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Gresham, Smith AND Partners

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FOREWORD Three years ago we saw the launch of Showcase, Gresham, Smith and Partners’ annual collection of internally recognized projects. The Showcase was developed in response to internal dialogue around the question “What is good design?”, and more specifically, “What does GS&P consider good design?” We knew that despite our longevity and history with a wide range of clients and project types, we weren’t taking enough time to simply discuss design’s meaning, impact and evolution. We also wanted to make sure we weren’t just touting the concept of “good design” from the mountain top. It wasn’t a topic to be addressed in a boardroom and disseminated to those meant to carry it out. Design, great design, is collaborative and multi-disciplinary, and with collaborative expectations came the need for collaborative recognition — the annual Showcase was born. I consider this third volume our finest yet, as we’ve seen the Showcase design challenge take root in our culture and begin to positively affect not only our dialogues and collaborations, but our design solutions as well. We’re seeing improvements in our internal design dialogue, the expectations we have for our work, and the pride we feel about the resulting effects for our clients and communities. The original intent was inward-focused, but we’re proud to share the results with you. I am sure that with time the method and outcome of the Showcase will change, but the intent never will — a collection that instills pride in our ability to deliver world class design services and facilitate success for the clients we serve. I am proud of this collection and look forward to many more years of successful design. Congratulations to all the teams whose work is represented here.


CONTENTS Engineering Planning & Design 9

Grim es Bridge Replacem ent Building On e


I-40/Mt. J u liet Road Interchange


Knoxville Regional Complete Streets Study


Pigeon Falls parking area and trolley access


West Market Street

Architecture, Interiors & Planning 51

Auburn Research Park


Foley & Lardn er, LLP


Gu lfport-Biloxi International Airport


Health Care REIT, Inc.


Martin M ethodist College, Fin e Arts Center


M ercy Hospital Patient Tower


Seou l National U niversity Hospital M edical Mall


The U niversity of Tenn essee Cherokee Farm


U.S. Army Corps of Engin eers


Vanderbilt M edical Center, On e Hu ndred Oaks


Vanderbilt U niversity Children’s Way Garage


Western Reserve Hospital



Engineering Planning & Design


Grimes bridge A concrete bridge replacement overcomes structural and environmental challenges to reconnect a Georgia community. The intersection of Grimes Bridge Road with Oxbo Road, which included a bridge over Big Creek, needed improvements for numerous safety reasons. Not only did structural challenges exist, but additional complexities also arose due to the duration of the project, changing traffic patterns and restrictions from an adjacent national park. What resulted, however, was a welcome improvement for the community and a solid relationship for GS&P.

Grim es Bridge Replac em ent INTERVIEW /

To m Z i e g l e r , R o g e r B y b e e , T e d K n i a z e w y cz

This project spanned 14 years with numerous obstacles along the way. Describe your relationship with the client as it developed and what your team did to stay in sync with the client’s needs.

Tom: Whether it was traffic signals, lighting, the retaining walls, aesthetic treatments, public involvement or the groundbreaking ceremony, we went above and beyond. We attended meetings on a moment’s notice and were always willing to offer feedback to help the roadway folks improve their design. From a structural standpoint, the client made several changes, but we were always willing to meet with them to make sure we were all going in the same direction, which is why GS&P is still in good standing with the City and GDOT. Ted: We also had an established relationship with the bridge group at GDOT and used our experience with people on their team to talk through issues. Again, we just tried to keep everything moving forward. Tom: Meeting repeatedly to not only get their buy-in on framing details but also to refresh their memory as time passed.


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Even though you were just responsible for the bridge, you had to coordinate data from numerous entities which added to the complexity of the project and overall design. How difficult was it to pull everything together?

Ted: The two intersecting roads definitely added to the complexity. Since we were not doing the actual roadway design, the key was to make sure we were aware of any changes made to the roadway plans throughout the project development. When you have roads coming in from different directions, they bring conflicting slopes together, so we had to study the cross-slope of the roads. As a result, we had to make several changes in our design along the way or make suggestions for changes to the roadway designer. Most of the complications had to do with how utilities cross through the construction site to build two intersecting roads. The adjoining property is a national park, so working within the park’s restrictions meant we couldn’t impact that property at all. Our choices were severely limited. We were able to shift the alignment slightly to intersect the two roads directly over the creek that runs through the area.

g resh am , sm ith and partn e r s

If you had to pinpoint the single most daunting structural challenge on this project, what would it be?

Tom: The most complicating factor was the framing plan for the beams to support the rest of the prestressed concrete bridge. Being able to get the geometry to work and keep the footprint as small as possible was the primary issue. Every single beam in the bridge was a different size. Ted: The structure was constructed in a way that didn’t extend beyond the roadway width. We kept the design as compact as possible and held the footprint of the structure to stay within the existing right-of-way that was available for the roadway. Are intersecting roads over a creek a challenge?

Ted: Intersecting two roads over a creek is particularly difficult because of environmental and water quality concerns related to putting a support structure in the middle of it. We used some very unique geometry to allow us to create a uniquely shaped concrete structure that worked for bicyclists, pedestrians and

The original “T� intersection of Grimes Bridge Road with Oxbo Road. The bridge was in poor condition and immediately adjacent to the intersection, posing a significant safety risk to vehicles, including school buses, traveling across.

The new bridge design consisted of a unique geometric layout that resulted in a complex framing plan. Grimes Bridge Road

New design Oxbo Road Big Creek

The new, prestressed concrete structure has a 75-year design life.

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traffic and did not impact the national park property. How were you able to make adjustments for the traffic volume that increased over the lifetime of the project?

Ted: One of the major changes that occurred in the project was the need to include a traffic signal at the intersection. When the project was first conceived, the traffic volumes were not high enough to require traffic signals. Tom: As the project progressed, development in the area increased to a point that a traffic signal was needed at the intersection on the bridge. A special bent, or pier, design was required to provide a cantilevered support for the traffic signal poles. We devised a solution to extend the ends of the pier cap out further and mount the lights directly to them. Since you had to minimize the impact to the surrounding park and residential areas, what design elements made Grimes Bridge different from the typical bridge?

Tom: We placed a number of retaining walls both on and around the bridge that extended up the roadway and minimized

the impact on the adjacent property. Way back in the beginning, our graphic artist came up with different ideas about what those could look like, and our structure guys came up with different treatments for the concrete walls going across and underneath the bridge. Ted: There were several architectural enhancements on the bridge rail on top of the structure where lighting was embedded into the concrete. It also had different form finishes and a decorative rail on top to enhance the overall appearance of the structure so that it tied in better with the surrounding environment. Tom: The lighting was another really unique idea that our guys came up with. We didn’t just hang a light, we used conduit and provided provisions so that you wouldn’t see the cabling and power sources. This wasn’t necessarily in our original scope, but because the client wanted it, we worked it in. What part of this project has been the most gratifying?

Roger: I am most proud of the way GS&P professionals overcame complex design problems to create a functional and

Judges' comments

More than exceeded the client's expectations


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Careful staging was necessary to avoid impacting the existing sanitary sewer line attached to the original bridge. Interior bent construction located within Big Creek.

A special concrete wall finish was applied to create a more pleasing natural stone look at a more economical price. Matching walls were used extensively in the surrounding area to minimize impact on wetlands and the adjacent national park. New utilities were accommodated underneath the bridge.

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aesthetically pleasing structure which enhances the neighborhood and increases the safety of the public. Ted: With a job that goes on for that long, there are so many details, so many conversations, and so many people. It’s really gratifying when the project is completed and you see that the owner is happy and everyone who was involved in the project and uses the project is happy. Another testimony to our success is that we are continuing to work and do some of the biggest and best projects for the City of Roswell. This experience created a longstanding relationship that has become a very successful one for us on multiple assignments. Since Grimes Bridge, we’ve done a sidewalk project as well as the first phase of the Big Creek project for them. We’ve sort of become the go-to consultant for the City now. Tom: People were very, very concerned about what it would look like and how it would operate, and they were very pleased with the outcome. They used a substandard bridge for a long time, so some of the subtle features we incorporated made it a better performing bridge for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Not only was the client happy with the end result, but it was also incredibly well received by the entire community.

Judges' comments

Strong community considerations; Many aspects to showcase 14

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Expanded and oversized sidewalks were installed for connectivity to nearby parks and recreation facilities. The new bridge was positioned to allow a future trail to be located along the river bank and underneath the new structure. Additional pavement width and special lighting was provided for safety of cyclists and motorists.

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the City of Roswell the Georgia Departm ent of Transportation Pond & Company Roswell, Georgia Engi n eering TEAM P r i n c i pa l - i n - c h a r g e

Tom Ziegler, P.E.

P r oj e c t M a n a g e r

Tom Ziegler, P.E.

P r oj e c t p r o f e s s i o n a l

Roger Bybee, P.E.

A d d i t i o n a l TEAM MEM B ERS

Robin Lovett, P.E. Ted Kniazewycz, P.E.



INTERCHANGE Innovative, successful traffic engineering allows continued growth and development for booming community The City of Mt. Juliet and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) sought to improve the I-40/Mt. Juliet Road interchange due to significant residential and commercial growth in the area. With an aggressive timeline and several challenging constraints, GS&P was tasked to develop improvements that would meet state and federal requirements as well as respond to the well-founded concerns of local businesses. The resulting success is a shining example of GS&P’s commitment to superior project management, problem-solving and innovative solutions to benefit an entire community.


M i k e F l at t , D i a n e R e g e n s b u r g , M a r k Wa s h i n g , W e s S ta n to n

Why did the city hire GS&P to improve the Mt. Juliet Road/I-40 interchange?

for about a third of the cost of a full-blown interchange improvement.

Mike: The Mt. Juliet Road interchange on I-40 was a miserable interchange. In the mornings and afternoons, traffic was lined up for miles—and I do mean miles— on Mt. Juliet Road. At that time it was supporting an extremely large number of commuters who lived in the area and worked in Nashville. Add to this a huge shopping complex, a neighborhood of single-family residences, and an upscale retirement community that were all being built within five miles or less of this interchange. All of this had an immediate and tremendous impact on commuter and local traffic.

With so many people involved in the decision-making, what were some of the challenges?

What involvement did GS&P have in developing the project’s financial structure, and why?

Mike: For the original plan to have been a success it would have cost much more than originally budgeted. Since the project was funded by multiple sources including the city of Mt. Juliet, TDOT and area developers, we had to help them structure the financial plan for improvements that everyone could afford. We were able to provide 15 years of time and traffic growth

Mike: This is a commercialized retail area, and getting everyone to agree on the best solutions for the project was sometimes difficult. For example, The Cracker Barrel, Mapco gas station, and Waffle House all wanted their own driveways, and we knew from experience that was a dangerous idea. At that time, those vehicles were trying to accelerate and move across lanes of traffic to the left to make a left turn onto Belinda Parkway. While trying to do this, those vehicles were also having to slam on brakes to avoid hitting the people in front of them slowing down to turn right into these driveways. In addition to this, there were three driveways sideby-side that were allowing left turns out of them onto Mt. Juliet Road and people Northbound on Mt. Juliet Road were allowed to turn left into these driveways. Too many movements were happening in the same location, causing an unsafe condition.

Judges' comments

Clearly a complex project 18

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We had to persuade the state and the city to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us to convince the developers and property owners that if we gave them what they wanted, the whole system would fail and they would be miserable. In their scenario, as soon as you pull through the intersection, somebody wants to pull in and out of Mapco, Waffle House or Cracker Barrel. We had to get the existing property and business owners on board to work with us to provide their customers a safer passage of ingress and egress, while still getting the most volumes of traffic possible through the intersections and on and off the ramps. We presented our projections and used models to demonstrate the need to limit access by building dedicated entry points to multiple properties, which allowed us to manage traffic safely. What won them over?

Mike: A picture is worth a thousand words. Visualizing the situation helped but it was also getting key people to understand this would work. One of the first folks we brought on board was Cracker Barrel. Once we convinced them, they

TDOT required the existing bridge be maintained, so in order to build additional lanes for the slip ramp under the bridge, a retaining wall was designed to hold the slopes in place.

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Three natural gas transmission pipelines run through the northeast quadrant of the project, adding to the complexity.

A special concrete slab carries the ramp traffic and protects the gas lines from damage due to pavement settlement. Ramps were aligned to minimize impact.


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were one of the pioneers to help get the others on board. Three natural gas pipelines ran through the northeast quadrant of the project, requiring some innovative planning. What were some of the challenges?

Diane: One of my major responsibilities was to coordinate with the developer, the city, the state and Columbia Gulf Natural Gas. Because the pipelines carried natural gas from Texas and the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Seaboard for their heat, the timing of the construction was very critical. The gas could not be shut off or the entire eastern seaboard would not have heat. Making it even more difficult was the fact that their winters are longer than ours, so we only had a very short amount of time to work with. Mike: Also, when the pipeline was relocated there would be about a mile’s worth of natural gas wasted into thin air, and somebody would have to pay for that. When they turn off the valves to stop the gas from flowing, the pipes are still full of gas. They have valves placed every so often in the event of an explosion that they can cut the gas off. However, all the gas between the two sets of valves would be wasted for each of the three lines present. Diane had to do a lot of work to bring all those parties to the table, broker the deal, and get everybody to agree on who would pay for what, which was a huge issue. One of the more innovative aspects of your design involved crossing the pipelines under the slip ramp. Can you explain?

Diane: The depth of the gas lines was an issue because they require a minimum clearance of the road over the top of the pipelines plus a weight limit. By law, whenever you put traffic over a gas

line you are required by law to upgrade to a thicker pipe wall, or bury the pipes deeper—either of which involves great costs associated with moving or replacing the pipe. In this case, we did not want to have to pay to bury them deeper but we did upgrade the pipe wall. Essentially we created a third alternative: a concrete slab that also acted as the road surface and an upgraded wall to ensure we met all requirements. Mike: It also minimized the relocation of the gas line itself, which kept costs down. What other obstacles did you face?

Mike: During the design process, we could not close down any of the ramps to the interstate. We could temporarily close lanes on Mt. Juliet Road or SR 171, but the state was never on board to close in-ramps to the interstate. We had to always find a way to maintain access to and from I-40 east and west, which forced us to construct ramps and use more retaining wall than we normally would. The state did not want to tear out the existing bridge over I-40, so we came up with a plan to reconfigure the lanes and reuse the shoulders so that we could utilize the full width of the bridge and not have to rebuild it. Diane: We had to add more lanes to the eight existing lanes under the bridge in order to make a slip ramp. We used retaining walls to pull the slope back underneath the bridge to add additional lanes. Mike: The retaining walls also limited the footprint into lots that could be sold for development, which helped our client by holding down right-of-way costs.

What steps did the team take in designing new traffic signals and keeping traffic running smoothly?

Mark: The signal timing and coordinat­ ion between the various interchanges was a crucial element in this project due to the volume of traffic in this area and the limited amount of storage area between the signals. In order to prevent gridlock, special timing plans and signal phasing was used to help keep the high volume of traffic flowing. Many other existing signals were upgraded to accommodate for the roadway widening, and a wireless communication system was added for coordination. These signals were wirelessly connected to the master controller located at the Belinda Parkway and Mt. Juliet Road intersection. The master controller is designed to communicate to the signals and, with different timing plans depending on the time of day and day of week, help traffic through the area. How has the interchange affected the retail and business areas?

Mike: It is now one of the larger new shopping areas in Middle Tennessee, and most businesses are thriving and doing better than ever. Existing properties like Pilot and Mapco that initially told us we would put them out of business like their locations so much they have rebuilt their buildings in the same spot. All the things that locals did not believe would happen or be successful have happened, and it works. On Friday nights there is a wait at every restaurant in the area. Wes: Mt. Juliet also did not have a hotel until the interchange was redesigned, and now they have three.

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What aspect(s) of this project did you find most gratifying?

Wes: I lived in Mt. Juliet for eight years and did all my shopping there. I am actually now moving back there and will be using the slip ramp and interchange every day. Mt. Juliet is one of the fastestgrowing cities in the state, and I am especially proud to have them as a client and enjoy our work on a daily basis. Mike: Before, when you got off the interstate, you would have to cross over three or four lanes to get to one of the main roads. There were always accidents there, so I am really proud of the improved safety of the area. Diane: There were so many stakeholders involved with so many demands and so little money, and we had to please everyone. I am very proud that GS&P was able to sit down and figure out the most economical way to please everyone and deliver a great project.

Mike: At the start of the project, it was clear that there were two big entities that had a stronghold that were not going to compromise. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was not going to back down and give up on what they wanted for the interstate system, and they have the ultimate say over the interstate system nationwide. TDOT administers all state, local and federal funding, and since Mt. Juliet Road is a state route, TDOT had the ultimate say on the road. Even though the city was paying our fee, we were actually working for the government, the politicians, and the business and property owners, and we needed approval from all groups. I am extremely proud we were able to come up with a plan and a design that saved the project, gave the city what it needed, and let the development happen so they could get the tax dollars they so badly needed—and we met FHWAs requirements. Our team stuck together even though we were serving multiple masters, and we ultimately found a way for our direct client to salvage a project.

Judges' comments

Successful management of community considerations


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Roa d Mt. Jul iet Traffic surrounding this booming retail and residential area continues to grow. During construction, existing traffic flow was maintained and improvements were made with minimal right-of-way impact.

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City of Mt. J u liet Mt. J u liet, Tenn essee Hydrologic & Hydrau lic Calcu lations Survey AND Design Traffic Modeling Utility Relocation Managem ent Services TEAM P r i n c i pa l - i n - c h a r g e

Michael A. Flatt, P.E.

P r oj e c t M a n a g e r

Diane Regensburg, P.E.

P r oj e c t P r o f e s s i o n a l

Lori Lange, P.E.

P r oj e c t T e c h n i c i a n

Shawn Taylor

G e o lo g i s t

R. Keith Barnhill, P.G.


Bruce K. Dretchen

P r oj e c t E n g i n e e r

Chris Cowan, P.E.

A d ditio n a l t e a m m e m b e r s

Mark H. Washing, P.E. Wes Stanton






Knoxville Regional

Complete Streets Study Two heavily trafficked corridors are reimagined for improved pedestrian, bicycle and transit use Many of our city and suburban streets are planned with one user in mind—the motor vehicle. As traffic and congestion increase, it becomes more and more difficult to travel by foot or bicycle, and mass transit has an increasingly harder time negotiating the choked streets. The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization engaged GS&P to examine two corridors and propose a complete streets concept that would make room for all user groups while balancing service to vehicles and managing overall congestion. The team took the concept to the community, and the resulting elegant design marries simplicity, rejuvenation and accessibility.

Knoxville Regional Complete Streets Study INTERVIEW /

K e vi n Ti l b u ry , J a s o n B r a dy , J o n H e n n e y , M a r s h a l l E l i z e r , T r e y R u d o l p h

What is the complete streets concept?

Kevin: Complete streets is a popular term for a new approach to designing streets that looks at not just moving cars, but thinking about the role the streets play for everyone who might use them: bicyclists, pedestrians, older and younger people, transit riders and so on. You could characterize it as a national movement that has been picking up steam over the last few years, and one of the first places in Tennessee to advance the concept has been the Knoxville region, and, specifically, the Knoxville Transportation Planning Organization. They received a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to conduct a regional study, and it included looking at two corridors in the region and how they could transform into more complete streets. You started by engaging the community, correct?

Kevin: Yes. One of the first things we did was called a studio. We all met up in Knoxville and dedicated an entire week to each corridor. We landed in the study area on a Monday, had a public meeting

and got the community’s input. Then we spent the better part of the week in our Knoxville office brainstorming on strategies. During Thursday night’s public meeting we presented some strategies and concepts on complete streets to the community and got their feedback. In your opinion, did this style of collaboration work well?

Jason: The meetings were overwhelmingly positive. The citizens of the Fountain City community in Knoxville, particularly, were very supportive. There is a lot of traffic that goes down the main drag, a stretch where schools and other community gathering places are located. I was surprised that people were so willing to come out to the meetings, see what we had to say and to really support it. Trey: Some of the more interesting things that I got out of the public meetings were details we might not have realized were so important to the users. We do our inventory process and pick out the key points that we think are crucial or important, but when you get in there and the people that use this every day start talking about the problems that they have, it is really

valuable information. I think we got a lot of critical information that improved our design process just by their responses. Kevin: I think another viewpoint that we can not overlook that is particularly true with the Fountain City and Broadway corridor was the City engineering staffs that were very much focused on automobile mobility. On one hand, we had the community that wanted to see more bicycle and pedestrian treatments, and on the other we had the City transportation staff that was very concerned about impacts to the motoring public. As a result, I think our approach was one of balance and compromise. We had to look at the context of each street and consider the balance of needs and concerns and then make recommendations. Then we bounced them off of City staff and got their feedback. In the case of either one of the corridors, there was extra right-of-way on either side of the street, so we could make recommendations for bike lanes that would not impact traffic. There was a two-way center turn lane running down the middle of both streets and we made

judges' comments

Great teamwork, impressive community involvement. 26

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The Knoxville study dealt with specific issues around the Broadway in Fountain City and Washington/Hall corridors. Sidewalks, crosswalks and bicycle lanes are characteristics of a complete street that represent a shift in road design philosophy, and for many local residents the concepts were new.

The design team used several methods to engage stakeholders, including public workshops, stakeholder meetings, a steering committee and website. Public involvement helped sort residents’ critical concerns and solidify appropriate design solutions.

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Continuous sidewalk

Buffer with trees

Bicycle lane

Raised median

Buildings closer to the street


The two corridor studies used flexible design criteria to make specific recommendations on how to transform automobile-dominated streets. Reimagined corridors aim to address the needs of all users.


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some recommendations for installing raised medians that could be used by pedestrians to cross mid-block. The last issue was cost. We also had to make sure things were affordable to do. It was not pie in the sky. Jon: The two corridors that we looked at were really quite different in terms of their context, and while the issues were similar, the applications changed because of the context of each. Part of the process before we even met with the public was we had a team visit the sites and do some inventory to help us understand some of the issues associated with each corridor. We were looking at lane widths, existing sidewalks, if there was transit already in place, and what kind of traffic was already running on the roadways. We spent a lot of time looking at land use and where there were likely links that needed to be made between residential areas and destination points where people might want to be going. When we had our original meeting at the beginning of our studio process, we shared what we had learned and that was an opportunity to get some validation as to whether or not we had identified the important connection points. It was great to take that feedback, create the design, and then share it immediately with the people that actually live and work there. What were some of the unexpected challenges you faced?

Marshall: It is always a challenge to visualize the concepts. What would this mean? How would it fit? What would

it look like? That is where our talented staff like Cindy Frear and Trey came in. They have wonderful graphic illustration skills and could create visualizations that showed what could actually be built in the future. It helped people look at alternatives and make confident judgments about them. Kevin: And all that happened over the course of just four days. We landed on Monday night and then had two days to sum up this strategy given all of these constraints and expectations. We had to come up with these ideas on the fly and conceptualize them quickly and succinctly. That was a pretty big challenge because normally we all retreat back to the comfort of our offices and have time to noodle on things. Trey: One of the challenges was obviously the time constraint, but at the same time we had to find how we could use some of the visual media that we have to express these ideas to the client, user groups and City engineers. It was definitely something that you have to be very careful not to get too lofty with. So not only the time constraints, but I think trying to be as honest and representative of the truth in design as we could be was probably the most challenging thing. How do you feel this project contributes future value to your profession?

Marshall: Urban area congestion continues to grow. The number of residents, the number of cars, and the number of trips are all growing at a much faster rate than the roadway system is being expanded. The roads are busier, and there is a real need to open up alternatives for urban

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dwellers to make trips by methods other than the automobile: walking, biking and transit. This kind of project is all about doing that and facilitating those other modes. If you look at how urban areas grow over time, they get denser and more congested, and the automobile’s ability to get from point A to point B significantly diminishes. I think the importance of this project, the relevance, is that the need for it continues to grow in urban areas and it will be increasingly important as these areas congest. Kevin: It is a gradual shift in culture about the way we treat our streets and this does not change overnight. It is a gradual process. This is one of the first studies that helps set a practice for complete streets that other people can build on in the future. Marshall: And there is another angle here that is coming more into focus, and that is the health benefits of designing an urban area and a neighborhood—a community with transportation options that support the ability to get out and do something physical, whether it is walking or biking. And when you look at the health statistics of the nation and the obesity epidemic in the general population, especially the children, those opportunities just haven not been as prevalent as are needed. In other words, the roads have squeezed out those other mobility alternatives and there is a lot of what many people say is late demand in the population that would like to bike more, walk more and ride transit if they could do it safely and efficiently.


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What are you proudest of about this project?

we advanced the cause, which is a good thing for a number of reasons.

Jon: The success of projects is really tied to a collaborative effort between the professions, and this project is a perfect example. It was completed by engineers, landscape architects, planners, graphic designers and GIS professionals, and it really took this body of professional expertise to pull all pieces together to come up with the solutions. I think when you talk about future value to the engineering profession, it understands how complex our world is becoming and how complex the solutions are.

Kevin: This is a really innovative concept, and the fact that we were able to get forward-thinking innovation to be selected for the project through a competitive process, and then to have a good product that we can share with other people, is pretty great. That is something we can hang our hat on for a while.

I was really proud of our ability, and I think that is one of the things that makes GS&P unique: the ability of all different disciplines to be able to integrate seamlessly and take the best of what each profession and practice has to offer. We come together in a team environment and end up with a product that I am convinced is much stronger than if it was an individual discipline effort. Marshall: Absolutely. I am proud of the fact that there were several hundred residents of the Knoxville region that were touched by this process. Some of them did not know anything at all about complete streets, some did, and some had heard about it and did not like it. We advanced the knowledge of complete streets, and I think we made some people believers. Many understand the concept much better now and accept the premise that you need to design streets and neighborhoods for all users. I think

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Jason: On a more micro scale, something that I am really proud of is that the Hall Road section goes through an area of Alcoa and an area of Maryville I was raised in from about four years old. I live in Maryville now, and I am proud GS&P has had a positive impact through improving something in my hometown.


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ets D e Stre


idel u G n g


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Multidisciplinary collaboration between GS&P professionals helped lead to a complex and successful solution for the City of Knoxville and its residents. Final recommendations were provided in a guidelines document that can be implemented and referred to over time.

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Knoxville/Knox Cou nty M etropolitan Planning Commission Knox and Blou nt Cou nties, Tenn essee Planning

TEAM P r i n c i pa l - i n - c h a r g e

Marshall Elizer, Jr., P.E., PTOE

P r oj e c t M a n a g e r

Jason Brady, P.E.

P r oj e c t P r o f e s s i o n a l

Kevin W. Tilbury, AICP

P r oj e c t d e s i g n e r

Trey Rudolph, RLA

A d ditio n a l t e a m m e m b e r s

Jonathan D. Henney, AICP, ASLA Cynthia Frear


Pigeon Falls

Parking area and trolley access Environmental solutions prove to be critical for a new trolley access parking area and tourist destination. Environmental and economic concerns are often difficult to align. However, when the economy of a region depends on the quality of its environment, the two must go hand-in-hand. Pigeon Forge, in east Tennessee, relies upon the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains for the tourism that drives its economy, but the congestion from the other kind of driving is endangering the balance. When GS&P was charged with providing a trolley center parking lot that would help ease the congestion created by the necessary tourism, the team was confronted with a startling set of challenges. The site not only lay in a floodplain, it sat adjacent to the U.S. EPA-protected Little Pigeon River that also included a Native American burial ground. The team’s solution illustrates top-notch problem solving and creativity that promises sustainability and community empowerment.

Pigeon Falls Developm ent – Trolley Access Parking Area INTERVIEW /

J a s o n B r a d y , M i k e F l at t , M i c h a e l J e n k i n s o n , J o n at h a n H ay c r a f t

You faced a number of challenges in the development and engineering of this lot. Let’s start with the river itself.

Jason: With the Little Pigeon River, we had a good portion of this project that was inside of the regulatory floodplain. It is a 303(d) stream and the parking lot is part of a greater Tourism Development Zone (TDZ). Through all of the planning there were wetlands and streams to be impacted, and there were a slew of environmental constraints. One thing that we brought to the table was that we could build the parking lot in such a way that we could address water quality and mitigate the streams and wetlands. There was constant bargaining with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), so we volunteered to make this a green parking lot. We wanted to give a little bit back for what we had to take to complete the rest of the development. Mike: We had to come up with a concept that the permitting agency would sign off on. They thought they put so many restrictions on the site that no development could happen. It is in a floodplain and in a floodway. It is also in an area where you can not excavate because of

archaeological concerns with Native American burial grounds.

projects that helped us gain confidence from our client in what we were doing.

How did you manage the challenge of the Native American burial site?

With the burial site itself, the human remains were right at the surface. We think a developer might have removed some top soil out of there in the past, and the archaeologist protected it by thinly covering it back up.

Jason: We had one known burial area and the entire site became an archeological zone. It was then deemed a ‘can’t cut’ site, so we literally could not do anything during construction of the parking lot that required us to do any cuts. We had actually designed the entire parking lot with a closed drainage system and storm pipes, and a lot of those pipes were built in the cut. So that created a need to come up with an engineering solution to build this parking lot without having to make any cuts and just work with the land as it lay. That affected the parking lot and water quality design. To place fill in a ‘can’t cut’ area is kind of a risky proposition, so we worked with a local environmental firm, and the city on a solution to build on top of the ground without a cut. It required the use of a geogrid and a stone base. Luckily, the whole parking lot is in six-plus feet of fill so that helps to “bridge” bad material. Our local team member designed some geotechnical solutions using engineered

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Our solution was to remove what the archaeologist had put down. The remains were in the fetal position, and did not take up a lot of room. We took two pieces of concrete pipe and placed the lower section of pipe down around the remains. Then we built the pipe up to below the level where the parking lot would be to help protect the body instead of just placing fill on it and running bulldozers over it. We filled the pipe full of sand by hand so that the force of the weight on it would be evenly distributed as opposed to trying to fill it up with gravel or another material that might create a point source load. Our solution was well received by all reviewing agencies.

With Native American remains near the surface, concrete pipes were placed around the remains and filled with sand to lessen the impact.

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fabric ROCK GRID fabric The system was designed with a sandwich of geotextile fabric, geo grid reinforcing mat, and free draining stone constructed directly on the ground and connected to vertical drains.


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A traditional closed system design with engineered water quality structures was quickly found to be impossible. The resulting design utilized porous concrete pavement strips in non-drive aisle areas to collect stormwater and eliminate the need for catch basins and pipes.

Mike: They took grass tile and laid it out in such a way to separate handicap parking. Now you think it is just there because it needs to be there. You would not know that there is a Native American burial underneath it, and the Native American council we checked with wanted it that way. Where did you go from there?

Michael: The next issue became how to handle the water quality requirements set forth by TDEC and to determine the easiest and most efficient way that provided the best cost benefit to our client. We investigated the traditional scenarios using pipes and conventional methods to treat the water— store the water and treat it underneath the pavement—but these avenues were cost-prohibitive. We came up with the idea of using #57 stone for the last foot or foot and a half above the existing ground to attenuate the water. We performed stormwater volume calculations to determine the acreage needed for storage below the engineered fill. The required acreage of #57 stone allowed it to percolate through the stone and into the existing ground without disturbing the burial areas. The geogrid and stone layers also bridged the fill over the existing poor soils. Was this the right thing to do?

Michael: Yes, and it is also the most efficient way to do it. We looked at paving large areas with pervious concrete and decided to incorporate strips that would act as conduits for the stormwater that flowed across the parking lot—to infiltrate that into the existing soil or into the riverbed. This solution cooled the heated stormwater, detained the increased flow,

and introduced the water back into the ground at a more natural rate. Jason: We put down geotechnical fabric and geogrid, then a layer of rock, and geotechnical fabric on top of that. It actually comes all the way up to the toe of fill so that water in a heavy rain event actually has the ability to leach out of the site anywhere along the toe of the slope. I think the whole parking lot is a little more than 2,000 feet long. The whole side of the parking lot that faces the river is free-flowing stone built up to the towing slope, and that is built out of riprap so the water has the ability to leach out anywhere depending on how much pressure there is. The water naturally finds its way to the low spots and discharges out there, but if there is enough of an event and the underground area becomes saturated, it can leach out anywhere along the toe of slope. Jonathan: A good thing about being in a floodplain was having the rock face on the slope and all the storage under the parking lot. If the river came up, it had somewhere to go—under the parking lot—instead of flooding it. Michael: Also in that same vein, the pervious pavement gives any backwater pressure under flood conditions a way to surcharge through the pavement so that there was no undermining of the pavement that is currently there. So the stone and pervious pavement act like a release valve. Mike: Also, car tires turning on top of the pervious concrete will cause it to pop, unravel and chip off from the top. It is placed in an area where there is no turning of the wheels—just under a front bumper—so

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you do not turn until you get back out of the parking spot. Between that and the laying out of the parking lot to drain all in one direction and capture that water was important to allow us to put in the underground detention in the stones. Michael: Another advantage of pervious concrete is that motor oil adheres to concrete much easier than asphalt. If you ever look at pervious concrete versus pervious asphalt you will see oil spots on concrete. This shows the oil drippings do not go into the gravel backfill or soil below. By using concrete, pervious or standard, you are reducing the amount of oils being introduced into the environment. Jason: From an environmental standpoint, it works like a water quality pond in that it slows the water down and allows it to settle out particulates. All of these things are happening underground. By the time the water moves down to the pervious, through the rock, through the geotextile, out of the toe of the slope and overland flows into the river, it has a long time to cool itself off which is good for the river. Water coming off a 110-degree asphalt parking lot and going straight into a river via a pipe is not a good thing. It was important for Pigeon Forge’s economy that you find a solution so that they could get this parking lot and trolley center built.

Mike: This parking lot fits into the bigger plan, and it is a very critical area to the state of Tennessee for tax revenues because of the tourism industry. The plan is for the municipal parking lot to be in the center of new development and people can come, park and have trolleys pick them up and take them all around


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town. Visitors can come and spend the day and not have to move their cars, which is brand-new thinking for Pigeon Forge. We had to think about the circulation of people wanting to park there to shop and to go everywhere around town. We had to lay out the parking lot to suit circulation for a tram to pick up people and drop them off, and still have cars coming and going. We also had to bring that dynamic on top of finding a way to build this parking lot so that we have 15 or 16 acres of asphalt without one single bit of overland runoff leaving the parking lot. It is not only the green aspects of the design that Michael was talking about, but it is also the green aspects of trying to reduce congestion, trying to have fewer cars buzzing up and down Pigeon Forge to go eat, shop or go to a show. Visitors can park their cars and eventually utilize the advanced trolley system to get all around town. What do you find the most gratifying about this project?

Jason: I am most proud we got the parking lot built for the city. The permitting and engineering and construction issues were daunting, but this is really what the city needed. Our charge from the client was to get them a quality parking lot built and get it built quickly. Michael: Since we were allowed to do this design correctly, by obtaining additional geotechnical investigation for the porosity of the existing soils, the final product represents innovative engineering. This was very exciting to design. It goes a long way to say that this is one of the biggest success stories I have worked on regarding underground retention, underground

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water quality, and pervious pavement. Everything seemed to work together in concert, it was the perfect application for this area, and it was the solution Jason needed to achieve his goals with the city. Jonathan: I think what I am most proud of is the parking lot layout and how we incorporated the pervious pavement strips, knowing that we had to get so much pervious pavement, knowing that we had to fit so many spaces into that defined area, and that we were able to accomplish those things. The parking lot works. Mike: There were so many stakeholders involved. They had their needs and their wants at the top of the list. Trying to appease everyone and come forward with a design that could actually get permitted and built affordably was the ultimate challenge. And the design we chose has the green elements but still allowed us to accomplish what everybody wanted in support of parking for shopping, for the trolley center, and to get around town. Jason: One thing we always pride ourselves on as a company is to be able to work from one office to the next. I think this project might have been one of our finest moments in being able to manage a project in one place, design it in another place, then come back and build it where it started and to have that happen nearly seamlessly.

Water will flow from the porous concrete parking surface and through the stone beneath to the original ground level. From there the water flows through an additional stone layer and exits near a stream.

The lot serves Pigeon Forge tourists by offering parking for trolley rides, which alleviates traffic congestion and emissions.

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City of Pigeon Forge Pigeon Forge, Tenn essee civil engin eering site planning TEAM P r i n c i pa l - i n - c h a r g e

Michael A. Flatt, P.E.

P r oj e c t M a n a g e r

Joseph L. Vance, Jr., P.E. Jason Brady, P.E. Jay J. Cameli, RLA, ASLA

P r oj e c t P r o f e s s i o n a l

Jonathan Haycraft, P.E., CPESC

A d d i t i o n a l TEAM MEM B ER

Thomas J. Carr Michael Jenkinson, P.E., CPESC Jeffrey McElroy Chris Brown


West Market Street Corridor improvement study provides recommendations for potential development and improved quality of life West Market Street represents one of Metro Louisville’s most important connector roadways. The West Market Street Corridor Improvement Study strived to improve the quality of life for corridor residents and business owners by outlining strategies to maximize the benefits from improvements and development projects in the area. The study provides guidance for future land use decisions and makes specific recommendations for physical improvements to the streetscape.

West M ark et Street Corridor Improvem ents INTERVIEW /

J o n H e n n e y , T r e y Ru d o l p h , J o h n Ca m p b e l l

Why was GS&P hired to provide an improvement study for Louisville’s West Market Street Corridor?

Jon: West Market Street is a corridor that runs through three neighborhoods in the metropolitan section of downtown Louisville and serves as the economic Main Street for these neighborhoods. The project was initiated through Louisville Metro’s Economic Development Department and Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton. The purpose was to provide recommendations for physical improvements that could serve as a catalyst for redevelopment and reinvestment into this corridor, currently made up of low-income neighborhoods. How did you begin?

Jon: First, we had to understand how the corridor fit within these neighborhoods. We analyzed the corridor and separated it into character districts based on existing land use and a historic pattern of development, allowing us to provide the most momentum for reinvestment and stimulus to encourage new development in the area.

During what part of the process did you realize that the client grasped your vision?

Jon: It was a sequential process that began with outlining our plan, then sharing our findings with the corridor advisory group and in our broader public meetings. The data compiled from our inventory and analysis identified strengths and weaknesses as well as existing land use patterns. From there, we began developing recommendations for the character districts, which were described in both general terms and with very preliminary illustrations. Eventually, we progressed into a much more detailed set of illustrations that Trey produced, which presented a visual description of the transformation within each district when all the elements were combined. It was during review of the visuals that we realized the advisory group understood this project’s potential.

Jon: The group was very excited about the concepts presented in our preliminary illustrations and provided a lot of feedback in terms of what was important to them within each of the districts. With that input, we refined detailed illustrations

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Explain the character districts and their importance in the study.

Jon: Character districts are commercial and neighborhood districts that have a central focus. For example, we coined the bridges district, which is mostly a desolate section in the center of the study area that runs underneath a railroad and an interstate overpass. Another character district is the campus district, which is a long city block where Shawnee High School is located. It has a different character, feel and make-up than the rest of the corridor. How did you determine the various districts and the implications of each?

What was their response to the visuals?

Judges' comments


of our final visions and presented the illustrations in the last round of public and advisory group meetings. Everyone was very pleased and excited to see the corridor’s potential direction.

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John: The initial research phase was basically a block-by-block inventory. We walked most of the blocks and took inventory of the types and conditions of structures and the pedestrian and mobility components. It not only helped define the districts, but it also clarified which areas were economically the strongest with thriving retail. How did you involve the community?

Jon: For our proposal to be successful, we needed to have support from the citizens and stakeholders along the corridor,

Districts Commercial Residential Bridges Campus

Establishing character districts along the corridor and concentrating non-residential development into compact, walkable urban centers provide means to attract new development while also improving the quality of life for current residents. Streetscape design that responded to the context of the character districts provides opportunities to enhance the commercial districts as destinations while reinforcing the character of the neighborhood districts.

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The study gives specific recommendations for physical improvements to the streetscape, including pedestrian plazas, crossings, sidewalks and benches. These renderings illustrate possible improvements for Campus and Residential Districts.


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so our public participation process was crucial. We created an advisory group made up of corridor stakeholders, which included business owners and representatives from the neighborhoods and school. Placing members of the community on the advisory committee created project ambassadors who could convey the intent of the project to the surrounding community and facilitate feedback from a broader constituency, rather than a small stakeholder group. What was the time and budget criteria?

Jon: This was a 14-month project. The client needed tangible recommendations, cost estimates and phasing options so they could secure funding and begin the improvements. Based on the information we provided, Councilwoman Hamilton was able to secure $1.2 million. They are now in the process of selecting a consultant to begin the construction documents

for implementation of the first phase of the project, which involves improvements to the four commercial districts. Your project was given very high marks for its social, economic and sustainable design considerations largely due to its focus on increased pedestrian traffic. How did your proposal plan to boost pedestrian usage through design?

Trey: One of the biggest limiting factors for the corridor was the small amount of right-of-way we had to work with, which also varied block to block. The walking, on-site land survey really helped in these areas. We looked at areas where sidewalks or other types of pedestrian movement were nonexistent or in disrepair and developed a plan to calm the traffic. Cars moved at rapid speeds through one particular area, so we had to devise ways to make the area more feasible for pedestrian activity, which often leads to more commercial appeal. What role did land- or streetscaping play in calming traffic and increasing pedestrian activity?

Trey: We incorporated streetscape elements to differentiate between each character district and help create a sense of place. We distinguished areas through the use of different types of pavement patterns and site elements. For instance, brick paving in the commercial areas is a uniquely different experience than the residential areas. We also placed more street trees in the residential districts, which provide a buffer between pedestrians and road traffic, making

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sidewalks feel safer. The plan also included corridor markers attached to the street lights to provide a sense of place for the corridor. Does your plan include specific safety features?

Trey: Yes, we proposed narrowing some of the drive lanes to reduce traffic speeds and also included bump-outs, which are periodic landscape islands that bring the curb line closer to vehicular traffic to visually slow down drivers. For instance, where there are two lanes of vehicular movement with parallel parking on either side of the street, we replaced one of the parking spaces with a bump-out to visually infringe upon the vehicle’s space. Jon: The bump-outs were applied primarily in the commercial districts at intersections to create a defined sense of place and allow wider pedestrian space. In the residential areas, we used road diets in areas where travel lanes were wider than they needed to be. This reduces the amount of pavement and allows more space for wider sidewalks or landscape buffer areas between the sidewalk and the edge of the curb. What were some of the public amenities used to unify the corridor?

Trey: In the commercial districts, we incorporated public benches and expanded the pavement on the corners to create a gathering space. Pedestrian street lighting was also used to make people feel safer at night. We also included public transit stops.


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Jon: In the campus district, a number of high school students travel to and from school via public transportation rather than driving or using the public school bus system. We proposed building a covered shelter for that area to provide more seating and turn the transit stop into a pedestrian seating plaza associated with the entrance to the high school. Describe some of the design elements used to transition from each district.

Jon: The commercial districts have more hardscape and wider sidewalk areas to accommodate larger amounts of pedestrians and outdoor dining. There is also a higher concentration of iconic elements like pedestrian lighting, banners and seating. The residential district has less pedestrian lighting, more street trees, and fewer iconic elements to create a neighborhood feel. As you travel from one district to the other, these visual cues show you that you are moving to a different character and set of activities. Which part of the project did you find most gratifying?

John: Although it was certainly interesting to walk the corridor and study the architecture and hidden gems throughout, I really liked what Trey did with the illustrations by taking some of the components of the neighborhood and illustrating them to show the potential of West Market. That was most exciting to me. Trey: The most rewarding part for me, as a designer, was being able to include all of

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the client’s needs in the overall plan. We took their feedback of what they liked and did not like, and modified our solutions to reflect their desires. Ultimately, we came up with something they are excited about. I do not know that I could top that with anything. Jon: As a professional planner, I have always enjoyed and appreciated working at the neighborhood level. When you are working with area residents to make physical improvements, they begin to see and understand how the changes are going to improve their lives. It is a very satisfying experience to have close interaction with people who are ultimately going to live with your recommendations and solution.


Alternative #1

Other recommended improvements include road diets to reclaim excess pavement and create pedestrian spaces, bump-outs to calm traffic, bus shelters to accommodate students, shade trees, and iconic lighting and furnishings to create a clear sense of place. Alternative #2

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Louisville Economic Developm ent Departm ent Louisville, Kentucky Landscape Architecture Planning

TEAM P r i n c i pa l - i n - c h a r g e

Christopher H. Dickinson, P.E.

P r oj e c t M a n a g e r

Jonathan D. Henney, AICP, ASLA

P r oj e c t P r o f e s s i o n a l s

John Campbell Trey Rudolph, RLA Felicia Harper

Architecture, Interiors & Planning


auburn research park building one

Traditional aesthetics and a commitment to sustainability combine to attract forward-thinking tenants Auburn Research Park is the result of the partnership between the State of Alabama Governor’s Office, Auburn University and the City of Auburn. The Park is being developed as a mixed-use campus that will include high-technology companies and university research facilities. Building One was a design-build collaboration between B.L. Harbert International and Gresham, Smith and Partners with the goal of producing a facility that would help the Auburn Research & Technology Foundation (ARTF) attract world-class businesses while complementing the look and feel of Auburn University.

Auburn Research Park Building One I N T E RVI E W /

m ichae l m ann , ro b ert m u r p h y , A nne - Marie G iano u d is

This project has the distinction of LEED Gold, even though it was not originally slated for certification. How was the decision made to pursue LEED certification?

Michael: The client originally requested just a speculative office building with the goal of attracting high-tech companies and high-end users. After developing a design proposal for the building, we approached them with the idea of designing a building to LEED standards since many of the national companies they wanted to attract specifically seek sustainable buildings. What was their first reaction and what were their concerns?

Robert: Initially, the cost was a concern. Once we explained sustainability and the LEED aspect, they realized that the cost impact was fairly minor. You don’t really pay that big of a premium anymore. The technology implied with having a LEED building in the Auburn market intrigued them. This would be only the second LEED building in that area and a unique

offering in the market; the first was the Gorrie Building Science Facility.

blend the timeless Auburn design with modern detailing.

Why was it important to Auburn University to attract high-tech businesses?

The project received LEED views and glazing credits. How did your design achieve them?

Robert: The park is basically an incubator site that provides space for companies to do research and technology development. It was very important for the client to attract companies on the leading edge of these markets. The client wanted the building to embody the University’s traditional design. How much flexibility did you have?

Michael: We were limited in our material choices, so to design a building that would appeal to high-tech companies, we incorporated modern detailing. We blended modern elements with traditional proportions, scale and rhythm. For instance, instead of having traditional Auburn windows, we used large expanses of glass to give it a modern feel. We incorporated traditional campus materials, including Auburn brick and shingles, to

Michael: In LEED V2.2 certification, there are 63 possible credits you can achieve, one of which is the views credit. It requires providing views to 90 percent of regularly occupied spaces, and our design incorporated views to 93 percent. Our use of glass was limited because of our client’s desire for a traditional campus building, so we used as much high-performance glass as we could to provide as many views as possible from inside the building. What sustainable features were incorporated during construction?

Michael: One feature was the implementation of a construction waste management process by B.L. Harbert. Usually, construction sites have a single, common point where all refuse is collected before ending up in a landfill. At Building One,

judges' comments

Very environmentally conscious


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gresha m , s m ith and partners

Auburn University requested a building design that would appeal to hightechnology companies, yet still fit into the traditional Auburn campus aesthetic. Requested design elements included red brick, faux chimneys, louvered dormers, a hipped roof, symmetrical design and a prominent entry.

Extensive glazing provides building occupants with naturally lit work environments and access to views of the surrounding park. The glazing also helped the building achieve a LEED daylighting and views credit.

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In the tenant space, a welcoming environment was created using a palette of warm, neutral colors accented with bold colors in limited areas. Interior finishes were selected not only for their aesthetics but also for sustainable characteristics such as recycled content, amount of VOCs and regional availability.

Building One is one of just three buildings in the state of Alabama to be designated with the LEED Gold certification and was the first LEED Gold project for GS&P.


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six dumpsters were set up to support all recyclable waste. The main goal of multiple dumpsters was to provide a separate area for all of the different materials used during construction. In this project, approximately 236 tons of building construction waste were diverted, which was 78.5% of the construction waste generated on site. All of that waste would have otherwise gone to a landfill. Instead, it went to different recycling points for reuse.

stormwater runoff rather than dumping it into the area’s water system. We used containment devices called bioswales where water is collected and slowly dissipates into the ground. What type of vegetation or other techniques are used in a sustainable landscape design?

Robert: One aspect of sustainable landscape design is to avoid a permanent irrigation system so that plants don’t have to be constantly watered. We used native vegetation and low-water plants, eliminated gutters and downspouts, which helped aesthetically, and routed watershed off the roof into a French drain, which is an underground open drain system that takes the water to the bioswales.

Anne-Marie: We were fortunate to work with a design-build contractor that was extremely familiar with the LEED process and their responsibilities associated with it. A huge responsibility was the creation and implementation of the indoor air quality management plan. The construction process is usually an indoor air polluting activity and often results in the contamination of the building both during construction as well as after the building is occupied. B.L. Harbert adopted a plan to protect the HVAC system during construction, which involved controlling pollutant sources, interrupting pathways from contamination, and sequencing the installation of materials to avoid contamination of absorptive items.

Anne-Marie: We always try to select recycled or regional products. The Alabama white marble was a local product, and the carpet had recycled content and can be recycled again. The millwork and MDF panels were made with binders and adhesives containing no urea-formaldehyde.

What sustainable features were used in the landscape design?

Do chemical-free or other sustainable materials cost more?

Robert: In a LEED program, the percentage of land disturbed, repaired or replaced is actually quantified, so the goal is to have minimal disturbance of the native site. Part of this involves containing

Anne-Marie: Within the last five years, manufacturers have caught on to green materials. It’s more the standard now than a trend. That being said, for items such as certified wood or low-emitting

What sustainable considerations were applied to the interior design?

judges' comments

Good, rich, solid design gresha m, s mith an d partners

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materials, you can expect to pay an upcharge of two to six percent.

lobby, allowing natural light to stream through the space.

What were some of the solutions implemented to address the client’s specific exterior and interior design requests?

What will you take from this experience and apply to future LEED projects?

Michael: One of the main requests was the creation of a prominent front entry element. The entry on our initial design was prominent, but asymmetrical and modern. Auburn wanted something more traditional and symmetrical. We added an entry element with two brick pilasters and proportions that hint at a traditional temple front. Modern brick detailing and extensive use of glass at the front entry gave the client the look they wanted without losing the contemporary appeal. Anne-Marie: The Alabama white marble is one of the most prominent wall features inside. It’s a traditional finish used in a very contemporary way. By using large blocks of it, the design sort of pushes and pulls to create recesses and protruding elements in the lobby. The floors are granite and are polished, reflective, traditional elements used in a modern fashion. The lobby has a formal aspect, yet it’s attractive to any tenant. Michael: The client also originally requested a large, two-story monumental communicating stair at the entry with a large elevator lobby. Unfortunately, we had to cut some square footage, so the elevator lobby became smaller. As a design solution, we moved the stair to the front wall of the building and placed storefront glazing on both sides of the


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Robert: From a project manager’s point of view, I have a better understanding of what it takes to achieve LEED certification. There was a learning curve, but it was a very manageable process. Anne-Marie: When we first started this project, there was only one LEEDaccredited professional on the team. Now, all of us are LEED accredited. We also worked with an outstanding design-build contractor. I can’t say enough about B. L. Harbert and their experience and knowledge on this project. They made it easier, and having them on our team made all the difference in the world. Michael: The the process we learned that the production of a LEED building is fairly similar to our typical design process. Getting a handle on all the LEED documentation took the longest in terms of a learning curve. In our work, we now implement sustainable design intiatives even if a building isn’t attempting to achieve LEED certification.. What part of this project has been the most memorable and gratifying?

Anne-Marie: Achieving LEED Gold certification on a project that was not even slated to be LEED certified was an enormous accomplishment for the entire team. We were able to achieve this goal because

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it was a collaborative process from the onset, where creativity was fostered throughout each of the design phases. During the schematic design phase, renderings were created of the exterior and interior of the building using SketchUp software. Once the project was completed, the schematic renderings looked more like photographs, almost an exact representation of the completed facility. It is an amazing feeling to see something you design come to fruition and exceed everyone’s expectations. Robert: We’ve completed several buildings on the Auburn campus. As one of the prominent entry points to both the city and Auburn University, this building is essentially the University’s gateway. It’s great to see your work displayed so prominently, especially since this was GS&P’s first LEED Gold project. Gold certification was really a nice reward when you realize how labor-intensive the process is with all of the forms and calculations that have to be completed. The team did an amazing job of staying on top of that. Michael: I’m most proud of producing a building that not only meets the client’s traditional design requirements that but also appeals to a modern design sensibility. Balancing the client’s desire for a traditional Auburn campus building with the modern preference of the technology companies was challenging at times, but the entire design-build team worked together to create a building that is highly appealing to the end users the client wanted, and that is very rewarding.

Stormwater design, quantity and quality control requirements were accomplished through bioswales and a stormwater management plan. The design resulted in no net increase in runoff and is capable of removing at least 80% of the total suspended solids from the average annual post-developmental runoff.

Six recycling dumpsters helped earn the project two LEED points for construction waste management. Properly sorting materials for recycling diverted 236 tons, or 78.5%, of site-generated construction waste from a landfill.

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Auburn University the City of Auburn Auburn, Alabama Architecture Civil Engineering Interior Design Landscape Architecture Tenant Planning TEAM Princi pa l - in - C harge

Robert Murphy, Jr., AIA, LEED AP

Proj ect Manager

Keith W. Starnes, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA

Proj ect architect

Jeffrey S. Miller, LEED AP

p roj ect interior d esigner

Anne-Marie Gianoudis, IIDA, LEED AP

Proj ect C oor d inator S

Michael Mann, AIA, LEED AP John E. Beason, IIDA, LEED AP Terra E. Douberly, IIDA Kevin B. Kirby

Proj ect l an d sca p e architect

Charles A. Kelly, Jr., ASLA

awards Associated Builders & Contractors Excellence Award for Commercial Projects ($5-$10 million category)


Foley & Lardner, llp A law firm’s accelerated move incorporates its workplace strategies into flexible, sleek and modern interior design Foley & Lardner LLP, an international law firm, opened a new office in Miami, Florida, which required the renovation of 24,246 square feet of office space to accommodate 65 employees. The firm wanted to create a dramatic modern office environment that would attract and retain talent, reinforce Foley’s commitment to cutting edge technology, and create an interior image reflective of the Miami metropolitan area. GS&P approached the design of the Miami office by embracing the ongoing efforts of Foley’s workplace initiative with a focus on spaces sized to function, reinforcing brand recognition, sustainable practices in the work environment, and flexibility of real estate.

Foley & Lardner, LLP I N T E RVI E W /

Leith O at m an , Karen R e b e l lo , S arah R in k

The Foley & Lardner project had a very aggressive timeline and tight budget but received very high marks from the client for exceeding their expectations. How did your team achieve this?

Leith: An established relationship with the client contributes tremendously to the success of any particular project. Foley’s national facilities director is a seasoned professional with many years of experience. Under her direction, and with her ability to manage the organization and work with her client — the employees of Foley & Lardner — we were able to excel despite the aggressive schedule. She contacted us in January and shared the daunting task she’d been assigned after an unexpected situation had arisen in their temporary leased space, requiring them to find a new permanent home, quickly. Karen: When we had meetings, we committed to our decisions knowing there was no time for reconsiderations since furniture — normally a 12-week lead time — and materials had to be ordered immediately. Their temporary lease situation forced them to be out at an exact date. There were no lease hold-over options available.

GS&P was already familiar with Foley’s standards because we had completed an office for them in Jacksonville in 2000. Our client contact very quickly selected a small design review committee made up of four people, two partners and two associate attorneys, who were authorized to make design decisions that needed to be made to get the project underway. The client was always committed to getting the plan rolling quickly and making decisions in a timely manner. Right away you were asked to incorporate Foley’s current workplace strategy into the design solution. What were some of the challenges you encountered?

Leith: Foley’s workplace strategies initiative was a dramatic shift for the firm space allocation but included many of the same concepts GS&P incorporates into other clients’ office spaces with regard to using real estate efficiently and enhancing productivity. Although Foley’s new workplace strategy had begun to incorporate some of the workplace strategy concepts for an office space in Washington, DC, there were initiatives in the workplace strategy plan that staff was not ready to accept. We worked with the national facilities

judges' comments

A fresh, crisp design; very appropriate for Miami 60

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director to assess the appropriateness of the concepts. It was another evolution of Foley & Lardner’s workplace initiative; a step closer to the company-wide goals. What were some of the key elements your team developed to help Foley ease into this new workplace strategy plan?

Sarah: Foley wanted the new Miami office space to attract and retain some of the best talent available in the market. Their profession has evolved into a highly mobile and self-sufficient legal network. Our goal was to provide the professionals with flexible spaces where they could break away from their offices, collaborate and continue to work while promoting cross-culture interaction with the rest of the Foley staff. Leith: The partners and associates were required to be housed in closed offices along the perimeter, but we wanted to infuse natural daylight throughout the office space. We designed huge three-footwide by six-foot-high glass sidelights and incorporated a frosted film material for privacy. We also placed inter-glass transoms on top of all the perimeter offices to form a continuous transom window

Careful attention was paid during schematic design to ensure that the view would not be obstructed by the furniture selection. Clients and staff step off the elevator and immediately react to the large, open lobby and spectacular view of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay. The fresh, timeless color palette supports the sky and water view of Miami while conveying the strength and stability of Foley & Lardner LLP.

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With only an eight-foot ceiling height to work with, GS&P’s design team visually raised the ceilings with the use of floating elements over the reception desk, sky blue paint color, and a unique, LED under-lit baseboard detail which created a floating wall effect.

Design includes light wood tones with deep wood tone accents and incorporation of vertical textures to add visual height to the eight-foot ceilings.


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that came down about 18 inches from the ceiling, between the ceiling and the top of the door frame. Did the client have any specific requirements for the space?

Karen: The client requested that all spaces be flexible so that rooms or offices could be divided or manipulated. No matter who was hired or who left, the space would be adaptive. There were office standards, yet each person was given personal choices within the scope of standards. The work stations were demountable partitions that could be customized with finishes or the addition of glass to make them more open. In workrooms, such as the mail room, we used a modular system rather than built-in counters of laminate or wood so that the room could be easily modified for new situations simply by ordering new parts and pieces. In the lobby, the client wanted to maintain an unobstructed view for visitors. How did you accomplish this?

Leith: We purposely selected furniture with a very light and airy scale and kept the fabric selections light with a backdrop that complemented the view beyond it. As you walk into the space, you see this incredible view of the bay that almost

looks like a large painting as a backdrop to the seating area. We used beautiful light Caribbean blue colors in the recessed areas and carpet to highlight the seating area which created a very elegant space. And we cleverly kept the area open with a barn door. The “barn door” in the reception area is hardly noticeable and very unique. How did it become incorporated into the space?

Karen: The barn door is actually an 11foot-long, floor-to-ceiling movable wall that slides shut after business hours. In order to maintain the fast track schedule for the project, the plan was reviewed with the City early in the design process. The floor plan was designed for a fullfloor tenant so that when you step off the elevator you are immediately in the reception area with a clear view of the Miami skyline. With the project under construction, the City’s interpretation of an egress code required that a rated corridor from the elevator lobby to one of the egress stairwells be included in the build-out. This required adding doors at the reception area for the rated assembly. Since this was not what the client visualized, it was pretty stressful. And yes, it could have been a huge problem, but we worked as a team with the client to

judges' comments

Integrated feel of community in sleekness of design gresha m, s mith an d partners

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devise a design solution and, ultimately, it added a tremendous amount of value to the design. Your project also scored very high for “exceptional environment and experiences.” Describe the key elements that created the desired effect.

Sarah: Foley wanted to reflect a more transparent and inclusive culture, so we incorporated glass transoms in the interior offices to give the paralegals more upscale offices that were parallel to the design of the associate offices. The eight-foot ceiling height was limiting, so we designed varying ceiling heights and used contrasting materials on vertical surfaces to create an illusion of more height and perceived depth. We also added an illuminated base in the main lobby to create vertical lift. We made sure that every wood surface that had a texture was vertically oriented. For instance, the texture we put behind the receptionist was an Interlam product with a wave pattern installed vertically.

Which aspect of this project was the most gratifying?

Sarah: Number one for me was absolutely the team effort. I’m also proud of the letter we received from Gail Taylor, Foley & Lardner’s national facilities director. She deals with architecture firms that are our competitors all the time. For her to be so pleased with our performance says a lot because she has extremely high expectations. Karen: I’m most proud of the overall cohesiveness of the project and the fact that people function in the space and are delighted to be in it. It’s always wonderful to have your clients like the space they’re in and compliment it continually. Leith: This is an internationally known client with very high expectations of the design professionals they retain. I am most proud of how this team conceived this design solution quickly and then committed to it. Once the client felt our commitment, they were able to commit to the solution as well, which enabled us to make many decisions quickly and accomplish a tremendous amount.

Technology has reduced the size traditionally needed for a law library. The design team reduced the scale to create a unique space for small, ornamental bookcases and a contemporary approach to a reading carrel. Counter space is used for quick reference and staff collaboration.


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The artwork displayed throughout the space was selected only from local Miami artists. Careful thought was given to the use of artwork that enhanced the light interior environment and supported local business — all part of the Foley & Lardner Workplace Strategic Plan.

One of Foley & Lardner’s goals was to encourage cross-staff interaction. GS&P’s solution was a variety of meeting areas which provide several different seating options, wireless technology and views to the exterior. The relaxing communal spaces give staff flexible areas to meet, eat and work.

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Foley & Lardner LLP Miami, Florida Interior Design Programming Environ m ental Graphics TEAM Princi pa l - in - charge

Leith Oatman, IIDA, LEED AP

Proj ect Manager

Karen Rebello, IIDA

Proj ect d esigner

Sarah Rink, IIDA


Gulfport- Biloxi International Airport

Terminal expansion and security upgrades prevail despite construction interrupted by notorious Hurricane Katrina The new terminal at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport more than doubled its size and was designed with an eye toward future expansion. Featuring soaring halls, volumes of natural light, warm wood tones and a ticketing hall ceiling reflective of the curve of an airplane wing, the new airport rearranges and streamlines technology and traffic flow while a new curbside expansion handles the region’s booming tourist industry with enhanced security. But the mid-construction arrival of Hurricane Katrina and the manner with which the design team and community worked together to recover, illustrates how difficult circumstances, when managed well, can build trust and loyalty in a working relationship.

Gu lfport– Biloxi International Airport Terminal Expansion and Security Upgrades I N T E RVI E W /

A l Pra m u k , T i m h u d son , R o d d y Bogg u s , Jane ahrens

A large part of the initial challenge was updating the airport, correct?

Al: The facility was dated and the coastal region was growing rapidly with the gaming industry. A lot of investment was being made in that arena, and the airport made a conscious effort to elevate the airport’s level of services and impression of the Mississippi coast. The gaming industry had saturated the market with all the drive-in traffic and they wanted to increase their air traffic to attract customers from other destinations and provide an alternative to Las Vegas. The airport wanted to compete for upscale clientele and to start an entire terminal facility upgrade, not only for size and security measures, but to have a whole new image to appropriately represent the Mississippi coast. The economic development of the coast was the driving force behind the goal of upgrading the level of service and image of the facility. At the time this was going on, the industry was going through a transition with trying to eliminate Explosive Trace Device tables out of the ticketing halls where the TSA was manually checking bags. We assisted the airport at meetings with TSA in Washington, DC, to present solutions

for new in-line baggage screening equipment behind the ticket counters, which helped the airport gain funding as a pilot program for new technologies related to in-line baggage screening equipment. Tim: The initial pilot program called for new Reduced-Size Explosive Detection Systems (RSEDS) baggage screening equipment be placed in the ticket lobby to screen all checked baggage. The added terminal depth through the renovations allowed for the ticket counters to be moved out, so the RSEDS equipment was placed behind the ticket counter back wall. This allowed for the airport to get back to the pre-9\11 levels of customer service, where all that was visible was the single conveyor taking baggage to awaiting aircraft as well as free up lost public circulation space occupied by baggage screening equipment. And then Hurricane Katrina came along.

Roddy: I joined this project shortly after the hurricane. The project was in the middle of construction, and it looked like it had been blown up. With the prevailing winds of a hurricane, you get winds for half the storm one way and you get winds for half the storm the other way, which is a good way to work things loose.

Judges' comments

Vast improvement... nicely articulated 68

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gresha m , s m ith and partners

The new faรงade and curbside drop-off canopies offer a monumental first impression. The ease of use, clarity of signage and simplicity of form veil the complexity of the traffic operations.

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The spacious ticketing lobby’s subtle geometry of the ceiling is not a simple arch but is based upon an airplane wing referencing the airport’s rich aeronautical history.

The rental car offices and counters were designed with lattice ceiling and partial walls to allow natural light into the space. Warm wood tones and natural stone contrast the light tones used to enhance the feel.


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So it basically tore into one end of the terminal and blew a lot of rain and wind in through the terminal above the ceiling and into interstitial spaces. That required not only reconstruction of many elements that were already under construction but also some temporary rehabilitation of the existing terminal that was still in operation during construction. Building on top of an existing operation is never, ever easy. Trying to move passengers, trying to run normal airline operations through a facility that fits under quite a bit of construction is difficult on the best of days. When the hurricane came and tore out the actual piece we were using in addition to the piece that we were building, it really put a damper on the usability of the terminal. It really complicated the process and set the schedule of the entire project back. How do you prioritize in that kind of situation?

Roddy: Well, I think the airport struggled mightily with that, along with the entire design and construction team. The airport’s great relationship with their Congressional delegation was key in how quickly they were able to recover because using that delegation, using that political power, they were able to help focus FEMA to look at what happened to the terminal and free up money.

There were conflicts in the entire area of the Gulf Coast, this airport included. The contractor that was working at this airport was being pulled in multiple directions to rebuild critical infrastructure projects. So their focus was shared with many, many different projects as well. But from my standpoint, the ability of the development team, the design team and construction team to come together with the airport and political figures to create a revised schedule was impressive. Al: Another set of challenges had to do with funding and the management of funds on the initial terminal projects. When the hurricane hit, there was additional funding coming from FEMA. And that work was done on a time-andmaterials basis at the same time that the other contract was ongoing. So there were some challenges, and the airport asked us to get involved with having separate monitoring of activities related to the hurricane repairs, which included some of the existing construction underway, and what was being done under the original contract. It had to be controlled and recorded in a way that would be adequate for the FAA or the insurance companies if they were to do an audit. A large part of our scope was to help the airport understand the differences and monitor them.

Judges' comments

Complex ... Highly Functional gresha m, s mith an d partners

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And some point, the client requested 10,000 more square feet of ticketing area.

Al: Yes. When we did the initial design, the airport was limited to the amount of funds and asked us to design a facility that could, in the future, be expandable. We set up the design so that in the future they could add an additional 50 feet on the end of the ticketing hall and provide more ticket counters if they had more airlines. When construction started, they successfully found some additional funding and asked us to extend the ticketing hall as an amendment to our contract. What is another example the expansionfriendly aspects built in to the design?

Al: In the main ticketing hall, we sized the structural and mechanical system, including elevator pits. We ran electrical conduit to those pits so that in the future the airport could choose to have a secondlevel covered pedestrian walkway from the parking deck over to the terminal. This should reduce the conflicts of pedestrians walking across the roadway where you have a lot of charter bus traffic and commercial traffic. So that was designed as a future consideration, and currently, the airport is asking us to start looking at a scope to go ahead with that design. Talk a little about the new curbside expansion.

Al: Well, the initial thinking, which we did not accept, was to put all buses off to the side by baggage claim. We changed the concept to minimize the number of people who have to walk across the street

outside to get on a bus as well as minimize the distance they have to walk. There is a covered walkway to the bus, and the buses can go right to their destinations. Then on the return there’s a different location for the drop off of passengers and their luggage, which is right over by the side of the terminal in ticketing. So you don’t have the issue of buses parked right out in front of the terminal unloading passengers. It keeps the passenger-vehicular conflicts to a minimum. After the charter bus drops passengers off on the side of the building, the bus swings back around to the front and queues up for the people that are arriving. This minimizes the amount of passengers walking across in front of the terminal. What do you find the most gratifying, or the most significant, aspect of this project?

Roddy: When you walk in this space it feels open, it feels airy. You don’t feel caught up and crammed into a small space with a lot of your fellow passengers. It’s pretty evident where you go without a lot of signage to funnel you from the terminal entry up to the gates to get you where you need to be. When you go back and look at the facility they had, it was typical of aviation infrastructure in the U.S. A lot of it was really old, and prior to 9/11 they already had problems. After 9/11 and the advent of more security, facilities got even more constrained.

put it together. When you look at the difference in the quality of the space, the way the space flows, the way the space feels when you walk through it, it’s night and day compared to the era of architecture and the design that they had previously. More than anything else, this terminal gives them an open, flowing space that people find amazing. And I think there’s a lot of civic pride in the groups that operate around the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport that they have a Class A facility for the people that live there, for the people that play and game there, and for the business people that come there. Al: At the beginning, one of the master plan alternatives was to build a brand new terminal and to abandon this one. By the time you build a new terminal and an entire infrastructure, it could have been two times, and arguably almost three times the cost. I think our design solution was appropriate. It met the level of

With Gulfport, Biloxi, and the whole Gulf Coast area growing the way it is, they had an opportunity and a political promise to

With a significant number of armed services personnel traveling through the airport, the USO Lounge is a critical component.


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The latest, most advanced bag screening technology puts Gulfport-Biloxi International at the forefront of passenger safety and security.

Each state-of-the-art explosive detection screening machine is capable of processing over 125 bags per hour, greatly reducing the chance of security delays for passenger baggage.

service and quality that was consistent with what the gaming industry was providing to customers. Jane: The most successful part of the project is our continued relationship with the client. After the trials the whole team went through over the last seven years, the relationship is still strong and growing. We have another project under construction there now and another in the conceptual phase. The continued opportunity to work with this client, in my book, is the most gratifying aspect of the project. Roddy: Another ongoing project is helping the airport put in new advanced imaging technology in the security checkpoints. We’re already putting in new equipment with new requirements, new power and data, so potentially we have to look at the modifications to that. The airport expects to continue to grow, and we’re part of the master plan process to design the terminal. How do you expand it to accommodate international flights? How do you logically expand it to add new gates without tearing up what you’ve already done? Will we have larger aircraft gauges? Will we have smaller? Will it be a mix? How will the airport expand?

Jane: And I think the client appreciates that the people on the project really care about the Gulfport-Biloxi area, including them personally. Roddy: And that we were honest and candid with them, telling them what they needed to know or when we thought they were making an error in judgment. While at the end of the day they are our bosses, they look to us to help guide them along the way. And that’s a relationship you really want to have.

Judges' comments

Especially liked the design attention on the tarmac side

They’ve talked about bringing charters in from the U.K. where people will fly into Gulfport, do some gaming there and then fly down to Florida. Gulfport could potentially be the port of entry. That’s a pretty forward-thinking group of individuals there to make this type of thing happen.


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The main entry lobby features a light-filled, triple-volume atrium that allows maximum natural light and minimal heat gain.

As the airside is often the façade that is the first impression of an airport by an arriving passenger, the design team sought to ensure it did not appear to be “the back.â€?

Gu lfport–Biloxi International Airport Gu lfport, MISSISSIPPI Architecture Interior Design Planning Land Planning Landscape Architecture Construction administration

TEAM Princi pa l - in - charge

Al Pramuk, P.E., CM

p roj ect Manager

Tim L. Hudson Tara Hrbacek

p roj ect Pro f essiona l

Jane Ahrens, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP Dominic James Norris

p roj ect Designer

Jeff Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP

awards Transportation/South Central Construction, Best of 2008 Construction & Design Awards, Award of Merit


Health Care REIT, Inc. Regional office joins national design scheme while establishing independent, modern showpiece Quickly outgrowing their existing space, the Development Services Group of Health Care REIT, Inc., a real estate investment trust, contracted GS&P to renovate the interiors of their 22,000-square-foot, two-story 1980s vintage building. With the potential for multiple visitors, investors and medical professionals visiting the office for business development and project opportunities, it was important that the space be a showpiece for Health Care REIT’s properties and a reflection of the creative culture of the business and employees.

Health Care REIT, Inc. Regional Offices Program Developm ent I N T E RVI E W /

Jac k we b er , T i m R u c k er

Considering the client originally wanted a simple “paint and carpet finish renovation,� how did the project become a full-scale interior renovation?

Jack: Our first communication with the client was through a basic RFP for a very small paint and carpet bid proposal. We were the successful bidder. After being notified, we walked through the space with the client and talked through their goals for the space. One of their primary goals was to make the space a showplace for their clients. While continuing our tour and conversations, we pointed out some of the major problems with the current build-out and educated them on some of the opportunities for the space. They quickly came to the conclusion that they needed to do a much larger renovation to achieve their goals and decided to go back to their president and CEO to ask for an increased budget. How did you determine what type of environment would best suit their needs and create the showplace they desired?

Jack: The design had to be a reflection of who Health Care REIT is. Early on, we toured their headquarters in Toledo to gain a better understanding of their

business, their clients and who they are as an organization. We met the president and CEO and talked to him about the company and his vision for this facility. We toured their facility and he described some of the renovations that had taken place and how the two offices were both similar and different in terms of business function, employees and goals. This gave us a much clearer picture of their culture and what needed to be achieved in the Nashville office. What did you learn about their culture that helped you shape your design?

Jack: Their office space in Toledo was much more traditional and conservative in both layout and design; more along the lines of what you would expect from a bank with large offices at the perimeter and a few administrative work stations across the hall. There was an attempt at moving in a new direction with a few smaller spaces created for collaboration at corners, but they were rarely used because they could easily meet in their large offices. Since one of the goals in the new space was to encourage interaction and collaboration, we realized their office standards were simply too big.

Judges' comments

Surprising and transformative 78

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The relocation of the connecting monumental stair and other strong intersecting elements creates additional collaborative teaming spaces and an interaction between floors. Vacuum-pressed 3form™ panels create fluttering “clouds” near the skylights and help regulate light and heat coming into the space.

Describe the office layout prior to renovation. How did you reconfigure the space to facilitate collaboration?

design meeting spaces up front for clients, and brighten the work environment to connect it visually.

Jack: Existing conditions within their newly purchased building had offices around the perimeter of the building with internal spaces filled with small rooms that created a maze of closed-up spaces. To open up the space in the middle and reduce existing office sizes, we basically cut off about three feet from the front of each office and replaced it with a glass storefront. The full glass walls allowed natural light to be brought into the internal spaces. Reducing the office size to accommodate no more than one guest chair has forced staff to collaborate in the open spaces rather than behind closed doors.

Since the space had to be completely redesigned, how did you choose your starting point?

Discuss the use of multiple schematics in your design and describe the initial goals for the space.

Jack: The first aspect of any design starts two-dimensionally with a simple plan of the space. The building is rectangular with the corners cut off, so it is at a 45-degree angle. The floor plan was very dated and felt like the 1980s. We downplayed the cut-off corner concept and rectangular shape of the building and updated the interior to make it more inspiring and more functional. The goals of the functional areas were to bring in more natural light, create areas for collaboration,

Jack: We started by using the space’s strong diagonals while at the same time downplaying the 45-degree cut-off corners. We then looked at the two-story atrium that had too much natural light and no way to control the heat occurring in the space. In the middle of the summer the heat and glare was so uncomfortable employees could not work in the space and did not like to bring people into the area. The need to solve these problems led to finding a way to diffuse the light. From there, we decided to better physically and visually connect the two stories and create an element to tie in the diagonal shape of the space. The space has a lot of elements and a very geometric look. Describe how the graphics and signage work with the overall look.

Tim: At one point, they wanted to have multiple sign systems, but we encouraged them to look at some different options, which is why there are only two different sign systems within the offices. One is a more modern, very clean oval shape that directly plays off the surfboard-shaped table on the second floor.

Judges' comments

Brought life to a tired building gresha m, s mith an d partners

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We wanted something a little softer with this system since there are some really strong lines in the building. The second system is more traditional and was inspired by the wood and darker pieces that were selected in their color palette. The space is a visually exciting and playful atmosphere. Discuss some of the innovative techniques used to create such a fun environment.

Jack: We always look for visual clues for direction, so we started with their website, which is very clean, simple and modern, cluing us into the fact that they like modern spaces. We used some wood elements in the boardroom to provide a connection to their office in Toledo and a hint at who they are as a company, but the playfulness came in when we began weaving in the personality of the Nashville group. It is a much more collaborative space geared toward creating, designing, engineering and managing facilities rather than the financially-driven headquarters in Toledo. Tim: Our graphics team had worked with Health Care REIT on another project, so we had a pretty good rapport with them. They used a lot of playful colors in their materials, which enabled us to work with a playful mindset. Jack: The color really comes in through the monumental wall system, panels and ceiling; all of the panels are interchangeable. They are held in place by cables and clamps that can easily be changed, which makes the space more flexible. If they ever want a change or if a new company came in, they could change the panels in


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the grid structure and some of the ceiling elements in the atrium and have a whole new look. Tim: The graphics function the same way. Some of the core graphics such as the restroom signs are permanently affixed, but the names and IDs on other signs pop right off. The signs are very unique. What materials did you use?

Tim: The graphic design team works hand-in-hand with the interior designers. A lot of our inspiration came from what they selected from 3form™ designs. 3form™ is a very high-quality acrylic, usually translucent, material. You can light it and create all kinds of cool effects. The “clouds” in the entry and the panel system, or feature wall, in the lobby are made with 3form™. The custom badges at the individual workstations and offices are made with an off-the-shelf system called dotdash™ because Health Care REIT’s logo is medallion-shaped. We used a dotdash™ holder to suspend the signs off the wall, and placed a translucent acrylic on the back that looks very upscale. Let’s talk about the inspiration behind the “clouds” in the atrium area.

Tim: The clouds are actually furled pieces of 3form™ that were vacuum-pressed to get that shape, and it makes them look like they are actually fluttering. These are the pieces that gave us the inspiration for the signs.

gresha m , s m ith and partners

Custom graphics were designed to coordinate with the architectural elements in the space.

The color palette and detailing leave a clean plate for future changes and modifications as well as a strong background for company identity and branding.

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Jack: They’re made of four-by-eight sheets of half-inch translucent acrylic suspended from the atrium. They actually help filter light and heat that come into the atrium so that people can use the area. Have the makers of 3form™ seen the clouds?

Jack: Yes. They are very proud of the space, too. In fact, they pushed us to submit this project in their own 3form™ awards where people voted publicly on the best use of 3form™ spaces. Though we did not receive the top award, we received a special recognition award because they liked the space so much. 3form™ uses the pictures in a lot of their brochures and publications. Describe some of the other collaborative and gathering areas incorporated into the design.

Jack: We wanted to create different spaces where people could meet, work, play or socialize and connect in different ways. The break or kitchen area, for example, is a space that can serve any major function. We also turned an old loading dock into a seating area with another meeting space next to it. Through a series of bypass doors, they can either close off the space or open it up for parties with a connection to the executive board area.


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What have been some of the comments by employees since they’ve been working in the space?

Jack: They love it. It is a fun space. Sometimes you just can not put a finger on why something makes you feel good. But the color, the openness and the way the light comes in work well together, and it is a nice feeling when you walk in. Tim: It is a rejuvenating space—you feel better just by being there. What part of this project makes you most proud?

Jack: The project started out as this little RFP for paint and carpet that we almost did not pursue. The decision to do the project and then show what could be done resulted in an award-winning project for us and for them, which always makes you feel good. And they are really proud of it. When I walk other clients through the space, Health Care REIT is very engaged and loves to talk about the project and how we worked together as a team. Tim: Since we had a history with them, it was nice to impress them even more than before. They cut us loose a little bit to show what we could really do, and we had a blast working with them. It was really gratifying to have that much fun on a project.

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Health Care REIT, Inc . Brentwoo d, Tennessee Architecture Interior Design Construction Administration Program Developm ent

TEAM Princi pa l - in - charge

Jack E. Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP

Proj ect A rchitect

Eric Bearden, AIA

p roj ect C oor d inator

William C. Mays

G ra p hic Designer

Tim Rucker

AWardS 2009 Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Excellence Award, Renovation Under $4 Million Category


Martin Methodist College

Gault Fine Arts Center A neglected, historic gymnasium is renovated into a new fine arts showpiece, which successfully connects the past and future Repurposing a 79-year-old building for 21st century needs requires a balance between preservation and innovation. Martin Methodist’s Virginia and Thomas Gault Fine Arts Center spotlights the historic single-story gymnasium’s metal roof trusses, arena lights and original floor, while boasting new light-filled art classrooms, a concert auditorium, art gallery and geothermal heating and cooling. The new building is an invigorating rescue of what could have become a forgotten landmark—an active, reimagined space for students and alumni alike.

Martin Methodist College - GAULT Fine Arts Center I N T E RVI E W /

Patric k G i l b ert , R yan R ohe

What role does history play in the project story?

everything would fit. We created a box within a box.

Patrick: Martin Methodist College was founded in 1870 but this is the only historic building remaining on their campus. Other buildings have burned over time or for other reasons are gone, so this is really the only connection that older alumni have to the Martin Methodist College that they remember. Renovating the building created an opportunity for this connection to continue into the future.

Ryan: The existing structure was only adequate enough to support itself, so we inserted new columns in the building to handle the load of the second floor.

Was it difficult to find a balance between the past and the future?

Patrick: It actually was a little easier than it might seem. The client already had an idea of what they wanted to reuse the building for—fine arts and music. The program for those two different types of spaces split the building in half, and those needs fit into the building pretty easily. However, when the client brought us the needs for the building and the program, we added everything up and figured out how many square feet we needed. It was about twice what would fit. Luckily with this being a gymnasium and a really tall one-story building, we determined fairly quickly we could insert a second floor, providing us enough square footage that

How did you fit the concert auditorium downstairs?

Patrick: It worked well to put the art rooms on the second floor and the music-related spaces on the first floor. This building was constructed in the 1930s when most buildings had a crawl space below the first floor, which this building had. We recessed the auditorium down into the existing crawl space. We filled the balance of the crawl space with gravel and poured a concrete slab, which is more typical of how you construct the first floor in a building today. So the auditorium’s sloped floor fit in beautifully and we actually did not have to excavate anything to install it.


Also, it allowed the building to be handicap accessible. As you come in on the first floor, you enter at the high point of the auditorium. We sloped the floor just enough to allow the entire auditorium to be wheelchair accessible.

Judges' comments

Great model for historic Preservation 88

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The completed renovation included connecting the building to the campus quad through the addition of a small plaza and reimagined entrance.

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And the large second-floor windows that are original to the building provide great light for the art classrooms.

Patrick: That did work out nicely. When this building was constructed there were not very many light fixtures inside the building, so they relied on those large windows to provide natural light. When we determined we could install a second floor in the building, the location of those windows above the original balcony fit perfectly. It aligned with the floor exactly, just like we needed it to, and our decision to put the art classrooms on the second floor was partially because of those giant windows. It allowed these incredible light-filled classrooms for the art spaces and for us to not have to change any of the window locations to keep the building looking the same on the exterior. But it was a bit of serendipity that the quality of the light on the second floor would be so amazing. We would never have installed windows that large in a new building. Really?

Patrick: Typically you do not. These windows go almost to the floor and in classroom buildings you typically are more inwardly focused and you have natural light for the sake of having natural light,

but you do not typically put windows that go all the way to the floor. The windows are one example of original elements that remained or were reused, but a more notable example is the lobby floor made of reused gymnasium flooring.

Patrick: At the very beginning we decided we must maintain some of the historic features of this building that alumni can relate to. The gymnasium roof trusses, round light fixtures and original flooring are several things that we reused. Ryan: And actually the reuse of the flooring with the old basketball striping was pure accident. The original plans called to salvage the flooring, sand it down and refinish it. The installer installed it as it was and was going to refinish it, but he realized that it was beautiful just as it was. Patrick: Yes. The installer looked at what he did and realized that it was something special. He then called the contractor and our client to look at the uplanned patterns. It became found art. Though we did always intend to reuse the floor, we just assumed we would sand it, refinish it and say it is the gymnasium floor. But it just became such a strong focal point of this building. I have never seen art like this appear just out of nothing.

Judges' comments

transforming a treasure 90

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Large second floor windows, original to the structure, were preserved to provide large amounts of natural light to the art studios.

The performance hall was recessed into the building’s existing crawl space to allow for the construction of a second floor above the hall.

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Alumni celebrate the grand opening of the Gault Fine Arts Center. The lobby features the reused gymnasium flooring as an unexpected piece of found art.


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Did the planned reuse of materials greatly impact waste reduction?

Ryan: A lot of times construction is a very wasteful process in terms of energy consumption and material waste. What we were able to do was preserve the structure and many of its elements, therefore preserving the character of the existing building while reducing the need for new materials. Patrick: Right. The building was basically a big empty box, so there was very little demolition and construction waste. We were able to basically come inside of an empty box and insert a new floor. Aside from reuse and waste reduction, you also made some substantial improvements to energy efficiency, correct?

Ryan: Perhaps the biggest impact was installing a geothermal well system. We drilled about 18 wells and anticipate a 10- to 12-year payback period, which has the potential to provide some real value to the client. And actually, because of the successes that they have had with the heating and cooling with the geothermal wells, they decided to go geothermal for all of the buildings. Patrick: When you see old buildings like this with brick exterior and a clay tile interior, there is always the option to leave the interior walls exposed—you have the ‘cool factor’ of looking at the old materials. We resisted that style, however, and instead insulated the walls, the ceiling and roof so we have a very tight, energy efficient building.

Ryan: Yes, and you get the coolness from other aspects, like the floor and the trusses. Patrick: And a building that does not cost nearly as much to heat and cool. How did you reconnect this building with the daily life of the campus?

Ryan: One of the ways in which we reconnected was by creating an entry plaza. This used to just be a standalone building with a small rickety sidewalk that connected it to the quad. We brought the quad to the building via the plaza, and now we have provided a place for people to hang out, study or just enjoy the outdoors. Patrick: There were two existing magnolia trees that we maintained in front of the building. We put a low wall around these magnolia trees to allow us to excavate for the plaza. We made the wall exactly the height of a seat—18 inches high—so people have the opportunity to sit here and talk to each other. And it works. And the lobby, with its reinvented gymnasium floor, represents both.

Patrick: If you are an alumni of Martin Methodist College, you come in the front door and you see the gymnasium flooring that you remember. You look up and you see the roof trusses that were a part of the gymnasium. You see the light fixtures that illuminated the gymnasium. The intention is to make you smile as soon as you come in the door and feel like, ‘This is the Martin Methodist College I remember,

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but oh my gosh! Look how much better it is!” Because this is a totally different use of the building, we kept the visual cues of some of the original aspects of the building and created a sense of arrival. When you approach any building and go in the door you need to have a space to make a decision, “is this someplace I want to come into?” We really wanted to create a strong sense of arrival. I think that is what we were able to accomplish with the tall lobby and views into the art gallery. Ryan: And it is not only a strong place of arrival, but with the light-filled rooms and the funky wood floor it is a strong place of arrival for a fine arts building. Patrick: You are walking into a piece of art. A three-dimensional piece of art. So what was the client’s reaction to it?

Patrick: Great reaction. They had a grand opening for the facility that was well attended. We were there and it was great seeing the smiles on everyone’s

faces. That is what told me that we had a successful project. Occasionally things just fall together correctly. This is one of those projects where everything just worked great. The pieces came together, and when people walked through the door for the first time and their faces lit up, I felt like we nailed it. What are you the most proud of regarding this project?

Ryan: It was a pretty incredible adaptive reuse. We were able to reinvigorate this historical piece of Martin’s campus and find a new use for the building. Patrick: There is the opportunity for alumni to remember the college that they attended, and it is also the most forward-thinking building on campus. This is a project that connects the history of Martin Methodist College to the future of Martin Methodist College. We have connected the past and the future in one building.

Judges' comments

...Amazing 94

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The roof trusses serve as character-defining elements of the building. After careful consideration, the trusses were left unpainted. The original gymnasium lighting fixtures were also preserved in the art gallery.

The original building lobby was opened to the second floor to create a strong sense of arrival and to allow visitors to see the art gallery from the front door.

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Martin Metho dist Coll ege Pu laski, Tennessee Architecture Interior design Civil engineering Landscape architecture Survey TEAM Princi pa l - in - C harge

Steven P. Johnson, AIA

Proj ect Manager

Patrick Gilbert, AIA, LEED AP

Proj ect Pro f essiona l / Proj ect Designer

Jeffrey R. Steele, AIA, LEED AP

Proj ect C oor d inator

Chris Schottland Ryan R. Rohe, LEED AP BD+C


Mercy Hospital

Campus & Patient Tower The need for a new patient tower evolves into an improved campus concept built on principles of community, hope and life. There are few places anyone feels more vulnerable than in a hospital. Patients, their families, and hospital employees alike need hopeful environments. The remarkable patient tower addition and campus for Miami’s Mercy Hospital provide just that with a design that builds psychological and physical shelter. Designed around the protective concept of a grotto, extensive gardens and walking paths, and an inviting, light-filled entrance, the new plan focuses on support for patients and visitors, all while embracing the community.

Mercy Hospital campus & Patient Tower I N T E RVI E W /

G reg W ie l an d , Min d y G raves - Aj a m i , Marc S a u v É , E m i l S l avi k , E d H engtgen

Explain the client’s original challenge and how you developed a solution.

Greg: The client wanted to add a 15-story patient tower to their healthcare facility. They already had a master plan, a vision of where the tower would be located and an idea of how it would mesh with the existing building. Their direction to us was to make sure the new tower provided views of Biscayne Bay. From the start, we saw this as an opportunity to build upon the Hospital’s Catholic-based mission of care, create a stronger presence for the institution from the main road and enhance operational efficiencies and interior circulation. Once we moved the tower to its new location, ideas of an enhanced approach, improved entry points, wayfinding, a landmark chapel, walking path—even the concepts of a spiritual shelter—began to emerge. As a designer, it was a perfect example of establishing a foundational solution to a problem, and then proving it through the resulting benefits.

Where did you begin?

Greg: We first studied floor plans of the existing facility to understand the location of the Hospital’s major functions and how the new tower could best be integrated with them. Our evaluation culminated in a patient tower site that differed from what the client originally envisioned, and required moving the existing chapel. However, our proposed location provided opportunities for enhancing operational efficiencies and separating public and patient circulation. Visually and functionally, the revised placement pushed us to break up some of the existing rigidity of form and take better advantage of the land. By relocating the chapel, we could also give it a much stronger presence while helping to enhance access to existing hospital functions. Tell me about these various elements that formed the overall facility design.

Greg: One of the most dominant features of the design is a wood-inset, grottoshaped form that creates the top of the

judges' comments

Dramatic, innovative design with spiritual aspects 98

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patient tower, along with a curved facade of mosaic-patterned glass that sits in front of it. The more we looked at ways to express the Hospital’s faith-based heritage, the more it made sense to use this form. For centuries the grotto has been a symbol of shelter and protection, and its use in the building’s form reinforces the Hospital’s mission to provide physical and spiritual care and support. It is designed to be lit at night to create a beacon, which can be seen from a great distance in the surrounding community and bay. It also masked mechanical systems on the top of the building. And the connection to the bay?

Greg: The multicolored, convex-shaped glass façade, which sits in front of the grotto form, is also an important design feature. It was inspired by two elements: the sparkling effect of the rising sun on Biscayne Bay and the diverse, multiethnic culture of the surrounding community.

The grotto concept is designed to reinforce the hospital’s mission to provide shelter for its patients— a spiritual symbol of protection. The multicolored, convex-shaped glass façade was inspired by the sparkling effect of the rising sun on Biscayne Bay and the multiethnic culture of the community.

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Marc: The Hospital has a significantly international clientele, largely Caribbean, Central American and South American. The common theme that ties this diverse culture together is a strong spiritual bond. Greg: Other design features include the curved glass entry concourse and a floating canopy that slips under the new patient tower. These elements help create a more identifiable entry area featuring a sun-lit, two-story space. How do the aesthetics of the entry and lobby space tie-in to the symbolism?

Greg: The entry concourse also serves to connect the patient tower to the existing buildings with the new chapel anchoring one end and a sun-lit patient reception/ registration area on the other. The design also helps create a new public circulation pattern and leaves the old spine dedicated to staff and material movement. Mindy: The expansive glass wall provides a good example. Its basic function is to bring light and natural views deeper into the space. But its mosaic quality is symbolic of the different types of people and nationalities served by the hospital.

Ed: The glass also represents the reflection from the water. The client wanted to make sure their building had a strong connection to the bay and the colors that come off the water—the earth tones and the blues and greens. The facility has terrific views of the bay, and the design of the entry was a way to convey those views during a visitor’s initial experience. Greg: Landscape features are also integral to the overall design. For example, we incorporated several gardens that we envisioned being developed by local community groups. Pathways throughout these landscaped areas extend from the hospital entry and dining plaza to a pavilion overlooking the bay. They create what we refer to as “Pathways of Hope.” These pathways provide opportunities for patients, visitors and others to explore, wander and reflect, while the pavilion can serve as a site for community gatherings or any number of other functions. How do the pathways and gardens add to a visitor’s experience?

Mindy: The “Pathways of Hope” and garden spaces are primarily for patients and families, but they also provide a means

of bringing the community in and letting them enjoy the bay and the view. Emil: “Pathways of Hope” goes back to the religious aspect of the facility as well. There are different ways you can look at illness and health, just as there are different ways you can look at life. You choose the pathway you want to go down. For the patients who are in the new tower looking at that garden, or for the family members who are there for support, the pathways can represent where these people want the outcome of their healthcare—or of their loved ones—to be. The pathways all lead to wonderful physical environments, but they can represent something unique to each visitor. Ed: Community became an increasingly important aspect of our design. It was important to us that the healing environment be surrounded by gardens, but we also wanted the gardens to be experienced as educational, even congregational opportunities for the community—a way to draw the community into this facility. Emil: Greg and I have done prior projects for faith-based institutions, and we understand the importance of trying to embody the spirit of what a hospital is

Judges' comments

Very strong statement

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about in the design. It requires someone well-versed in taking features of a campus, elements of a faith and the roles and key attributes of a hospital’s mission to successfully bring them together. The goal is ultimately to blend the key elements of an institution’s faith intrinsically in the design concept. The design also brings the gardens inside with the rooftop interior courtyard for the ICU.

Ed: We wanted to extend the idea of the healing gardens up to the waiting rooms for the patients and families that can not go outside. The gardens bring in some natural light and greenery, and are meant to give families some breaks from the stress they may experience. It was a natural place to put the garden that could be seen by the upper floors so that you aren’t simply looking down at a roof. There was something of interest out there, something that could be utilized by family members, something peaceful. Considering the initial challenge was to design a tower for a predetermined site, how do you feel you exceeded the client’s needs?

Ed: We looked at the entire site, the client’s long-term growth needs, how

changes would impact visual access to the new tower and how the new tower could provide elegant views of the bay, downtown Miami and the old city of Coral Gables. Looking at all of these things gave us a different perspective on where to place the patient tower, and I think it opened the client’s eyes to new opportunities. Our team did a wonderful job of presenting the concept. The client told us had they just seen our drawings, they would have not picked us because they did not understand what we were doing. Once we had the opportunity to explain our reasons for the revised location, the light bulbs went off. Greg: I am most proud of our ability to design not only a stunning and successful patient tower, but also the visual identity for the Hospital. From our design we supported its connection with the diverse community, studied the natural surroundings, including the unique colors of the bay, built upon the Hospital’s Catholic heritage, and ultimately improved Mercy for the future. Mindy: I think the biggest thing our client saw was our holistic approach. All visitors have the same general experience,

Judges' comments

Beautifully complex


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but people see it in many different ways. At each point we were looking at the design as moments—as opportunities to positively affect an experience. Those transitional points helped us carry ideas further, like bringing nature inside. From there we expanded different levels of experience from public spaces all the way to the patient room. In a sense, we really have a story that meanders through the building. Emil: To me, there is a critical elegance and what can be either a very simple story or a very complex one. You can take elements at face value, or you can talk about the pathways, for instance, what is along those pathways and where those pathways lead. Those are all simple things that can have extreme meaning when you take that little bit of time to really think about how things are laid out and what effect the design of a space can have on the people in it. The Mercy story ties to what we are doing to make healthcare better, how we are trying to change healthcare, and how it is coming back to community health instead of the business of healthcare. Those are very simple, elegant things that add up to a beautiful project.

Visitors approaching the facility are greeted with the new patient tower on the right, landmark chapel on the left, and grand entry and glass wall in between. The experience is meant to introduce visitors to the welcoming, high level of care.

Pathways were envisioned to extend from the hospital to a pavilion overlooking the bay. These “Pathways of Hope� provide opportunities for patients, families and the community to explore and reflect.

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Mercy Hospital Miami, Florida Architecture Interior Design Planning TEAM Princi pa l - in - C harge / p roj ect m anager

Edward L. Hengtgen, Jr., AIA, EDAC, LEED AP

p roj ect A rchitect


p roj ect Designer

Gregory J. Wieland, AIA

p roj ect I nterior Designer

Mindy Graves-Ajami, IIDA, EDAC, LEED AP

senior p l anner

Emil A. Slavik, AIA, ACHA

p roj ect Pro f essiona l

J. Brent Hughes, AIA, NCARB, EDAC, LEED AP

H ea lthcare S trategist

Marc A. SauvĂŠ


Seoul national University Hospital Without the option to build up, GS&P architects and engineers crafted a medical mall solution from the ground down A leader in the global academic community, Seoul National University has served as a trusted source for Korean public health information for more than 100 years. The design competition for additions to the Seoul National University Hospital Medical Mall required concepts for outpatient clinics, retail, and support spaces while honoring the historic hospital structure as a focal point. With an emphasis on flexibility, intuitive wayfinding, expandability, and connection to nature, the resulting underground design establishes a healthy, vibrant aesthetic.

Seo u l Nationa l University Hospital M edical Mall I N T E RVI E W /

j e f f k u hnhenn , d avi d stewart

Describe the initial need and the scope of the project.

Jeff: Seoul National University Hospital, a prestigious medical, research, and education institution in Korea, is built on a campus that is essentially built out. There’s very little to no remaining real estate to develop, yet the hospital has a tremendous need to add clinic space in the existing central hospital. Our concept included design ideas for three floors of outpatient clinics, retail and support spaces, and a three-level parking garage with a focus on flexibility, intuitive wayfinding, expandability and a connection to nature, most of which would likely reside below the surface level. What considerations did you have to make regarding the future of the campus?

David: For this project, we designed multiple future phases not actually in the original program. In order to develop the initial project, we felt it was important to

understand the end result because their site is so tight and congested. Jeff: The client’s needs and complexity were probably the paramount issues with this project, and in order to design this piece of architecture, we had to almost back up to the point of master planning — or re-master planning — the entire campus. It was critical to understand where things are today and where they want to be five years from now, and beyond, in order to advance the design of this one particular building that happens to be the physical lynchpin between all of the facilities on the site. Describe the existing building, the surrounding campus and the fundamental goal of your design concept.

Jeff: The hospital building is a historic structure in that it is the first real Western style hospital in Seoul. It is surrounded by some green space, parking, a few roadways, and extremely active pedestrian

areas all shared by the various facilities. It’s a very crowded area with no real space available for a sizeable clinic. Our task was to sensibly fit a mostly belowgrade facility into the core of this site, and stitch it in with the entire surrounding functional hospital, labs, research and education facilities while maintaining a picturesque setting for this historic building. Essentially, the assignment was to build a big building where there is no place to build it, and when it is done, it should be as though it is not there. David: The site is unique in that there are multiple hospitals on the campus. In addition to the main hospital, there are cancer, dental and pediatric hospitals. The project’s concept would connect all those facilities underground, which meant it was very important to understand the relationships and circulation paths between the different buildings. Also, there are local restrictions on how much space can be developed above ground, so it wasn’t just that finding room was difficult, it wasn’t even an option.

judges' comments

All the best elements of today's technical and sustainable ideas... Integrated beautifully on a tough site 108

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The transformation of the site shifts functions not required for inpatient care out of the hospital and into a separate space for clinic patients. The separation reduces congestion without losing connections to the main hospital, maintains a focus on nature and honors the historic Western-style hospital building at the site’s core.

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Expansive windows bring natural light down to the interior of the clinics and help “...create a below-grade space that does not make people feel as though they are underground...� Natural ventilation is conditioned through a cool tube system and circulated through the building.


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With no extra above-ground real estate to work with, what was your overall plan and strategy to tie all of these buildings together?

underground or in a cavern. To achieve this, we tried to create a somewhat natural environment by including a courtyard and natural lighting through skylights.

Jeff: Starting out, we had to have a clear understanding of pedestrian and vehicular circulation. We knew we would have to reconfigure the underground parking area. Our first step was to overlay the pedestrian flow of patients as well as the public, staff and material paths with the site’s vehicular circulation, which was particularly dangerous and highly inefficient in heavy pedestrian areas. Obviously, we could not have cars drive through clinic space underground, so getting the cars into the below-grade clinic space was an interesting challenge. But, once we looked at all of the challenges by themselves, the site almost designed itself. Solving each of these issues basically created the parameters for the design concept and drove the overall design.

How does your design infuse elements of nature to create a tranquil environment below grade?

Since the space was clearly defined, what parameters dictated your design?

Jeff: The site was a very odd shape that came with challenges including preserving the historic significance. We also had to create a below-grade space that did not make people feel as though they were

judges' comments

CREATIVE, Innovative, exciting design

David: We tried to use natural materials, landscaping, water, light and air as much as we could to preserve the natural environment. Most Asian cultures place extreme value on natural air and ventilation. Because there is such limited natural environment, we looked for ways to bring in natural air and recirculate it throughout the space. Bringing in natural elements like trees and grass as well as materials such as pavers created a much more comfortable feeling than concrete. We also used water to create a calm, serene atmosphere in an otherwise stress-filled area. Some of the aerial views of the site show the main public space, which is the building with all the glass that looks like it’s going underground. Natural light streams into the main lobby, clinic waiting areas, and retail space. Even though the space is below grade, it feels very natural with all the light and ventilation. Working below grade always has inherent challenges. What were some of the specific issues that needed to be addressed?

Jeff: Dealing with the limited real estate and logistics of getting cars several levels below grade was a real challenge. As tight as the site was, you are obligated to take certain structural things into account when you’re forced to work below grade.

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When you dig a hole, you have to hold back the earth that’s not being removed, which further constrains the site because it has to accommodate the thickness of a retaining wall. Overcoming the structural difficulties to create an inviting, pleasant space, rather than a mundane, cold space, was a real challenge. We relied on geometric, functional and spatial clarity to develop a certain order to the site through expectations and rhythms that accommodated the structural requirements. By focusing on key areas, we were able to take some liberties with the structure and open it up to the south light along a long arc off the major public spaces. We took a philosophical approach to create clarity and peacefulness out of an otherwise quirky and geometrically complicated site. David: One of the biggest challenges was to create an efficient outpatient entrance that was separate from the main entrance. Our design redirects most of that patient flow to a brand new entrance. The geometric form really emphasizes the entrance sequence because it creates extremely intuitive wayfinding. Jeff: Yes, despite the fact that you’re going underground, nothing is hidden from you. The organization of the building from a public perspective is immediately apparent upon entering. How did your design improve circulation?

David: When you do an underground facility, patient flow is one of the biggest issues. Understanding how materials


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and supplies flow, not only to the clinics but also to the substantial retail space, is essential. You can’t just take a tractortrailer three floors underground to supply a kitchen. We used the inpatient hospital dock to work out a travel path to the materials management areas and back to the clinic. It was also extremely important to understand vertical as well as horizontal paths since many of the destinations are below grade. Our design outlined a convenient travel path for materials, patients, and staff since there’s a lot of cross-over and also provided a space for the public, physicians, and staff to gather. We created many destination points for easy flow and included a corridor from the center of the site to the various clinics. What was the most gratifying aspect of developing this conceptual design?

Jeff: The design concept itself is deceptively simple. It was almost a Zen-like experience to find the right note. With all the discordant rhythms from the other buildings and functions, plus the site limitations and structural constraints, we found the ultimate solution in the simple sweeping arc centered on the existing historic hospital. Seeing the success of that clarity was very gratifying to me. David: Finding a simple solution to a complex problem is one of the biggest challenges that an architect faces. This ranks right up there with the most complex project that I’ve ever had to design. It was also definitely one of the most unique projects involving one of the most innovative solutions and a great experience to work with the team over there.

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A six-story structure exists below grade. The top three floors are clinical care, and the lower three are parking.

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Taeyou ng Engineering & Construction Seo u l, south Korea Concept Design Master Planning Engineering Cons u ltation

TEAM p rinci pa l - in - char g e

Kevin Kim, AIA

p roj ect mana g er

David Stewart, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

p roj ect d esi g ner

Jeff Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP

p roj ect coor d inator

Jevon Ritchey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

hea lthcare p l anner

Frank Swaans, AIA, EDAC, ACHA, LEED AP

p roj ect p ro f essiona l

David McMullin, P.E., LEED AP

awards AIA/AAH National Healthcare Design Awards, Honor Award “Unbuilt”


The University of Tennessee

Cherokee Farm

Campus master plan and development guidelines deliver highly respectful and sustainable solutions Imagine this pastoral setting: swaths of green along a riverside, mature trees, gently sloping hills...and cutting-edge scientific research. Building on only 77 of 200 acres, GS&P’s master plan for the University of Tennessee’s new Cherokee Farm campus left copious green space while including large quads, a nature preserve, a greenway connecting back to the City of Knoxville, and a 46-acre archaeological site. The results are a science and technology campus that is itself a research project and a campus connected not only to its own environment but also to the life of the city.

The University of Tennessee Cherok ee Farm Campus Master Plan & Development Guidelines I N T E RVI E W /

C rai g Par k er , John H o u g hton , W oo d y Jones , Pa u l S tee l e

How did you come to this project?

Craig: Initially, the University of Tennessee tasked us to simply provide an infrastructure design for the site that would support a state-of-the-art research campus. However, as we got into the data collection and investigation phases, it became evident that a master plan was needed. John: The focus was on building a stateof-the-art science and technology research campus, and Dr. David Millhorn, the Executive Vice President for Research for the University of Tennessee, was adamant that this development attract global attention and contribute to the state’s future economic development. Craig: One of the things often stated during these meetings with the vice president was the campus itself would be a research project. In addition to the future tenants being involved in world-class research, the campus itself would be researched. Based on the master plan, is the project positioned to meet those goals?

John: In terms of the final master plan, yes. There’s a heavy emphasis on developing

the site as a pedestrian-friendly environment with well-defined public spaces and strong connections to the city, downtown Knoxville and the UT Knoxville campus. The master plan and development guidelines also establish a basic framework that can respond to future needs and building technologies. Together, the well-defined public spaces, connections and flexible framework should result in a dynamic campus. What are some of the focuses of the design guidelines?

aesthetic standpoint and a sustainable design standpoint. We oriented the buildings east-west to maximize solar orientation. We also looked for opportunities to implement additional sustainable design solutions: photovoltaic panels or arrays on top of parking garages; geothermal fields that could be located in the quads between buildings or on surface parking lots adjacent to the building; and stormwater systems that could mimic natural stormwater patterns rather than just using a system of pipes.

Woody: We did a fair amount of research picking through different LEED sources and other sustainable guidelines and discovering how to approach sustainable master planning as well as how to regulate these principles throughout the campus. We were able to mandate some of these things to the future tenants.

Woody: Our goal was to do a great deal of sustainability in a variety of ways. Sustainability was used in the planning as well as with regard to pedestrians, infrastructure, buildings and materials. The breadth of what they’ve undertaken here really will set this campus apart.

John: One of the guiding themes of the whole master planning process was flexibility in terms of having the entire campus as an ongoing research project itself. So the design guidelines were really about setting some basic standards and policies that would guide the campus’ future development, both from an

Craig: It was important to preserve the steep slopes that have a tremendous amount of mature trees, so the entire site morphed around keeping that area intact. That’s where we came up with the quad concept, to keep the green spaces between the buildings, which mimicked the larger open space that we wanted to preserve. It

Judges' comments

Respectful solution to site and users 11 8

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g resham, smith and partners

The development guidelines promote the use of green roofs, stormwater planters and bioswales, recycled materials, daylighting and photovoltaic systems. The orientation of the buildings supports passive and active solar collection, and the quads and surface parking lots can serve as geothermal fields.

Streets are cross-sloped to collect stormwater on the downhill side and direct it to bioswales that border each quad.

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Downtown UT Knoxville

Cherokee Farm

UT Medical Center

Cherokee Trail

The 200-acre property is located on a bend in the Tennessee River and lies southwest of the flagship Knoxville campus and downtown Knoxville. Because of its favorable location along the river, the property includes rich archaeological deposits of major Native American settlements dating from more than 10,000 years ago.

Preserving the site’s natural and cultural resources was an important focus of the master planning process. These resources include the site’s relationship to the river, the mature trees and rolling topography.

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was also very intentional that the parking is along the highway. We actually want people to walk to their cars and get exercise. We also designated the parking area as a solar panel collector, aligning solar panels on top of the decks. Another important focus was to orient the view toward the river; however, we had to keep in mind the views from across the river back toward the campus. The residents in the area looking across the river to the campus were nervous we were designing a concrete jungle. Once they saw the drawings, they realized the University was going to do it the right way, and they embraced it. Is preserving the view why the buildings are scaled from five stories down to three as they approach the river?

Craig: Somewhat. It also helps work with the site, so that the buildings aren’t overwhelming, and you have clear sight lines from the higher buildings over the lower buildings out across the river. We definitely tried to keep parking under buildings, where feasible, to preserve as much green space as possible.

You’re keeping a lot of green space by only building on 77 of 200 acres.

Describe how the layout of the campus is structured around replicable quads.

John: That is sort of a happy accident. There is an archaeologically significant area along the river. About 45 of the 200 acres covered major Native American settlements dating back 10,000 years.

John: In good campus planning, particularly when you’re starting with a new campus, you establish modules that can be replicated over time, thereby creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts when it’s completed. Establishing the different quads gave the University some flexibility without feeling restricted regarding future development.

Paul: The archaeological site actually doesn’t really stop at the river or the riverbank. Obviously, it was there long before the lake was impounded. The City of Knoxville designed a greenway on top of the archaeological zone along the riverbank and has been granted an easement over the site. And the greenway is another way of tying the campus in with the city.

Paul: Yes. There is access across the Alcoa Highway Bridge from the city of Knoxville and UT campus side to our site, and that will be extended. The greenway representatives have told us the plan is to expand the greenway all the way to the Smoky Mountains. It may be many years before that actually happens, but that’s the plan. It’s definitely an asset to have this site connect to the greenway.

They were able to pick one site within a quad and essentially begin establishing that module and development pattern. The basic idea was to have two buildings down each side of the quad and one at the top of the hill, with the parking lot to the outside of the quad so that, again, the pedestrian environment and experience would be primary. Ultimately, this also allows the quad and parking lot to be converted to geothermal fields. With the major parking structures concentrated along the highway, the quads, with a very pedestrian-oriented street that bisects them, are encouraging a collegial environment. The University is very interested in having interaction among

Judges' comments

Creates fantastic social spaces g resham , smith an d partners

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many of the future tenants, both private and public, so we worked to establish spaces for them.

The campus plan is valuable for the University, but also for the city of Knoxville. What are you most encouraged by?

There is an Interpretive Center at the edge of the Archaeological Zone. What’s that?

Craig: The University has laid enticing groundwork for an attractive destination. For a cutting-edge research firm, what better destination to do your work than a campus that is based on sustainable and unique solutions? Hopefully, they have the right tenants beating down their door to get on this campus and to start doing research that will change the way we live for the better.

John: The master planning process was a total team effort between the University and the consultants. Early in the process, Don Graham and Dr. Boyce Driskell, both with the University, met with Craig to discuss the opportunity for an interpretive center. Craig: The concept was similar to what you find at many significant archaeological or cultural resource areas — an area where the public can read about the history and prehistory of the site as well as view artifacts, maps, and the results of the University’s investigation and research on the site. Because of its location and accessibility to the greenway, we hope future developers will tie back to some of the interpretive signage at the different overlooks and wide places in the greenway. Dr. Boyce Driskell with the Department of Anthropology and the Archaeological Research Lab has indicated that this site will be an outdoor classroom for the University. Certainly, the faculty at the University are very excited about the potential for this interpretive center and its related amenities. John: It’s also a place for the research taking place at the campus to gain publicity, so you could have both the archaeological history and new research being widely known.

Paul: It’s a very high-profile location. It’s a project that is going to be noted from all directions. This is one of the two major entrances into Knoxville from the south, and it’s a gigantic site that people are going to notice. The design of the site is sustainable in an uncommon manner. This is particularly true in stormwater management where stormwater is routed through bioswales and infiltration trenches. To see such a high-profile site strive for these types of sustainable solutions brings greater attention to sustainable practices in general. John: In terms of the city of Knoxville, one of the themes is that this is one of the few remaining large tracts of land near downtown. To establish the basic framework for the development of the property in such a sustainable manner and in a way that supports world-class research, I feel, showed great forward-thinking on the part of the University. It has a clear vision and a program to follow while adding a tremendous asset to the city.

Craig: Yes, a place for people to learn about the past and the future together.


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B way Alcoa High










Golf Practice Facility



G Archaeological Zone er e Riv e s nes Ten


Proposed Partial Interchange


Improved Full Interchange




Hotel Conference Center






Interpretive Center



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The University of Tennessee, Division of Facilities Planning Knoxville, Tennessee Campus Master Planning

TEAM Princi pa l - in - char g e

Bill Moore, P.E.

Proj ect M ana g er

Craig Parker, P.E.

Proj ect Pro f essiona l

John Houghton, AICP

Proj ect coor d inator

Paul Steele

Proj ect d esi g ner

Steve Johnson, AIA David “Woody” Gregory Jones, AIA, LEED AP



Corps of Engineers

A facility planning analysis and new workplace strategy for the 75,000-square-foot USACE Nashville District offices GS&P was hired to develop a Workplace Strategy Guide for the U.S. Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Nashville District offices. Over the past 30-plus years, the USACE has occupied space in the Estes Kefauver Federal Courthouse building in downtown Nashville. Various renovations have taken place through the years without an overriding master plan or strategy, ultimately creating a very disjointed, inefficient space. The scope consisted of the development of a workplace strategy that would establish a unified inspirational workplace and provide a guide for all future renovations.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Offices Workplace Strategy I N T E RVI E W /

Jac k W e b er

Who comprises the USACE in Nashville and were their issues clearly evident?

Jack: The USACE in Nashville has more of a civil mission than a military mission, managing much of the region’s river-based commerce, providing water resource engineering solutions as well as infrastructure management. Their mission covers seven states and is represented by senators and congressmen who, along with many other dignitaries, visit the Nashville offices. Image, therefore, plays an important role within their office environment. The problem in this case was obvious when we walked through the space. A haphazard approach had been taken to the USACEs workplace over the past 20 or 30 years, with renovations occurring in small pockets, creating a real separation of people from place as well as the organization, thus prompting the need for a comprehensive workplace strategy that addressed both function and image. The issues to us were obvious. The question was, what did they see as the issue and how were we going to solve it? Describe the existing environment.

Jack: The USACE has leased space in an old federal building for 30 years. Not surprisingly, it is a bland institutional space

that lacks many of the features and functionality that most modern office spaces offer. Because of numerous renovations and band-aid fixes over the years, the space also lacks organization. Understandably, many people have staked their claim to certain areas and are hesitant to embrace change. The problem with this is a lack of collaboration and the disconnect that occurs from the physical walls and disorganization of the space. What were your first steps in developing a strategy and office plan for the organization?

Jack: We started with visioning sessions, which involved group conversations with key leaders within the organization. By asking the right questions, we were able to extract information that helped us educate them on their issues and needs. Based on past experience, we have learned that people do not know what they do not know—you have to continually educate clients throughout the process on what opportunities exist, so they can make informed decisions and create a foundation for change. Since the USACE was not familiar with more current workplace solutions, we were able to lead them in the right direction as they began to talk about their goals and share what was important.

Give an example of how the process begins.

Jack: We start by using two basic graphic diagrams from our report to explain the “how” and “why” of what we will lead them through. The first graphic describes the key phases in the development of a strategy and explains goals, process and involvement. The second graphic explains the main elements of focus for designing interior workplaces: efficiency, effectiveness and expression. Efficiency examines how well an employee is using his or her space. Effectiveness ensures the right space is being used for the right activities to support the organization, i.e.: Does the space respond to change easily? Does it provide a healthy, energetic, innovative, creative atmosphere for employees? Expression is both internal and external and looks at the organization’s core values. When an environment is in such need of reorganization, is this educational process overwhelming to the client? How do you offset their apprehension?

Jack: Yes, it can be overwhelming, and we are now in the process of helping them decide how to actually implement the strategy. The leadership understands it. They see the bigger picture and know it is important, but some of the workers are now dealing with the implications of

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Great to add sociology as a design element 126

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Develop a facility master plan to house a well-organized, professional courteous workforce that provides exceptional services to the Corps, and to our public.

1. Meet or exceed Army DoD regulatio location per employee.





staff performance Support internal values: e.g. Facilitate culture shifts

Increase staff productivity Motivation and retention Knowledge management Innovation & creativity

Drive down total cost of occupancy

internal expression support to work processes health, safety and comfort

external expression

adaptability & flexibility

efficiency in real estate and space planning Support Sustainability Initiatives

Attract & retain customers

R Respond to business and technological change

2. Support efficiency goals by developi on-site document storage standard.

3. Provide for seamless transition and ibility for District or Departmental e traction/relocation through simplifie standards for individual and shared port spaces.

Strategy sessions began 4. Develop appropriate meeting spaces with a review of the entire tools that support collaborative, crea process, including the three ing and decision making between em key focus points: efficiency, effectiveness and expression.

5. Create an improved professional wo that elevates workforce productivity functional processes and workflow f tion.

6. Utilize branding concepts, access to light and consistent architectural des materials to provide a distinguishab sphere that communicates the Corp helps attract and retain quality staff; sense of pride in their work, their ph and the organization.

7. Within the workplace strategy, addr Operating Principles as it relates to t ment.

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Overall Organization Cultural Diagram The previous six diagrams are compiled into one overall organizational diagram as shown here. Based on the responses we received, STRATEGY CULTURE your organizational culture is shifting DIRECTION CHARACTERISTICS toward a more results-oriented culCLAN T E AM W O R Kto be in ture or “Market” with a desire a less formalized and more amicable work environment. In addition, there is a slight movement toward a more ADHOCRACY MOBILIT Y/ dynamic and creative workplace. ADAPTATION,




While main organizatio of privacy, has been es individual g



The work e organizatio tional servi the office p as the orga attract and ing the Ben highlight a continue to

Culture: Based on employee survey CULTURAL ASSESSMENT responses, the organization was shown to be shifting toward a more results-oriented culture, or “market,” with a desire to be in a less formalized, more amicable work environment. In addition, there was a slight movement toward a more dynamic and creative workplace.



ENCLAVE 10’w X 8’D




PROJECT ROOM 20’w X 12’d

CONFERENCE/TRAINING • • • • • • 1 2 8•





Planning w component




Increase in fee areas, et

More open tion and pr

Develop a facility master plan to house a well-organized, professional and courteous workforce that provides exceptional services to the USACE and the public.

tation d to shared d shared eam areas on division act as an idual work

Increase in enclaves




Defined Pu impromptu

Kit-of-parts: Spaces sized correctly according to function are a primary focus when developing standards. Equally important is developing a planning module that can fit a variety of functions within the same space or a multiple of that module.

losing the comfortable silos they have worked in for the past 30 years. A change management program in even the simplest form is vital to educating the staff on the vision, goals, process and longterm benefits of the improvements to their workplace. Were there any sustainable considerations in your strategy?

Jack: One of the USACEs primary roles is to be good stewards of the environment, but their emphasis is more on the natural environment and not so much in the workplace. We worked to educate the USACE on sustainable issues within the context of the office in terms of energy and water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and the use of sustainable building and finish materials. They have never intentionally chosen environmentally friendly materials or addressed energy saving measures for their workspace. Sustainable design approaches are a foundation of what we do at GS&P, and any recommendations for interior renovation are going to include ways to save energy and protect the environment. The USACE understands and believes in its importance, but it was up to us to show them how. What is a “kit-of-parts� and explain its significance in strategy development.

Jack: A kit-of-parts is about creating office standards that work together both from a dimensional and functional crossover

standpoint. It is all about flexibility. We focus on the needs of the client as well as the geometries of the building, such as the column base, structure, window spacing and the grid of the building from the core to the perimeter. Understanding the geometry helps us see the flexibility of a space. By starting with small five-foot by five-foot or four-foot by four-foot building blocks, we see how a workstation could be divided into two workstations or be built as an office. The single office footprint can serve multiple functions: two offices could be built into a medium conference room, and two medium conference rooms could convert into a large conference room. The kit-ofparts allows us to ensure the elements fit together logically, which means changes can easily be made later, if necessary. Discuss the importance of understanding place, process, technology and culture when developing a workplace strategy.

Jack: Those are all aspects we must understand before we design a workplace effectively. The concept of understanding who people are and how they interact with each other is fairly straightforward. Place is all about the atmosphere and the image you want to create. Process is about how people interact with one another. Are they a collaborative group, head/stem group or a transactional group? We look at what the space is telling us about how they interact as

an organization. We have to understand the technology they use to affect process. Do they use video conferencing for presentations or wireless services that allow mobility? Culture is not as tangible; it involves knowing how people work internally, their hierarchy, how they get things done, and how they are motivated and rewarded. The more you understand their culture, the more you can tailor the workplace to support it. If their leadership is all about collaboration, yet their space does not support it, employees will build silos and individual spaces. Over the years, this causes severe disconnect. How did you collect this information?

Jack: In addition to several observation sessions, we conducted surveys, interviews and focus groups. The cultural assessment process includes a web-based survey that went out to the entire organization. Responses are plotted in a series of charts that help inform us of how to apply physical elements of the workplace to support the various cultural aspects of their organization. Was there an educational tool that was particularly effective?

Jack: Focus group sessions are particularly effective at drawing out key issues and opportunities. Focus groups were comprised of representatives from each group within the organization, from

Judges' comments

Mapping psychology to workspace is fascinating g resham , smith an d partners

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administrative staff to executives. At USACE, we did a two-part focus group workshop. Part one was an educational session to open up discussions about what was important to them and why. We also shared what other organizations are doing in their work environments. We talked about the effects of opening a space to allow collaboration, discussed the different ways spaces can be used, and showed them our analysis of their workspace based on the survey feedback and observations. Part two took them a step further to show what we created based on their feedback from the first session. Basically, the workshop facilitated conversation to help them understand what was and was not working for them. If you had to pick one fundamental element of your strategy you believe is essential for their work environment, what would it be?

Jack: There are actually two key areas that need to be addressed. The first is to break down the boundaries between their internal organizations. The second is to develop office standards that can be applied equally across the organization. At present, they approach each change as a separate renovation. They choose the furniture and finishes for that group without any consideration for how it connects with the rest of the group. As a result, there is no flexibility because they have created their own standards that apply to each little space. Has it been a big challenge to break them out of the band-aid mindset?

Jack: Yes, but they realize it, which is why they reached out to us. They just needed someone from the outside to help them

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do it right. Luckily, the military deputy commanders stationed at the Nashville district recognized the opportunity and the long-term need. One of the judges stated that it was “great to add sociology as a design element.� Do you think sociology as a design element should be incorporated into every project?

Jack: Absolutely. Architecture and interior spaces transform behavior, in both good ways and bad. As designers, in order for us to provide places and spaces that encourage positive influence, we must first comprehend the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of the user. You have to understand human behavior and the sociological aspects of how people feel about change and how they interact with one another in order to implement a design effectively. Workplace strategy development definitely helps reinforce GS&P as experts in this particular area of design. Strategy in this sense is about leading clients into directions that they would not necessarily go themselves. There is a fine line between pushing someone too hard or too fast and knowing how to push them to a comfortable point beyond their normal boundaries, so they can recognize the benefits of change. That ability makes us leaders and puts us out in front of our competition.

Culture Market

Through all the steps to develop this strategy, what portion of this project has been the most gratifying to you?

Jack: Moving a client out of their normal comfort zone to new places where they are excited and recognize the true benefits of what we can bring to them is a great feeling. Seeing the light bulbs go on for people is tremendously rewarding, and we have had fun along the way.

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Early renderings for a market culture concept were driven by focusing on customers, results and a competitive atmosphere.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Nashville, Tennessee Workplace strategy consu lting

TEAM Princi pa l - in - char g e

Jack E. Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP

Proj ect M ana g er

Jen Howard Murphy, IIDA, LEED AP

Proj ect p ro f essiona l

Jen Howard Murphy, IIDA, LEED AP


Vanderbilt University Medical Center

ONe Hundred Oaks

An aging, dying mall is repurposed into a visitor-friendly, mixed-use medical center and retail destination Originally built in 1968, Nashville’s One Hundred Oaks Mall was in serious decline and threatening to become another casualty of suburban blight. GS&P became the glue in a serendipitous relationship between Vanderbilt Health and the developers to save the outmoded facility. With a reimagined 450,000-square-foot second floor and office tower, dignified exterior and interior, and reconfigured traffic circulation and parking, the facility is wholly rejuvenated and brings convenient top-tier medical care to Nashville suburbs.

Vanderbilt u niversity medical center One hu ndred Oaks Redevelopment I N T E RVI E W /

Je f f K u hnhenn , S teve verner , E ric Bear d en , Je f f er y morris

How did Vanderbilt University Medical Center come to take up residence in a mall?

Jeff: We were originally engaged by the developer that purchased the property to help brainstorm tenant and renovation options. This lead to an entire site master planning overhaul, which was an effort to understand how we could reimagine the site, not just in the short term, but for the long term as well. Somewhere along this exploration, Vanderbilt’s interests intersected with that of the developers. Vanderbilt’s issue was they had all of their outpatient clinics in their medical center located on their main hospital campus, which is an extremely dense, crowded area near midtown Nashville. They needed to work on a plan for growth and development, but they did not know how or where to start. They just knew they needed more space. Steve: Vanderbilt really targeted what clinics were appropriate to get out of the academic hospital, and those clinics focused on specialties that were more about wellness and less about being sick. And while this project was about growth and development, it was also a chance to reach out to the community, make Vanderbilt medical services more accessible to the public, and make the new location staffand patient-friendly.


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So, how do you turn 450,000 square feet of mall into multiple, patient-friendly health clinics?

Jeffery: One of the fundamental ideas that we talked about with Vanderbilt was the concept of hoteling—creating spaces that can expand almost indefinitely to the boundaries of the mall. They asked us to help design a process for the patients that was much more userfriendly than what was typical on the current campus. We asked ourselves, “How can we reinforce the hoteling concept, but also reinforce the ease-of-access that this mall was able to give Vanderbilt?” How did those ideas translate into improving the patient experience?

Jeffery: The final design was a very logical progression from public to private with the central mall space creating a very public, recognizable wayfinding element orienting all patients to their respective clinics. All clinics adopted a standardized delivery-of-care model that progresses from the pre-exam/patient-intake room to the exam room. What other ways did the building respond to this progression from public to private?

Jeff: The exterior wall was reserved for physician offices and team/resident work

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judges' comments

Brilliant reinvention of a worn out space g resham , smith an d partners

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All clinics share access to on-site lab and diagnostic equipment instead of having to depend on Vanderbilt’s downtown campus, thus improving efficiency and reducing costs.


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areas. We were fortunate both sides of the mall had the depth to facilitate the public to private progression without compromising the side-to-side relations between clinics. Can you explain the scalability and standardization of the clinics?

Jeffery: Scalability and standardization are two of the 12 basic design principles we use to reduce preventable medical error in the facilities we design. Scalability is the ability to expand or remodel easily so latent conditions are not designed into future expansions. Standardization allows for the potential to adapt space for a different or evolving service, preventing latent conditions from being created. Standardization also reduces reliance on short-term memory. Non-standard environments and non-standard processes require constant mental evaluation which increases the opportunity for distraction and decision-making errors. All of these principles help reinforce the original idea of hoteling. Now they have a space where little, if any, new construction is necessary when a clinic expands or contracts in size from side-to-side. Space left over is easily given to the clinic next door.

Ultimately, we were able to take many of the fundamental ideas that are very important to the delivery of quality healthcare—patient safety, process mapping, standardization, sustainability—and synthesize those into a very clear and user-friendly model. What technical innovations improved the visitor experience?

Steve: Vanderbilt was also open to new technologies. They have wireless internet access inside and a pager system where you can walk around and do not have to sit right in front of your clinic and stay in a waiting space. You can move around and the pager calls you back. It is perfect for a mixed-use facility. You also have a check-in kiosk rather than waiting for a person to become available, much like a boarding pass kiosk at an airport. It is as paperless as you can get for a medical process. Jeff: It is well-suited, too, for the future of electronic medical records and the transferability of those over time. How have you improved the exterior atmosphere of the site?

Jeff: The old main, central entry space was very dated and had a retail feel. We wanted to turn it into a dignified judges' comments

Bold move and highly innovative g resham , smith an d partners

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institutional space; a space that would inspire confidence in the people arriving and give them a sense of, “I am here to be taken care of, and this place is a permanent place that has the knowledge, education, equipment and tools to take care of me.” What were your goals for the interior spaces?

Eric: There is also a stigma of stress that goes with being in a clinic, and I do not think this space has that stigma at all. You do not feel that uneasiness. It is an inviting and comfortable space. The volumes and the light, the textures and the colors, everything makes you at ease. You do not feel like you are in a doctor’s office. What helps these clinics thrive in a non-typical medical campus?

Jeff: We wanted to create spaces that said, “I am not in a hallway; I am in a waiting area. I am sitting in a waiting room. There are not people who are going to step on my toes walking by me to get to the next place. I have got my own area, there is the front desk for my clinic and my doctor.” What we were able to develop was a design that supported that goal: a long, unified corridor transformed into a series of distinct moments that deliver a sense of arrival over and over and over again. We created changes in scale that allow people who need to pass through the area to do it efficiently and confidently, and other people who have reached their destination to feel that they are at a final destination. Along with the successful redesign of the exterior and entrances into the building, this was a key outcome that we achieved. I am amazed sometimes that we actually did it.

Steve: For one, there is a great deal of connectivity between the clinics and the resources they share. There is a lot of infrastructure, such as information technology, conference rooms, lockers and lounges that are shared between departments. Jeffery: Vanderbilt’s desire was to make this a freestanding facility without having to rely on functions supplied from the main campus. Dedicated service lines such as central sterile/supply, an outpatient pharmacy and a central lab all support One Hundred Oaks as a standalone medical destination. Steve: Vanderbilt wanted to bring the full measure of academics to the new campus, including medical students and resident education, and clinical research. It is built to be the full measure of a Vanderbilt experience.

judges' comments

Rejuvenated the neighborhood 138

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More than 100 Oak trees were planted on the site. An aim of the design was to reimagine the development so that it was closer to its original namesake. Nashville bus routes and Vanderbilt campus shuttles easily connect patients and employees to public transportation. By avoiding wholesale demolition in favor of reusing the existing structure, the useful life of the property is significantly extended. The project’s innovative and sustainable rehabilitation approach also strengthens a strategically located but under utilized area of Nashville, enhancing the economic vitality of the area. g resham , smith an d partners

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Amenities not normally found in an outpatient clinic setting match those found on Vanderbilt’s main campus, including diagnostic equipment, physical therapy spaces, and food for patients and families.

Kiosks allow patients to check-in, review medical records, make copayments and schedule appointments.


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There are retail tenants on the first floor. Was that a challenge during construction?

Eric: It was an extreme challenge to try to keep the retail tenants below in operation during the construction. For example, even during the construction of the new skin, demolishing the exterior masonry veneer in order to build the new façade while you have public entering and exiting the retail stores was a feat in itself. Routing new plumbing lines above the retail ceilings had to be implemented after hours under the supervision of retail staff. Much of the construction happened around their busiest seasons—some of it was Christmas and summertime. Coordinating with the contractor and the developer, and the developer coordinating with the existing tenants, and then providing public access was an extreme challenge. Renovating the parking and circulation was also a large part of the project, correct?

Eric: The parking was a pretty big challenge. Existing parking was stripped, new islands and lanes were put in, and everyone navigated the changes well. It was organized thoughtfully, even though it was a large undertaking. Jeff: Before renovation, there were multiple one-way ramps and merges that came off of the road and into the site. The design created an enormous amount of circulation that was inefficient and

confusing, even dangerous. We simplified the circulation, created more clearly defined access points, and added a traffic signal. We recaptured a lot of the space that had been devoted to the ramps and used it to create rain gardens and green space. This also allowed more efficient parking, which contributed to the additional outparcels and thereby improved the density of the space. And retailers like restaurant outparcels because they increase the number of different people that will visit the site. Steve: And I think an added benefit was that it created a clearer hierarchy to the site, which is something good for Vanderbilt’s patients and its patient care delivery. An easy-to-navigate site helps avoid some of the stress that comes with going to the doctor through these clinics. Giving hierarchy to the site, providing clear wayfinding, and designating the closest entrance to your clinic helped diminish patient anxiety. What were your drivers to restore some of the green spaces to the campus?

Steve: The property was originally developed as a log cabin or a plantation area. There were 98 Oaks, and the woman that lived there planted two acorns and called it One Hundred Oaks. Through this redevelopment we have been able to return it to 100-plus Oaks, not including the additional landscape.

Enlarged skylights add abundant reflected natural light in the waiting areas. Use of skylights, lighting occupancy censors, and task lighting aid in reducing energy consumption below ASHRAE 90.1 baseline performance. g resham , smith an d partners

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Jeff: There is a whole lot of pavement out there, and by code you are required to do something to mitigate that. We were updating a 40-year-old-plus site master plan, which undoubtedly had less strenuous requirements by code back when it was originally done. And consider the name of the site—One Hundred Oaks. Its very name connotes greenness and life, and what existed was a big asphalt field. So the rain gardens and the associated green spaces were excellent ways to achieve the twin aims of satisfying the code requirements for dealing with stormwater runoff as well as reconnecting the site so that it was closer to its original namesake. The very liveliness and planting of the site hopefully has a clear relationship to this idea of preventative medicine, wellness and promoting active lifestyles. This seems to be a natural fit for revitalizing dying spaces. How has the project been received?

Eric: Both Vanderbilt and GS&P have experienced tremendous amounts of interest from this project for other sites, both in Nashville and beyond. So being able to reuse an existing facility is probably the biggest success I see. Steve: While attending a national conference of mayors, Nashville’s Mayor Karl Dean participated with other mayors in a discussion about what to do with dead


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and dying malls. The mayor said he was proud to share Nashville’s One Hundred Oaks project as a successful case study for this national issue. His story reaffirmed how this project transcended its scope. It not only revived its immediate site and community, but in a broader sense, reinvigorated an area that had become discounted by most Nashvillians. Reflecting back on all that we accomplished, I think I am most proud that the project became larger than itself. Jeff: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of dying mall sites across the country that are just like this. These sites are typically viewed as blighted, but they are in fact great untapped resources. They were developed to have excellent vehicular access, but usually never came close to realizing the floor area potential to match the access potential. Over time, neighborhoods and other developments overtook them, so today they are surrounded by residential, office and other business. But because they are so underdeveloped they are seen as barriers or great asphalt deserts. Properly redeveloped, they could really become agents for creating connectivity and foster much more enjoyable and sustainable communities. To be involved in a project that very successfully reimagines one of those sites in a way that is not just simply of value to the site by itself, but also creates a real hub of energy and potential for a whole neighborhood, is a really gratifying part of this project for me.

g resham, smith and partners


judges' comments

Not just doing design, but solving a problem for a client, a site and a city. g resham , smith an d partners

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Vanderbilt medical center Nashville, Tennessee Architecture Civil engineering Interior design Landscape architecture TEAM Princi pa l - in - char g e

Steven P. Johnson, AIA

p roj ect M ana g er

Ann Seton Trent, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

p roj ect A rchitect

Eric Bearden, AIA Steve Verner, EDAC

p roj ect C oor d inator

David N. Zegley, LEED AP

p roj ect Desi g ner

Jeffrey W. Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP

M e d ica l P l anner

Jeffery E. Morris, AIA, NCARB, EDAC, LEED AP


Julia A. Boren, LEED AP

Awards South Central Construction 2009 Best of Category - Healthcare ULI Nashville 2010 Excellence in Development Award Metro Govt of Nashville/Davidson County; Metro Tree Advisory Committee, George Cate, Jr. Award


vanderbilt university

Children's way Garage Surprisingly complex parking garage design serves as cohesive element for Vanderbilt campus and sets example for future construction This 500,000-square-foot, twelve-story parking garage was built to meet the increasing demands at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The cast-in-place concrete structure extends eight levels below grade and four levels above grade, clad with precast spandrel panels, brick, cast stone, steel and glass. The design contributes to campus cohesiveness through the use of material, scale, detail, and carefully pulled color from the surrounding buildings.

Children’s Way Garage I N T E RVI E W /

Je f f K u hnhenn , A nn T rent , E ric Bear d en , A l anna S c u d d er

Children’s Way Garage received high marks for exceeding the client’s expectations and project complexity. Why?

Jeff: This was a deceptively complicated project. When you start thinking about the conditions that arise when you blast a 100-foot hole in the ground through rock and then try to put a functioning building inside of it filled with cars and their exhaust, the challenges just start piling up. In what way was the project deceptively complicated?

Ann: When we mapped the footprint of the building and got our geotechnical report back, it indicated a bone dry site — not a drop of water in any of the borings. We didn’t believe it. Nashville just doesn’t have that type of geological makeup. You don’t get bone dry sites a hundred feet down. Within the first 10 feet of excavation, we hit a huge set of geotechnical issues: springs, caves, mud seams, etc.

Eric: You’re basically working along rock seams, changing the pressure differentially, opening up new seams, and creating a basin where there wasn’t previously. We absolutely knew, even before we put the shovel in the ground, that there would be water, and as we altered the site the sources of the water could potentially change. Even though the geotechnical report told us otherwise, we had to convince the client to give us flexibility in creating a system of strategies to deal with these issues we knew would be there but couldn’t see. Describe the strategies used to alleviate the client’s fears and manage emerging issues.

Eric: We reacted very quickly to each of the various conditions and developed solutions with the help of the contractor. Alanna: As natural occurrences and new discoveries developed, the solutions were adaptable. We were able to change directions or adapt to the new circumstances, which helped maintain the client’s trust.

Judges' comments

More complex than you would think 14 6

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g resham, smith and partners

The 500,000-square-foot, twelvestory garage is located on a former surface parking lot. The cast-in-place concrete structure extends eight levels below grade and four levels above. The above-grade levels are clad with precast spandrel panels, brick, cast stone, steel and glass.

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The site for the garage sits at a pivotal location between the athletics, academic and medical components on campus. The parking garage acts functionally and aesthetically as a cohesive element between the three.

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They recognized that we had the ability to keep the project moving forward.

access to the site and prevented having a staging area for materials.

Ann: Our client had concerns that we might have been over-thinking some of our solutions. We were definitely questioned along the way, but we knew from previous experience and other lessons learned that this was the right thing to do.

Ann: When we were emptying the site of all the rocks, the dump trucks couldn’t start their activity until after 9 am because of student housing situated 20 feet away. We also had the Blair School of Music and Ingram Performing Arts Center across the street, so blasting near those buildings was difficult.

Eric: We also didn’t take the attitude that water on the site was a bad thing. Keeping all the water out wasn’t feasible — the surge of water and pressures would eventually overwhelm any approach developed. What mattered was having an approach that would make the water go where we wanted it to go. The proof that our strategy worked was clearly demonstrated when we had a record-breaking 14 inches of rain in two days. At that time we had a 100-foot hole in the ground with no roof, so naturally we wondered how much water would get in. As it turned out, throughout the entire site, there was only one foot of standing water that was confined to one of the stairwells. Did the extremely limited surface area present any challenges?

Jeff: Not only was it a small, confined site, it involved multiple stakeholders and impacted surrounding facilities. Add to that three main arteries of circulation that bordered the three sides of the site which had to remain open for the duration of construction. All of this limited

Alanna: Also, the garage is set in the middle of Vanderbilt University, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center is right down the street. Coordinating the blasting schedule with concurrent surgeries meant we were very limited on the days and times we could blast. Were there any other issues that required careful monitoring for blasting?

Jeff: There was a 12-foot diameter tunnel nearby that carries the utilities for the campus. In some places, it was 20 or 30 feet away from the bottom of our excavation. When we were blasting, we had to minimize the charges so the shockwave wouldn’t collapse the tunnel or fracture it causing it to fill with water. Ann: Our mitigation strategy for student housing involved considering the way sound traveled out of the pit, so we could determine which units needed sound attenuation. We designed a temporary neoprene-gasketed window system to muffle the sound for people living closest to the project site.

A section view of the garage shows that its critical mass exists primarily below grade.

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What does it mean to design an aesthetically pleasing garage, and how did that affect budgeting?

It’s a great design. The client didn’t believe they could get an aesthetically pleasing garage for the money they spent.

Eric: It was a challenge to overcome the client’s preconceived idea of what they thought a garage on their campus should look like. After we looked at the arts venue, children’s hospital situated close by, and the greater character of the campus, we wanted to do more than just meet the minimum requirement. So we created a building that was more than just a parking structure — it was a continuation of Vanderbilt’s very specific design aesthetic.

Did the client have any sustainability requests?

Jeff: We have a lot of in-house knowledge and were able to show the client a clear understanding of the costs involved. Circulating fresh air throughout a building filled with gas-powered vehicles is a challenge, and you can take up a lot of space providing for the movement of that air. When you build an underground building, you over-excavate so that you have enough space for the jacks, tension cables and the post-tension structure. Rather than leave the space that existed between the edge of our functional building and the edge of the hole in the ground — or cover it with concrete block — we utilized the space to provide the airshaft to move air in and out of the building. This saved parking spaces, made the building more efficient, and allowed us to allocate more money toward making a nicer building.

Jeff: Vanderbilt is a sophisticated client when it comes to sustainability. Despite the fact that this was a parking structure, we did studies on efficient lighting and ventilation and tried to make the building “smarter.” By using CO sensors that activate fans, we were able to address air quality issues on an as-needed basis through usage peaks and valleys. Ann: The design team encouraged lighting controls as another way to achieve energy efficiency and save money. Along the perimeter lighting on the above-grade levels, we placed built-in light sensors that would turn off when enough outside light was coming into the space. Jeff: Typically, you see lighting efficiency in office buildings, not a parking structure. Eric: In fact, some of our ideas came from our past experiences with office buildings. By simply applying logic learned from different projects and shifting it to a new application, it makes people blink for a minute and think, “Why not? Why shouldn’t we do that?” Ann: Another example of that is the emergency phones. By having a simple

A 12-foot diameter tunnel nearby that carries the utilities for the campus was situated 20– 30 feet from the site. Blasting charges were minimized, so the shock waves wouldn’t collapse or fracture the tunnel.

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A curtain system that dowels into the rock face covers several high-flow water areas and extends to the bottom of the pit. The water is collected in concrete troughs and piped to the sump pits.

After excavation and construction of the garage, approximately 175,000 gallons of water are collected per day by the sump pit and are reused to irrigate the campus.

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conversation early on, we discovered that the owner didn’t want to see exposed conduit on the outside of the block coming down to feed the emergency phones and blue lights. They wanted those concealed behind the walls and floors and, in fact, decided to seal all the conduits in the wall. I think that’s when we realized that this garage environment would be very different. The only thing you see in our garage is the sprinkler system and rainwater leaders. What strategy did you develop to handle the complexity of the overall project?

Jeff: It was extremely important to work closely with the contractor. Alanna spent a great deal of time working through the coordination drawings to make sure all conduits were accounted for and wired to the appropriate devices. This prevented us from leaving anything out and having to come back after installation. Alanna: We went through a series of coordination meetings with our consultants and our design team, which included extensive planning for the water system. When water is collected in the sump pit on the site, it is then pumped out to campus irrigation wells. So, the campus benefits from the ground and rain water runoff that’s being captured on our site.

Ann: We not only pump the groundwater into the irrigation well, but we also feed two irrigation systems — one at the Blair School of Music and one at the South Garage that once used city water. What aspects of this project are most gratifying?

Eric: For me, the most gratifying aspect was the combined strength of our design team. Working together as experts, we gave the client exactly what they were looking for, maybe more. We also worked really hard to keep the lines of communication open between the client and the contractor to ensure they were meeting our design intent on the project. Ann: The combined talents and strengths of this team were spot-on in terms of developing a very technically complex project, making it real, and having it respond to both our and the owner’s objectives from a design perspective. We had many valuable lessons from past projects that enabled us to handle problems and issues associated with a 100-foot-deep hole. It’s something we are very proud of.

to be creative and work with the design throughout the process has been a really amazing experience. Our team worked so well together earning our client’s trust early on so that when we did come across unforeseen issues, we were able to act quickly and with smart solutions. It’s a highly functional building, but it’s also a pretty cool parking garage. I feel very proud and honored to be on a team with such creativity. Jeff: Every time you go out in the field and you alter the existing circumstances, it’s an opportunity. We were able take a deceptively complex project and focus on key design issues, which in turn established a level of trust with our client that carried over into other areas of the design. We not only exceeded the client’s expectations, we brought the client to a new set of expectations of what their building ought to be, not just in terms of fulfilling its role, but also how it needed to provide consistency and connectivity to the greater campus fabric. If you’re going to spend millions of dollars, you should make the most of that opportunity. I know we managed to make the most of this opportunity.

Alanna: Personally, this was my first real project out of school. Seeing the imagination, function, and practicality come to fruition, combined with our ability

Judges' comments

Hard problem, soft response


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g resham, smith and partners

Mayfield student apartments sit adjacent to the site. Only temporary staging areas were allowed due to public access ways around the site.

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Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee Architecture Civil Engineering TEAM Princi pa l - in - C har g e

Steve Johnson, AIA

Proj ect M ana g er


Proj ect Pro f essiona l

Eric Bearden, AIA

Proj ect C oor d inator

Alanna Scudder, LEED AP

Proj ect Desi g ner

Jeff Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP


Joseph A. Johnston


Western Reserve Hospital A nearby national park inspires the design of a unique healthcare campus and enriches the patient experience The great American naturalist John Burroughs once wrote, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.� This philosophy is among the driving forces behind the proposed design for Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Located on a heavily wooded site near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the hospital and its campus incorporate a number of features from the surrounding area to create a tranquil environment for patients, hospital employees and visitors alike. The healthcare campus plan also links three neighboring towns, helping to create a greater sense of collaboration and shared interest between the communities. The resulting design conveys a vision of healthcare that is at one with the community while incorporating the therapeutic power of nature.

Western Reserve Hospital I N T E RVI E W /

Gre g W ie l an d

Tell me about the origins of this project’s design.

Greg: The client, Western Reserve Healthcare Partners, wanted to develop a unique outlet for their healthcare services—one that would draw upon the elements of nature to create an enriched experience for patients as well as employees and visitors. It was this vision, along with the distinctive features of the site and the surrounding area, which provided the impetus for the campus plan and facility design. Why was the site selected, and what benefits did the location offer?

Greg: The boundaries of three communities overlapped on the site the client had selected, providing the opportunity to use the new healthcare campus as a link between them. The site also had a number of features—such as an abundance of trees and rolling hills—that made it appear to be a natural extension of nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park, an area in which the three towns share by virtue of their proximity to the park. This allowed the proposed healthcare campus to further strengthen ties between the communities.

At the same time, we could use the elements of nature found in the area to create the kind of peaceful, healing environment the client envisioned for the new facility and extend it throughout the entire site. How did the site influence the facility design?

Greg: Many of the components of both the facility design and the campus plan were inspired by the natural features of the area, including those found in nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Situated along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the park features a diverse landscape of sandstone ledges, deep river gorges, dense forests, cultivated agricultural areas and wetlands. It is also filled with vestiges of its cultural history, from shelters constructed of American chestnut and locally quarried sandstone, to winding canal towpaths. In terms of the hospital’s design, the curved wall that frames the entrance is comprised of stacked stone. Juxtaposed against wall planes of various shapes and materials such as brick and glass, this helps to create a form that alludes to the park’s cliffs, river gorges and waterfalls. The canopied drop-off area resembles that of a park lodge.

judges' comments

'Wow!' on every level 156

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The site connects three surrounding communities and is bordered by Cuyahoga Falls National Park. The new campus acts as an extension of the park with unifying elements such as water features, landscape buffers, bridges and pedestrian and bicycle trails.

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Wyo g a La k e Roa d

S easons Roa d

The hospital zone located at the natural high point of the site gives the hospital a presence on Seasons Road and State Route 8 while also presenting a public face to the primary campus entrance. Winding roads, stormwater collection water elements, and camouflaged parking enhance site aesthetics.


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g resham, smith and partners

S tate

Brick, stone and wood are used predominantly throughout the facility to be harmonious with the surrounding area. If you look in the local towns, as well as in nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park, these are the primary materials used in many of the commercial and residential buildings—particularly in the more historic structures.

Ro u te 8

Stone, in particular, is also prevalent through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where towering rock walls are comprised of layer upon layer of shale, sandstone or other sedimentary rock. Although the building design has a contemporary look—conveying the leading-edge patient care the facility would provide—it also incorporates historical elements, again drawing from the local area. For example, the brickwork is patterned in a way to resemble the lapboard siding of lodges in the local national and state parks.

Natural materials are abundant throughout, with varieties of wood and stone used for the walls and floors. Elements of nature also influence many of the interior details. If you look at the wood panels on the walls of the reception area, the joint lines resemble the silhouettes of tree branches. Tree branches also form the key design element in the glass-etched stair railings. A large mural on the wall depicts colorful autumn leaves collected on a stream. Wall planes are often layered, alluding to rock walls that had been sheered off or eroded away by nature. All of these components help capture and convey the natural beauty of the surrounding area. By incorporating large spans of glass throughout the facility, including in the patient rooms, we ensured there would be abundant views of nature and natural light—for patients as well as for staff and visitors.

It seems that the design of the building’s exterior extends inside the building.

How did the natural surroundings impact the campus plan?

Greg: All elements of the building, inside and out, purposely draw from the natural surroundings to create a serene, calming environment. Just as we looked to the local area to influence our choice of exterior materials, we looked to nature to inform our choices on the inside of the building.

Greg: The site’s rolling hills and other features afforded us a number of opportunities to overcome the challenges associated with creating an optimal setting for a healthcare facility. An important consideration was to ensure the hospital would have a strong visual presence. The site sloped significantly so we located the

Judges' comments

Well Integrated...beautiful design g resham , smith an d partners

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hospital at the highest point, making it the most visible form when viewed from any of the adjacent roads.

may just come to enjoy the surroundings, and not just because they need to go to the hospital.

Emulating the towpaths, streams and the river that meander through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we also created roads lined with trees and other plant life that wind throughout the rolling site. The idea was to provide a visually pleasing, very calming entrance into the campus and on to the hospital. The overall effect is that of a lush park where visitors

However, one of the challenges was to accommodate surface parking for up to 1,500 cars, and provide easy pedestrian access to the hospital and any other buildings that might be located on the property. We used the site’s trees and other plant life to frame the parking areas and the walkways, making these more visually dominant than the paved surfaces.


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g resham, smith and partners

In addition, by including a mix of diverse annuals and perennials in the plantscape, we provided for a complete color transformation each season to provide even greater visual appeal. Even when masked by these natural amenities, did the surface parking create potential water runoff issues?

Greg: The site sloped towards a residential area. Removing trees and paving surfaces to accommodate parking could very

likely have created water runoff problems for local residents. To avoid that problem, we created a series of lakes that capture and retain excess runoff. They serve as beautiful, natural-looking water features throughout the site, harmoniously fitting in with the abundant lakes of the overall area. The lakes are connected by canals that line the roadways and pathways throughout the site, mimicking the towpaths along the once water-filled canals in Cuyahoga

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Valley National Park. Pedestrian bridges cross over the site’s waterways, much like they do in the park. The lake system is also tied into that of the national park, further strengthening the management of water runoff in the entire area. The plan seemed to evolve into a village concept. What was the driving force behind that?

Greg: The site was large enough to accommodate a variety of facilities not necessarily related to the hospital. With the boundaries of three towns overlapping this property, it made sense to propose ways to transform the site into a village center that could serve the local area, with the hospital as the starting point. Our plan was developed to include various zones that could eventually accommodate a hotel, retail establishments and research facilities—all amenities that could serve the neighboring communities as well as


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people specifically using the hospital’s services. Similar to how Cuyahoga Valley National Park has various areas identified by names, we would do the same with this site—perhaps naming each specific zone after one of the lakes created on the property. What do you find most gratifying about this project?

Greg: The natural environment has long been associated with healing of the mind, body and spirit. We were fortunate to have a site to work with that allowed us to incorporate so many natural elements into both the overall campus plan and hospital design. The connection with nature starts long before one arrives at the hospital. From the initial approach to the site and driving through its park-like setting, to the hospital’s inside spaces which incorporate beautiful forms and materials found in the surrounding area, the entire experience is about nature.

g resham, smith and partners

Natural and regional materials such as stone, brick and wood were used to define functional elements of the design. Layered, etched glass and colorful graphics in the lobby reflect the serene landscape that surrounds the hospital.

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Western Reserve Healthcare Partners Welty Building Company, Ltd. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Architecture Interior Design Planning Electrical Engineering M EcHanical Engineering Plumbing Engineering Structura l Engineering Environmental graphics

TEAM Princi pa l - in - char g e an d Proj ect M ana g er

Emil A. Slavik, AIA, ACHA

Proj ect d esi g ner

Gregory J. Wieland, AIA

Proj ect Pro f essiona l

J. Brent Hughes, AIA, NCARB, EDAC, LEED AP

Proj ect C oor d inator

Jevon C. Ritchey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Photography Credits Auburn Research Park Building One

Wa lt H in c h m a n , V i s co m P h oto gra p h i c s

Foley & Lardner, LLP

Da n iel Newco m b

Grimes Bridge Replacement

Scott Wan g

Gu lfport-Biloxi International Airport

Ch r is Cun n i n gh a m

Health Care REIT, Inc . Bo b Sc h at z

Step h an ie M u lli n s

Martin M ethodist College, Fine Arts Center

Ch a d M c Cl a r n o n

Vanderbilt M edical Center, One Hu ndred Oaks

M ic h ael Lew i s

Bo b Sc h at z

Va n der bilt Me d i ca l Ce nter

SPECIAL THANKS Clay Steakley Lynn Yates CAPTIONLINK intercall

Gresham, Smith and Partners provides design and consulting solutions for the built environment that contribute to the success of national and international clients. For more than 40 years, GS&P has focused on enhancing quality of life and sustainability within communities. GS&P consists of industry-leading professionals practicing architecture and engineering design as well as scientists and highly specialized planning and strategic consultants in Aviation, Corporate and Urban Design, Environmental Compliance, Healthcare, Industrial, Land Planning, Transportation and Water Services. GS&P consistently ranks among the top architecture and engineering firms in the United States. ARCHITECTURE








Showcase 3 - Gresham, Smith and Partners  

Showcase is Gresham, Smith and Partners' annual collection of internally submitted and externally judged built and unbuilt projects. Entries...

Showcase 3 - Gresham, Smith and Partners  

Showcase is Gresham, Smith and Partners' annual collection of internally submitted and externally judged built and unbuilt projects. Entries...