a time with only seven employees. This firm, based in central Georgia, leverages its skills with BIM software to enable them to manage a significant number of projects with a cost of $10 million or more. “We do our drawings in three dimensions and this helps in communicating with clients,” said Bill McLees, one of the three partners at the firm. “Clients tend to just nod their heads when they see a twodimensional plan and not really understand what they’re seeing. But with the three-dimensional virtual models we can create, there’s more understanding and more feedback.” In order to get as much efficiency out of the staff that they have, the firm tries to complete all projects digitally and post work online for client review. The feedback they receive from clients is more specific, and the firm is able to zero in on what the client desires. And their purpose as a firm, McLees said, is to help the clients realize their own visions. The buildings should perform for their owners by improving the productivity and growth of the owner’s company or organization. After completing a new worship center in 2004, Ingleside Baptist Church has seen attendance grow significantly. The firm was able to Architecture Leaders Today 111
handle this $16 million project in an 18-month design phase while making sure to gain input from church members. The architects accompanied church members on visits to existing churches in several states. This allowed the congregation and the architects to develop a common vision for the church that was to come. The architects worked with their acoustical consultants to develop a room shape that would support an active music ministry. The church members also wanted good views of the outdoors which the architects accentuated with large expanses of glass on both sides of the platform. The interior of the church features a modern worship style that is carefully supported by the audio, video and theatrical lighting systems. The interior was also designed so that the baptistry forms a part of the worship platform which allows it to provide a more intimate and accessible feel for family and friends joining the ceremony. In traditional southern Baptist churches, the baptistry is located behind the choir loft and hidden behind a curtain. Stadium seating was incorporated instead of a balcony so that everyone would feel part of the cohesive group. The exterior style of the church is traditional with white painted brick staggered with stacked stone. It mimics the original sanctuary that was constructed in the 1950s. This sanctuary remains on-site and is used for weddings, funerals and other events requiring smaller space. Because McLees, Boggs & Selby usually handles a dozen or more projects at one time, the three principal architects meet every Monday to discuss in detail the designs and stages of each project. This ensures that each principal can give input and keep abreast of each other’s work in case one of them is out of the office. “There are a number of projects we work on at once, but if it’s a significant project then all three partners might focus on it at the same time,” Paul Boggs, another principal said. “Luckily projects seem to flow through in some order and our size helps us handle that. Sometimes we pass off projects between the three partners.” While a large firm may have 200 employees, they may assign only six or seven employees to a given project. Because of this, McLees said his firm is often able to put the same man power on a project that a larger firm would. His firm might be slow to complete a project in some cases, but this is often because the partners take the time to enable their clients to develop their visions as they go. Often a company realizes the need to expand long before their needs are firmly established. McLees said that because of his firm’s relatively small size, he feels that the firm is able to be more flexible and accommodating of client needs and requests. “We want our buildings to perform for their owners,” David Selby, the third principal, said. “We often describe ourselves as a client-driven firm. We are not afraid to let our design work be driven by what a client wants. We don’t try to force any particular aesthetic or design solution. We simply ask ‘what works for you and how can we help you both functionally and 112 Spring 2011
PREVIOUS PAGE: Ingleside Baptist Church. (TOP) Exterior view of the gathering area and southeast façade at night. (BOTTOM) The Baptistry is installed on a platform so that friends or family can stand close to the candidate for baptism. THIS PAGE: (BOTTOM) Entrance sign at Lanier Building. Photo by Walter Elliot.
THIS PAGE: (TOP IMAGE) The west view of the main enterance to the Louie Livingston Hall. (LEFT) The Surgical Technology Lab in Livingston Hall. (BOTTOM) The library at Louie Livingston Hall. Photos by Bill McLees.
aesthetically to realize a project that satisfies your needs and your vision?” he said. “Every successful project helps define a client’s image; it improves an organization’s productivity and allows businesses to grow.” McLees, Boggs & Selby specializes in institutional, educational and healthcare facilities, but will take on almost any project, including churches and recreational facilities. The firm gains new clients by highlighting their philosophy and vision, and they also rely heavily on
word-of-mouth and referrals. They also try to keep abreast of any future projects a current client might be contemplating. Unfortunately, competition has increased with the current economic climate. Larger firms are competing fiercely for even small jobs, and this makes it harder for smaller firms to win projects. In better economic times, there is simply more work available for firms of all sizes. Nevertheless, McLees said he is happy with the number of projects his firm has in the pipeline, and he has seen business pick up within the past few months. This has given him an optimistic outlook for his business and the state of the industry going into 2011. One recent project was the Lanier Building at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. This three-story brick building was built as a high school in 1910. This adaptive reuse project was applauded by some in the local historical preservation community, who were interested in keeping the look and feel of the structure similar to the original building. The outside brickwork was restored and MBS Architects worked with the local Marvin Window supplier to replace the original singleglazed windows with a historically accurate look while incorporating modern elements such as
insulated, low-e glazing. Only a small piece of cornice was left on the building, but through measurements and photographs, McLees and partners were able to reconstruct it. One challenge to the exterior of the building was adding a patient pick-up area. Because the building was constructed before the automobile was common, the drop-off area couldn’t be designed in a way that was truly historically accurate. The firm fashioned a canopy with brick pillars and a cast iron look in keeping with the period. They also utilized a white translucent canopy that allows a great deal of natural light. “The canopy is quite handsome at night,” Boggs said. “There is a soft, incandescent look to the lighting, and it illuminates the building in an interesting way.” McLees and his partners are sensitive to the needs of their clients. Working on a wide array of facilities, often in high volume, they have created a support system among the principals that allows them to handle challenges in an efficient and client-pleasing way. Being small can mean being big in ways that count for the client and for the good of the firm. ALT
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INTERNATIONAL INSIDE: LAURA NERI BAEBLER ARCHITECTS & ASSOCIATES, HUMIDIFALL, J.A. MATTHEW ARCHITECT
Inside the King’s Tomb in Kampala, Uganda Photo courtesy of LNB Architects.
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: ATAI ORPHANAGE, AGU VILLAGE, UGANDA ABOVE, OPPOSITE AND NEXT PAGE: Currently in the concept and preliminary design phase, the village is laid out in the shape of a heart, with the exterior gathering space at the center. The massing of the individual “family style homes” is in keeping with tradition, however they will be linked together by the shared portico. The children will be grouped into “families” of eight children of varying ages with one adult. The portico represents Atai as the organization or “extended family” linking, providing and protecting the children from the rain, sun and aloneness. The water from the rain season will be captured and stored for the
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shared bathrooms between two family units and other needs. The “extended family” will gather together for their meals in the communal dining and study area across from the kitchen prep area, the administrator, laundry and infirmary. The design has a main entry to the village and openings between the homes leading to the countryside that can be gated off for security as needed. There will also be a guest house to receive and welcome home the orphans that will someday graduate and attend a boarding senior high school or college, if funding allows. The land in Agu Village is traditionally developed for subsistence farming.
Construction can be phased as the donations allow, and it can expand as additional funds are raised. Progress will be measured by how many children are brought together as families and the village grows. Linked homes can be continuously added and linked much like the buildings and blocks in the ancient city of Bologna, Italy that are linked by over 22 miles of porticos. There are currently more than 850,000 orphans in Uganda. This project was completed pro bono by LNB Architects. The King’s Tomb (above) and the traditional dress (far right) were some of the inspiration for the concept and pay respect to the native people.
MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE The Saint Louis-based firm of Laura Neri Baebler Architects & Associates has a history steeped in entrepreneurship, a passion for the arts and multicultural exposure. by Joel Cornell
Growing up with a family in construction, and with a great, personal love for art, Laura Neri Baebler seemed destined for architectural design work. “The two biggest parts of my life seemed to coincide in a perfectly complimentary manner in architectural design,” said Neri Baebler, who has been working in the field since 1977. “I couldn’t study enough architecture. I learned a lot doing shop drawings and other little things for my father’s precast concrete business when I was young. I also worked for my first architecture firm during summers in high school.” Baebler also spent time studying abroad in Italy and Spain after receiving her master’s from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. In addition to her father, her mother and brother also owned their own businesses. Neri Baebler said the inspiration she gained from these experiences, led her to start her own firm back 1991. While raising her children, Neri Baebler maintained her
skills by doing occasional freelance work in St. Louis, Mo. Through doing projects as they came in, Neri Baebler quickly found her skills and background in high demand and began subcontracting the CD portion of her work. “I quickly found that this wasn’t the right way to go for me,” Baebler said. “I found out that I had a severe loss of control over the details of a project, which would result in less quality. Eventually, I decided to hire somebody to work with me so I could have all the benefits of another talented helping hand, while not losing any control or input on any given aspect of a project.” The studio evolved from Neri Baebler as sole architect, to its current four-person staff. “We’re a small, woman-owned Minority Business Enterprise. I’m an immigrant myself, and come from a multicultural background. We have strength in the diversity of what we do and in who we are. I’ve lived and studied in places like Argentina, Washington, D.C., Italy and Spain; it’s difficult to find places more multicultural than those. Through all this, I’ve seen how our firm is naturally attuned to what constitutes culture, what creates it, what separates and joins it. Here in St. Louis, Mo., and throughout the Midwest, you won’t find the kind of multicultural influences as widespread as they might be elsewhere. We try and bring in new cultures, new ideas, new inspiring design and architecture to create something new and exciting within the scope of what our clients want, who they are and a reflection of who they aspire to be.” Laura Neri Baebler Architects & Associates has always maintained a portfolio as vastly diverse as their staff. Throughout interior and exterior redesigns, new custom Architecture Leaders Today 117
residences, multifamily complexes, worship facilities, government works projects and both office and retail commercial design, the one thread that runs through the firm’s nearly two decade history is adaptive reuse and renovation projects. For Neri Baebler and her team, renovation projects are much more of a design challenge to overcome. “But, we truly want it that way,” Neri Baebler said. “We are all problem solvers at heart. We like doing new work, but honestly it’s a bit easier for us. When you set your sights on an existing building, we’re not just designing what we want or what matches the environment. Outside of the preexisting structural and aesthetic issues that constitute your average renovation project, the challenge of adapting every detail that the client wants expressed to something already set means lots of details to align and address; that 118 Spring 2011
is not only our forte but our passion. “Our refusal to operate in a niche, however, has necessarily presented us with some tough spots to get out of. I’ve found that often when firm specializes in one kind of building or use group, a similar design seems to be churned out, repeatedly with minor tweaks here and there. We prefer a wide variety of projects because we all went into architecture to challenge ourselves creatively. “Necessity is the mother of invention, and with such a diverse array of project types, the more eccentric and difficult the clients’ problems are, the more we are driven to find the highest quality solution, which gives our clients a much better building at the end of the day.” Through these recent troubling economic times, many architecture firms have had to make some tough decisions. But for Neri Baebler and her staff, these hardships have only honed
their skills, dedication to team work and talent. “Many small firm Architects working today have been stripped of a whole lot of what they used to do,” Neri Baebler said, “and I think that’s really hurt the profession overall.” Many less involved responsibilities, such as material procurement, cost control, legal advice, marketing or LEED certification, are too often performed by outside specialists at sometimes severe costs. “It’s our plan to take some of that back.” In becoming increasingly more full-service, Laura Neri Baebler Architects & Associates certainly found an increase in their responsibilities, but also an increase in quality. Now able to directly oversee or perform all duties related to a project, they can ensure the highest quality for their clients every time. The firm is steering clear of all impediments. This also extends into their general avoidance
of the use of Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) contracts. Contracts that support true team work look much better to Neri Baebler. “When projects are filtered through a process or contract like the DBIA, the contract language prohibits the architect from conversing with the owner of the project unless it is approved by the contract holder first,” she said. “That also means that if the architect has an opinion that he or she feels the owner needs to be aware of, it can be filtered or restricted, which is not in the owner’s best interest. This can get in the way of any kind of design quality guarantee on our part. “I agree that the contract holder needs to have knowledge of every aspect of the ongoing project. Although not by way of contract, we have been fortunate to work together with all parties as team members. We like everyone to check their egos at the door. It appears the Integrated Project Delivery method where all three parties, the architect, the builder and the owner, enter into a mutual contract, reflects a truer team. Staying current with the industry, and our investment in Building Information Modeling, assists the team and process. “We do our very best to make sure that the
client understands their input is imperative. We spend a lot of time with them in the programming and predesign stages so that we end up much better equipped to produce great designs with few revisions and reiterations. The more the client understands that thinking in detail before designing is most effective for a smooth and comprehensive design, the better the project. Everything we do supports the client’s obvious needs and image, but discerning the core concept from the client is often exciting to the client because they learn something they did not know before. Using that new insight to develop a strong concept to drive the project -- that excites us. The project, then, falls into place.” One of Neri Baebler’s most personal projects has been her own pro-bono work with the Atai Orphanage Fund. As a member of Atai’s board, she contributes resources, time and services to project management. She has also offered her office for designing a revolutionary orphanage. Including a library, indoor bathrooms, kitchen, alumni guesthouse, two wells and medical clinic, the orphanage will offer a space for 60 children BELOW: The LNB Architects office in St. Louis, Mo.
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THIS PAGE: (BOTTOM) This wine tasting area features a climate-controlled wine storage room with a lowered vaulted ceiling. (LEFT) Custom, built-in humidifying fixture by Humidifall. The feature’s inset stone gives the illusion that the water spout is from an underground spring. Read more about Humidifall on page 122. OPPOSITE PAGE: A custom pool house in St. Louis, Mo. as seen from the deck of the main home. All photos by Matthew Halveland.
to live, gather and return to visit after they leave. Despite extreme distance and location, Neri Baebler’s approach to this project has been no different from any other. Working on location particularly closely with the board, the children and all others involved in the research and design process to achieve a sustainable, ideal location for the children of Agu, Uganda, the motto “Village of the Heart”, is concretely coming to life. The orphanage is organized as a family village rather than an institution. Emulating a familial structure, the orphanage will group children and caregivers into pods. This structure facilitates the development of family-style relationships, and creates a warm, loving environment for the children to call home. And because there are over 850,000 orphans in Uganda, the village can grow in family increments as the funds become available. In becoming a global, full-service architectural design firm with the talent of the largest firms and the streamlined agility of the smallest, Laura Neri Baebler Architects & Associates has maintained a long and prestigious tradition to fulfill the needs and desires of any client. Their range, scope and capacity for greatness have set them apart and guarantee a future of highquality design for themselves and most of all for their clients. ALT
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| interior design
TURN UP THE HUMID A bright idea led brothers Jim and Russ Wilson to the path of success and now, there’s no stopping them. by Joel Cornell
As Frigidaire refrigerators were found in more and more homes across the country, the proprietary eponym, “Fridge,” came into common use. Just as Kleenex, Xerox and Google have become trademarks more recently, Humidifall is on the path to delivering appliance-like sales volume with a solution that may one day have parents asking their kids to, “turn up the Humid”. The idea for Humidifall came from brothers Jim and Russ Wilson almost 12 years ago. With their building and inventing backgrounds, both wanted to create a novel product that improved indoor environments for human living, saved energy, and reduced waste. Today, the Humidifall product line has evolved from a prototype to a complete line with clear commercial success. Nearly 1,000 Humidifalls have been installed around the county adding and controlling humidity, cleaning the air and creating a beautiful ambiance. “During the first five years of the business Jim, Russ and the engineers were experimenting with how to do this properly,” said Rob Topping, a Humidifall board member, investor and key strategist. “That included
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the designing the automatic control systems that optimize humidity and take care of all the maintenance and cleaning. Also the way the stainless steel is fabricated is unique. The anti-drip and anti-leak edges prevent splashing and condensation from forming in places that have been problematic for others that have tried this kind of thing,” Topping said. Through hard work and years of experimentation Humidifall now tops the charts when it comes to humidifiers. “We get calls nearly every week from people who have other manufacturers’ water features, and they are frustrated with maintenance, odors, chemicals, leaks or condensation,” said Jim Wilson, the company’s President. “We’ve got the only drop-in, standard product line for in-wall or stand-alone humidifying water features, where all the problems of other company’s designs have been solved.” By 2010, the company hit record revenues and units shipped, even with very little advertising. To this day, Humidifall continues to grow via word-of-mouth and inbound calls, even in a down economy. “The biggest source of marketing has been inbound inquiries that
come from Humidifall customers telling others about how much the product has improved their environments,” said Topping. The company’s next growth phase is to reach the A/E market, and then to sell the product through nation-wide distributors. “We are ready to really exploit the high-volume manufacturing capability that we’ve built and make the product available to a wider market,” he said. The experts at Humidifall are able to calculate the humidification or de-humidification needed in a home or business, and an in-house architect and designers help ensure customers can do everything they want to do with the systems. Most residential systems can be installed by a handyman, while larger commercial systems require one or more certified installers. Conveniently, Humidifall has their own installation teams that they can send directly to customer sites. “One of the challenges we faced early on was designing a system with the lowest maintenance burden,” said Jim. “We addressed all of the issues that the market said were important. We have a custom-technology water filter to remove the possibility of mineral deposits. We developed a system that does not need any chemicals to stay clean. And, while some competitors now offer add-on options like ultraviolet sterilization only Humidifall provides an all-in-one water feature to humidify, dehumidify, clean the air, and clean the water without chemicals.” Humidifall’s product is unique compared to competing technologies. Humidifalls have at least eight times the evaporative surface of an in-duct unit, and are therefore much more efficient. Their smallest unit puts up to four gallons of moisture per hour into the air when necessary to humidify a dry interior environment. Humidifall currently delivers throughout the U.S., Canada and the Islands, and they are preparing for international delivery to Africa and the Middle East. They are also filing for patent protection in those regions. Looking forward, Humidifall is working on new designs, panel materials and incorporating the use of fiber optic backgrounds and LED lighting systems. Their upcoming website design incorporates a mass customization feature allowing customers to access the whole design library so they can see what the product will look like installed in their space. ALT Architecture Leaders Today 123
SHAPED BY & FOR A DIVERSE WORLD JOSEPH A. MATTHEW AND HIS SMALL FIRM HAVE CRAFTED THEMSELVES INTO MASTERS OF THE LARGEST AND THE MOST COMPLEX PROJECTS IN CANADA AND BEYOND. by Joel Cornell
OPPOSITE PAGE: Joseph A. Matthew, Principal, J. A. Matthew Architect Ltd. THIS PAGE: In 1976, race riots broke out across Boston over integrated bussing. In this Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, Joseph Rakes, the white teenager holding the flag, attacks Ted Landsmark, a lawyer and civil-rights activisit at the time. Today, Landsmark is the chair of the AIA Diversity Committee and president of Boston Architectural College. Photo by Stanley Forman.
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oseph Matthew, founder and sole principal of his firm J. A. Matthew Architect Ltd., came into the architectural design industry in the early 1970s. During and even after the American civil rights movement, black men and women of great talent and skill have endured severe and widespread difficulty engaging in a variety of professional sectors. Born in Montserrat, West Indies and currently based in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Matthew has seen first-hand the underrepresentation of minorities in the architecture industry and, despite all odds, has built a highly successful firm specializing in large-scale projects within the education sector. Matthew was raised in his home territory of Montserrat until he finished school and wanted to go on to study architecture. “I knew from a very young age that I wanted to go into architecture,” Matthew said. “As a kid, when I decided on architecture, I had absolutely no idea what an architect was. I had never seen or met an architect, so it was a very vague dream that I had. Coming from a tiny island like mine, there were no architects around, so the concept was very idealized.”
Upon coming to the U.S. to study architecture, Matthew attended the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1973. At that time, only 0.5 percent of architects were black. “To say the least, that was not a very inspiring percentage,” Matthew said. “The environment in the U.S. seemed daunting. I thought, ‘If I want to face such challenges, I want to face something other than those odds.’ “When I graduated from Howard University, we were taught to think that if we, the young black architects, wanted survival and to make it in the world at large, that we had to be twice as good as our white counterparts. There were no intrinsic racial elements to this line of thought; it was entirely factual.” According to the Center for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati, there are only 1,782 black architects registered and active in the U.S. today. This is a staggeringly low number, constituting just an approximate 1.5 percent of all of today’s registered architects. Indeed, many states in the U.S. do not have any registered black architects active today including Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota. Architecture Leaders Today 125
“INITIALLY, MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS TO PROVE MYSELF AND MY CREDIBILITY AS A BLACK ARCHITECT. TODAY, THE HARDEST PART IS SIMPLY ASSURING PEOPLE THAT FIRM OF OUR SIZE CAN, HAS AND WILL HANDLE THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPLEX PROJECT TYPES.” JOSEPH MATTHEW, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF JA MATTHEW ARCHITECT LTD.
“The architecture program at Howard was extremely comprehensive, and for good reason,” Matthew said. “We knew we couldn’t go out into the world simply knowing how to draw and expect any kind of success. We had to excel at architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. Whether or not that was actually true, I treated it as if it were true. The times and my experiences more or less conditioned my mind for those types of challenges, and ultimately it paid off. “Many architects went into mechanical or structural engineering fields after graduation despite their training as architects. Often, it’s more likely and less hazardous for architectural students of one minority or another to take on a nonleadership position in a related industry. When I first began my career, I could have joined another firm and worked for more
126 Spring 2011
money as an employed architect, but I truly wanted to be the master of my own destiny. It seemed farfetched at the moment, but it was something I held onto. The circumstances that shaped my situation ultimately prepared me for the future.” Ted Landsmark, chair of the AIA Diversity Committee and president of the Boston Architectural College, received his two degrees from Yale College the same year Matthew received his from Howard. Landsmark’s struggle as a black architect working in a fairly adverse sector has been immortalized in the 1977 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, The Soiling of Old Glory. As Landsmark was making his way towards Boston’s city hall, anti-busing protestors attacked him with an American THIS SPREAD: City Hall, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Northwest Elevation. Architect: Horton Ferrari Matthew Westwood, Ltd.
flag still attached to the pole; an excessively poignant image. “If any profession has gotten away with a kind of benign neglect of diversifying itself over the last 30 years, it’s architecture,” Landsmark said. “It is safe to say that within the next decade, most of the clients will not look like what most architects look like today.” Architect and president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Melvin Mitchell, FAIA, spoke extensively about
architecture as a cultural hole in black identity in his book, The Crisis of the African-American Architect: Conflicting Cultures of Architecture and (Black) Power. “Architecture is culture,” Mitchell said. “It’s the mother art; the first art. When man builds, all of the art forms are housed in architecture. When we had our first big, cultural renaissance during the Harlem Renaissance, AfricanAmerican architects were missing from that. We were the missing link. Our generation did
not see themselves as privileged and having the authority to pursue culture.” Upon surveying the desolate employment landscape for black architects, Matthew decided to return to Montserrat. Shortly, however, Matthew received a scholarship for post graduate studies in Scotland for rural planning. He left Montserrat en route to Scotland with plans for a brief visit to Toronto, and that’s where his journey ended. He fell in love with the city and its total environment and decided that this
Architecture Leaders Today 127
would be home. Rural planning was now out, and pursuing a career in architecture became the sole objective Initially, he began his search in Toronto, without much luck. After some searching, Matthew was hired on as an intern architect for a firm in Saskatchewan. After over five years of exemplary work with this firm, Matthew made the jump and started his own firm, Joseph A. Matthew Architect Ltd. After sometime, however, the firm he had been employed by previously was ardently asking him to return. “At the time, I was young and enthusiastic and ambitious,” Matthew said. “I experimented with a private practice for a few years, but the firm I had worked for previously was very insistent on having me back. After a while, I finally said: “If you want me back so badly, let’s talk partnership.” At first, they thought the idea was preposterous, but over time they realized how badly they truly needed me, and decided to consider my proposition. “Alberta was and is the oil capital of Canada. In the early 1980s, the oil industry was still booming in the province. This situation created a need for the Saskatchewan-based firm to expand into Alberta and the opportunity for my partnership and placement there. Accordingly, I was allowed into the partnership on the condition that I close my private practice and relocate to Lethbridge to add architecture to the firm’s already thriving engineering practice.” Matthew reflects with great pride the sense of accomplishment he felt on becoming the newest partner of an engineering and architecture firm over 150 employees strong. This exhilaration was short lived as the boom went bust in 1982, resulting in the demise of the firm. For Matthew, the return to private practice became the only option. Matthew has been practicing in Alberta ever since the founding of this new firm in 1982, making Matthew the first black architect to
register in the Province of Alberta, as well as the first black architecture firm. Today, the majority of the projects designed by the firm of JA Matthew Architect Ltd. are within the education sector. The firm began doing mostly renovations and smaller new construction projects, as the economy of Alberta at the time did not allow for the construction of major new projects. Eventually, in 1985, one of the local school divisions that Matthew was working for entrusted his small firm with a $8.9 million modernization project for a local high school of over 230,000 sq. ft. Matthew and his firm completed the project ahead of schedule and $0.5 million under budget. Suddenly, J. A. Matthew Architect Ltd. was established as one of the foremost firms for the design of educational facilities in Alberta. Over 30 years of success, Matthew has kept his firm small, lean and agile. Despite the size of the firm never rising above seven personnel at any given time, the size and complexity of the projects Matthew handles have increased enormously. In 2000, Matthew worked collaboratively on a new $20 million city hall in his
hometown. The scope of the firm’s projects, however, spans throughout the residential, commercial, industrial, medical, governmental, corporate, institutional and recreational sectors. His credits now include his firm’s participation in the recently completed West Lethbridge Centre. This project incorporates the work of three architectural firms with a total building construction cost over $60 million. “Initially, my biggest challenge was to prove myself and my credibility as a black architect,” Matthew said. “Today, the hardest part is simply assuring people that firm of our size can, has and will handle the larger and more complex project types.” With a West Indian background, an American education and nearly 30 years of Canadian experience, Matthew and his firm have reached the highest levels of quality and have set a standard for all architects around the world. ALT
THIS PAGE: (TOP) Chinook High School, Phase II, Lethbridge, Alberata. Joint Venture Architects: J.A. Matthew Architect, Ltd./SAHURI + Partners Architecture, Ltd.
HORIZON SCHOOL DIVISION NO. 67 IN TABER, ALBERTA Horizon School Division No. 67 congratulates J.A. Matthew Architect Ltd. on their profile in Architecture Leaders Today. Horizon’s association with Joseph Matthew’s firm dates back to 1988, commencing with a full modernization project of Dr. Hamman School in Taber, Alberta to the current project of the full modernization of two schools in Vauxhall, Alberta. Horizon School Division is a rural school jurisdiction faced with unique challenges of a diverse student population, older facilities dating back up to 100 years and fixed capital budgets. J.A. Matthew Architect Ltd. has provided the prime consultant and architectural design services for 11 major school projects and 20 specific design projects. All projects were designed and completed within budget. From the first project in 1988, to the present, Joseph Matthew’s goal for Horizon has been “Excitement Within the Budget.” Horizon School Division No. 67 congratulates Joseph Matthew and the staff of J.A. Matthew Architect Ltd. 128 Spring 2011
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Concord Sheet Metal 1666 Willow Pass Pittsburg, CA 94565 925-680-8723
Architectural Flooring LLC 31 South Adair St Pryor, OK 74361 918-824-8544
Great Bay Contracting 41 Degnon Blvd Ste A Bayshore, NY 11706 631-665-5091
Harrison Orr 4100 N. Walnut Oklahoma City, OK 73105 405-528-3333
Gerold Brothers Builders 81 Keyland Ct Bohemia, NY 11716 631-589-5492
Mitchell Acoustics & Drywall, Inc 3721 S. Missouri Ave Oklahoma City, OK 73129 405-677-8400
International Construction 4205 Hardscrabble Rd Columbia, SC 29223 803-699-5106
Trussway Ltd 8850 Trussway Blvd Orlando, FL 32824 281-733-8459
Diamond Lad Scaping 26 N Commerce St Liberty, SC 29657 864-449-3525
Blue Haven Pools of NC 10020 Industrial Dr Pinceville, NC 28134 704-889-1300
Wilson Painting 743 Wilson Rd NewBerry, SC 29108 803-924-3131
GEO Services 163 Business Park Dr./Ste 15 Lebanon, TN 37087 615-547-9314
Executive Construction Eddie Yandle 803-462-0884
Madison Swimming Pools 1416 Dickerson Rd Goodlettsville, TN 37072 615-865-2964
Columbia Siding & Windos 656 Frink St Cayle, SC 29033 803-791-5969 H&H Contractors 101 Morning Lake Dr
SM Lawrence Jackson, TN 38301 731-423-0112
Jim’s Welding 803-739-2555
Aqua Seal MFG & Roofing 1144 Walter Price St. Cayce, SC 29033 803-936-0420
Creative Outdoor Designs, Inc 803-732-3620
MidSouth Steel, Inc 16949 Highway 1 Harrisburg, AR 72432 870-578-9276
Simplex Grinnell 6423 Shelby View Dr/Ste 107 Memphis, TN 38134 901-386-0532
CEC Steel 400 Ft. Martin Industrial Pk Maindsville, WV 26541 304-598-3055
Eric Gunter Construction Eric Gunter 803-319-4501
The Workman PO Box 110723 Nashville, TN 37222 615-244-8262 FL Crane/FLC Imports 508 South Spring S/PO Box 428t Fulton, MS 38843 901-277-9122 AET 1722 Indian Wood Circle Maumee, OH 43537
Viridian 100 Gamble Rd Little Rock, AR 72211 501-227-0648 Engineering Design Consultants 9700 Village Cir./Ste 200 Lakeland, TN 38002 901-462-3040 Environmental Excavators 2303 Hackney Rd Greenbriar, TN 37073 615-207-3610 Ortex Virgil Hicks 80 Fesslers Ln Nashville, TN 37210 615-256-7381 India Globalization Capital, Inc 4336 Montgomery Ave Bethesda, MD 20814 301-983-0998 ZZ Consulting 1086 North 900 East Shelley, ID 83274 208-357-5571 SuperTile 4226 Scone St Houston, TX 77084 832-250-4244 Xella Aircrete 900 Schneider Dr Cibolo, TX 78108 210-402-3223 CMS USA 5072 Steadmond Dr Houston, TX 77040 713-690-6868 Solidarity Contracting 10100 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S/ Ste 340 Houston, TX 77099 281-495-6777 Standard Electric Co. PO Box 43216 Louisville, KY 43216 502-253-9885 L&W Construction CO. 1132 S Rangeline Rd Carmel, IN 46032 317-846-6134
M&M Cosmetic Sealants 1411 Ormsby Lane Louisville, KY 40222 502-445-8612
Geoscape Solar 7 Farmstead Rd Short Hills, NJ 7078 973-210-4277
Creative Concrete 1213 Natchez Rd Franklin, TN 37069 615-752-5272
Next Energy Corp 1110 Burnett Ave/Ste E Concord, CA 94520 925-798-0600
Padgett, Inc. 901 E. Fourth St New Albany, IN 47150 812-206-8620
Pfister Energy, Inc 80 E. 5th St Paterson, NJ 7524 973-653-9880
Superior Fire Protection 113 Park S. Ct. Nashville, TN 37210 615-254-8507
MBB Enterprises of Chicago 3352 W. Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60651 773-278-7100
Walker Mechanical 1400 W. Jefferson St Louisville, KY 40203 502-636-0002
Pro Custom Solar 5234 Kaitlyn Ct. Princeton Junction, NJ 8550 732-310-6052
Manning Materials 509 Lingon Dr Nashville, TN 37204 615-248-1001
Artisan Engineering 10 Robin Ln Charlotte, VT 5445 802-425-4350
Alcoa Concrete & Masonry 4908 46th Ave/Ste B Hyattsville, MD 20781 301-699-9300
Waterfurnace 453 South Catherwood Ave Indianapolis, IN 46219 260-478-5667
Sudberry Millwork 443 Atlas Dr Nashville, TN 37211 615-331-4076
Sundoor Solar 125 Research Pwky Meriden, CT 6450 203-630-7077
Senate Masonry 3750 University BlvdW Ste 200 Kensington, MD 20895 301-816-0013
South Central 3055 State St Columbus, IN 47201 812-376-3343
Nashville Carpet Center 515 4th Ave South Nashville, TN 37210 615-244-9591
Sustainable Energy Group 13790 Gas Canyon Rd Nevada City, CA 95959 530-273-4422
Triangle Fence Co Ronda, NC 12345 336-984-3961
The Solar Company Nicole Wonderlin 20861 Wilbeam Ave/Ste 1 Castro Valley, CA 94546 510-888-9488
CED-Riverside 2970 Durahart St. Riverside, CA 92507 909-987-8900
Mike Adams Plumbing 601 M and M Ranch Rd Granbury, TX 76049 817-573-4414
Minnicks Heating & Cooling 301-953-2820
Peterson Mfg. Co. PO Box 664 Denison, IA 51442 712-263-2442
Don Stevens Co 980 Discovery Rd Eagan, MN 55121 651-452-0872
East Texas Canopy 11221 Cr. 2130 Whitehouse, TX 75791 903-839-2091
Clark & White Landscape 2930 Westwood Blvd #203 Los Angeles, CA 90064 310-463-3766
Millcon 15280 W. State Hwy 29 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 512-289-8550
Alexander Metals, Inc 497 Cave Rd. Nashville, TN 37210 615-256-6070
Valley Security Co. 88 Riverwood Dr. Oswego, IL 60543 630-554-1090
Sundek (Superior Concrete Resurfacing) PO Box 1705 Goodlettsville, TN 37070 615-822-7134
Ontility 3403 N. Sam Houston Pkwy/Ste 300 Houston, TX 77086 281-854-1407
Oxford Designs 615-337-2669
Schletter 3761 E Farnum Place Tucson, AZ 85706 520-289-8721 ENERGY CleanEdison 12 Debrosses St NY, NY 10013 888-513-3476 Total Service Inc PO Box 818 Pomtotoc, MS 38863 662-841-0251 Daikin 1645 Wallace Dr/Ste 110 Carollton, TX 75006 972-512-1982 Gary Dounson & Associates 2830 NW 41st St/unit D Gainesville, FL 32606 352-375-8593
Drops- Everything 106 Cummings Ct. Antioch, TN 37013 615-333-0401 Prestige Bath Refinishing 9295 Keen Rd Westmoreland, TN 37186 615-427-1485 TerraScape 2870 Old Fort Pkwy Murfreesboro, TN 37128 615-893-5125 Wolfe & Travis Electric 2001 Gladstone Ave Nashville, TN 37211 615-244-6800 Waterstone Construction 2418 Eugenia Ave Nashville, TN 37211 615-313-7299 Waste Management 1428 Antioch Pike Antioch, TN 37013 615-429-7825
Nello Wall Systems 6685 Santa Barbara Rd Elkridge, MD 21075 443-253-8811 Electron Solar Energy 2801 NW 6th Ave Miami, FL 33127 800-726-4981 Alternative Ecological Resoures Michelle Benero 939-397-7018 ESG Meram El Ramahi 4655 Rosebud Lane Newburgh, IN 47630 812-492-3734 VendRick 367 Collar Price Rd Brookfield, OH 44403 330-448-4600 JW Didado Electric 580 Vernon Odom Blvd Akron, OH 44307 330-374-0070 Bradford White 725 Talamore Drive Ambler, PA 19002 215-641-9400 Pauly Jail Building Co Pauly Jail Building, CO 317-580-0833 Steel Ceilings, Inc Grant Snowden 451 E. Coshocton St Johnstown, OH 43031 800-848-0496 Landscapes Inc 88 Rogers Ln Richmond, VT 5477 802-434-3500 Lighthouse Solar 4 CHerry Hill Rd New Paltz, NY 12561 845-417-3485