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Resilience by DESIGN: From the Blue Ridge to the Coast - Conference 9/21

Mez Joseph

Don't miss Resilience by DESIGN: From the Blue Ridge to the Coast - Friday, September 21, 2018. Register today: Click HERE! Interested in becoming a Resilience Partner? Contact Tracey Waltz.

AIA South Carolina is pleased to announce Resilience by DESIGN: from the Blue Ridge to the Coast, its second biennial conference on Resiliency, to be held in downtown Greenville at the Clemson One space. This year's theme will emphasize the importance of Resilient planning across South Carolina and beyond coastal communities. Conference sessions will focus on Resilient Design issues affecting all regions in the state, including climate change adaptation, wild fires, tornadoes and other wind hazards.

Keynote speaker Laura Lesniewski, a Principal at BNIM, will discuss her firm's approach to "creating beautiful, integrated, living environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition." The 2011 AIA Firm Award winner, BNIM is a Kansas City based interdisciplinary practice that is shaping the national and global agenda for progressive planning, responsible architecture and design excellence.

We hope you'll join us for a one day "mini-conference" where members of the design and construction industry from across the state and region will gather, learn, and discuss the vital role they play in both the design and recovery of more Resilient Buildings and Communities.

Richland Library St. Andrews Featured in 2018 Library Design Showcase

Mez Joseph

Richland Library St. Andrews was featured in the 2018 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries Magazine’s annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. These shining examples of innovative architectural feats address user needs in unique, interesting and effective ways. Renovations and expansions continued to dominate submissions, showing how communities are finding novel ways to conserve and honor existing spaces while moving them well into the 21st century. View the showcase here.

Kiawah Guardrail Mock-up Install

Mez Joseph

The Preserve, a Kiawah Island Community, asked Liollio to design and replace a guardrail system for a few docks, bridge and an observation tower that exist along a series of nature trails in the community. The inspiration of the design came from the dynamic natural beauty of Kiawah - a play of light, shadow and movement.

AIA Charleston Building Tour of Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center

Mez Joseph

Liollio's Michael Edwards, Associate and Health & Wellness Leader, led an AIA Charleston building tour of the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center recently. As a follow-up to his tour of the Center in the Fall of 2017, attendees were given an insider’s look at project progress, lessons learned and finish installation as the project nears completion this Fall. The Senior Center is a City of Charleston project in partnership with Roper St. Francis Healthcare constructed on the campus of the Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley. The new 16,000 SF center is nestled in the woods, providing active adults a community retreat from their daily lives to an oasis engaged in nature. 

James Island Officials Move Into New Town Hall

Mez Joseph

By Alissa Holmes, Reporter/MMJ/Live5 News

Town of James Island officials have moved into the new Town Hall and we are excited to attend the Grand Opening Celebration -coming soon - Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 6 - 8pm at 1122 Dills Bluff Road. Join us for an evening of fun! Watch the Live5 News coverage here or by clicking on the image above.

James Island PSD Fire Department Donates to Sea Island Habitat for Humanity in Preparation for New Fire Station 1

Mez Joseph

James Island Public Service District Fire Department crews assisted Sea Island Habitat for Humanity in reclaiming windows, doors and HVAC units from two properties that the JIPSD recently purchased. The residences, along with a vacant lot, will be transformed into a new fire station that is being built to relocate our current Station 1. The new site provides for better fire coverage on the Island for crews, and will provide an updated work area from the current station it will replace, having been built in 1961. The JIPSD contacted Habitat for Humanity to offer the donation of anything in the buildings that they felt would be salvageable, and crews worked with members of Habitat for Humanity to remove those elements. Visit the James Island Public Service District's site for more info and updates: www.jipsd.org

Sea Island Habitat for Humanity, the third-oldest Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the world, is an independent, nonprofit, ecumenical, Christian housing ministry that has served its community as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International since 1978 and has provided housing for over 320 local families. Visit www.seaislandhabitat.org to learn more.

SC Welcome Center at Fort Mill Nationally Honored with 2018 Brick in Architecture Best in Class Award

Mez Joseph

Fired-clay brick offers unlimited aesthetic flexibility, and is an integral part of any sustainable, low maintenance building strategy.
— Ray Leonhard, BIA’s President & CEO

The 2018 Brick in Architecture Awards honor 19 winners for outstanding design that incorporates clay brick. Judged by a jury of independent design professionals, the Brick Industry Association’s (BIA) preeminent design competition awarded five Best in Class, five Gold, five Silver and four Bronze awards from 88 total entries.

Liollio is honored to receive a 2018 Brick in Architecture Best in Class (Commercial) Award for the new SC Welcome Center at Fort Mill! Five Best in Class projects were awarded among the 19 winners. Congratulations to all who made the SC Fort Mill Welcome Center project a success - and all award recipients!

All competition entries will be featured in the Brick Gallery on Brick in Architecture's website. The National Brick in Architecture Awards showcases the best work in clay face and paving brick from architects across the country in the following categories: Commercial, Education - K-12, Education - Colleges & Universities (Higher Education), Residential – Single Family, Residential – Multi-Family, Paving & Landscape Projects, and Renovations. Best in Class winners receive national recognition through a special Brick in Architecture insert in the December 2018 issue of Architect Magazine. All entrants are featured on BIA’s online Brick Photo Gallery here.

Liollio would like to extend a special thank you to this year's Judges: Bill Bonstra, FAIA, LEED AP - Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS John W. Bryant, AIA, LEED AP - Sweet Sparkman Architects Ralph Cunningham, FAIA - Cunningham | Quill Architect PLLC P. Justin Detwiler - John Milner Architects, Inc. Charles Rose, FAIA - Charles Rose Architects Inc Gee-ghid Tse, AIA, LEED AP - Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc.

Congratulations to the entire project team: SCPRT, SCDOT, J.M. Cope, ADC, RMF, 4SE, Johnson and McCalla, and Meridian Brick

About Brick in Architecture: Founded in 1934, BIA is the nationally recognized authority on clay brick construction representing the nation’s distributors and manufacturers of clay brick and suppliers of related products. Website: www.gobrick.com.

Vote for Liollio in Post & Courier's 2018 Charleston's Choice Awards!

Mez Joseph

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Voting has begun for Post & Courier’s 2018 Charleston's Choice Awards and Liollio has been nominated for Architecture Firm under the Professional Services category! Cast your votes in a wide array of categories now through July 25th. Please support Liollio with your vote by visiting https://bit.ly/2sm64at and scrolling down to the Architecture Firm category. Thank you in advance for your support! #CharlestonsChoice #Architecture #Culture #Context #Collaboration

Post & Courier: SC Welcome Centers Getting Some Overdue Attention to Impress Travelers

Mez Joseph

By Dave Munday
dmunday@postandcourier.com
Jun 23, 2018

When it comes to tourism, never underestimate the importance of a restroom. Providing public restrooms and making them easier for visitors to find has been the topic of much discussion in Charleston.

Public facilities with innovative designs can be a visitor attraction in themselves, as noted by the annual International Toilet Tourism Awards. The awards by MyTravelResearch.com were created "to show the close link between innovative, clean toilets with great design and a successful local tourism economy — or as we like to call it the trickle down effect."

For example, a public restroom in Lucas, Kan., called Toilet Bowl Plaza, is noted as a big visitor draw. The building itself was designed in the shape of a toilet, and the inside is covered with mosaics and quirky creations by local artists.

The public restrooms at the welcome centers along the major arteries leading into South Carolina have been a prime focus lately of state tourism officials. The nine official welcome centers play a key role in the state's economic development, according to Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

"Over 80 percent of visitors to South Carolina come by car," Parrish said. "First impressions mean everything." Eight welcome centers ring the Palmetto State, capturing visitors coming from every direction. The other one is near the middle. When Parrish took over PRT seven years ago, he said, the welcome centers were pretty shoddy and unimpressive — restrooms, vending machines, a small space to pick up some brochures or ask a question. They were only open five days a week, closed Mondays and Tuesdays to save money.

The Department of Transportation turned over maintenance to PRT in July 2014. The tourism agency got about $4.5 million from DOT to maintain the centers this year, according to DOT's budget report. The restrooms were cleaned up, landscaping and flowers added. That was just the beginning.

There are no plans to make the restrooms worthy of a Toilet Award, but the centers themselves are being overhauled. Two have been completely rebuilt in the last two years, costing about $4.5 million each. One is at Hardeeville on Interstate 95 just north of the South Carolina-Georgia state line, replacing a center that opened in 1978. The other is at Fort Mill on I-77 south of the North Carolina border, replacing one that opened in 1981.

The new Hardeeville welcome center, on I-95 just over the border from Georgia, is much more spacious and high-tech than the old one, and the exterior reflects the colors of Lowcountry sandy soil and beach sand. Provided/SCPRT/Perry Baker

The exterior of the rebuilt Fort Mill welcome center, on I-77 south of the North Carolina border, was designed to resemble the clay color variances of the Catawba pottery native to the area. Provided/Paul Warchol/Liollio Architecture

Construction on a new Dillon welcome center in the Pee Dee region, on I-95 just south of the North Carolina border, is set to start later this year. The current Dillon center opened in 1973.

The newer centers are more spacious and modern than their predecessors. Rather than just racks of brochures advertising the state's attractions, high-definition screens on the walls stream live webcams from around the state. The exteriors are designed to reflect the local culture. For instance, the new Dillon center looks like a farm house typical of the rural, tobacco areas of the Pee Dee.

5b2baf74bd526.image.jpg

The new Dillon welcome center, on I-95 south of the North Carolina border, will resemble a farm house typical of the rural, tobacco areas of the Pee Dee. Provided rendering/Jeff Lewis Architect

Parrish said the goal is not only to let travelers know about the state's attractions but to give them the impression that South Carolina is on the cutting edge. "It's not only important for tourism but also for economic development," he said. "We don't want them to look dated."

About 3.5 million visitors a year step inside the welcome centers, according to PRT. The agency spends about $1.5 million a year to staff them with trained travel counselors versed in South Carolina history and culture.

The counselors welcome visitors, answer questions, give out coupons and occasionally make reservations. The department says its counselors made about $2 million in hotel reservations last year, even though the centers are equipped with wireless Internet service so travelers can do it themselves over their phones. “It’s a chance for us to have that personal touch," Parrish said. "No matter how great technology gets, nothing will ever replace the 'human touch.'

"Businesses that cater to tourists can put their brochures in the center for free. PRT reports about $88,000 a year from selling spaces for bigger ads.

For instance, the Santee welcome center — the one near the center of the state on I-95 south, near I-26 — is the closest to Charleston, and also one of the smallest. The town of Mount Pleasant has a poster on the glass front door. It says, "Where Rush Hour is a pleasant surprise, but still leaves you speechless." There's a photo of some dolphins a driver might see while crawling over the Ravenel Bridge or Shem Creek.

Around the corner, on the path leading to the women's restroom, Drayton Hall advertises its new visitors center. Inside, a wall panel advertising North Charleston has a photo of the boardwalk at Riverfront Park with the slogan “always take the scenic route.”

The tourism department doesn't get any money from the vending machines. Those are reserved for entrepreneurs through the S.C. Commission for the Blind's Business Enterprise program, which includes hiring drivers for those who can't see well enough to drive. The policy is a federal mandate under the Randolph-Sheppard Act.

It would seem the state could make some extra money selling T-shirts or other souvenirs, but that's not allowed along interstate highways under the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.

Michael Edwards & Elizabeth Bernat Lead Roundtable at 2018 NANASP/NCOA Conference

Mez Joseph

Liollio's Michael Edwards, Associate and Health & Wellness Leader, along with Elizabeth Bernat, Director of Senior Services at Roper Saint Francis Healthcare, led a series of roundtable discussions at the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) -  National Council on Aging (NCOA) 2018 Conference in Charleston this month. The roundtables focused on the design and community engagement process for the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center, a Public/Private partnership between the City of Charleston and Roper Saint Francis Healthcare, to open this Fall.

The NANSP/NCOA Conference is an annual conference hosted by the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANSP) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC). The conference brings together leaders from senior center and aging organizations as well as officials from the SC Department of Aging and Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the AARP Foundation.

Michael Edwards is the Liollio Project Manager of the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center located in West Ashley. Elizabeth Bernat is the Executive Director of the Lowcountry Senior Center and future Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center. For more information about the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center, visit Liollio on ISSUU or view the Designing for Senior Community & Wellness Brochure.

Designing for Senior Community & Wellness: Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center

Mez Joseph

This City of Charleston & Roper St. Francis Healthcare project is scheduled for completion in late 2018. The scope of this project was to design a new 16,000 SF health & wellness center to be constructed on the campus of the Bon Secours Saint Francis Hospital in West Ashley. The new center will be nestled in the woods, providing the community a retreat from their daily lives to an oasis engaged with nature. The facility will provide adults age 50+ the opportunity to exercise, socialize, and engage through a variety of activities and events focused on active lifestyles, well-being and growth. Meeting the vision of the community and its users has been key to this project. As one user stated, “We want a living center, not a nursing home. We have a lot more life to live. The building should reflect that.”

Click here or on image above to see our process.

Isle of Palms Front Beach Restrooms & Boardwalk Renovation

Mez Joseph

The City of Isle of Palms selected Liollio to complete the design for renovations of their front beach restroom facility and associated boardwalk to the beach access. The prime consideration for the renovations of the restrooms was to create ventilated open-air spaces taking advantage of the continuous ocean breeze. The exterior gable ends of the facility were opened up with a lattice like system increasing the flow of the natural breeze through the building. The previously closed ceilings were opened by using a slatted system allowing better ventilation and natural lighting into all of the spaces of the restrooms. The exterior walls were strategically opened with a slatted Ipe wood system to also help increase the ventilation. New lighting and ceiling fans added to the overall finish of the restrooms. The deteriorated wooden boardwalk used for beach access was replaced with a widened boardwalk, meeting accessibility slope requirements. The boardwalk and the new adjacent shower area was designed with Ipe wood for low maintenance and longevity.

Liollio Architecture Awarded Multiple 2018 AIA South Carolina Awards

Mez Joseph

Liollio Architecture is honored to announce that the 2018 American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter has recognized three Liollio projects with four State Design Awards. Richland Library Ballentine, in Irmo SC, received a New Construction Honor Award and an Interior Architecture Merit Award. Hampton County Health Clinic, in Varnville SC, received a New Construction Merit Award. South Carolina Welcome Center at Fort Mill, in York SC, received a New Construction Citation Award. Because these projects were the result of deep collaboration with clients, Liollio would like to extend special thanks to South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, Hampton County and Richland Library.

Events surrounding the AIASC Annual Design Conference took place in Lake City SC over the course of three days, from Wednesday, April 18 to Friday, April 20. This year, AIASC partnered with Lake City’s annual community-wide arts festival and competition known as ArtFields, artfieldssc.org. This year's theme was Community: By Design and focused on the power of art and design in creative placemaking. The Design Awards program and many other sessions were open to the community. Speakers included Michael Ford, Associate AIA, Emilie Taylor Welty, Dan Pitera, FAIA, and Trey Trahan, FAIA. The awards were juried by New Orleans LA-based juries and presented at a Design Awards Celebration held on Thursday, April 19 at The Bean Market during the AIASC Design Conference.

2018 COMMUNITY BUILT ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Mez Joseph

Liollio's Andy Clark & Aaron Bowman were recently guest lecturers at the National Community Built Association (CBA) Conference held in Charleston at the Clemson Design Center in the historic Cigar Factory. Their presentation, Community: by design, presented case studies from their leadership roles within AIA South Carolina & AIA Charleston, as well as Liollio case studies of how community engagement efforts have strengthened our design solutions. The presentation focused on building community through: education, dialogue, design, equity, service and practice. Attendees left inspired and excited to apply new methods to improve designs to better serve the communities we work within. Liollio is always exploring new ways to engage the community to extract their story and vision, and translate that vision into a design language.

Open for Business: The Citadel Produces Military Leaders, Yes, But Even More Pursue Civilian Careers

Mez Joseph

Construction of Bastin Hall, future home of The Citadel's business school, is set to start in June.

By Dave Munday dmunday@postandcourier.com
The Post & Courier Mar 25, 2018

The Citadel’s mission to produce ethical business leaders is paying off, as the department is in the midst of a major makeover.

The expansion includes:
• A new name. The department was renamed The Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business last year after a major donation from Baker, a 1972 business school graduate who founded the Baker Motor Co., automotive empire.
• A new home. The department is preparing to move from Bond Hall, where it shares space with administration and biology classes, to a new building called Bastin Hall, in the fall of 2019.
• A new dean. Michael Weeks, dean of the Dunham School of Business at Houston Baptist University, a former Air Force pilot and an accomplished violinist whose specialty is strategic innovation, will take over the helm at The Citadel on July 1.
• New specialties. This year, the Citadel began offering new programs focusing on finance, entrepreneurship and the supply chain.

About one-third of the graduates from the Charleston military college go into the military; the rest pursue civilian careers. The school has produced a long list of outstanding business leaders in its 175-year history, going back to James Coker, an 1856 graduate who founded Carolina Fiber Co., Sonoco Products and Coker College in Hartsville.

Baker is one of the more visible contemporary graduates in the Charleston area. He declined to reveal the amount of his donation last year, but it’s been called the largest in the history of the business school.

Bastin Hall is named after Rick Bastin, a 1965 business school graduate whose Florida car dealerships included the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership on the East Coast.

He donated $6 million to get the building started in September 2016. Work is expected to start this summer, near the Holliday Alumni Center across from Johnson Hagood Stadium.

All cadets — whether heading for military or business careers — are drilled in the school’s core values of honor, duty and respect. That’s a selling point in today business world, according to Iordanis Karagiannidis — often called "Dr. K" around campus — the business school’s associate dean.

"I think that is a strong selling point, when you look at the news, the lack of ethics in different businesses," Karagiannidis said.

The new dean agrees.

"The primary attraction of the position for me was The Citadel's commitment to its mission of developing leaders with core values of duty, honor and respect," Weeks said. "One only needs a quick scan of the current headlines to see that our community and nation require leaders of character at every level."

Out of 551 cadets who graduated in 2017, 191 — or 34 percent — were business majors, according to a report from the school.

A number of prominent business leaders also have earned their master's degrees at The Citadel, which allowed MBA candidates to complete the program entirely online two years ago.

Liollio Architecture, in association with ikon.5 architects, is currently working with The Citadel to complete the Bastin Hall project.

The Citadel's 175th Anniversary Luncheon

Mez Joseph

The 2017-2018 academic year marks the 175 Year Anniversary of The Citadel and, in a special partnership, The Post and Courier will commemorate this incredible milestone throughout the year with a series of events. You may have already noticed a key point of this partnership: the “Today in History” highlighting significant moments in Citadel history published daily on page 2 of The Post and Courier. The Post and Courier published a commemorative special publication on Sunday, March 25, 2018. The special publication included a historical overview of the past 175 years.

As part of this celebration, The Post and Courier also hosted the 175 Year Anniversary Luncheon on March 22 following the Greater Issues speech during Corps Day. Liollio Principals, Dinos Liollio, Cherie Liollio, Jay White, and Associate Principal, Andy Clark, joined in celebrating the military college of South Carolina and their extraordinary path to 175 years of excellence last Thursday at The Citadel’s Holliday Alumni Center.. The luncheon featured speakers including Lieutenant General John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret.), and Colonel Randy Bresnik, USMC (Ret,).

Rebel Girls Charleston Event at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Mez Joseph

There was a great turnout last Saturday, and all the Rebel Girls (and boys!) in the community learned about being an architect. They learned that architects use their creativity and ideas to make drawings, which they then use to construct buildings. Our Rebel Architects drew their ideas for the new Children’s Museum on cards and used their drawings to construct a tower. The kids not only learned about architecture, but helped to design their own Children’s Museum!

We are proud to be Rebel Girls because we are ambitious and creative problem solvers. Architecture is about designing the spaces that you live, work, and (most importantly) play in. At Liollio, we focus on designs that bring people together and strengthen a community.  Think about your house, your school, your library: we led the design teams that bring those projects to life. We help shape the world around us!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is a book that reinvents fairy tales and inspires girls and boys with the stories of 100 extraordinary women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. We’re celebrating Women’s History Month with a celebration of our own “rebel girls.” 

Liollio is proud to have been apart of such an important, fun  and extraordinary event. Thank you to all who participated!

Calling All Photographers!

Mez Joseph

“Give us Your Best Shot!" As we prepare for the grand opening of the new James Island Town Hall, the Town of James Island is launching a photo contest to help personalize this new community space. Up to a dozen photos will be selected and displayed at the new Town Hall. Images could be of landscapes, buildings, or vistas around James Island, past or present. Photos must be high quality digital images accompanied with a release to print for the public’s enjoyment. Please submit only one image per person to be considered.

Please submit your photos to Frances Simmons, Town Clerk, fsimmons@jamesislandsc.us by April 30, 2018. Winners will be recognized at the Grand Opening, coming early this summer.

Rebel Girls Celebration at Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Mez Joseph

There was a great turnout last Saturday, and all the Rebel Girls (and boys!) in the community learned about being an architect. They learned that architects use their creativity and ideas to make drawings, which they then use to construct buildings. Our Rebel Architects drew their ideas for the new Children’s Museum on cards and used their drawings to construct a tower. The kids not only learned about architecture, but helped to design their own Children’s Museum!

We are proud to be Rebel Girls because we are ambitious and creative problem solvers. Architecture is about designing the spaces that you live, work, and (most importantly) play in. At Liollio, we focus on designs that bring people together and strengthen a community.  Think about your house, your school, your library: we led the design teams that bring those projects to life. We help shape the world around us!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is a book that reinvents fairy tales and inspires girls and boys with the stories of 100 extraordinary women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. We’re celebrating Women’s History Month with a celebration of our own “rebel girls.” 

Liollio is proud to have been apart of such an important, fun  and extraordinary event. Thank you to all who participated!

Growing Home | Design Institute Design Challenges

Mez Joseph

VANCOUVER COMMUNITY LIBRARY HOSTED AN EXPLORATION OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN & ADAPTING TO CHANGING NEEDS

By Meredith Schwartz

Librarians from around the country convened on October 20 in Washington State, at Fort Vancouver Regional Library’s (FVRL) Vancouver Community Library (VCL). The building, a 2015 LJ New Landmark Library (NLL), serves as gathering place and convener for the midsize city (population about 175,000 as of 2016) that is also the largest suburb of neighboring Portland, OR, just across the river. Designed to evolve with changing community needs, the building exemplifies the day’s themes from start to finish.

COMMUNITY CONCEPTS

The first panel, Community Engagement 360°, took a deep dive into how to engage all of a library’s many stakeholders in the process of planning a new or renovated library (something FVRL engaged in with VCL), bringing along even skeptics, and how to translate that input into the design. Panelists Jennifer Charzewski, principal at Liollio Architecture, and Dennis Humphries, principal at Humphries Poli Architects, were led by moderator Amy Lee, FVRL public services director.

The panelists suggested the first step is to start not with the existing building but with how the library wants to be seen in the community—as a leader, enabler, dreamer, or disrupter. Charzewski took the concept a step further, advising libraries to “develop a brand or identity as the result of the story of who they are and have it be inseparable from the community.”

While community conversations and focus groups are important, both noted the use of alternative methods to ensure that all voices get heard. Charzewski drew on her experience working on the St. Helena Branch Library, Beaufort County, SC, another 2015 NLL, to recommend passing out cameras for community members to take pictures of things that are important to them and holding an open mic night to collect stories (with a ringer or two in the audience to get things going). One man brought a picture of his grand­father sewing a net, a dying craft, which ultimately informed the woven nautilus feature of the final design; another told a story of community sing-a-longs, with stomping on the wood floor. When the library opened, a resident who had attended the meeting hit her cane on the floor, which was elevated so it resonated, and said, “Wow, you guys listened.”

 (l.-r.): The setting was FVRL’s Vancouver Community Library; public art of verbs defining what patrons can do at the library literally lined the walls inside; where challenges were chosen.  Photos by Kevin Henegan

(l.-r.): The setting was FVRL’s Vancouver Community Library; public art of verbs defining what patrons can do at the library literally lined the walls inside; where challenges were chosen. Photos by Kevin Henegan

Humphries prescribed taking locals “on an adventure to look at library and nonlibrary spaces so they don’t stick with what is familiar. Focus on what is unique to them, but think outside the box.” He also advocated documenting on Post-its “so everyone has the same voice instead of having some speakers dominate,” then reading them back so they feel heard.

Charzewski urged librarians to include their design team in the feedback-gathering process and to go where the community is, since often the power users who attend forums don’t “represent the broad spectrum of [patrons]” let alone, as Lee pointed out, community members who don’t yet use the library, a demographic Lee said FVRL tried hard to reach during the design process.

Setting up a booth at a farmer’s market and using dot voting and Sharpie markup of images from other spaces, said Charzewski, garnered a broader range of input, as did reaching out to neighborhood associations and review boards to gather info and create a sense of ownership. Other tools included giant question dice and directed storytelling—have a toolkit with a variety of options for engaging community members, she advised. She also proposed keeping the documentation to show later to politicians.

Despite the diversity of opinions gathered through such a process, Charzewski reassured attendees that common themes do rise to the top, such as “cabin in the woods” for one library she worked on and “revitalizing a blighted neighborhood,” for another. “Stories…become the guiding lights for the project.” Local materials, too, can serve as touchstones.

Humphries offered an example: the phrase “the planes and the plains” to describe what was special about a particular community arose through the public input process for a library on which he worked. A constituent made a call and was able to get the cockpit of a 737 donated to the library, and though it is in the kids section, it has become the library’s most popular feature for adults as well.

He also reminded attendees to seek local input not only about what to change but what to keep the same, particularly in cases of renovating a beloved iconic facility. For instance, he said, when renovating a building designed by ­Michael Graves, he sought to “find out what people cherished” about the existing structure—and found it was not what he expected. Humphries also urged librarians to include homeless patrons in these conversations and to remember that small ideas are as important as big ones.

 1. FVRL executive director Amelia Shelley (l.) welcomed librarians. 2. Amy Lee (r.) moderated a panel on translating deep community engagement into design with Humphries Poli’s Dennis Humphries (l.) and Liollio’s Jennifer Charzewski.  Photos by Kevin Henegan

1. FVRL executive director Amelia Shelley (l.) welcomed librarians. 2. Amy Lee (r.) moderated a panel on translating deep community engagement into design with Humphries Poli’s Dennis Humphries (l.) and Liollio’s Jennifer Charzewski. Photos by Kevin Henegan

An audience member asked how to resolve the disconnect between features that residents like in theory but don’t use in practice, such as whiteboards. Both architects recommended rapid prototyping. In one example Humphries cited, a library built its service desk out of plywood and kept changing it as it was used until a design that was sure to work was reached.

SUSTAINABLE SUBSTANCE

Another major theme of the day was sustainability, as befitted VCL’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold–certified setting. Patti Southard, program manager for the “GreenTools” building program in King County, WA, delivered a keynote on transforming our environment through regenerative design. Southard emphasized connecting environmental considerations to equity and social justice, citing King County’s strategic plan, impact review tool, training, and scorecard and its partnership with Miller Hull to develop equity training for architects. She laughingly commiserated with attendees about this new item on an already ambitious agenda: “in addition to everything else you have to do, you now have to combat fascism.” But, she said, it’s important and, in collaboration, achievable. “We’re in it together, y’all.”

She also spoke on the Living Building Challenge, saying “it’s an advocacy tool and it really is a challenge” to push past minimal damage or even zero damage goals to aim for buildings that make things better. Southard said the water and energy components of the challenge are reachable; “the biggest challenge is finding materials that are toxin free.” But, she said, we must “balance easy wins with pushing the envelope” because the role of libraries as examples for others to follow is important for the good of all.

Following Southard’s inspirational presentation, Amelia Shelley, FVRL executive director, led a panel on Smart Sustainability featuring Jeff Davis, principal, Arch Nexus, and Chris Noll, principal, Noll & Tam Architects. The primary focus was on people—specifically staff and patrons who will use the building.

 1. Tech Logic’s Anthony Frey answered questions about automatic materials handling and offered a case study. 2. Panels and presentations took center stage in the Columbia Room.  Photos by Kevin Henegan

1. Tech Logic’s Anthony Frey answered questions about automatic materials handling and offered a case study. 2. Panels and presentations took center stage in the Columbia Room. Photos by Kevin Henegan

Davis suggested Inhabit, a tool that trains those in the building on how their behaviors impact energy usage. There are also tools that help with energy conservation, such as lights that let staff know when to override the HVAC and open the windows. Noll emphasized the importance of training a broad range of staff, not just a few key facilities point people, saying the latter are usually “pretty forward thinking and willing to buy in; the problem comes at the back end.”

Davis also said solar panels are a good return on investment as costs are coming down and suggested focusing on the areas around the windows and where the roof meets the wall—libraries can even implement “envelope commissioning” to see how those spaces are performing.

Davis and Noll both emphasized the importance of daylighting. “Not just sticking a skylight in anywhere and calling it daylighting but thinking it through to maximize light and minimize heat” through complex modeling computer programs, said Noll. Water conservation is a tougher sell because it doesn’t save libraries much off the bottom line, he added, but at least in drought-prone places such as California, consciousness has been raised. Davis concurred. “If you think about the costs of conveying it to your building and away, those are huge costs. It gives the community a return on investment,” he said, even if it doesn’t show up in the library budget specifically. However, some green features don’t deliver a good ROI, even though they help a building qualify for LEED status. Davis recommended skipping electric car charging stations. “Nobody uses them,” he said. Noll said the same of employee showers (which count as sustainable because, in theory, they encourage employees to walk, run, or bike to work rather than drive).

 1. Keynote speaker Patti Southard from Washington State’s King County GreenTools shared thoughts on regenerative design. 2. Lunch was served at Fort Vancouver’s nearby historic Red Cross Building. 3. Attendees carved out a separate space for teens during Puyallup PL’s challenge session.  Photos by Kevin Henegan

1. Keynote speaker Patti Southard from Washington State’s King County GreenTools shared thoughts on regenerative design. 2. Lunch was served at Fort Vancouver’s nearby historic Red Cross Building. 3. Attendees carved out a separate space for teens during Puyallup PL’s challenge session. Photos by Kevin Henegan

ADAPTING & EVOLVING

The final panel of the day addressed how libraries can create buildings that can change with the times, how to implement change to even recently constructed buildings—and how to sell stakeholders on the necessity of such changes without fostering the perception that the original plan was a mistake. Meredith Schwartz, executive editor, LJ, moderated a panel featuring Ruth Baleiko, partner, Miller Hull Partnership; David Schnee, principal, Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning; and David Wark, principal, Hennebery Eddy Architects.

“A building is not something you finish but something you start,” said Wark. Within a building, each system has its own life span, leading to short- and long-term alterations. In addition, he said, buildings must respond to external factors, such as the continued expansion of tech and, particularly in the Northwest, sheer population growth.

Baleiko added, “It’s not if your building will be renovated but when.” She cited Bruce Ziegman, former FVRL director, who built VCL, as saying, “This has to be a 100-year building—the most flexible chassis to change after we’ve gone.”

Specifically, Baleiko suggested fewer columns, better sight lines, and raised floors as gifts to librarians’ successors to allow easy relocation of shelving, power, and lighting. “Embrace the idea that people after you need to be nimble” and respond to users.” And what are those users likely to ask for? According to Schnee, the basics: “more power, more data, more seats.”

 1. Discussing adaptable design were Hennebery Eddy Architects’ David Wark, Group 4 Architecture’s David Schnee, and Miller Hull’s Ruth Baleiko. 2. Chris Noll from Noll & Tam (l.) and Jeff Davis from Arch Nexus talked smart sustainability. 3. Charzewski shared her expertise during the speed sessions.  Photos by Kevin Henegan

1. Discussing adaptable design were Hennebery Eddy Architects’ David Wark, Group 4 Architecture’s David Schnee, and Miller Hull’s Ruth Baleiko. 2. Chris Noll from Noll & Tam (l.) and Jeff Davis from Arch Nexus talked smart sustainability. 3. Charzewski shared her expertise during the speed sessions. Photos by Kevin Henegan

Community needs are constantly evolving, and by the time a new building comes to fruition, “new behaviors are starting to manifest,” Baleiko said. “That’s how the tweens [area] came about [at VCL]. We had to retool and carve out a space. The idea that any update means we failed is wrong. Change is more rapid now, and it’s a good thing.”

Schnee cited the Santa Clara Central Park Library, CA, as an example of a relatively recently remodeled library in need of an update. Its reading room, finished almost 20 years ago, featured a reference desk and periodicals collection. So, said Schnee, “we brought in drawing tables to replace the reference desk and got rid of the periodicals collections and put in a virtual reality gallery instead.”

Schnee urged attendees to “take lessons from the hospitality and retail worlds. The public expects things to change. We have to tell them there’s a price tag for that."

To adapt to the evolving needs of their own users, attendees applied the lessons of the day in breakout design sessions (see p. 38ff.) and brought their own challenges to the architects through speed sessions. For those who want to know more, join us at the next Design Institute, in Salt Lake City, April 26–27.