Today is Mike’s 65th birthday! After a rousing version of “Happy Birthday to You” we all celebrated with a stack of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and coffee.
I had the pleasure of visiting an old project this past weekend, at the “Wine and Wheels” event at the Museum of Transportation. It was held in the Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center. There’s a story behind every project, and the one behind the Automobile Center mostly revolved around doing a lot with very few resources. The building provided a nice setting for this event, using the main gallery, mezzanine and old “Creation Station” space (soon to be a new gallery?) for the tasting. There was a large crowd, and many great Missouri Wineries, including Noboleis Vineyards, Blumenhof, Yellow Farm House and Robbler Vineyard among others.
Thanks to Museum Director Mollie Butterworth and a large contingent of Museum staff and volunteers for pulling together a fun event that brought a lot of new faces to the Museum.
Sometimes it seems like the world is one big mash up of architecture, design and popular culture. Recently I was listening to an interview with Ken Jennings, the brainaic “Jeopardy” champion. He has just published a book called “Maphead“. In it, he discusses his love of all things map related – from ancient treasure maps to Google Maps to geocacheing.
In many ways, architects are map makers. Floorplans and sections are one kind of map. Anyone who’s ever measured an old building knows that its a form of discovery – searching out and understanding the way something fits together – finding the odd spaces that seem to be hidden in plain sight.
We also use “mapping” software, like Grasshopper. Each year when I sit in on the AIA St. Louis Scholarship interviews, I’m amazed at the student’s use of new mapping technology and its application in the design process. We do interviews and surveys to “map out” the culture of a client.
Over winter break I went back home to visit my family and friends, truly a wonderful experience, considering I hadn’t seen some of them in 10 years. In the trip, I made a quick pit stop in Sorocaba to see how the project was moving along. The building looked great, they made great progress, and our LEED consulting tactics were in place. We are part of a team that includes Alcindo Dell Agnese as building architect. This is part of a multi-phased construction project that will reshape Emerson’s presence in Brazil.
We started our summer sketch series this year in Lafayette Square. After hitting the neighborhood coffee shop several times, Jessica came upon the brilliant idea of starting a “coffee shop sketch series”. We seek out neighborhood coffee shops and meet there Friday mornings to sketch. Great coffee, cool weather, great sketching. Kind of like Hemingway and Gertrude Stein hanging in the cafes of Paris but with pencils and coffee instead of cigarettes and wine. It’s the perfect way to end the week at work.
The AIA St. Louis Design Awards Ceremony was last night at the Moto Museum. Fox Architects had quite a night: Musick Construction won a Craftsmanship Award for Emerson Auditorium, Fox was an Interiors Award for Rick Jordan Chocolatier, and Neill Scheiter won two awards for drawing. Denise Fuehne was design lead for the chocolate shop. Below is her acceptance speech:
Thanks to an office raffle, Ben Paisley and I each got to treat a guest to incredible seats to last night’s Cardinals game vs. the Mets. We were in the third row back from the Cardinals dugout, close enough to catch (were we so inclined) the shells from Adam Wainwright‘s sunflower seeds he was tossing on top of the dugout throughout the game (there was a nearby fan who kept remarking, “it’s the only thing he’s thrown all year.” I think he’d had a few).
This past weekend I rode the 2011 Bike MS Gateway Getaway in Columbia, Missouri. I rode as a member of team United by Design, a team of local architects, designers, industry professionals and their friends and family. The team was born last year out of members of what were formerly the Lawrence Group and Arcturis teams.
The ride was a big success on all fronts. There were an incredible number of participants and a lot of money was raised for the National MS Society (more than $12,000 and counting from our team alone!). There were 40, 75, and 100 mile options each day to encourage cyclists of different ability levels to ride. Even though I’ve been riding for quite some time, a lack of training led me to wimp out and do the shortest option each day.
Luckily, that left plenty of time to go exploring downtown Columbia, which was hosting the “Roots N Blues” festival that same weekend. My wife, Lindsey, and I walked through Mizzou‘s campus, had a delicious and healthy lunch at Main Squeeze and drinks at a great little dive bar called The Blue Fugue.
For next year’s ride, I’ve convinced our fearless leader to make Fox an official sponsor of the team. And they don’t know it yet, but I’m also going to recruit several coworkers to join me.
On July Fourth I once again manned my mini- bike and with my companion clowns took to streets of downtown St. Louis. Our “skat kitty troupe” has been entertaining the VP Parade crowds for more years than I can remember. By the way, that is yours truly in the center.
Hanging around the neighborhood this morning, its amazing how great this neighborhood looks. Obviously a lot of dedication and hard work (not to mention $$$) went into the renovation of the park and surrounding buildings. I think we’ll spend a good portion of the summer sketching this area.