A native of Louisiana and a Liollio team member for five years, Associate Principal, Andy Clark, AIA, LEED AP, has 18 years of professional architectural experience. A graduate of Clemson University, Andy’s work is diverse, spanning a variety of projects in education, agency, municipal and healthcare design. He contributes to a building’s design from start to finish. We recently sat down for a little Q&A with Andy, our March Spotlight On feature.
How long have you lived in Charleston?
I moved to Charleston in 1998.
Where did you grow up?
My parents tell me I spent 6 months in Ithaca NY and a year in Raleigh NC before moving to Baton Rouge LA when I was one, where I spent the rest of my childhood.
Are you married? Do you have children?
I’ve been married 17 years and Allison and I have two amazing girls, Anson, 13, & Ella, 8.
What is your favorite thing in your house?
I guess I would have to say the piano. Listening to the kids practice isn’t always the best but hearing them play their recital pieces always amazes me.
What do you like to do when you have free time?
Free time? I try to go see live music as much as I can. I enjoy sketching, going camping with the kids, hitting golf balls into water hazards, and Clemson football.
Do you have any pets? If so, tell us a bit about them.
We have a 3-year-old yellow lab named Duke. We adopted him from a couple that had downsized into an apartment and he had WAY too much energy for them. He’s not a very good attack dog but he is always happy, except when he hears loud noises.
What building have you visited that most impressed you?
The Pantheon in Rome was an experience. I could have stayed there for days and watched the way it impacted the occupants. An amazing balance of art and science. Trying to imagine how they accomplished that almost 2,000 years ago is mind boggling, but Castelvecchio was actually more impactful.
What architect or architecture firm most influenced you as a student?
Carlo Scarpa really changed my perspective on architecture during grad school while I was studying abroad in Italy. We visited Brion cemetery, Banco Populare, Castelvecchio, and the venice Querini Stampalia Foundation. Every material was carefully selected and every minor detail was thoughtful. A complex simplicity that is nearly impossible to achieve. I also did an independent study of Gigon Guyer’s museum liner in Switzerland and their work gave me a new perspective on how modern design can draw inspiration from traditional context in abstract ways.
What is your favorite country you have traveled to and why?
Italy, because my wife was with me.
What is your favorite thing about working at Liollio?
The inspiration that comes from the culture the firm has created that design matters. I really enjoy the collaborative environment, but mostly being around fun and talented people.
What style of architecture most impresses you or is your favorite?
I’ve always been somewhat agnostic to style. Good design is not limited to style. I like designs that are simple, well-proportioned and with a good balance of materials, textures and colors.
What is your favorite book?
One with pictures
What is your favorite restaurant?
So many great options. I’ll go with Leon’s today. The environment reminds me of home, especially with the char-grilled oysters.
What is your favorite food?
A crawfish boil is the one thing I miss the most from Louisiana.
What is your least favorite food?
Is blue cheese a food?
If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
A liger. It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It's bred for it's skills in magic.
Do you play any instruments?
I played piano in elementary school until it wasn’t cool, then I started trumpet in middle school and played in my high school jazz band. I taught myself guitar in college and still like to play when I feel like hurting my fingers, although I’m not very good.
What song is at the top of your most played list?
Currently The Great Salt Lake by Band of Horses
Who is your favorite musical artist?
It changes over the years, but currently I would say Radiohead.
Who is your favorite artist?
Mondrian would be too obvious, so I’ll go with Paul Yanko.
Favorite television show?
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
The original yellow shirt guy from The Wiggles.
What’s your astrological sign?
Last movie you watched?
Star Wars: Rogue One, with the kids.
White chocolate macadamia cookies
What does true leadership mean to you?
There are many types of leaders, but all in some way inspire others around them to be better than they thought they could be.
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
When I was younger, my Mom said I wanted to design my own jazz lounge, be the chef for dinner service and then play in the band at night. It would probably only last one day anyway.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
In high school I was on a soccer team that took an exhibition trip through the South Pacific including Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand & Australia. I had to get stitches from a missionary doctor in Fiji after cracking my shin against volcanic rock while climbing up to go cliff diving into a river during a rafting trip. I didn’t get to jump...