You are invited to enter the 2017 Central Pennsylvania Excellence in Design Awards Program! Registered Architects and Intern/Associate Architect members of the chapter are highly encouraged to submit their best built and unbuilt work for review by a jury of peer architects.
Eligible members must be current members in good standing of the Central Pennsylvania chapter. Eligible work includes architecture, interior architecture, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, renovation, and restoration projects as well as planning and urban design efforts.
Built and unbuilt projects completed after January 2012 which have not previously received an award from the AIA Central Pennsylvania Chapter are eligible. Awards may be given by the jury recognizing Honor, Merit and Citation levels of achievement.
NEW for 2017! Please specify if you would like your project to be included in the running for our Members’ Choice Award. Limit one project for consideration per firm.
Winners will be announced and all work celebrated at the Conference, Expo, and Design Awards event, to be held on the evening of Thursday, October 5th at The Bond, in York, Pennsylvania. More event details to follow.
The cost per entry is $100. The chapter would like to encourage new firms and firms who have not submitted projects in the past five years to submit one (1) project free of charge.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS PILLAR SPONSORS
Additional thanks to our confirmed CONFERENCE & EXPO EXHIBITORS
Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Conference, Expo and Design Awards? Learn more and sign up here
A’17 Conference on Architecture Recap
By Kelsey Leed, AIA
Anticipating Need, Challenge and Change
Orlando was the host city this year for the A’17 Conference on Architecture which kicked off Tuesday, April 25 and ran through Saturday, April 29. The newly branded ‘AIA Conference on Architecture’ vs the traditional ‘National Convention’ by AIA national, had an insightful theme of anticipating need, challenge and change.
The event officially kicked off Wednesday with the annual business meeting where the delegates voted into office three board positions. The first position, 2018-2020 At Large Director, the only contested race, between Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA (AIA Massachusetts) and Daniel S. Hart, FAIA (AIA West Texas/AIA Texas) – Ms. Grandstaff-Rice won. The second position, 2018-2019 Treasurer – Patrick P. Panetta, AIA (AIA Phoenix Metro/AIA Arizona). The third position, 2018 First Vice President/2019 President-Elect – William Bates, FAIA (AIA Pittsburgh/AIA Pennsylvania). A full listing of candidate information and other resolutions that were voted upon can be found here: A’17 Convention Delegate Handbook.
The keynote speakers each highlighted a part of the conference’s theme. Anticipate Need: Design that Cares, the Thursday keynote, included four short form talks by Alejandro Aravena, Elizabeth Diller, Francis Kere, and Michael Murphy—each ‘explore how their work pushes the boundaries of collaborative practice and, in the process, creates thoughtful architecture that addresses community and society challenges’. Friday’s keynote, Anticipate Challenge: Design that Overcomes with Dan Goods and David Delgado, both artists and NASA visual strategists, and Eve Edelstein, Assoc. AIA, the research director of Perkins+Will’s Human Experience Lab, each explored the power of creative thinking to pave unconventional path to success and produce outstanding results. Saturday included a two part keynote, during the first moderator Frances Anderton interviewed three up and coming architects and designers who discussed the topic Anticipate Change: What’s Next for Architecture. The final keynote focused on the power we as architects have to anticipate and influence change in our world. This keynote was presented by Amy Cuddy, who’s TED talk ranks #2 of all time.
As always the best part of the convention, for me, is seeing so many people who share the same passion come together for the betterment of our profession. Congratulations to Mr. Gregory Scott for being elevated into the College of Fellows at A’17 in Orlando. Thank you for representing AIA Central PA in the community and helping to advance the profession. I encourage you all to try to attend the A’18 Conference on Architecture which will be held in New York City. There are opportunities for free registration if you would like to sign up as a volunteer—keep an eye out from our Chapter regarding this in early 2018.
Gregory Scott, FAIA
A’17 Expo floor
Spring Lecture Series Recap
By Rebecca Slenker, AIA
Our 2017 AIA Central Pennsylvania Spring Lecture was held Thursday, May 19 at the office of Caldwell Heckles & Egan, Inc. in Lancaster, PA. Xavier Vandrell gave an inspiring presentation of the student-lead work at Rural Studio; a studio that is part of the undergraduate program of the School of Architecture at Auburn University.
The evening began with a presentation by CH&E of their Passive House Construction projects. As a host for the evening, CH&E provided a welcoming reception, networking opportunity, and informative presentation. We are sincerely grateful for their hospitality and generous continued support of our chapter.
Xavier’s presentation was thoughtful, sincere, and humorous at times. Established in 1993, Rural Studio provides their students with a unique educational experience of design and construction. Their process serves the dual purpose of educating of the next generation of architects while providing much needed improvement to the built environment in rural Alabama. Focused mainly on community, the students of Rural Studio have designed and built more than 170 projects ranging from individual homes, public libraries, skate parks, museums, and everything in between. The philosophy of the studio advocates that all people, regardless of economic status, deserve and can appreciate good design. The studio consciously debates what should be built, rather than what can be built, while considering typical restraints as time, budget, and feasibility.
It was a delight and inspiration to hear Xavier’s presentation and we invite you to take him up on his offer to “stop in the studio any time” when you are traveling to Alabama.
It has been a pleasure serving as the chair of The Lecture Series Committee. For future suggestions, or if you’d like to be a part of the committee, please contact our new co-chairs Ryan Shank firstname.lastname@example.org or Elysia Mikkelsen email@example.com
Rebecca Slenker, AIA, Lecture Chair
PALM Round One Update
By Elysia Mikkelsen, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C
AIA Central PA kicked off their first PALM Program this spring! The PALM (Promoting Advocacy and Licensure through Mentorship) program is a new state initiative designed to create a dialogue between registered architects, aspiring architects and architecture students regarding advocacy, career experiences, goals, and thoughts on the past and future of the profession. Central PA was able to form six groups located in and around Harrisburg, Lancaster and York. Teams were sorted by location and given a brief outline for what should be discussed at each meeting. These topics ranged from basic introductions and why they were pursuing architecture to an in depth analysis of portfolios, resumes and current projects.
A kick-off event took place on March 4th at Tattered Flag brewing company in Middletown. This event was in partnership with AIA Central PA’s Past Presidents event and gave students and new members a chance to meet those who have shaped our organization in the past. PALM strives to integrate the knowledge of multiple generations within the design industry, and align different peer groups to evoke informed conversation about the role of architects in the built environment and society as a whole.
Overall AIA Central PA has received positive feedback and we are well on our way to refining the program to meet these goals. We will be holding a wrap-up event where participants can give feedback and mingle with others outside of their groups. This event will be on July 29th, please check your inbox for more information. All of our members are welcome! We intend to hold another round of the PALM program in the fall of 2017. Should you have any questions feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yeoman Architect on Mentorship
By James Mehaffey, AIA
“I became the architect I was supposed to be because of Gregg, not for the skills he taught me; but because he encourages young professionals to develop talents they may not even know they have. The time Gregg spent on my mentorship was vital to my career development and it continues to this day – 20 years later.”
One would expect in a profession that requires an internship program that mentorship would be an integral part of most firms. Sadly, this is not always the case. My first job out of architecture school was at a large Japanese A/E/Construction firm in the NY area. I languished there, partly due to my inability to speak the native tongue, so this employment didn’t last long. I returned to the firm in my hometown where I worked for a summer and at breaks. I’m still here, 20 years later. Read on to learn about one of the best decisions I ever made.
Conference Rooms are for Communication
By Christopher Brooks, LEED AP
A conference room is often the heart of an organization’s facility, where essential information is exchanged. It must look and feel right. Acoustics for speech intelligibility is fundamental.
It is entirely possible to design a room that looks right, and has good acoustics—if acoustics is integrated from the start into the design of the room, including:
Background Noise Background noise is created by HVAC systems, lights, AV equipment fans, and rain on the roof. Even if entirely unnoticed, background noise degrades speech intelligibility. Listening to someone speak through noise is like trying to read through dirty glasses.
Since a voice diminishes in volume with distance, low background noise is more important for larger rooms. Some people speak softly. Lower background noise helps include them in the conversation.
The biggest cost of controlling background noise is space for the equipment. Locate noisy machinery at a distance and it is much easier to control noise. With thoughtful design, all can be quieted.
In our experience, lower than conventional levels of background noise provide surprisingly better speech intelligibility.
Intrusive Noise Sound from outside (such as conversations in an adjacent corridor) can distract, or obscure speech within a room.
Isolation from outside noise requires appropriate doors, windows, walls, etc. All these cost money. Part of design is to decide what is appropriate for the project.
A conference room adjacent to a superhighway requires different windows than does a meeting cabin in the woods.
One of our projects involved a classroom directly adjacent to a shooting range. The required wall construction was more robust than would be required for a conference room in a quiet office.
Privacy The difference between privacy and sound-isolation is emphasis. A conference room where sensitive decisions are made, located within a quiet office, may not require much consideration of isolation from intrusive noise, but would require very good privacy.
Room Acoustics Size, shape, and surface materials affect the pattern of sound reflections in a room—its acoustics. Unruly sound reflections can degrade intelligibility, but in a properly designed room, sound reflections support speech. To illustrate: try holding a conversation on a beach with the noise of the surf and no helpful sound reflections. You will be surprised at how difficult it is to hear and understand.
Amplification Many conference rooms have amplification for teleconferencing or speech reinforcement.
When designing and operating a sound system for a conference room:
Locate loudspeakers and provide signal processing so the sound is heard to originate from the person speaking.
Operate at a level comparable to the sound of a normal person talking.
Equalize the system appropriately for the human speaking voice (avoid excess bass).
It is best to design the room so that amplification is only required for recorded or absent speakers; where people in the room can communicate easily without being amplified. Crutches may be necessary after knee surgery, but it is generally better to walk on healthy knees. Verbal communication is best au naturel.
This is not common, but entirely possible with proper, integrated, design.
Good Acoustic Design Conference and meeting rooms are places where information is shared and where decisions are made. Better decisions are made when communication is clear. When the acoustic window is transparent, people can hear and understand.
Christopher Brooks is a Senior Associate and head of the Lancaster, PA office for of Acoustic Distinctions, a leading design firm specializing in acoustic, AV systems, and performance technology design. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
TONO Group’s owner and managing principal D. Hunter Johnson, AIA, has been awarded the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. He was also asked to be a panelist for their “Think Big: A Small Business Celebration” event where nominees will share insights and discuss innovative ways to overcome challenges and better leverage opportunities.
TONO Group was proud to sponsor the 25th annual Dick Vermeil Boy Scouts of America invitational at the Downingtown Country Club. Together with Coach Vermeil, the Chester County Council, and the Boy Scouts of America, the celebrity golf tournament helped raise funds and included brunch, an opening ceremony, golf, a cocktail reception, dinner, and an auction and awards program. While headquartered in Lancaster, TONO Group also has a location in West Chester.
CHRIS DAWSON ARCHITECT
CDA is overseeing 3 significant construction projects with the largest, Renovations to the Office of the President, being focused on breathing new life in to almost 50 year old office spaces at a private philanthropic boarding school. The Hop Yard Sports Pub in Middletown across from the Penn State Harrisburg campus has opened and transformed what was a soulless dark strip mall suite in to a gritty but happy and light filled dining and socializing place. We helped a client clear the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) hurdles for exterior improvements to 106 State Street including a future rooftop deck with dramatic views of downtown and the Susquehanna River. Pleased with our work at 106 State Street including the painting project executed last summer, that same client hired us to devise a concept for a riverfront property 6 miles north of Harrisburg at the edge of Fort Hunter.
Our 2 Acres design concept is a mix of recreational, hospitality, and residential program elements designed to focus on the dramatic western views but also weather flooding. As noted above we flexed our design muscles with our Lamborghini Road Monuments competition submission developing two powerfully beautiful architectonic sculptural elements rooted in the identity of the brand that will bracket the Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. plant in Italy.
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