All of us here at the office took time last Friday afternoon to celebrate with ice cream/cake, candles/fire-extinguisher the 40th birthday of long-time staff member Brett Beckemeyer. But we could just as well have been observing his 15-plus years with the firm. And his is far from the only tenure to exceed that mark: fully 35% of our 21 staff members have been with the firm for 15 or more years; 50% for more than 8 years. In fact, one out of every four Fox Architects staff have been with the company for over 25 years. Why? Because Fox has the enviable reputation of maintaining a work environment that is supportive, collaborative, instructive, and enjoyable. Distinct among our peer firms, the convivial atmosphere of the Fox Architects studio environment promotes a collegiality of purpose, and results in design solutions derived from all the perspectives, skills, and talents of all of us. We’re here because we’re good; we stay because the firm is.
Recently Elise Novak and I gave a Saturday afternoon lecture to the Alberti students at Washington University. This is probably about the 6th year in a row that we (Fox) has presented a topic. Past years topics have been closely related to work in the office, but this year we chose to go a different route. The topic was “Structure – what makes things stand up?”
We had the students participate in demonstrations of Compression and Tension, Triangulation, Center of Gravity and Uplift, among other concepts. Perhaps the biggest success we had was with the portion of the presentation called “Guess the Structural Concept – Win a Prize”. The concepts included things demonstrated above, and various structural systems, including Post and Beam, Arch/Vault and Space Frame. The prizes were “I Love Architecture” pencils, donated by the St. Louis Chapter, American Institute of Architects. Pandemonium ensued, a good time was had by all, and hopefully someone learned something. The Students then went on to design a sports stadium (we ended our talk looking at several stadiums and talking about the various structural concepts).
Thanks to Gay Lorberbaum – she runs Alberti and like Jake and Elwood in the Blues Brothers, Gay is on a mission from God. It’s great to be a small part of such a great program!
Last Friday of the every month is always client appreciation day not because of invoicing, but because we truly do appreciate all of our clients and relationship that we developed. This Friday was donut delivery day. It started at 5:30am when most bakers are up (not architects) to pick up donuts from our newest oldest client Tim Hortons. The president of Show Me Hospitality Eric Sigurdson the area franchise/developer for the new Tim Hortons has been a long client relationship like most of our clients. Tim Hortons is new to St. Louis and what better way to welcome an old friend back then to thank all our clients with their donuts.
So the last Friday of every month is always client appreciation but now it’s donut delivery day.
We are extremely excited to announce that Fox Architects has won an AIA St. Louis 2015 Design Award for our work on the Reinsurance Group Of America (RGA) Global Headquarters. The award was presented at the AIA St. Louis 2015 Design Award Event on September 17, 2015. The Jury Chair was Larry Speck FAIA of PageSutherlandPage and a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. The entire event was document in this weeks St. Louis Business Journal.
We are very proud of our long relationship with RGA and the opportunities that are throughout the years. We would like to thank everyone at RGA who shared our vision, passion, and goals for the project! – as Bob Dunn said in accepting the award: “It takes a great client to make a great building”. In addition thanks to AIA St. Louis for hosting this event and everyone who has been part of this project!
For additional information on RGA project visit our project page or give us a call to talk about what makes this project so great!
Last Friday, a few of us from the office went out to get and project update on The Emerson Process Management MEC Headquarters. The building is defined by two distinct structures. The two-story office building cladded in a glass facade, and the 30′ tall 100,000 SF manufacturing warehouse.
The warehouse facade posed a challenge. The east wall is about 400′ long and is the backdrop to the main parking lot for the building. The solution was the create a simple, but impactful pattern using only two paint colors. It transitions from the dark color to the light color as it moves south across the tilt wall face. The pattern is drawn from binary code, linking back to the electronic assemblies MEC is known for.
These long, horizontal bands become design elements used throughout the building, in the tilt wall, flooring and ceiling elements.
The office building uses full-height glazing and aluminum paneling.
Brett Beckemeyer, Architect to the project, lead the tour of the facility. He explained the overall concept, and how the manufacturing and office portions are separate structural systems linked by a two story lobby.
Overall, it was a gorgeous summer day to get out of the office for a bit and admire one of the things we’ve been working on.
The office environment design has been through a constant state of evolution as humans and technology move forward. When embarking on creating an environment, it is always good to know the complete story before the design process begins. One of the goals of our office was to create case study which analyzed variety of office environments. The findings of the case study would serve as informational guide to a successful office environment design.
Along with a brief history of the office environment and its evolution, this case study is a collection of a few of our notable work place design projects. They highlight our approach to designing office environments and how we create spaces where people will enjoy crafting their careers.
To receive a hard copy please contact our office; We would love to talk to you about full findings of the case study.
This has been a great summer for Friday morning sketching. We’ve only been rained out once, and the weather has been mostly perfect. I am convinced that the hand/mind coordination practice gained through sketching can help make anyone a better thinker.
This year we’ve spent time in Grand Center, Tower Grove Park and various coffee shops around town However, we’ve spent the most time this year at Benton Park. There’s a great scale to the park – reminds me a bit of the squares in Savannah Georgia. So much there to draw….
When UMB Financial Corporation decided to make a substantial investment in their Ferguson, MO branch in the summer of 2015, they turned to FoxArchitects to advise them in the specifics of the building’s historic masonry repairs.
In collaboration with the bank’s selected building envelope restoration company, Western Specialty Contractors, I reviewed the discovery findings made by Western, and contacted The Indiana Limestone Institute of America for technical discussion of re-pointing of the stone façade (much of which dates to the bank’s construction in 1902) including mortar-type selection and techniques of combating “rising damp” –the capillary movement of moisture from the ground up into the walls of buildings. Understanding the science of maintaining the integrity of an historic masonry building envelope has always fascinated me, in no small part due to living most of my life within the extents of pre-war St Louis neighborhoods of triple-wythe brick masonry construction.
Every initiative taken in Preservation of our architectural heritage, such as UMB has done here in Ferguson should be applauded for favoring the Sustainable over the disposable, and promoted for the Leadership it sets in the example for other stewards of our community’s architectural heritage. As we near the start of construction next month, I look forward to seeing this prominent centenarian of the Ferguson streetscape readied for her next 100 years.
As the first Outpatient Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic in the Saint Louis Region, this patient and family-centered healthcare facility continues to perform beyond expectations.
Like my opinion on most topics, this one is based on experience and not research. So fact-checkers have at it, I do not care. I’ve seen proof of this opinion too many times to be convinced otherwise.
The label “Design-Build” (DB) is being blurred with that of “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD) of projects, so let me first define each method as I have seen them executed over the last 30 years. In the DB approach, the general contractor is a single source of design and construction for the owner: acting as the owner’s architect, engineer and contractor, the general contractor holds the services contracts for all professional and construction disciplines. The Owner then has a single contract direct with the G.C. The IPD method requires the project’s parties- architects, engineers, and contractor(s)- to work together as a team for the Owner’s interests, but with each contracting separately to the owner. These days, general contractors have begun advertising DB as IPD. But no matter what the ads are pitching, the key difference between these methods of project delivery is who holds your contract and what influence that has in identifying and serving the Owner’s interests. There are many variables in any arrangement of project services, all of which rest upon trust. A project’s success in realizing the Owner’s interests is most strongly influenced by who holds whose contract. If your boss says don’t tell the owner or you will not get paid, then an untrustworthy person holds your contract.
I suggest labeling the method of a team of professionals all working together , but contracted separately, as “Team Owner” (TO). If the Owner holds your contract directly, then the Owner is your client, period. No matter the delivery method and what may have been said about it at the outset, the party holding your contract is your client.