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147 Wappoo Creek Drive, Suite 400
Charleston SC 29412

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SPOTLIGHT ON: DANIEL CORTE, AIA

Mez Joseph

A native of Chicago, Dan completed his undergraduate at Southern Illinois University and earned his Master of Architecture at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Dan has been a Liollio team member for over four years. He contributes to design from start to finish. We recently sat down for a little Q&A with Dan, our May Spotlight On feature.

How long have you lived in Charleston?
I moved to Charleston just over 4 years ago.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a western suburb of Chicago called LaGrange Park.

Are you married? Do you have children?
I am married to my wonderful wife, Corinne and we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary! We have 3 fur babies - 2 dogs and 1 cat.

What is your favorite thing in your house?
I have to go with our dining room buffet. We bought it on Craigslist and it was poorly painted and dinged up. It took almost a month of nights and weekends of stripping old paint, sanding, painting, staining the top and sealing it up, but it was worth the time we put into it.

What do you like to do when you have free time?
Having all of my exams finished, I feel like I get to experience this so called free time! With the weather improving, my wife and I have been riding our bikes around the neighborhood and down to the Ashley River or to our favorite brewery down the street in Avondale.

Do you have any pets?
If so, tell us a bit about them. I have 3 pets. A lab mix named Maya, a german shepherd named Aurora, and a cat named Aspen. I got Maya as an undergraduate at SIU (Go Salukis) and she has been with me ever since (moving 4 or 5 times around the country). Corinne and I adopted Aurora after we had been dating for some time and she stayed with Corinne while she finished up school in Charlotte. Aspen (better known as Job Site Kitty at Liollio) was found when Liollio was volunteering Habitat for Humanity. She came home with us and bonded with Aurora, so we couldn’t give her up!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Becoming an Architect.

What building have you visited that most impressed you?
Quite possibly the Milwaukee Art Museum by Calatrava. I was very interested in structural expression through the majority of my college career and how you can use structure make spaces.

What architect or architecture firm most influenced you as a student?
Ray & Charles Eames, Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen, among others. These architects/designers also did more than just architecture, but also ventured into sculpture, furniture, and other types of design.

What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
Unfortunately I have only been to Canada, so I suppose that has to be the answer. I hope to change that sometime in the next few years though!

What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
The collaborative atmosphere of the studio. I feel like multiple times a week people stop working for a moment to ask others opinions on a detail or roof slope or massing. Having a range of experience in the studio gives you such different outlooks on any number of design problems.

What is the hardest part about your job?
Trying to give the client everything they want in a well-designed, thought out package. Sometimes there just isn’t enough space so we have to be really creative in how a space/room/building can evolve depending on their needs that day or time of day.

What style of architecture most impresses you or is your favorite?
I really love the modernist movement or mid-century modern movement in the 1920’s-1960’s.  There were a range of architects that produced really stunning buildings. Of course, most of those buildings are hard to replicate these days with all those pesky energy codes.

What is your favorite book?
I really enjoy the series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, which are the Game of Thrones books. It's hard to like only one!

What is your favorite restaurant?
Lou Malnati’s. That's a Chicago style pizza restaurant in Chicago.

What is your favorite food?
I really can never make this decision, but top 3 might be pizza, pasta and fried rice.

What is your least favorite food?
Probably Beets. They just taste so much like dirt.

Do you play any instruments?
I used to play guitar, but it has been quite a long time since I have played anything except Wonderwall.

What song is at the top of your most played list (be honest)?
For the past few months it has been Faded by Alan Walker. A nice upbeat song that can help power through a day!

Who is your favorite artist?
I had to open up Spotify to see which artist I had the most music from. It looks like it is a pretty even split between Maroon 5 and Owl City, which are two pretty different artists.

Favorite television show?
Probably a tie between House of Cards and Game of Thrones. When are those new seasons coming out anyway??

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Well since typically you get someone who accentuates any/all your features in a good way, I would go with Ryan Reynolds. Who wouldn’t want to be portrayed by that guy...

What’s your astrological sign?
I am a Pisces. Some of the explanations of what that means say that Pisces turn fantasies into realities, so I think having chosen the profession of architecture fits that description well.

Last movie you watched?
It’s Complicated - can’t beat John Krasinski. He would be another actor i could see playing me in a movie.  We have the same goofy personality, but he has a far better ability at growing facial hair, so 1-0 John.

What is your personal philosophy?
Try not to worry or get upset about things you can’t control, and the things you can control, don’t be passive.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
I don’t know if there was any one thing I couldn’t live without, however. if I ever lost my wedding band, I would be extremely upset. It means two different things to me. It is, of course, an outward expression of my love to my wife. It was also my late Grandfather's wedding band for 60 years. He wore it in faithful dedication to my Grandmother for his whole adult life and I hope to wear it another 60 in mine.

What is your greatest fear?
Disappointing my family. They are the ones that will always be behind me, but that is the biggest fear.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
If I could gain all of their knowledge for that one day as well - a mechanic. I like the satisfaction of fixing things, even if I get a bit frustrated when it's not going my way, which it usually doesn't with cars.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I can make a clover shape with my tongue!

How do you define success?
I feel like I have been successful in my efforts when I am happy with the end result, or feel like I am headed in the right direction if it is midway through that process.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Be true to who you are and to your closest friends.

ACE Mentors of Charleston End of Year Banquet & Project Showcase

Mez Joseph

May 18, 2017/in Burke HS, Featured, Liollio Architecture, LS3P, Partnership, Personalized Learning, R. B. Stall HS, St. Johns HS, STEM, Work-based Learning, Workforce Development /by Chad Vail

Charleston, SC – May 17, 2017 – A group of local architects, contractors, and engineering professionals are doing their part to ensure the next generation is ready for the critical infrastructure and development related jobs in Charleston, and throughout the nation.

ACE Mentors of Charleston connects professionals with local classrooms for project-based learning and relationship building. Students work in teams on various aspects of large scale, multifaceted construction projects. The students choose the projects and all the elements to bring the design to a workable set of plans, and even a scale model in some cases.

Each year, to celebrate the students’ success and the investment of time by the many volunteers, a special banquet is held to allow each team to share a presentation on their chosen project.

The 2017 ACE Banquet was held at the Wolf Street Playhouse again, and Home Team BBQ was served, complete with cole slaw, mac & cheese, and iced tea.

This year, 3 CCSD schools participated in the ACE Mentoring program: Burke HS, St. Johns HS, and R. B. Stall HS.

Dinos Liollio, a 40 year veteran of the industry, provided the key note speech, and his chosen topic was timely for the students waiting to deliver their own presentations. Mr. Liollo spoke on the impact of non-verbal communication. He used many pictures and a movie clip to illustrate his points, and ended the presentation with a video of the dramatic pre-game ritual performed by the All Blacks Rugby Team from New Zealand. He encouraged the students to be aware of what was being communicated by the position of their arms and legs, their facial expressions, and their eye contact during conversations.

After the keynote presentation concluded, each school was invited to the stage to present their class project.

Mr. Roy Kemp, PLTW Engineering Instructor and CTE Department Chair from Burke High School provided the following account of his experience at the ACE Mentors’ Banquet:

"Last night at the presentation banquet for ACE, a student mentoring program with Architects, Contractors and Engineers, outstanding young people from Burke High SchoolSt. Johns High School and R. B. Stall High School made presentations of commercial projects that they had designed and worked on over the past school term under the mentorship of professionals from the three aforementioned tiers of the construction industry."

The class projects presented included: A pavilion for the International African American Museum complete with sketches, CAD drawings and a scale model by Burke HS students;

a wrestling facility complete with engineering drawings, construction budgets and support materials by St. Johns HS students;

and a regional recycling center with the “world’s biggest recycled water bottle” fountain along with all the other documentations by R. B. Stall HS students.

The projects were ambitious, well planned with acute attention to details, and served their functions within our extended community amazingly well. The presentations were complete with every step of the planning and development process for these projects, and the students were articulate, at ease and presented to the room of some 100 attendees as well as most professionals. I was proud of the efforts, and realized that the ACE Mentoring Program, along with select educators from the CTE department of Charleston County Schools working with them was helping to develop our community’s future through solving real world development problems. They even gave three $1,000.00 scholarships to deserving students!"

Congratulations to Julio Solis, Ignacio Lopez, and Adrian Santiago on their scholarship awards! All three are graduating seniors from R. B. Stall High School.

Thanks to the school faculty and parents for attending to celebrate these students’ achievements. Thanks to Dinos Liollio for delivering an excellent keynote. Thanks to Rob Turner, Chairman of the ACE Mentors of Greater Charleston Board and all the volunteers and supporters of this terrific program for their investment of time and talent, and for a wonderful celebration for all involved to end the year!

2017 DEVON FOREST 5TH GRADE CAREER DAY

Mez Joseph

Mary Tran, Associate AIA, visited Devon Forest Elementary School in Goose Creek last Friday to speak with 5th grade students about a career in architecture on Career Day. Mary had a great time with the students and was as excited to be there as the students and faculty were to have her. She spoke to six classes of 25-27 students lasting 30 minutes each. She spoke in one classroom the entire morning and classes rotate sessions to learn about her career. She talked to students about the general field, what kind of educational and background experience is needed for a career in architecture, what a day on the job is like, her interests and more. Toothpicks and clay were pervaded, and students were encourage to design whatever they wanted using the materials. The only rule was their structure had to stand up. The students enjoyed created their models, which they got to also take home. 

Mary enjoyed interacting with the kids and answering their questions about architecture. “I wanted to be an architect when I was in 6th grade but I talked myself out of it because I didn’t know exactly what architecture was or how to become one. Mary likes educating students about architecture and feels it's important to be an advocate for her field. Mary says, "The kids are so bright and creative. I really enjoyed being there!"

2017 Charleston Greek Festival

Mez Joseph

The annual Charleston Greek Festival was held on May 12th, 13th & 14th. The festival hosts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy Greek food, wine, music, dancing and fun. The festival is held every Mother's Day weekend at The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity on 30 Race Street in downtown Charleston. Principals Dinos Liollio & Tommy Schimpf volunteered to prepare and serve gyros at the gyro stand.

From Clemson to Cambridge: Two architecture undergrads head to Harvard

Mez Joseph

During his time at Clemson, Rayshad Dorsey interned for Radium Architecture, Paragon Construction and Liollio Architecture.

CLEMSON — Founder. Leader. Graduate. These are just a few of the words that describe two students who are receiving their diplomas Friday from Clemson University’s School of Architecture.

Rayshad Dorsey and Brayton Gregory made the most of their time at Clemson by getting involved and excelling in the classroom. This fall, the two will pursue their master’s degrees from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and both will be attending on full-ride scholarships. Harvard’s graduate program was recently ranked best in the country by DesignIntelligence.

A native of Georgetown, Dorsey grew up in a rural community where he and his mother lived in a mobile home. At age 4, she gave him a Lego set, and since then his interest in architecture continued to grow. With her continuous encouragement, Dorsey immersed himself in the world of design, and as a high school senior he had the opportunity to visit Clemson.

“I was exposed to the everyday life of an architecture student and fell in love with the program. I felt at home at Clemson,” Dorsey said.

During his time as an undergrad, Dorsey took advantage of the services that were offered to him, such as advising, academic success tutoring and the Writing Center.

“I never felt like I was lacking resources at Clemson. If I needed help with anything I could find it.”

And while the opportunities for academic success were readily available to him, Dorsey realized there was something missing from campus: an architecture organization for minorities. As a sophomore, he decided it was time to change that, and in the spring of 2014, he co-founded Clemson’s chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS).

Designed in collaboration with Clemson University NOMAS for the Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition, Fall 2016.

“NOMAS continued to open doors for me. I attended two national conferences and had the opportunity to be a project manager for the national Barbara G. Laurie design competition,” Dorsey said.

The two-time recipient of the American Institute of Architects Grand Strand Scholarship served on the Student Affairs Student Advisory Board and the School of Architecture’s Student/Faculty Advisory Board. He received the Ray Huff Award for Excellence, Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston’s highest recognition for achievement, and, most recently, the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities bestowed him the Blue Key Award, which is given annually to a student who has distinguished themselves in terms of academic scholarship and campus leadership.

Now, Dorsey prepares for his venture to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to continue his education.

“I have an opportunity that a few months ago I couldn’t even dream of having. Harvard is in one of the most intellectual places in the world and I can’t wait to take part in that atmosphere. While I am extremely nervous, I know that Clemson has prepared me well for what lies ahead and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

What will he remember most about Clemson?

“At Clemson, the professors really care. I felt like I could talk to all of my professors about anything. They were all so welcoming and really passionate about teaching. Lastly, of course, I’m going to remember being national champs in football my senior year!”

While Dorsey and Gregory are both accomplished Tigers who will be attending the same graduate school, their paths getting there were different.

A Greer native, Gregory grew up a Clemson fan.

“I knew that this is where I wanted to be even though it was not until later on in life that I found out Clemson was the only school in the state that offered architecture,” said Gregory. “The world of architecture has always been intriguing to me, from the multiple forms of design to the freedom of expression.”

“The Necessary Library” designed by Brayton Gregory during his studies in Genoa, Italy.

In 2013, Gregory had the opportunity to attend his first conference as an undergraduate in Chicago. It was there he was introduced to the American Institute of Architecture Students. Being able to create connections with architecture students from around the world, he began building a strong network and the organization became one he truly believed in. The following fall, Gregory decided to run for a position in the institute. He won, and as membership chair he was able to further advance his skills and connections with others on campus and beyond.

“The position sparked my love for leadership and pushed me to want to reach higher in the organization, which led me to run for president-elect in 2015.”

In 2016, Gregory assumed his position as president. Over the past year, his chapter was recognized as one of the largest and fastest-growing chapters in the South.

Gregory’s research has been presented at the National Conference for Beginning Design Students.

Throughout his undergraduate career, Gregory also served as an undergraduate research assistant and became an active volunteer through his involvement with Pi Kappa Phi.

“In 2014, I went through the process of becoming a re-founding father for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. During this process, we established a well-rounded organization that is now nationally recognized.”

Gregory’s ambition and dedication to his craft and campus did not go unrecognized. He is the recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Certificate of Merit, which is given annually to an outstanding student with a 3.5 or higher grade-point average who has made noteworthy contributions to Clemson. He also won the Alpha Rho Chi Medal in Architecture for his professional merit, ability to lead and performing willing service to the school.

“During my time at Clemson, I had a lot of guidance from my peers and professors. The Clemson family is a real thing and one of the most inspiring things about this university. Being from Upstate South Carolina, the move up north will be a complete change in scenery, but I’m very excited about the opportunities that I’ll have at Harvard and believe it will open doors that I never expected.”

- Tara Romanella, Media Relations, Clemson University

Hardeeville Welcome Center Opening WTOC Coverage

Mez Joseph

Click image to watch WTOC coverage.

Click image to watch WTOC coverage.

HARDEEVILLE, SC (WTOC) - It's been a little over one year since the South Carolina Department of Parks and Recreation broke ground on a new welcome center at the South Carolina-Georgia State line.  It's one of nine welcome centers in the state, and the second to go under total renovation. Each year, 2.2 million visitors stop in the welcome center, but the old building was more than 30-years-old and in need of some improvements.

The center is called the 'state's front porch,' and with tourism being an $18 billion industry, this welcome center is the first impression for millions of people traveling on I-95. The $4 million project features the latest technology to not only help visitors plan their stay in the Lowcountry, but to also learn more about the places they're stopping in. 

"Before we had the desktop computers, now we actually have handheld tablets that we can reach out and the guests as their needing additional information. We don't have to walk anywhere we have it with us at all time, plus we have tablets mounted on different pods that we have that we work with the guests as their coming into the center," said Gwendolyn Hendley, Manager, Hardeeville Welcome Center. 

This welcome center is directly responsible for more than 2,000 hotel bookings and 500 attraction tickets. It's located at the other end of I-95 in Dillon, SC.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved. 

Hardeeville Welcome Center Ribbon Cutting

Mez Joseph

The new SC Welcome Center located in Hardeeville opened on Tuesday, May 2nd. The new building is located on the north bound side of Interstate 95 just before Exit 5. It’s the first rest stop once you enter into South Carolina from Georgia. The new building replaces a 38-year-old facility. It has a digital guestbook and tablets with information for visitors. Monitors will display weather updates and road conditions.

“Any time you have tourists coming in from other states, you want to put a welcome mat out there for them. The visitor centers along the state entryways are vital for us,” said Robb Wells, Vice President of Tourism.

The Liollio team is proud to have worked with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism and many others in bringing the new South Carolina Welcome Centers in Hardeeville and Fort Mill to fruition.