Sometimes we all just need to get away from the office to truly appreciate the potential of our chosen profession, architecture. Beginning fourteen years ago, our office was entrusted by AIA Louisiana to orchestrate the annual Celebrate Architecture design symposium, bringing architects statewide together in Baton Rouge for a full day of interaction with several of the most influential architects from across the country. We’ve discovered that you need to keep these guys around for at least a day for them to reveal the complete intricacies of their projects and the often winding path taken to create buildings of significance.
This year, our speakers included Joshua Prince-Ramus of REX from New York (pictured above with moderator, Doug Ashe), Warren Schwartz of Schwartz/Silver Architects from Boston – the designer of the annual site of Celebrate Architecture, the Shaw Center for the Arts, and Roberto de Leon and Ross Primmer of De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop from Louisville. Methodologies, triumphs, ideas, disappointments, and inspirations were shared with the AIA audience, who (we hope) return to their respective offices re-energized from the shared experience.
And yes, we did make sure that the visiting architects had the opportunity to eat some crawfish and alligator washed down with a cold Abita.
Just as they were settling into their seats Doug and Mike had to get up not once, but twice to the podium to receive design awards. It was a nerve-wracking experience since the top awards are announced last, but well worth the wait.
Claiming one of the two top awards selected from a competitive field of 71 projects across the state, the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center in Opelousas received an AIA Louisiana Honor Award at the annual Design Conference held recently in Lafayette. To top off the night, the project was also awarded the Members’ Choice Award by the AIA membership. This marks only the third time that a project has received both top honors in the AIA Louisiana awards program history.
The projects design roots began with the commitment to jointly develop landscape and building concepts side-by-side from the outset. Through a continuous collaboration with Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects and Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design, the site was envisioned as a singular integrated concept where the interweaving of building and landscape enhances the visitor experience. As a testament to this concept, the implemented sustainable building strategies and natural resource management principles are communicated by the Visitor Center staff along with the promotion of cultural and ecological tourism.
We can’t thank our clients at the St. Landry Tourist Commission enough for their vision to do something different and their support of our design team’s effort. A special thanks go out to the Director of Tourism, Celeste Gomez, for her perseverance in seeing the project through from inception to completion. Additional thanks go out to our MEP engineers, M&E Consulting Inc. and the contractor, Ratcliff Construction for producing an exceptionally well-crafted building.
Andrew Pharis has joined the staff of ABW for the summer as an intern. Andrew recently completed his second year in the architecture program at LSU. Go, Tigers!
A Pineville native, one of Andrew’s hobbies is theatre: performing, singing, and as a set designer/builder. He recounts a story of when he ventured into Silver Dollar Pawn Shop (of “Cajun Pawn-Stars” fame) looking for thirty ceramic pigs for use as props. As it turned out, Silver Dollar had plenty of pigs and was glad to get rid of some of them.
Andrew is very involved in AIAS, the student chapter of the American Institute of Architects, serving as chapter president. He will attend the AIAS Grassroots leadership conference in Washington, D.C. in July.
Andrew has already proven to be a capable and cheerful worker. He has shown the necessary skills to be productive and make real contributions over the summer. ABW is fortunate to have his talents with us for the summer.
We are excited to announce the birth of a little girl, Reagan Leigh, on May 8th 2012 to parents Stephen and Christal Workman and big brother Stihl.
After three years with the Ashe Broussard Weinzettle team, we bid a joyful farewell to our dear friend Christal Workman. After the birth of her second child, Christal decided to take a break from the architectural grind to focus her energy on her children, but we still intend on having her join us for lunch occasionally. We will miss the spirit and energy Christal brought to our office, but wish her family all the joy and happiness they can stand.
The St. Landry Parish Visitor Center was honored as the top design in architecture by The INDEPENDENT WEEKLY magazine at their annual INDesign Awards. The judges highlighted the successful integration of building and site which makes us feel pretty good about all the hard work and ambition contributed from our design team along with our collaborators Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects and Eddie Cazayoux of Environmental Design.
The Visitor Center is located just north of Opelousas, so the next time you’re on I-49 please drop by and get a great tour from the very friendly staff (and newly minted architecture advocates).
Please visit The Independent Magazine’s site for the full story.
READ FULL ARTICLE >>
We were excited to turn over the keys of the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center to Louisiana Tech and see them open the doors to their students. All of the speculation and theorizing that goes into a project of this scope is put to the test when we step away and the staff and students begin to make it their own. So far, the variety of recreation choices has already made Lambright a popular campus destination as the Center is becoming a place to see and be seen.
One of our primary collaborators, Dr. Jim King, Tech’s Vice President for Student Affairs offers his assessment, “This complex sort of screams at you to come have fun, feel better, and improve yourself overall at the same time.” King continues, “Our focus is beyond intramural play and recreation. It’s about health and well-being. We all perform better when we eat properly, exercise regularly and take care of ourselves, which translates into increased student retention and recruitment.”
A grand opening and dedication will follow in the fall academic quarter.
For more information please read the article from Louisiana Tech Magazine.
We’re happy to announce that Shelly Strange, AIA, has completed the rigorous Architecture Registration Exam and has recently received her architectural license to practice from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Since joining the firm in 2007 upon graduating from Louisiana Tech University, Shelly has made significant contributions to the design quality of our firm and is resolute in improving and helping manage the technical proficiency of our staff. In addition to her considerable production capabilities, Shelly has a strong background in 3D modeling and rendering as well as a wide range of digital presentation skills.
Shelly has increasingly taken on a more active role in project management, continuing the pattern of continuing to challenge herself to become a more complete designer.
More than 300 architects, designers, and students from across the state gathered in Baton Rouge at the Shaw Center once again for the 13th annual Celebrate Architecture Design Symposium. Built around the theme “An Architecture of Engagement” four distinguished architects including Adam Yarinsky of Architecture Research Office from New York, Will Bruder of Will Bruder + Partners from Phoenix, and Eric Howeler and Meejin Yoon of Howeler + Yoon Architecture from Boston, shared the collective work of their respective firms in the morning and followed with an in-depth review of the triumphs and challenges experienced during the production of a single project in the afternoon session. At the encouragement of Will Bruder, we capped off this year’s event by pulling up a few chairs to the stage and enjoyed listening to the impromptu dialogue among the speakers and the audience.
Our very own Doug Ashe organized the event and served as the moderator (13 years running!) and Mike Nichols designed the event media and marketing materials on behalf of AIA Louisiana.
As a direct result of the financial success of Celebrate Architecture, AIA Louisiana was able to establish its annual AIA Louisiana Traveling Fellowship, a $5,000 travel/study abroad award available to 3rd and 4th year students at Louisiana schools of architecture. With the continued success of Celebrate Architecture we are now able to award two fellowships each year. Additionally, AIA Louisiana makes an annual $500 contribution to each of the five AIAS chapters in the state.
FULL SPEAKER LIST
The joint venture team of Ashe Broussard Weinzettle and Eskew Dumez Ripple was chosen by the University of Louisiana Monroe, from among a distinguished field of planning firms to develop a Campus Facilities Master Plan.
The goal of the multi-year plan will be to provide a complete assessment of existing campus facilities and infrastructure, analyze current academic and non-academic space utilization and adjacencies; and through stakeholder participation, establish a long term road map in support of growth, security, clarity, and efficiency for the university.
Our very own Amy Hickman Wallace extended this message to us as she introduced her latest design, “It is with great anticipation we introduce our second son, Robert Bruce Wallace, aka ‘Rab’, (which is Scottish for Rob), born on November 29, 2011. Our red-headed Rab has been a fun addition to our family.”
We all look forward to Amy’s return to the “tranquility” of our office; although we can’t promise that she won’t hear an occasional whine or two over the phone.