Category Archives: Materials

Design Is A Juggling Act

 Library Perspective

Keeping the project design on track is a challenge. Several special efforts come to mind. The challenge of meeting the owner’s expectations for the look and feel of the project is one that readily pops up after all this is the visible part of the project that everyone sees. Descriptions of look and feel are often hard to get your arms around: Continue reading

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Design Unwrapped

Exterior Glazing

The design gears were turning with a rapid elaboration of the building components. The basic organization and flow of the space program within the structure were reasonably established. More definition was needed for some of the more technical spaces that included moot courtrooms and teaching environments. Further confirmation and fine tuning of adjacencies was also in order. The design team was happily on their way and immersed in drilling down to new levels of detail within individual spaces.

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Filed under Background, Design, Historic Preservation, Materials

Divergent View 1

Custom Light

Every now and then there is an experience so singular that it demands interrupting the flow of the current story to share.  A recent experience presented one of those moments. It was a trip to Grand Rapids and a surprise visit to a project designed by one who is considered to be the greatest American architect of all time. The project is the Meyer May House. Continue reading

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Happy Holidays – the seasons schedule

IMG_0965 - Copy

What a scene to wake up to in this special and festive time of year; fresh unexpected snow on the ground for my visit to family in Greeley, Colorado. Wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday Season with your family and friends. With some reflective opportunity, let’s look at the events that shaped the Chickasaw Visitor during this time of year. Continue reading


Filed under Background, Design, LEED ®, Materials

The Project Schedule – a view in retrospect

CN Visitor Center Schedule

Hindsight is 20/20; it doesn’t matter what you’re reflecting on. Compared to forecasting, the clarity of retrospect brings everything into crystal focus. Now that we are at the end of the ride for this project, the project schedule is a matter of pulling the dates of actual events and placing them into a timeline. The Gantt chart above is a documentation of those dates and events. This chart is a broad band look at the project with only the major activities noted. However Continue reading

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Getting to Know the Players – Take Ten

Players - Take 10

Interview by Fred Schmidt

Sharon Richardson, ASID, Senior Interior Designer, is a certified interior designer with FSB and has been leading the interiors effort on the Chickasaw Visitor Center.

Sharon, tell the Blog followers about your role on the project.

Sharon: Interior designer. Choosing finishes and furniture for the project. Helping the architects with some of the exterior finishes as well. Getting the furniture and finishes to function appropriately and work with the clients’ needs and desires for the spaces. And it’s fun. It’s a fun process for me. I love doing this. Continue reading

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Stumps and Stools

Plant Materials

In addition to the architectural concentration of courses, the architecture curriculum also touches on related disciplines of engineering, interiors and landscape. I had a combined landscape/interiors course that taught us enough to be dangerous. We all referred to that class as “stumps and stools.” It did give us an appreciation for those design disciplines and a vocabulary that let us communicate in their vernacular language.

But when we need the real thing designed, we engage those professionals that are fully trained and versed in the discipline. So for landscape we retained Howard Fairbairn Site Design and worked with Scott Howard/Landscape Architect to achieve the landscape design and construction documents. I debriefed with Scott to get a rundown on the landscape solution and documents. Continue reading

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Filed under Design, LEED ®, Materials, Uncategorized

The Plight of the Painter

Interior Painting

The painter is probably the most abused trade on the project. In many ways, the painter is his own worst enemy and in the end many other trades are his worst enemy too.

Throughout the project as new trades become involved in the project they add to the work that is already in place. Often times the previous work becomes the substrate for the next trades work to go over. This is true of floor slabs being the substrate for the finish flooring that will come next like the large slate tile in the Gallery. The quality of work of the previous trade can help make the next trade’s work look good or really bad. Continue reading

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The Creation of a Punch List

Building Exterior

The normal sequence of events that leads to creating a punch list starts when the Contractor believes that the project has achieved a level of substantial completion. The Contractor requests that the Architect issue a Certificate of Substantial Completion to formalize this important event in the life of a project. At the time the Contractor requests this certificate, the Contractor is also obligated to provide a list of all the items that need to be corrected or completed. Substantial completion is a term used to generally indicate that the project only has minor items to be corrected or completed and that the Owner can begin to occupy and use the project for its intended purpose.

In our case that would mean Continue reading

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When Substitutions Occur

Copper Wall Cladding

Copper Versus Painted Metal Wall Cladding

How do decisions like trading out copper for painted metal come about? Copper was a desired aesthetic component of the Visitor Center. It matched the use of copper at the Chickasaw Cultural Center which was the primary reference point and inspiration for the architectural character of the Visitor Center. The reason for considering painted metal was a concern over the copper being touchable by the public thereby creating visible markings from hand prints and its cost.

The decision to consider a substitution for the copper cladding was bundled with other cost reduction items Continue reading

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