Fresh ideas about design
As we look back on 2013 with a grin, we see freshly-completed projects for Google, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and PMC Property Group. The individual achievements of our people, however, are a testament to the talent behind our projects. We are proud to share a few recent stories.
Principal John Martine recently led an architectural tour in Cuba. He had visited there in fall of 2012 to scope out various sites, from weathered sugar plantations to the lively streets of Havana. This past November he returned with a tour group to revisit the highlights, meeting with Cuban architects and planners and dining with locals along the way. John gave a presentation about his trip last Friday in the Pittsburgh office, and you can see some of this on Strada’s facebook page.
pictured above: a sidewalk cafe adjacent to a microbrewery in Havana, Cuba
Another traveler in our midst is Josh Lessard, an Intern Architect and Exhibit Designer in the Philadelphia office. Last fall, while we were busy with PARK/ing Day and Design Philadelphia, Josh was traveling around the world. The practical objective of this trip was to continue research into the effects of climate change on vernacular architecture. He worked with locals in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia, along with his expedition team, to identify and document recent changes in the natural and built environment. Josh is developing a documentary on his findings that should be complete later in 2014.
Grace Ding, an Intern Architect in the Pittsburgh office, recently took on the Inktober challenge. The task was to draw something in ink each day in October and then share it using the hashtag #inktober. Grace established a circle theme for her charming illustrations, and you can feast your eyes on some of them on this tumblr page. Grace also illustrated this article in Inheritance magazine in November.
Another Intern Architect in Pittsburgh, Sam Kriegler, has been busy on the local custom fabrication scene, co-founding one workshop and participating with other shops around town. He currently works with Standard & Custom, combining time-honored hand tools and CNC fabrication to build furniture, signage, and sculpture that is imaginative and drum-tight. Sam recently collaborated with a Strada project team as they designed a conference table which was subsequently built by Sam and his fellow builders. See the table along with other creations on Standard & Custom’s facebook page.
Fan Chang, an architect in the Philadelphia office, recently designed the façade for her church’s new home. The University City Chinese Christian Church (UCCCC) was built “on the ruins of an unfinished strip mall,” in the words of Daniel Shurley. Begun as a retail project, the building sat unfinished and idle for years, so her crisp design is a welcome sight not only for the congregation but also for the surrounding community. Read more in Daniel’s Hidden City Philadelphia article from November.
Lastly, if you are a fan of historic architecture, well-crafted stories, or both, you should know about the novel The Heart of June. Written by Strada Associate Mason Radkoff, the book was published last fall by Braddock Avenue Books. His field reports and meeting minutes are page-turners, too.
Collectively, the design and construction industry has risen to the challenge and we’re diligently doing our part in reducing the amount of waste generated, however statistics don’t lie… We still have a long way to go!
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