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Blog

USCB Hilton Head Island Hospitality Management Campus Awarded Two Green Globes

Mez Joseph

Liollio Principal & Higher Education Design Leader, Andy Clark, AIA, LEED AP, was recently invited by Campus Dean Dr. Charlie Calvert to give a lecture to his students on the sustainable design principles utilized for the new University of South Carolina Beaufort, Hilton Head Island Hospitality Management Campus. In 2018, the Liollio project was awarded two Green Globes for New Construction, certified by the Green Building Initiative as demonstrating excellent progress in reduction to environmental impacts. Kudos to the students on a great discussion about sustainable design practices and being good stewards of the environment. Liollio was honored to formally present USCB with the Green Globes plaque in recognition of their commitment to sustainability. For more information regarding GBI, visit thegbi.org

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY’S WOOD UTILIZATION + DESIGN INSTITUTE Presents SC’s Innovative Wood Buildings

Mez Joseph

Clemson University Wood Utilization + Design Institute South Carolina’s Innovative Wood Buildings - Wood is the most sustainable and environmentally sound building material. To show how innovative, versatile and beautiful wood is, Clemson University is featuring wood buildings that have been built in our state over the past ten years. Check out the map.

Liollio Architecture's Allie Beck Achieves Architectural Licensure

Mez Joseph

Allie Beck, AIA

Allie Beck, AIA

Liollio Architecture is pleased to congratulate Allie Beck, AIA, for earning her architectural licensure and becoming a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a professional organization for architects in the United States. A registered architect must complete an internship and pass a rigorous series of examinations offered by official architectural registration boards in the United States and Canada. The Liollio team celebrates Allie and her achievement. 

A Texas native, Allie received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and Master of Architecture degree from Clemson University. She relocated to Charleston in 2016 to join the Liollio team as Project Designer. Since then, her project work has ranged in size and scope, strengthening her design, attention to detail, communication and collaborative skills. Her recent work includes the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Play Pavilion, USC South Caroliniana Library renovation, a number of historic preservation projects at Historic Brattonsville, as well as Discovery Place Nature, a nature museum in Charlotte NC.

College of Charleston set to embark on a $50M renovation of major campus building

Mez Joseph

The College of Charleston’s Albert Simons Center for the Arts will undergo extensive renovations beginning in the spring of 2020. Brad Nettles/Staff - Brad Nettles bnettles@postandcourier.com

By Adam Parker aparker@postandcourier.com
The Post & Courier
Aug 18, 2019

The College of Charleston’s Albert Simons Center, home to the School of the Arts, will undergo a $50 million makeover next year.

What will the final product look like? No one knows. 

The team at Liollio Architecture has been reconceiving the interior of the 80,000-square-foot Simons Center for a few years now, but no clear exterior designs have been produced yet “because there’s no agreement on what outside should look like,” said Valerie Morris, dean of the School of the Arts.

A few broad concepts are clear: The building needs a better main entrance and lobby; it needs to complement the adjacent Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, which opened in 2010; and it needs to fit into the campus aesthetic.

Incoming freshmen at the College of Charleston visit the Albert Simons Center for the Arts on Monday, August 12, 2019. The building, located on St. Philips Street, soon will be getting a makeover. Brad Nettles/Staff - Brad Nettles bnettles@postandcourier.com

The modern red brick building on St. Philips Street sits at the end of a campus thoroughfare and is highly visible. The new design should acknowledge the need to create a welcoming front door and public space, and to connect with adjacent buildings, said Liollio lead architect Jennifer Charzewski.

“We want a design that celebrates the creativity of the arts,” she said.

When the College of Charleston’s Albert Simons Center was built 40 years ago, around 800 students made use of the building. Today, that number is more like 5,000.

The availability of the building’s performance venues helped convince Gian Carlo Menotti in the mid-1970s to locate Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. As a result, the Simons Center quickly became “one of the primary places the public interacts with the college,” Charzewski said.

The building’s renovation has been a long time in the making. 

In 1994, the college introduced plans to upgrade the School of the Arts facilities and engaged architect Robert Stern to oversee the effort.

He conceived a neoclassical structure to match Randolph Hall across the street, but the Board of Architectural Review wanted something more modern, recalled Morris, the school’s dean. Then, residents of the neighborhood and others insisted on Stern’s approach. In the end, the college engaged Stevens & Wilkinson, which operated out of Columbia, to complete the $27 million project.

By then costs had gone up, so officials divided the School of the Arts renovation effort into two projects. The Simons Center would have to wait for the completion of another big renovation project: the $80 million Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center and Physicians Auditorium.

But all’s well that ends well, Morris said. The Joint Bond Review Committee late last month approved the plan to finance the renovation project with $45 million in proceeds from the issuance of academic and Administrative Facilities bonds. Another $5 million will come from nonrecurring state appropriations, revenues from college fees and, mostly, capital project institutional funds.

A woman makes her way down the second floor hallway of the College of Charleston’s Albert Simons Center for the Arts on Monday, August 12, 2019. Brad Nettles/Staff - Brad Nettles bnettles@postandcourier.com

Student fees and tuition are not expected to go up because of the project, according to the college, although the Capital Improvement Fee, which is derived from a portion of tuition, has been increased three times in the last five years, from $781 per student per semester to $878 per student per semester.

Morris said she expects to move out of the Simons Center next summer and use the Harbor Walk buildings near the S.C. Aquarium for administrative offices, classrooms and more. The Chapel Theatre on Calhoun Street, Sottile Theatre on George Street and local church sanctuaries will provide performance space while the three Simons Center venues are shut down.

(Meanwhile, the Sottile Theatre is also undergoing renovation. It closed in February for $4.7 million in stage upgrades, and is slated to reopen in time for the 2020 Spoleto Festival.)

The revised interior of the Simons Center will include a new black box theater, state-of-the-art classrooms and upgraded infrastructure components such as bathrooms, HVAC and power stations. Heating and cooling problems will be resolved, along with the mold issue, Morris said.

Charzewski said the project also will upgrade mechanical and electrical systems while incorporating sustainable energy and flood protection. 

The renovation, she said, will change the face of the St. Philip Street corridor. Liollio is partnering on the renovation with Minneapolis-based HGA Architects, which specializes in arts, education and civic projects.

The courtyard at the College of Charleston’s Albert Simons Center for the Arts fronts St. Philip Street and likely will be transformed by the upcoming renovation project led by Liollio Architects. Brad Nettles/Staff - Brad Nettles bnettles@postandcourier.com

Rodney Lee Rogers, an adjunct theater professor, said the new black box theater — a small, square performance space — will provide welcomed flexibility. The smaller, malleable venue will enable students to rehearse more easily, to experiment and to stage their own plays, Rogers said. 

“I think a black box for training is the most versatile kind of set-up you can have,” he said. “You can do a lot of things quickly ... and it’s more about performance.”

It’s great to have the Sottile Theatre and access to other big stages in town, but that’s not what students need most, Rogers said.

“For most actors, they’re going to be cutting their teeth in more adaptive smaller spaces, because they’re not going to get into the bigger spaces for a while.”

Currently, the Simons Center is about 80,000 square feet, Charzewski said. The project team will renovate 65,000 square feet, rebuild 15,000 square feet and add 10,000 square feet.

The third and final state-level review conducted by the State Fiscal and Accountability Authority on Aug. 13 was the last hurdle cleared, she said. The city’s Board of Architectural Review will have a chance to scrutinize the plans.

The work likely will begin in the summer of 2020 with the temporary relocation of the art school, followed by a groundbreaking in the fall of 2020, according to Paul Patrick, chief of staff to the president. School officials hope the project will be finished in time for the 2022-23 academic year.

Meanwhile, the College of Charleston will consider other pressing capital projects, President Andrew Hsu said. A campus that’s 250 years old needs constant attention, he noted.

Spotlight On: Charles Kane, AIA

Mez Joseph

Liollio is pleased to welcome Charles Kane, AIA to our studio! Charles is a licensed architect with 5 years of diverse professional experience. As a student, Charles studied in the U.S, China, Italy and Greece; through his studies he gained a deep appreciation for history and context. After giving him time to settle in, we sat down for a little Q&A with our newest Spotlight On feature.

How long have you lived in Charleston?
A month

What brought you to Charleston?
Marshland, cheese grits and history

Where did you grow up?
Outside of Charlotte, NC

What other places (cities) do you call home, if any?
Miami & Charlotte

Are you married? Do you have children?
Leslie and I have been married for 3 years, and we have a dog named Greg­—he is childlike.

Tell us a bit about Greg.
Greg is an 8 lb. terrier/chihuahua mix who is friendlier than Mr. Rogers and faster than Usain Bolt.

What is your favorite thing in your house?
An ivy covered window in the bedroom.

What do you like to do when you have free time?
Read books, doodle, and walk around.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Most recently, Leslie and I moved a 100 lb. chest of drawers up a 2’ wide flight of stairs.

What building have you visited that most impressed you?
Scamozzi’s Rocca Pisana is a 16th century villa in Northern Italy. It sits on top of a knoll and overlooks a bunch of vineyards. It’s a very simple stone house with an impressive, recessed portico and stunning views to the landscape.

What architect or architecture firm most influenced you as a student?
Aldo Rossi and Piranesi are two big influences for me because the city was always more important to them than individual buildings.

What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
Portugal was a recent favorite. I love places where the mountains hit the ocean.

What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
The people!

What inspires you most?
Things I see when I am walking around.

What is the hardest part about your job?
Pleasing everyone in the office with a playlist.

What style of architecture most impresses you or is your favorite?
Nordic Classicism

What is your favorite book?
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

What is your favorite restaurant?
Pubbelly in Miami

What’s your favorite place in Charleston?
Colonial Lake

What is your favorite food?
Fish tacos

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
The microscopic water bear because they are the only known creature that can survive in space.

Do you play any instruments?
Guitar

What song is at the top of your most played list?
Kurt Vile’s One Trick Pony. I relate.

Who is your favorite artist?
Edward Hopper & Giotto

Favorite television show?
Twin Peaks

Last book you read?
The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Last movie you watched?
Booksmart

Favorite movie or genre?
I like a good thriller.

Guilty pleasure?
I enjoy chips and salsa, but I don’t feel guilty.

What would the book or movie about your life be called?
A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, it’s already taken.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Danny DeVito, I would hope.

What’s your astrological sign?
Cancer

What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
Taxes

What is your greatest fear?
Bad drivers

What does true leadership mean to you?
Hank Hill

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
My 13 year old self wouldn’t take my advice. However, Tessenow had a great saying: “The simplest form is not always best, but the best is always simple.”

How do you define success?
A well-organized closet.

JOIN US! JAMES ISLAND PUBLIC CHARETTE

Mez Joseph

PUBLIC CHARETTE! Monday, July 22, 6:00 – 7:30pm, James Island Town Hall – 1122 Dills Buff Rd.

Come join the Town of James Island as we gather information and explore various possible uses for the current Camp Road Library building located at 1248 Camp Rd. Various Community groups and Organizations
will be on-hand to participate in the discussion, including theChildren's Museum of the Lowcountry, the James Island History Commission, the James Island Arts Committee, the Neighborhood Council, James Island Pride and the James Island Children’s Commission.

To submit suggestions online, email comments to info@jamesislandsc.us

DISASTER RESPONSE: INNOVATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL

Mez Joseph

Benjamin Ward, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, of Grace Hebert Curtis Architects & Liollio’s Aaron Bowman, AIA, SEED, LEED AP, coauthored an article about Resilience and AIA South Carolina’s Disaster Assistance Program that was published in YAF Connection, the AIA Young Architect Forum’s bimonthly publication. READ ARTICLE HERE or by following the link above.

Liollio's Aaron Bowman "Solving Problems with Design Thinking" for MUSC Innovation Week

Mez Joseph

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 5.16.41 PM.png

Coming up with an idea is easy. Coming up with the right one takes work. With design thinking, throwing out what you think you know and starting from scratch opens up all kinds of possibilities. Design thinking isn’t just for things. Design thinking can be applied to any problem that needs a creative solution.

MUSC Innovation Week took place April 29th – May 3rd. The week-long celebration of transformation and innovation had a little something for everyone. The theme on Wednesday, May 1st was Inspiring Today's Generation to Lead Tomorrow's. Liollio’s Aaron Bowman, AIA, LEED AP, joined a group of panelists at MUSC’s Bioengineering Building to discuss Solving Problems with Design Thinking . In addition to Aaron, panelists included: Lilyn Hester, Head of Southeast External Affairs and Government Relations, Google; Michael Madson, Ph.D., MUSC Center for Academic Excellence; Amy Pastre, Founder/Partner, Stich Design Company; Anita Ramsetty, M.D., MUSC Department of Family Medicine; and Tammy Thompson, AIA, EDAC, MUSC Strategic Design and Innovation.

To see of full list of Innovation Week events, visit https://research.musc.edu/innovation

Liollio Elevates Michael Edwards, AIA, LEED AP to Associate Principal

Mez Joseph

Liollio Architecture is pleased to announce the elevation of Michael Edwards, AIA, LEED AP to Associate Principal. Michael received his Master of Architecture and Bachelor in Design from Clemson University, where he also studied at the Clemson Architectural Center in Charleston and abroad at the Charles E. Daniel Center for Building and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy.

For more than 21 years, Michael has had the privilege of designing health, community, commercial and residential projects. As Liollio’s Health & Wellness Leader, he is passionate about improving environments within our community. His current projects range from major medical center renovations and additions to the design of new medical offices, tenant upfits, urban infills, learning environments, hospice and palliative care, senior and adult day facilities, and veteran enrichments.

Michael believes that all architecture should enhance the human experience, and if designed thoughtfully, buildings can heal the spirit, improve health and impact the human psyche. “Early in my career, I experienced the power of design as my grandmother’s ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s led to her becoming one of the patients in my first hospice facility. Intimately involved in her daily care, I observed first-hand the impact of environment on her health as she shifted from nursing home to hospital to hospice facility. Those personal experiences have guided me in every design, fueling my passion for experiential and healing design in every project.”

LIOLLIO'S MICHAEL EDWARDS & ALISON DAWSON PRESENT AT 2019 EFA CONFERENCE

Mez Joseph

Liollio Health & Wellness Champion, Michael Edwards, and Alison Dawson, AIA, presented Reframing Ageism:  Design to Re-Vitalize Community & Empower Seniors at the 2019 Environments for Aging Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from April 7 – 10.  Often overlooked or unknowingly referenced to older adults, ageism is a discriminatory stereotyping against people on the basis of their age and can often have harmful effects on the health of older adults. Michael and Alison shared Liollio’s community design process employed for the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center as case study. Through listening, discovery and translation, the team designed the new facility to reflect the wishes of the older adult community in hopes to defy the ageist stereotype of what a Senior Center is “expected” to be. The new Senior Center is a hub of community engagement empowering our older adults to make their voices heard.  Just as the historical character of Charleston speaks to every visitor, the history, stories, and active voice of our aging population is vital.

With 1,000+ industry professionals at the Environments for Aging Expo & Conference, it's the ultimate networking, education, and product-sourcing event. See the newest products from 100+ exhibitors and learn about the latest research, trends, and strategies to meet the needs of our aging population. Leave with new connections, new ideas for current and future projects, as well as CEUs.

The Environments for Aging Conference offerers educational programs designed to provide attendees with breaking information, case studies and research findings on a myriad of topics. These sessions are either research-focused or offer other educational scenarios including case studies, design outcomes or processes and exploration of timely topics. Attendees enjoy information-rich presentations with opportunities for Q&A and many provide opportunities to earn CEUs.

Learn more by visiting https://www.environmentsforaging.com/

Liollio Awarded Multiple 2019 Design Awards by AIA South Atlantic Region

Mez Joseph

Liollio Architecture is honored to announce that the 2019 American Institute of Architects South Atlantic Region (AIA SAR) has recognized Liollio projects with three Regional Design Awards. Hampton Health Clinic in Varnville, SC received a New Construction/Substantial Renovation Honor Award. Brighton Park Swim Club in Summerville, SC and James Island Town Hall in James Island, SC both received New Construction/Substantial Renovation Merit Awards. Because these projects were the result of team work and collaboration with clients, Liollio would like to extend sincere gratitude to Hampton County, SC, WestRock and The Town of James Island, SC, along with their project team partners.

Jury Comments:
James Island Town Hall
“This quotation of a simple regional form creates a warm community expression.”
Brighton Park Swim Club “This project was admirable for its modesty and directness.”
Hampton Health Clinic “This modest quiet clinic is designed with great sensitivity to patients and to creating a new warm and comfortable community asset.”

The AIA South Atlantic Region is comprised of three state chapters: GA, NC and SC and is home to more than 5,500 members. Events surrounding the 2019 AIA SAR Annual Design Conference, themed the ASPIRE Experience, took place in Asheville, NC over the course of three days, April 14 to April 16. A new type of collaborative conference, ASPIRE brought together the design and construction community to share stories and influence designers to create a better future. Breaking the mold of the traditional event and taking full advantage of the location, AIA SAR utilized the architecture, community and surroundings of Asheville to create this immersive environment of inspiration and design celebration.

42ND ANNUAL COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN

Mez Joseph

We are proud of our 2019 42nd Annual Cooper River Bridge Run Liollio Team! Cheers to an awesome group! Congratulations to all who participated in this year's race! For a look at this year’s official winners, visit https://bridgerun.com/.

2019 Annual Meeting for the Friends of South Carolina Libraries

Mez Joseph

Liollio’s Jennifer Charzewski and Jane Thompson enjoyed attending the 2019 Annual Meeting for the Friends of South Carolina Libraries at the impressive Florence SC Main Library last week. Jennifer participated in a joint panel discussion with Tina Gills from Richland Library that highlighted the pre-planning and design approach to St. Andrews Library and Ballentine Library, as featured in the 2018 Library Design Showcase. The main theme of the panel discussion was how a collaborative team effort between library, community, and designers can result in creative solutions (large or small) that address the unique cultural aspects of each library and can help create destination features – rooted in the identity of each community.

Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Mez Joseph

Don't miss the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on March 5. Mayor John J. Tecklenburg, City Council of Charleston and Roper St. Francis Healthcare invite you to attend the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 12:30 p.m. at 2001 Henry Tecklenburg Drive, Charleston SC. Tours of the facility and open house activities will follow the ribbon cutting. For more info visit here.

Register Now for ASPIRE Experience

Mez Joseph

The ASPIRE EXPERIENCE is a new type of collaborative conference, bringing together the design and construction community to share stories and influence designers to create the future. We’re breaking the mold of the traditional event, and will take full advantage of the location, using the architecture, community, and surroundings of Asheville to create this immersive environment in three days of inspiration and design celebration. REGISTER NOW for ASPIRE Experience in Asheville NC, April 14-16 2019! Visit: https://aspirexperience.com/.

USCB's Hilton Head Campus Allows Students to Study Hospitality Management in a World-Class Setting

Mez Joseph

With world-class golf, tennis, boating and accommodation facilities, beaches, creeks and marshes, excellent dining and nightlife, arts and cultural centers, and environmental and historical educational sites and programs, the Hilton Head region offers the ideal learning laboratory for hospitality studies and for enjoying your time at the University. Graduates of the Hospitality Management Program will be prepared to build successful careers in the booming tourism industry.

The 40,000 SF campus on the south end of the island is equipped with a production kitchen, beverage lab, tiered classroom design and high-tech offices. The campus will provide education and hands-on experience to students, allowing them to join the workforce while they study, and then stay for a career.

"Hilton Head is a superior environment for hospitality education," said USCB's Hospitality Management Dean Charles Calvert. "So for students to be able to come to our school, to study but also apply that theory to practice in the work environment is transformative for their educational careers."

Liollio Architecture is honored to have been part of this important and amazing project in association with our friends at Bialosky Cleveland and Fraser Construction. We would like to thank all on the team who made this possible. Browse images of the new University of South Carolina-Beaufort Hilton Head Hospitality Management Campus above - Photography by Richard Leo Johnson of Atlantic Archives.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Prepares to Open New Emergency Department

Mez Joseph

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s fully renovated and expanded Emergency Department will be open to Veterans next week. This project more than tripled the square footage in their Emergency Department, adding nine new bays, an additional nurses station, a workroom for staff and privacy for our Veterans. Liollio is proud to have been part of the team on this important , helping the VA to expand access to care for Veterans in their new space.

Roper St. Francis Opens First Medical Office Building in Berkeley County

Mez Joseph

By Rob Way | November 30, 2018 at 7:06 AM EST - Updated November 30 at 7:24 AM

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - For the first time, Roper St. Francis is expanding its medical reach to Berkeley County.

On Friday, the healthcare provider is opening its new medical office building in Summerville. Until now, they only had an urgent care center in the area.

The grand opening event is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. The offices are at 300 Callen Boulevard in Summerville behind all the major construction right near where 176 meets 17-A. Those who stop by can tour the building, grab some free food, and even pop in to a free health fair.

This state-of-the-art, three-story building will house a variety of specialists, including breast surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and OB/GYN physicians. Medical services here will range from dermatology to cardiology.

Jennifer Crawford will be the Chief Nursing Officer at the future Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital. She says this new medical office building was designed with the patients in mind.

"We've looked at all the attributes down to the color scheme matching the natural environment, because there’s proof that’s therapeutic in the healing process,” Crawford said. “We’ve added three elevators. One at every proximity to the building, so there's no long walking distances."

The medical offices are set to start seeing patients on Monday, Dec. 10. The healthcare provider is also building a hospital next door which is set to open in October 2019.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Spotlight On: Michael Edwards, AIA, LEED AP

Mez Joseph

A native of South Carolina, Clemson Graduate, and architect for more than 20 years, Michael Edwards, AIA, LEED AP, has had the privilege of designing hospice and palliative care facilities, senior facilities, community, commercial and residential projects. He focuses on leading project teams to create spaces that enhance the experience of users and that positively impact the quality of our environment. As Liollio’s Health & Wellness Leader, he create spaces that enhance the dignity of patients and families and that advance the safe and efficient delivery of care. Michael uses his personal experiences as a design guide and maintains a constant passion for each endeavor, encouraging experiential and healing design in every project. We sat down for a little Q&A with 2019’s first Spotlight On feature.

How long have you lived in Charleston?

A little over 14 years; we moved to Charleston when Michela was just 2 months old. Tyler had completed her post-graduate residency as a Healthcare Administrator at AnMed Health in the Upstate and decided to pursue Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Where did you grow up?
Belton, South Carolina – a small town in the Upstate

Are you married?
Celebrating our 16th anniversary in 2019; it all began with a blind date in September 2002, engaged New Years Eve 2002 and Married in June 2003.

Do you have children?
We have three children: Michela (14), Christian (12) and Nicholas (10)

What is your favorite thing in your house?
Our Sunroom is my favorite space in our house; a little over a year ago, Tyler and I decided to convert our Screened Porch into a conditioned escape. Over the course of a few months, Tyler and I demolished and reconstructed the space, playing Owner, Architect and Contractor. After getting the kids to bed, it’s so relaxing to enjoy a glass of wine and unwind. My second favorite place…my kids Harry Potter Cupboard under the stair that we created.

What do you like to do when you have free time?
What free time? Our free time really is when we take a break from everything and escape to an island getaway, spending time with our family, or hiking the Foothills Trail.

Do you have any pets?
We have two pets:  our awesome dog Sophie (almost 3 years old) and our cat PJ (10 years old); Sophie was a puppy when we rescued her from the Animal Shelter; PJ found us at Pet Helpers when we visited with our youngest son Nicholas when he was a year old – the other cats ran away while PJ cuddled up to Nicholas; to this day, Nicholas is the Cat Whisperer.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
While working at my prior firm, I was promoted to Principal and offered an Ownership opportunity. This was an awesome recognition and an opportunity that I had always looked toward. In 2008, the recession hit and I made the difficult decision to leave one family and join a new family at Liollio. This month marks my ten-year anniversary with Liollio. I’m proud to be leading our health + wellness market and a part of the executive leadership in such an awesome firm focused on design that enhances our community. I look forward to what the future holds. I think the proudest moment in my work is when the client’s Vision is realized in built form.

What building have you visited that most impressed you?
The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC designed by the late James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; with every visit, I continue to be intrigued by the metaphorical nature of the details and strategic moves within the building that tell the story of such a tragic and horrific event.

What architect or architecture firm most influenced you as a student?
As a student, I often referred to Morphosis for inspiration; the firm’s unique design and graphic style influenced my love of experiential architecture and really led me to my Thesis focus: Architecture in the Realm of Theatricality. To study how we imprint our memories upon everyday things, I conducted a study utilizing “memory” boxes inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell; one of my key contributors was my grandmother with full-onset Alzheimer’s and her eloquence in describing how she related to the items (many of her own) embedded within the boxes.

What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
Italy. I was very fortunate to spend my Fall 1996 semester of Clemson’s graduate program in the Clemson Architectural Foundation’s Charles E. Daniel Center in Genova, Italy; to this day, Genova is my second home.

What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
There are so many things that I love but I think the most important aspect is the collaborative environment in which every person in the firm is involved in the design of every project.

What inspires you most?
My kids - all three are so unique in their own way; seeing them grow and develop is awesome.

What’s your favorite place in Charleston?
Since 1994 when I spent a semester at the Clemson Center in Charleston, I stumbled upon Longitude Lane, a beautiful, green, cobblestone alley nestled amongst the historic homes of the lower peninsula.

What is your favorite food?
Anything Italian, with the exception of that spaghetti with mussels and calamari that our cook in Genova served on occasion - not a fan of shells in my marinara.

Do you play any instruments?
My Mom taught me to play the Piano when I was 5 years old.  I still play but not as fluent as I had hoped I would be.  Luckily, the musical gene has been passed on to my kids. Michela sings, Christian is in theater (singing and dancing), and Nicholas plays the piano. Maybe they will teach me something.

What song is at the top of your most played list?
Imagine Dragon’s Rise Up - so much meaning in to me in its lyrics

Who is your favorite artist?
Painter: The Cubist Painter Georges Braque
Music: Maroon 5 & Imagine Dragon’s

Last book you read?
The Proxy by Alex London; believe it or not, I am a huge fan of young adult dystopian fiction which you can catch me reading when I do have a moment to just relax.

Last movie you watched?
Aquaman

Favorite movie or genre?
I’m a huge Marvel comics and DC comics movie fan; I never miss a movie and often see them multiple times.

Guilty pleasure?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?
Honestly, any of my travels with my wife Tyler and the kids…so many awesome places traveled and yet to travel. I love Italy but more recently, a favorite of ours is Couples Resort Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Built in 1948, it is an awesome example of mid-century architecture and once the playground for 1950’s Hollywood celebrities.

What’s your astrological sign?
Sagittarius - and if you are a follower of the signs, I am truly Sagittarian.

What three traits define you?
Compassionate, Dedicated, Genuine

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
My family...they are my world.

What does true leadership mean to you?
Being there for someone when they need you the most; we can all share what wisdom we have or believe we have but, to me, the ability to listen is often the best quality of leadership.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would love to have a job in the movie industry, whether it be in front of the camera or behind the camera in an artistic role. Film has always intrigued me.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; believe in yourself and you can truly move mountains.

How do you define success?
Success is reaching a goal that you have set out to achieve but once there, don’t settle, continue to reach even higher.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I’m from the small town of Belton, South Carolina; I was second in my class at Belton-Honea Path High School and was First Runner-Up in the Mr. BHP contest where I played Dick Tracy in the opening skit featuring all of the contestants and rafted across the stage in a tin washtub for the “sport” portion of the contest. Did I say I’m from the South?

Illuminating the Future: Library as Beacon

Mez Joseph

Browse selected images from Liollio's portfolio of library and educational learning environments. A very special thank you to Richland Library in Richland County SC. Featured projects include Richland Library Ballentine, St. Andrews and Blythewood, College of Charleston Science Building, Charleston Progressive Academy and Hip Hop Architecture Camp®️. Select images courtesy of Richland Library.