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Filtering by Tag: architecture

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.

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.

Happy World Architecture Day 2018!

Mez Joseph

2018_WAD_1080.jpg
As an architect, I try to be guided not by habit but by a conscious sense of the past-by precedent, thoughtfully considered.
— Robert Venturi

World Architecture Day, celebrated on the first Monday of every October, was set up by the Union International des Architects (UIA) in 2005 to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. As architects and community leaders, we have the responsibility to enrich our environment through the power of design. At Liollio, we strive to elevate the design dialogue within our community through design rooted in context, culture and collaboration. This World Architecture Day, we recognize the recent passing of Robert Venturi and his lifelong dedication to the profession.

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.

Built, Fast! 6 Local Architects Talk Shop

Mez Joseph

Associate Principal Andy Clark recently attended AIA Charleston's Pecha Kucha presentation Built, Fast! 6 Local Architects Talk Shop on July 18 held at Charles Towne Fermentory. Andy presented Liollio's design of the University of South Carolina Beaufort - Hilton Head Hospitality Management Facility. The project is currently under construction and Liollio is working in association with Bialosky Cleveland. Six local architects discussed and displayed images of their work at the new brewery in Avondale. The event was presented by AIA Charleston and CRAN Charleston, but was open to all. Each presenter exhibited 20 slides for 20 seconds each. It was a concise presentation of what our local architects have been hard at work on. Visit the AIA Charleston website at www.aiacharleston.com for upcoming events.

Finlay Park Receives Honor Award for Analysis & Planning from ASLA Southeast Regional Conference

Mez Joseph

The American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) recently held their Southeast Regional Conference in June where they announced the 2017 design award winners. Finlay Park Master Plan in Columbia, South Carolina won an Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category – among the top awards for the program. The City of Columbia and the design team, which includes Stantec, Civitas, Liollio Architecture, HR&A Advisors, Cox & Dinkins, Chao & Associates, Cumming, Comprehensive Business Consultants, and Georgia Harrison received the award.

Directly across from the Governor’s Mansion, Finlay Park is an 19-acre urban park offering some of the most dramatic vistas of Columbia’s skyline. Once a thriving urban park, the city has seen Finlay decline over the years which can be attributed, in part, to structural failures in walls, leaking water features, non-compliance with building codes leading to risk and safety concerns, and accessibility. Created through a process of analysis, public involvement and meaningful design, the following goals guided the master plan:

  • Accessibility
  • Unique destination playground
  • Increase safety and visibility
  • Rebuild the walls and leaking water features
  • Projection of sound

The plan balances the introduction of new elements with the unique forms and charm of the original park. Iconic elements within the park are to be refurbished, such as the spiral fountain which is much loved and holds the historic character of the park.

Stantec led the design team, and facilitated focus group and public meetings to gain consensus from community and business leaders, city staff, and emergency responders. Through these meetings, Stantec gathered information on park programming, revenue resources, safety, maintenance, access, and community needs. Ultimately, the design team established design principles and goals to guide the final master plan. The project will move into construction once funding is secured.

The regional ASLA Awards is an annual design competition that recognizes the best in landscape architecture. The program is administered by North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina ASLA Chapters. The jury was from outside of the Southeast Region and the entry is anonymous. Liollio is proud to be part of the Stantec design team for this award-winning project. Congratulations to all on the team!

June 2017 Liollio Supper Club

Mez Joseph

Thank you to Liollio's Angie Brose, Associate, or hosting our recent Liollio Supper Club! It was a remarkable, cultural and delicious potluck. We are blessed to work with an amazing group of talented and dedicated individuals.

Florida Polytechnic Science, Innovation & Technology Campus Visit

Mez Joseph

During their stay in Orlando for the 2017 AIA National Conference, Principals Jay White and Jennifer Charzewski, accompanied by Allie Beck, visited the Florida Polytechnic Science, Innovation and Technology Campus by Calatrava. Visit the Florida Polytechnic Science, Innovation & Technology website at floridapoly.edu. #FLPoly

AARON BOWMAN DISCUSSES DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AT A'17

Mez Joseph

Aaron
Bowman

"What Architects
Need to Know
About Disasters
& Risk Reduction"

Why do buildings fail during natural disasters and what will the future of architecture look like in the face of increasing risk? After 10 years of disaster response and recovery nationwide, the AIA Disaster Assistance Program shared emerging research and personal lessons from the third edition of the AIA Handbook for Disaster Assistance.

This seminar focused on why buildings fail, how risk is increasing, the impacts of land use and building codes, and more. Stories from the field explored the impact of natural hazards and the pitfalls and opportunities in practice and community engagement.

Liollio's Aaron Bowman, AIA, (pictured above) was one of the speakers discussing Disaster Preparedness at the 2017 AIA National Convention last month in Orlando FL.

USCB Hilton Head Hospitality Management Facility Groundbreaking

Mez Joseph

A few more images from the USCB Hilton Head Hospitality Management Facility Groundbreaking that took place February 10. Principal Jay White & Associate Principal Andy Clark were in attendance.

ACE PROGRAM STUDENTS VISIT LIOLLIO

Mez Joseph

Liollio Architecture hosted students and mentors from the St. John’s High School ACE Program at our office on Tuesday. The students spent the morning getting a first-hand look into the day to day workings of an architecture office. They participated in a project-based learning exercise that guided them through sketching three dimensional objects in plan, section and elevation. They then continued work on their semester project to design a new wrestling facility for their school. Thank you to everyone involved for it a fun and memorable day!

2017 ACE Mentors of Charleston SC: Project Manager Exercise at St. Johns High

Mez Joseph

ACE Mentors is a National Mentoring Program that mentors high school kids in (A) Architecture, (C)Construction and (E) Engineering. This is the Charleston SC Chapter. Liollio's Mary Tran, an ACE Charleston Mentor, participated in the event, giving students a better understanding of elevations. She can be seen in the video at 2:10. Liollio Principal Dinos Liollio, FAIA, will be the guest speaker on May 17th at this year's ACE Charleston Banquet. He will speak about his life experiences and journey.

USC Beaufort Hilton Head Island Hospitality Management Facility Virtual Reality

Mez Joseph

Liollio has had a great time collaborating with our friends at Bialosky Cleveland on the design for the proposed USC Beaufort Hilton Head Island Hospitality Management Facility. Check out some of the latest interior virtual reality renderings!

View Lobby>
View Bridge>
View Student Lounge>

Hardeeville Welcome Center Progress

Mez Joseph

Just a few images showing the progress of the Hardeeville Welcome Center Replacement in Hardeeville SC. Liollio is currently working on two Welcome Center Replacements in SC, one in Hardeeville and one in Fort Mill.

Panelists Say Recession Created Pent-Up Demand For Projects

Mez Joseph

Principal Dinos Liollio joined panelists at the Charleston Regional Business Journal's Power Breakfast last Thursday. Panelists discussed how the Lowcountry seems to have recovered from the recession and is now seeing the effects of pent-up demand for capital projects.

From Charleston Regional Business Journal
By Liz Segrist

Photo: Kim McManus

Several years after the recession, construction is booming and cranes are looming over new developments throughout Charleston.

The demand for buildings in the multifamily, residential, commercial, higher education, health care and mixed-use segments remains high as the region’s population grows, according to several panelists at the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Power Breakfast on Thursday in North Charleston.

“Charleston has been so blessed,” said Dinos Liollio, principal of Liollio Architecture.  “We have been greatly insulated — if not isolated to some extent — from the recession that the country as a whole has felt. ... I think what we’re seeing now is all of the pent-up demand that has been created over the last five to six years as a result of the down economy. We are seeing it in higher ed, particularly now that so many people can go forward with their capital campaigns.”

Janette Alexander, a design and construction project manager for Charleston County, said she believes Charleston is out of the recession, although she said the region did not reach the same depths of economic crisis as other cities.

“We were very, very busy pre-recession and it does feel like we’re back and beyond that,” said Alexander, also a member of Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review. “Beyond the dam bursting of pent-up work that needed to happen, it seems like there is a lot of optimism on where Charleston is going.”

Chappy McKay, development vice president and partner at Trident Construction in Charleston, said the Lowcountry is “somewhat in a sprint between cycles.”

Although he has seen a lot of need for new construction in the last two years, he said some segments are slowing down. A somewhat muffled economy is buoyed by the region’s manufacturing sector, tech industries and the region’s ability to attract new businesses and residents, McKay said.

Melissa Polutta, owner of Trash Gurl LLC, a waste management business, said Charleston’s ability to draw new industry, tourists and residents enabled many construction companies to get back on their feet post-recession.

Her company, which she co-founded with her husband, Jeff, in 2009, has expanded with new services and new projects, including work on Volvo Cars’ new automotive campus under construction in Berkeley County.

Phillip Ford, executive vice president of Charleston Home Builders Association, said permits are up and demand is strong for new housing and residential communities.

Ford said the region faces a major challenge regarding adequate infrastructure — such as more highway capacity and improved roads — to handle the growth.

Finding enough skilled workers to meet the region’s housing needs is another major hurdle for the homebuilding and construction industries.

“Our concern is can we keep up with demand? There is a lack of trained labor. We can’t find anyone to frame houses or plumb houses,” Ford said. “So you can sell houses, but if you can’t build them, that’s a problem. Selling them is not a problem. Building them is, at the moment.”

Visit the CRBJ article here.