I had an amazing time working as an intern at [au]workshop this summer! It was such a marvelous experience full of exceptionable people who were all too happy to pass on their knowledge. I learned invaluable things over the course of the past few months, and I cannot wait to take that experience into the next chapter of my life.
The size of this firm was perfect. There were enough people to get a variety of tasks, yet small enough where I got to know everyone and feel like I got to be a part of something special. This was my second internship, and I can say that without a doubt that this was the better fit for me. This is the kind of firm that I can envision myself spending a lifetime with. I wish the best of luck to the people at [au]workshop, and I cannot thank them enough for welcoming me with open arms.
Thanks for everything, and I hope our paths cross again,
Kat is currently a student at the University of Notre Dame, where she is working on her Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch). She is joining us this summer before she heads off to Rome to study abroad for this upcoming year. In her own words, "I am fascinated with how hand-drafting and classical architecture relate to the modern world and cannot wait to study this in more depth over the following years."
We are thrilled to have Kat be a part of the workshop this summer!
[au]workshop turns 5 today! We can't believe how quickly the time has passed! We began as a three-person team in a shared office space back in 2013, and as our holiday party dinner table shows, we have grown ever since.
To celebrate, we 3d printed some custom commemorative fidget spinners to keep our hands busy during our frequent intra-office collaborations.
A big Thank You! to all of the wonderful clients and collaborators who have helped us succeed so far. We're excited for the next five!
For all the non-architects out there, a short explanation may be necessary. The design/construction schedule from our perspective is typically described in five stages (though there is some variation in how different architects mark their progress):
1. Conceptual Design/Entitlements: Initial programming and conceptual layout, preliminary city approvals
2. Schematic Design (SD): Establishment of key relationships and functionality, early development of key design elements, early (and on-going) coordination with Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Structural engineering drawings
3. Design Development (DD): Early development of key details and further coordination with MEP/Structural drawings
4. Construction Documents (CDs): Production of documentation necessary to price and construct the project, including full coordination with MEP/Structural drawings
5. Construction Administration (CA): Continued coordination of documented elements with the construction process in the field
This whole process is also happening simultaneously within the interior design and landscape architecture disciplines, while also coordinating with the architectural team.
Whew! This is all to explain that the Mandarin Oriental Honolulu project is progressing according to schedule, with 100% SD (Schematic Design) having just been completed! We have updated our project page accordingly, with some brand new images and information. As part of developing the design, we've done extensive exploration and modeling in 3d, so we also wanted to share a quick video overview we produced. We're excited to move into Design Development as we begin the new year!
Every year, it seems like our table gets a little longer! This year, continuing our tradition of supporting local businesses, [au]workshop (and family) enjoyed good company and a great meal at the newly opened Cache at Ginger and Baker.
We also wanted to take the opportunity to wish Happy Holidays to our many wonderful collaborators and clients. See you next year!
Our daily commute during worksessions for our Bangkok projects (Emsphere and a few others), beginning at the hotel near the project site.
The traffic in the video is especially bad due to flooding during the rainy season, but it provides a good feel for the daily experience.
Nope, it's not a typo; we're proud to laud the professional service of our newest employee, Stephanie Bedinghaus, who has been appointed to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' Architectural Registration Exam Case Study Task Force: Project Management Group! In case, like us, you have acronym-induced sleepiness (AIS, for short), Stephanie has kindly explained it thusly:
In all seriousness, this is a highly important position, as the ARE is something all architects must pass in order to become licensed. Because what we do as architects varies from designing safe, accessible, and beautiful buildings to writing and administering contracts, it's a very difficult set of skills to properly assess, and a lot of effort goes into the writing the test. It's also probably a job for which the hardworking folks who volunteer their time probably don't get thanked enough, so we wanted to take the opportunity to say "Thanks Stephanie!"
April is Colorado Architecture Month, an as part of the festivities, we were asked by AIA Colorado to put together something to demonstrate what a day in the life of an architect in Fort Collins is like. After a good deal of head-scratching, Spencer through together a .gif (below) documenting the most important aspects of architecture life: coffee, mouse-clicks, and custom desktop backgrounds.
Spencer also provided a few slightly verbose answers to some of AIA Colorado's questions, which they understandably didn't have room for, so we've reproduced them here:
What do you enjoy most about being an architect? An architect in Northern Colorado?
I love lots of aspects of my job (drawing all day, working with great people, a sense of play in the things we do) but I think the thing I enjoy most is the chance to think about and directly affect part of the world that is so important but so hidden in plain sight.
Architecture and the urban environment have a huge impact on where and how we live and work and play and gather and discuss; they form perhaps our largest collective experiences and endeavors. But a big part of their power is that they exist in the background, silently keeping us warm and dry, shaping space and activity while we go on about our days.
I find it really rewarding to be able to help shape that background, and I feel privileged to get a view into a part of the world that goes largely unnoticed.
Northern Colorado is an interesting example of this. As Fort Collins continues to grow, I think the quality of urban space and architectural design is becoming more frequently discussed and more highly valued, both in the form of traditional downtown urbanism and in new architectures unique to our context. This is of course a boon for us as architects, as it allows a greater public investment in and engagement with our work. That said, I think architecture and urban design will always remain somewhere below the surface of the public consciousness, which I think is appropriate.
What has been your favorite project to work on? (It would be great to have a photo to go with this!)
I’ve really enjoyed working on our smaller, more local projects (405 Linden, Confluence, Block One) as it’s incredibly rewarding to see the real-world results of your work.
My favorite project, though, might be 1500 Kapiolani, in Honolulu. Honolulu is a super interesting context for the extremity of the relationship between the ocean, mountains, and city, which is highly pertinent to Northern Colorado as well. I’m also quite infatuated with the mirrored relationship between the two towers, both as a massing and an experience.
The part I’ve really enjoyed about working on it has been the development of the very simple, elegant diagram into this very messy and complicated series of functional requirements and front and back of house relationships; developing a sketch into a working building while keeping the essence of the sketch. To me, that’s what architecture is about, so I’m thrilled to get a chance to put it into practice.
We're thrilled to be able to contribute to Architecture Month again, and we look forward to participating again next year!
[au]workshop architects+urbanists continues growth Formed eight months ago, [au]workshop architects+urbanists is exceeding initial expectations and has hired four additional professionals while continuing to pursue talented staff to help design a growing portfolio of projects in northern Colorado, Denver, New Mexico, California and internationally.
New employees, in order of hire, include Levi Wall, Spencer Lindstrom, Arlo Schumann; and architect Brian Betsill.
Wall, a project designer, received his Master of Architecture degree from Kansas State University in the spring of 2012. His interests include agriculture, urbanism, and sustainability in self-generated, self-sustaining communities.
Lindstrom, an architectural intern, grew up in Northern Colorado and graduated first in his class at the University of Colorado in 2011. He will complete his Master of Architecture degree at Rice University in Houston in December.
Schumann, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, has over 12 years of previous professional experience on a variety of project types including single family residential, multi-family housing, commercial, and education. Arlo currently sits on the AIA Colorado North Chapter Board of Directors. In 2009 he received the AIA Colorado North Presidents Award for Service, and in 2010 received the AIA Colorado North Chapter Associate of the Year Award.
Associate Brian Betsill, AIA, LEED AP is a project manager with more than eight years of experience on academic, civic, and commercial projects. With his previous firm, he was the project architect for the Rialto Theater Center in downtown Loveland, Colorado, which was named the 2012 Honor Award winner by the Colorado North Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). His most recent project, also with his previous firm, was the brew house and tasting room expansion at Odell Brewing in Fort Collins.
[au]workshop is thrilled to add these dedicated and talented architects and designers to our rapidly growing team. Our initial hope was to double in size both this year and next and we have nearly accomplished both those targets in eight months thanks in part to the rebounding economy, In fact, we are still looking to hire additional qualified recent graduates.
We are building a far-reaching Fort Collins based practice and collaborative team framework capable of solving architecture and urban design problems cost effectively and with design integrity. The folks we’ve been lucky enough to hire put us squarely on that path.
About [auworkshop}: Formed in 2013 with a focus on quality, authentic architecture and catalytic urban, civic and commercial projects that sustainably invigorate streets, neighborhoods and cities, [au]workshop’s current design portfolio ranges in scale from Block One, a new downtown Fort Collins mixed-use headquarters for Encompass Technologies just under construction, to multi-million square foot urban mixed-use projects in design or under construction in Thailand.