Architecture alumnus featured in ‘American Builders Quarterly’

March 30th, 2015 Comments Off

Published in American Builders Quarterly: April/May/June 2015

David Corban’s architecture school thesis was “Building in the Wilderness Environment,” and he has since kept his designs true to their surroundings. (Photo: Erik Keller)

David Corban’s architecture school thesis was “Building in the Wilderness Environment,” and he has since kept his designs true to their surroundings. (Photo: Erik Keller)

Sunshine State Sustainability

Through award-winning residential and civic projects, eco-conscious architect David Corban (BARC May 1989) continues to find ways to celebrate Florida’s natural landscape

First, talk a little bit about your background.

I’m a Mississippi native. I was born and raised [there]. I attended Mississippi State. That had an impact. I got a very good architecture education there; my professors influenced me, especially Samuel Mockbee, who later founded the Rural Studio at Auburn University.

How did he influence you?

I worked most especially with him through my fifth-year thesis project. He was one of my critics. I was able to learn a lot from him that way. The subject of my fifth-year thesis project was “Building in the Wilderness Environment.” The ideals that informed my designs at that time are still important to me now—treading lightly on the landscape and integrating designs within their specific environment.

From Samuel, I learned a strong sense of regionalism and a belief that all people, not just the wealthy, deserve an architect’s best effort. Ever since I started my firm, I have had a constant stream of nonprofit clients.

Haldeman Creek House When Corban and his wife, both sailors, set out to find a house on the water, what they stumbled on was a unique site with a small cove and an old boathouse built on top of it. The siting and the footprint of the boathouse, which the couple occupied until their daughter came along, gave the home its striking vertical profile, and its position over the water helps it catch naturally cooling breezes, which are further enhanced by operable windows, an operable shade structure, vented skylights, and 5- to 12-foot overhangs. The home takes design cues from the traditional fish camps found throughout South Florida, and it was recognized as one of the 100 best Florida buildings of the past 100 years by the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects. (Photo: Ed Chappell)

Haldeman Creek House
When Corban and his wife, both sailors, set out to find a house on the water, what they stumbled on was a unique site with a small cove and an old boathouse built on top of it. The siting and the footprint of the boathouse, which the couple occupied until their daughter came along, gave the home its striking vertical profile, and its position over the water helps it catch naturally cooling breezes, which are further enhanced by operable windows, an operable shade structure, vented skylights, and 5- to 12-foot overhangs. The home takes design cues from the traditional fish camps found throughout South Florida, and it was recognized as one of the 100 best Florida buildings of the past 100 years by the Florida chapter of the American Institute of Architects. (Photo: Ed Chappell) 

So how did you end up going from Mississippi to Florida?

After finishing school, I moved to Florida. My grandparents had always vacationed in Florida, and we came down here for spring-break holidays and I liked it; I liked the beach and the Everglades. And, when I finished school, there was a construction downturn in Atlanta and Birmingham—areas where, traditionally, Mississippi State graduates go.

So, I had worked a couple of summers down here in Florida at a firm in Ft. Meyers. After I graduated, in 1990, I was offered a job at that firm that lasted for about a year and a half. And then I started at [Andrea Clark Brown Architect] in Naples and worked there for more than four years. Following that, I became a partner at [Architectural Network] in Naples. I was there for about eight years and built that up into a very successful, award-winning architecture firm. And then, about eight years ago, I decided that I would do best and have the most success and opportunity for doing good design on my own.

 

How would you describe your approach on your own?

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Corban says the design of his own home is one of the accomplishments he is most proud of in his career. (Photo: Ed Chappell)

We [architects] always have an obligation to our clients, but also there is a kind of unspoken obligation to the larger community and to the environment. So, I feel strongly that buildings have to respond to the environment. As architects, we have to take a leading role in combating climate change because buildings and architecture are some of the largest users of fossil fuels. So, it’s important, whether it’s in the program or not, to create buildings that are built for their environment. And, I also think our buildings should be a good player within the community. I don’t think we should do buildings that call a huge amount of attention to themselves. They should be part of the context, whether urban, a natural context, or a more pristine environment.

How does the context of Southwest Florida and its landscape inform your work?

I think what we’re trying to do as an architectural firm is appropriate to the Florida landscape. For instance, with Grace Place, we could have done a large 15,000-square-foot single building, but this nonprofit organization is located in the middle of a single-family neighborhood, so we wanted to give it a more residential scale. Also, some of the residential projects we’ve done are more appropriate to the Florida landscape than the kind of mini-castles—the kind of Noveau-Mediterranean buildings that look like they belong in Spain or the east coast of Florida more than the west of Florida. So, I think the projects we’ve done fit better in the Florida landscape. Buildings that are intended for Florida are a fairly new thing, and I think it probably started with Seaside, up in the panhandle, going back over 30 years ago. It was the start of people embracing an architecture that belongs in Florida. That style of architecture is more historically generated architecture than what I’m trying to do, however. I want to use the materials and scale of the Florida vernacular … but do it in a 21st-century method, using contemporary materials and things that we have available to us now. So, I suppose it’s kind of a modern vernacular.

What are some of your proudest moments so far as an independent architect?

Probably the biggest one would be when my home [Haldeman Creek House] was selected by the AIA Florida as … one of the top 100 buildings in the last 100 years. So, it’s right up there with some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and Paul Rudolph. I was very flattered to get that award and that recognition.

Modern Residence in Old Naples In Florida, hurricane codes require homes to be built to withstand 175 mph winds, with windows that can’t be shattered by flying objects, so the common architectural approach is to use small windows and heavy construction. Corban’s 4,500-square-foot seasonal Old Naples home, though, built for a Washington, DC-based couple, is a light and airy structure designed to stand out from the crowd with contemporary architecture, natural materials, and carefully engineered floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views. (Photo: Ed Chappell)

Modern Residence in Old Naples
In Florida, hurricane codes require homes to be built to withstand 175 mph winds, with windows that can’t be shattered by flying objects, so the common architectural approach is to use small windows and heavy construction. Corban’s 4,500-square-foot seasonal Old Naples home, though, built for a Washington, DC-based couple, is a light and airy structure designed to stand out from the crowd with contemporary architecture, natural materials, and carefully engineered floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views. (Photo: Ed Chappell)

What about bigger projects?

The Cambier Park Bandshell—it has kind of become an icon of Naples. I think everyone knows that structure, and we won a state excellence in architecture award for that. We found a way to come up with something interesting; we found things in the program and the building to do a piece of architecture that solves more problems than what people expected from it. It was really just supposed to expand the space and add some bathrooms, but we also improved the acoustics and provided a building that forms an entrance from Fifth Avenue into the park.

Where is your practice now, and where is it going?

When I first started practicing on my own, it was probably the worst time in the world to do that. We were at the bottom of the market; Florida was at the top of the foreclosure issue, and there was just not much work to be had out there. But, we pushed through it by building relationships and working with nonprofits. When you don’t have a lot of work, I think it’s good to do pro bono work so that you’re keeping busy and creating relationships, even when you’re not getting paid for it. So, that’s paid off for us, and now we’re six people, which is not large by many standards, but we’re very busy now. We’re doing interesting projects, and people are coming to us for the work we’re doing, … saying, “We’re looking for that type of architecture.” That’s a place where an architect wants to get to, where people aren’t just finding you in the phone book and saying, “Okay, draw up some blueprints”—instead, they’re saying, “I like the work you do; I’d like you to do this project for us.” That’s where we’re at now; I think that’s a good place to be, and we’d like to continue along that path, to continue to work with clients who feel the same about architecture and the built environment as we do—and continue to improve the landscape of Collier County, South Florida, and further out if possible. 

[Ed. note: Since the release of David Corban’s feature for American Builders Quarterly, he has won two awards for a new project, the Immokalee Zocalo. His plans for the job won an Excellence in Design award from the Florida Southwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and an Audrey Nelson Community Development Award from the National Community Development Association.]

School, ICAA host Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Design

March 25th, 2015 Comments Off

DanCampworkshop03202015_2
The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) in conjunction with the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University recently hosted the Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Design.

The two-day workshop included a series of presentations from ICAA representatives teaching classical design, a tour of Starkville’s Cotton District by its founder and developer Dan Camp, a reception sponsored by Duncan-Williams Inc. Investment Bankers, and a drawing session.

The program was made possible by an endowed gift from Dan and Gemma Camp as well as generous gifts from Briar and Michelle Jones and Duncan-Williams Inc. Investment Bankers.

Friday Workshop:

Cotton District Tour:

Friday Reception:

School of Architecture, ICAA to host classical architecture workshop

February 24th, 2015 Comments Off

Poster Design: Jeanz Holt | ICAA

Poster Design: Jeanz Holt | ICAA

The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) in conjunction with the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University is pleased to announce the Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Architectural Design. The program is made possible by an endowed gift from founder and developer of Starkville’s Cotton District development Dan and Gemma Camp as well as generous gifts from Briar and Michelle Jones and Duncan-Williams Inc. Investment Bankers.

Participation in this FREE workshop will provide 6 CEUs:
• Friday afternoon: 2 regular LUs and 2 HSW LUs (Register here)
• Saturday: 2 LUs (Register here)

Open to friends of the School of Architecture, builders, practicing architects and MSU students, this workshop will provide an introduction to the practice of classical architectural design.

A series of presentations beginning early in the afternoon of Friday, March 20 and continuing through March 21 (see schedule below), will be held in Starkville, MS, at the School of Architecture and will introduce the language and principles of classical architectural design and traditional urbanism and its practice today. The day will conclude with a guided tour of Starkville’s historic Cotton District and a dinner reception at MSU’s Hunter Henry Center.

On Saturday, participants will have an opportunity to explore in greater depth the language of classical design through drawing and examine examples of classical design on the campus of Mississippi State.

The program will be presented by practitioners and educators active in the field of classical design.

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Schedule

Events will be held in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall – 899 Collegeview Street, Mississippi State, MS 39762 – unless otherwise noted.

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (2 regular LUs and 2 HSW LUs)
1:00 – 1:15 pm           Welcome and Introduction – Michael Berk + ICAA
1:15 – 2:00                  A Classical Primer – ICAA
2:00 – 2:45                 Elements of Classical Architecture – ICAA
Break
3:00 – 3:45                 The Practice and Craft of Classical Architectural Design – ICAA
3:45 – 4:30                 Making Places: Buildings and Public Spaces– ICAA
4:30 – 6:30                 Tour of the Cotton District – Michael Fazio, Dan Camp, ICAA Members
6:30  – until                Dinner and Reception at the Hunter Henry Center, MSU Campus

Click here to register for Friday. 

(Remember, the event is FREE, but you must register. Please bring a sketch pad to this session. Minimum size: 8.5 x 11″).

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SATURDAY, March 21, 2015 (2 LUs)
10 am – noon                Introduction to Classical Elements
Field Study and Drawing – Classical Architecture on the MSU campus

Click here to register for Saturday. 

(Remember, the event is FREE, but you must register. Please bring a sketch pad to this session. Minimum size: 8.5 x 11″).

Download the poster.

 

CAAD hosts annual career panel discussion

February 5th, 2015 Comments Off

In conjunction with MSU’s Career Days, the College of Architecture, Art and Design held a panel discussion with representatives from the college’s four areas of study (architecture, art, interior design and building construction science.)

The panel was held on Feb. 4 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall. A reception followed immediately after the question-and-answer session.

Beth Miller, director of the Interior Design Program, severed as moderator.

Panelists included:

• Architecture: Ann Somers, AIA, Principal, CDFL Architects + Engineers, P.A. Somers serves on the School of Architecture Advisory Board and is a 1981 graduate.
• Art: Mary Beth McDavid, Creative Director, DPM Fragrance
• Building Construction Science: Adam Moore and Trey Jacobs, Project Managers, Montgomery Martin Contractors, LLC. Jacobs and Moore graduated from the Building Construction Science Program in 2013.
• Interior Design: Ashley Hughes, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Interior Designer MS & FL, Pryor & Morrow Architects & Engineers. Hughes is a 2007 graduate of the Interior Design Program.

The panel began with general introductions.

CAAD Career Panel from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.

Then, Miller, asked the first question: What do you look at in a potential new hire?

  • Moore said the most important thing is a good attitude and how you carry yourself. He also said being able to communicate is important.
  • Jacobs said he looks for experience of any type.
  • McDavid looks for candidates that have an “entrepreneurial spirit.” “We try to get an idea if a candidate can manage a project.” She encouraged students to have a job while in school and be involved to show they can balance work and school.
  • Hughes said, “how you carry yourself.” She said candidates should show confidence and also be open to learning from others. She encouraged students to ask questions and added that organization is also important.
  • Somers said the first look at a new candidate is the resume and letter. She said her firm looks at the graphics and tries to see if the candidate’s style matches the firm. Therefore, she encouraged students to match their resume to the firm. Somers said different things stand out to her – sometimes GPA, sometimes experience, sometimes design work. She said she loves when students say they are going to follow up with a phone call, and they actually follow through. She said her firm always brings in those candidates at least for a meeting.

Next, students were given the chance to ask questions.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

  • Somers said she enjoys the fact that as an architect, she gets to learn something new every day. She also enjoys collaboration with a team.
  • Hughes finds the most important part of her job is to make sure the client is happy with what her company provides. She said she enjoys the time after meeting with a client when she gets to work on developing the solution to the design problem.
  • McDavid enjoys customer interaction and agreed with Hughes that it’s enjoyable to solve a design problem. She also said it’s very rewarding to see a product she had a part in designing sitting on a retail shelf and being promoted internationally.
  • Moore said he doesn’t really have as much to do with the design process but enjoys that owners value his opinion on budget issues and being cost-effective with projects.

What are some of the responsibilities of a junior designer?

  • Hughes recalled a time at her first company when she was invited to lunch with the CEO. He told her that the number one thing he wanted her to do for him while working at the company was to learn. She agreed that the number one goal when starting a job should be to be willing to learn and have a willing attitude. “They will put into you what you are trying to get out of it,” she said, adding “You are just as much in control of your future as the person you work for, and that’s a really powerful thing.” Hughes also said that interior designers should expect to do a lot of drafting, and she praised the MSU Interior Design program for training her in Revit – something she said gave her a leg up in her first job.
  • McDavid said that the majority of their new hires are in their first job out of school. She said she loves that they are “not afraid to just jump in and run with it.” She encouraged everyone to take ownership and show initiative in projects and not to come in thinking of a position as a junior position. “Have the attitude of ‘what will I know in a month, and how can I make myself valuable to the company.'”
  • Somers added that students now are coming in with new skills that they are able to teach employees who have been working at companies longer.
  • Jacobs told students that entry-level jobs in his field involve a lot of paperwork. “They’ll put as much on you as you show you can handle. It’s a lot of on-the-job training,” he said, adding that the more you are willing to take on and learn, the quicker you will move up.
  • McDavid added that new hires shouldn’t be discouraged by having to do paperwork or the more mundane parts of a project. “Own those with passion,” she said.

What makes an employee the most valuable to a team?

  • Hughes said it’s important to be able to count on a team member – that a project will get done and get done correctly. She also said it’s important to be able to trust a team member.
  • Somers said, “Attitude is key,” adding that it’s important to be thorough, and that that’s often something that has to be learned – often through a more senior mentor.
  • McDavid values a team member who is able to take feedback, listen, ask questions, and apply it all.
  • Moore said it’s important to have initiative and a good attitude. “Go learn from the guy next to you,” he said.

(Directed toward construction representatives) What factors led toward your decision to work for a medium-sized contractor?

  • Moore and Jacobs both credited the decision partly on family and wanting to not move around as much. Moore added that he would have “felt like just another guy – a number” at a larger company, adding with pride that Mr. Montgomery Martin walks by him every day and knows him by name.
  • Hughes said her first company was medium-sized, and she values that she was able to get so much one-on-one training. “The most important thing I feel like I can tell you is in your interview process, try to gauge if they have a mentorship program because that is what is going to help you the most to further your career,” she said.
  • Somers said she has had the opportunity to travel and work at both large and small firms. She encouraged students to do the same. “I don’t think you’ll totally know what you want until you are immersed in it,” she said

(Directed toward architecture representative) What are the advantages of working for a large firm?

  • Somers said large firms usually have teams that work on culture and put more into training. “They have a different way they distribute work, and the mechanics are just different.” She also said how you rise to success is different in a large firm because there is usually stiff competition, which she said can often push you more.

The panel discussion ended with a final question from the moderator: What are some tips for the interview process?

Tips for an inteview – Adam Moore from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.

  • Jacobs: Be able to elaborate, be able to communicate, and be well-rounded.
  • McDavid: Ask questions and be conversational (not just one-word answers).
  • Hughes: “First impressions are key.” Know about the company, and know what your future goals are.
  • Somers: Her current firm (CDFL) looks to see if you are a good fit for the firm and will ask questions about your priorities in life and work. They want it to be a good fit for you as well. “Think about who you are interviewing with and know where you want to head in your career. You want the firm to want you as much as you want the job.” Somers added that larger firms seem to have more clear-cut interviews, and it’s good to have a salary and benefits in mind for the interview.

School of Architecture alumnus named ‘Engineering News-Record’ top 20 under 40

January 27th, 2015 Comments Off

(Via W. Scott Allen)

Each year, Engineering News-Record magazine’s regional editions celebrate rising stars and the excellence of construction professionals.

In 2015, each region highlighted 20 individuals under the age of 40 who represent the “Best-of-the-Best” in their construction and design careers by advancing their companies and the industry and by giving back to their communities.

W. Scott Allen, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C, was one of these 20 recipients.

Photo credit: Perkins+Will / Genia Narinskaya

Photo credit: Perkins+Will / Genia Narinskaya

Allen, a New York-based project designer with the global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will and a 2010 graduate of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, was also highlighted in the February 2015 Issue of  Engineering News-Record’s as a “Design Wunderkind.”

His portfolio encompasses over thirty million square feet of work throughout a broad range of building types, and most recently, his ideas and lectures have been seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Fortune, Fast Company, CNN, USA Today, World Landscape Architecture, Bloomberg Business and various smaller publications. His work has also been exhibited in museums and art galleries nationally and abroad.

Allen’s work revolves around asking the unconventional and unique questions provoking new relationships to redefine the built environment for the next generation. His creative process has been characterized by an ideal, yet hyper, practical approach, combining rational and environmental analysis, cultural and social perspectives, and inventive formal solutions. Most recently he has completed designs on an 80-story tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; created an urban reorganization plan for Salt Lake City, Utah; won an international design competition for a confidential consumer goods company’s North American headquarters, securing a new net-zero office development; and he’s currently working on two 60-story luxury residential towers in midtown Manhattan, NY, and numerous other large-scale urban design and commercial projects.

Located at the intersection of design, culture and economy, Allen starts each new project free of predetermined ideas. His design process looks at architecture’s fundamental elements and their relationships to our cities, where his projects integrate commerce, sustainability, urban infrastructure, civic space, custom construction techniques, culture and occupancy issues. His practical and form-generative approach creates projects that take on inspiring solutions that meet the needs of users and are meaningful to their context.

Photo credit: Scott Allen

Photo credit: Scott Allen

Contact Scott at w.scott.allen@perkinswill.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/wscotta

CAAD to host panel discussion in conjunction with spring MSU Career Days

January 27th, 2015 Comments Off

The College of Architecture, Art, and Design will host a special career presentation panel discussion for students in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium (Giles Hall) following the MSU Career Fair on Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m.

Panelists include:
• Ann Somers, AIA, Principal, CDFL Architects + Engineers, P.A.

• Mary Beth McDavid, Creative Director, DPM Fragrance

• Adam Moore, Montgomery Martin Contractors, LLC

• Ashley Hughes, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Interior Designer MS & FL, Pryor & Morrow Architects & Engineers

A reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. for students and professionals in Giles Hall.

The Spring MSU Career Days will be held Feb. 3 (business and non-technical organizations) and Feb. 4 (engineering and technical organizations) from noon – 4 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum on MSU’s Starkville campus.

If you have any questions about MSU Career Days, please contact our representative with the Career Center, Ryan Colvin, rcolvin@career.msstate.edu or 662-325-3344.

Alumnus’s firm recognized in ‘Interior Design’ magazine’s Best of Year 2014

December 17th, 2014 Comments Off

Brian Roberson

Brian Roberson

Best of Year event (photos by Brian Roberson)

Best of Year event (photo by Brian Roberson)

(Via Beth Roberson)

On Thurs., Dec. 4,  bDot Architecture was honored at the 9th Annual Interior Design magazine Best of Year Awards ceremony in the IAC Building in New York City.

The Best of Year Awards is the preeminent design competition recognizing superior interior design products and projects from around the globe. Joining over 950 top designers and manufacturers in a standing room only venue, bDot won “Best of Year” in the Budget category for The Clubhouse. The Birmingham, Ala., based multidisciplinary design studio took home the distinctive bulb-shaped award, presented by Editor-in-chief Cindy Allen, in the budget category, which included projects from as far away as Guangzhou, China. Over 2,000 submissions were considered across dozens of categories and submitted from four continents.

Brian Roberson, owner of bDot and a 1995 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture, commented that “the experience of gathering with incredibly talented people was a wonderful blessing but even more, the opportunity to be inspired by the work of your peers and being moved by the achievements of great design.

When we designed The Clubhouse, we used it as an opportunity to think back to our childhood when our eyes were open to the mystery and verticality of the woods. Taking those feelings and memories, we reinterpreted them into an architectural experience using elements such as a rope ladder, a secret hatch, an observation deck and the horizontal play of shadows throughout the space.”

bDot is focused on crafting project solutions that are meaningful and encompass both a modern relevance and a timeless nature. From creative and cost-conscious architecture to modern furniture, lighting and art, bDot is dedicated to providing a unique and holistic approach to design and affordable solutions to meet the needs of their clients. The company’s website is located at www.bdota.com. They can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Photos of The Clubhouse (photos by Brian Roberson):

Alumni enlist architecture students to help with solutions for state

December 12th, 2014 Comments Off

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l to r: Patrick Sullivan, Keith Findley, Megan Vansant, Kevin Flores , Aaryn Phillips, Nenyatta Smith, Daria Pizzetta and Jim Findley (photo by Patrick Brown)

Jim Fennell and Keith Findley have come back to their alma mater for help with accomplishing a goal they have for the state. The two alumni hope to bring some of the ideas of functional symbiosis and reuse from their Colorado Ivywild project to the state of Mississippi.

Functional symbiosis is when companies partner together and share waste. The Ivywild project is a renovated school that houses a brewery, bakery, community garden and other components that all work together in a closed circuit. The excess water from the brewery waters the garden; spent grains from the brewery goes into making the bread at the bakery and so on.

According to Fennell, when businesses are able to take advantage of a functional symbiotic relationship, they have lower operating costs from the reuse of materials and can, therefore, be more successful.

“In turn,” he said, “that gets others in the community interested, and it starts to grow.”

“I think it can really do good things for the state,” added Findley

So, the two alumni approached Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture, last year about getting architecture students involved in helping spread the idea across the state.

“These young people are our best resources for solutions,” said Findley.

And the idea happened to fit perfectly with what Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory had already been planning for her fall fourth-year studio.

Gregory, inspired by an ACSA conference, wanted to dedicate her semester to getting students to think about recycling and reuse. So, with funding from the two alumni, the Ivywild Studio was born.

Gregory created a series of projects for the studio that, throughout the semester, taught recycling, reuse and functional and community symbiosis. Early projects helped students develop the conceptual idea leading to their final project inspired by the Ivywild project.

For the final project, titled “Starkville Symbiosis,” students were challenged to research and create a design for a similarly functioning hypothetical building in Starkville. The students were given a site at the corner of Jackson and Lampkin Streets and real-world clients, Ed Dechert and Cameron Fogle of Sweetgum Brewing and Troy DeRego of DeRego’s Bread.

The final designs included a variety of symbiotic ideas and were presented on Dec. 2 for a panel of jurors including two of the clients, Dechert and DeRego, as well as Fennell and Findley.

Additional jurors included Allison Anderson, FAIA, LEED-AP, and John Anderson, AIA, LEED-AP of unabridged Architecture; Daria Pizzetta, AIA, LEED-AP, of H3 Hardy Collaboration; Patrick Sullivan, president of the Mississippi Energy Institute; Jeremiah Dumas, MSU sustainability coordinator; Bob Wilson, executive director of the Mississippi Main Street Association; and Phil Hardwick, project manager for the Stennis Institute.

The jurors were excited to see the variety of creative solutions the students came up with and immediately saw the impact such projects could have on the state.

Allison Anderson said that the students, now in their fourth-year of study, are starting to understand that “architecture doesn’t end at the line of the building; it continues into the community.”

She went on to explain that architects need to think about what the needs are in the community and how it will grow in the future, and this project helped the students to start to do that.

Sullivan said he saw a wide range of opportunities in the students’ projects.

“The IvyWild project,” he said. “There’s just not anything like that in Mississippi. The goal should be for nothing to leave the site – air, water or steam emissions – except products that are being sold and, of course, people coming and going. Taking that kind of approach is just smart.”

“I hope to see one of these actually developed,” said Daria, who also serves on the school’s Advisory Council.

The jurors selected four top projects. First place and $1,000 went to Megan Vansant; Kevin Flores received second place and another $1,000. Honorable mention went to Aryn Phillips and Nenyatta Smith.

“We see this as a first step in an ongoing thing at the university,” said Findley.

Gregory said her students – now “Ivywild fans” – really enjoyed the project.

“Hopefully they’ll carry this throughout their careers,” she added.

Fourth-year architecture students in the Ivywild studio include (by hometown):
CORDOVA – Emma Morse, daughter of James M. Morse and Charlene Smith
CLINTON – Devin Carr, son of Neil and Sandra Carr
FOREST – Kevin Flores, son of Jose and Teresa Flores
GULFPORT – Nenyatta Smith, daughter of John and Dorothy Smith
HERNANDO – Patrick Brown, son of Chet Brown and Earline Wallace
HORN LAKE – Daniela Bustillos, daughter of Jaime and Maria Bustillos
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Megan Vansant, daughter of Donald R. and Rebecca W. Vansant
JACKSON – Lorianna Baker, daughter of Duke and Karen Baker
OLIVE BRANCH – Aryn Phillips, daughter of William and Luretha Phillips
PADUCAH, Ky. – Ryan Bridges, son of Michael Douglas and Delinda Kay Bridges
PICAYUNE – Cody Smith, and son of Ray and Christina Renderman
SNELLVILLE, Ga. – Ryan Mura, son of Ryan L. and Susan D. Mura

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read the story on WCBI.

See the story in The Dispatch.

Alumnus receives AIA design awards

December 10th, 2014 Comments Off

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David Corban accepts AIA design awards from architect Peter Bohlin. Juror for the awards was Bohlin Cywinski. (photo submitted by David Corban)

David Corban‘s firm recently received two design awards from the AIA Florida Southwest chapter.

The awards were for the design of a home in Old Naples and a small public park in Immokalee, Fla.

Juror for the awards was Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and the awards were presented by Peter Bohlin.

“It was an honor to have our projects selected by Mr. Bohlin,” said Corban, who is a 1989 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture. “Because I don’t think there is an architect practicing today whose work I admire more.”

Home in Old Naples, Fla.

 

Small public park in Immokalee, Fla.

See other recent recognition for David Corban.

Jackson architect, MSU alumna to serve as School of Architecture’s third ‘Eminent Architect of Practice’

December 10th, 2014 Comments Off

Decker_Anne Marie web

Anne Marie Decker, AIA, will serve as the Mississippi State University School of Architecture’s 2015 Eminent Architect of Practice.

Decker, a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of the school, will work with the fifth-year studio faculty at the Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios in Jackson to help students in their last semester of study produce their capstone comprehensive projects.

The school established the Eminent Architect of Practice visiting faculty position in 2011 as a way to bring a distinguished award-winning architect of contemporary practice to the MSU campus to teach and mentor students. Decker represents the third Eminent Architect, following Larry Scarpa, FAIA, and Todd Walker, FAIA.

“This semester-long faculty appointment is reserved for nationally recognized, award-winning architects to become an integral part of the studio teaching experience at MSU and most importantly, to interact, energize and critique student projects,” said Michael Berk, AIA, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “We are incredibly honored that Anne Marie has agreed to serve with us in this prestigious teaching position.”

Decker is a principal with her partner Roy Decker, AIA, in Duvall Decker Architects P.A. located in Jackson. In 2004, she was honored as the Alumni Fellow for the College of Architecture, Art and Design for her achievements in practice. In 2009, she and Roy Decker jointly held the Paul Rudolf Visiting Professorship at the Auburn University School of Architecture. She has lectured on the firm’s work at numerous universities and conferences including AIA Louisiana’s Celebrate Architecture Symposium, the International Merleau-Ponty Circle Conference, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University and the University of Utah.

Duvall Decker Architects specializes in public buildings, state institutions, school and university buildings, affordable housing and planning. The firm is a recognized leader and has received state, regional and national awards for design excellence. Most recently the design for the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building at Hinds Community College was honored with a 2013 AIA Committee on Architecture for Education Excellence Award. The Oak Ridge House received a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Award. The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center earned a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Citation and a 2011 Design with Brick President’s Award. The firm’s work has frequently been published and highlighted in publications such as the Journal of Architectural Education, Houses for All Regions, a book published by AIA’s Custom Residential Architects Network, Design Bureau Magazine, the Oxford American and in exhibits such as AIA’s “Design for the Decades.”

Anne Marie Decker currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and holds the title of past president. She is a registered architect in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read the story on WCBI.

Duvall Decker house

Duvall Decker office by Duvall Decker Architects P.A, Jackson, MS

oak ridge house

Oak Ridge House by Duvall Decker Architects P.A, Jackson, MS

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