From the Government Studio, General

Their Hubris is Stunning

By Jim Nielson, AIA, Senior Principal and Director of CRSA’s Government Studio

If I have the self-confidence to lead a design team into a newly imagined world no one has ever visited before, that confidence can be the catalyst for creation. But with it I can also lead followers astray. If I am proud of my achievements, that pride may motivate me to accomplish great things—unless I am so proud I become arrogant and start thinking of myself as invincible. Transformative architecture depends to no small degree on self-confidence and pride. Yet unrestrained, pride becomes hubris, also known as arrogance.

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General

Why We Do What We Do #1: Why We Build Up

“Why We Do What We Do” is an ongoing series exploring common practices that architects and builders have employed for hundreds of years, and how those same practices are being reinvented, but not necessarily replaced, in the modern age. Other entries include: “Why We Draw” and “Why We Model”

Wuhan Phoenix Towers

Concept for the Phoenix Towers in Wuhan, China (http://goo.gl/bymDyi)

Architecture and Design journal eVolo recently reported on preliminary plans for a new “World’s Tallest Skyscraper”. Continue reading

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From the Marketing Department, General

Lesson Learned: I Ran Out of Time

StopwatchBy Fran Pruyn, CRSA Director of Marketing and Business Development

Everything takes longer than you think it will.

I have always prided myself on my time management.  I am pretty convinced that I know how long it takes to go to the store, feed the horses, do the laundry, put together a cover letter for a proposal.  My dad taught us to always be on time, if you can’t be a little early, and I always am. Or was. Continue reading

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From the Site Studio, General

The Great Divide: Marketing vs. Management

Daybreak UTA Station

Daybreak Light Rail Station – Part of CRSA’s continued work for the Utah Transit Authority

By Kelly Gillman, AICP, ASLA | Kelly Gillman is a Senior Principal at CRSA and leads the Landscape Architecture and Planning Studio. He also holds an MBA from Westminster College.

We often say that doing quality work is the best form of marketing. The idea is that our day-to-day performance speaks louder than any brochure or resume. But is this true? And if so, to what extent?

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From the Preservation Studio, General

Can My Historic Building be Green?

By Rachel David, LEED AP BD+C | Rachel is CRSA’s Sustainability Director and the coordinator for all the firm’s LEED Certified projects. 

Can my historic building be green?

It’s a common question tied to the assumption that modern technologies and materials are automatically more sustainable. It can be surprising that often the greenest building is the one that is already standing.

Moab City Center

The LEED Silver Moab City Center is a remodeled 1923 school. The massive masonry and operable windows were retained to assist with natural cooling.

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From the Religious Studio

Designing Space for the Soul

By Sara Staffanson, an Architectural Intern and Job Captain with CRSA’s Religious Studio

Few people are free from some type of inner struggle or strong urge to better understand a larger truth. It is in times like these that people look outside of themselves for deeper meaning and focus. Many turn to some form of religion in their quest for spirituality. Spiritual experiences can be achieved in a variety of places from the church pew to a log under the stars. Designing a space for the soul means being sensitive to that person’s interpretation of spirituality. It means creating an atmosphere that is comfortable enough for emotional vulnerabilities to be released. Thoughtful spaces will facilitate meditation, deep emotions, and one’s connection to a larger expanse and their role in it. Designing for such spaces is challenging but very satisfying. Continue reading

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From the Site Studio

A Modern Streetcar in Utah

Historic Salt Lake Streetcar

Image Source: http://mayor.slcgov.com/?p=434

By Susie Petheram. Susie is a Senior Planner with CRSA’s Site Studio and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design.

In the early to mid-20th century–due to the advent of new transportation technologies such as the gas-powered, rubber-tired motor coach–streetcars were phased out as a public transportation option. After 75 years of service, the last streetcars in Salt Lake City ran in 1946, while Ogden ceased 50 years of service in 1935. In smaller towns, such as Logan, Brigham City, and Provo, the streetcar operated for brief periods ranging from 1910 to 1924.

Fast forward 67 years, and the streetcar is beginning its comeback. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio, General

If you are a Duck…

By Jim Nielson, AIA, LEED® AP. Jim is a Senior Principal at CRSA and a member of the Utah House of Representatives.

A Northrup Grumman official once explained the firm’s award-winning initiative to provide employment for disabled veterans this way:

“If you are a duck, you tend to hire ducks.”

True. As an Oregon Duck myself, I am partial to U of O graduates. But I agree, we should not hire only ducks.

In architecture, we know intuitively how different backgrounds and points of view combine to help us see beyond our own perspective and build something better. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

Welcoming ALL to This Place: Universal Design

sketch of people

By Debbie Adams, AIADebbie is an architect and project manager in CRSA’s Government Studio.

“Traditional” design of buildings has long been oriented towards one “average” physical type: a young, adult male.   As children, as older adults, or as people with physical disabilities—temporary or permanent—none of us are always “average” and many of us are never “average.”

Buildings are built for people, but for which people?  Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 4)

Unintended Consequences

Utah Capitol and FlagJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This final post reviews the difficulty of tracing the outcome of decisions accurately and emphasizes the need to be aware of the consequences.

 

Missed a Part?

Whenever governments or other groups set out as a group to accomplish something, the challenge usually is not so much putting a policy in place and mobilizing resources as it is ensuring that what we do actually accomplishes the objective.

We work together in government and organized groups to accomplish what no one could do individually. What I’ve noticed as a participant in government Continue reading

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From the Preservation Studio, General

Trauma and Treasure in the Preservation Game

By Allen Roberts, AIA

Exploring historic buildings can sometimes result in scary surprises. I’m not talking about unexpected physical characteristics such as cracks in wooden beams or masonry walls.  Here are a few of the more interesting, non-architectural surprises I’ve experienced.

Beaver Dam Ward

Beaver Dam Ward

Crawling through the crawl space under the floor of an historic church in Beaver Dam in northern Utah, I came upon Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 3)

Taxation, Appropriations, Efficiencies (and Domestic Horse Disposal)

Jim Nielson Swearing InJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment continues to look at new legislation and analyzes its consequences on both our business and personal pocketbooks.

Missed a Part?

Revenue and Taxation

In a more traditional sense, actions by government affect both sides of the public ledger. Some policy decisions, such as taxation and appropriations, modify the ledger directly; others such as economic development incentives and mandates (as discussed in my last post) change things indirectly.
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From the Marketing Department, General

5 Keys to Question & Answer Sessions

Fran PruynFran Pruyn is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at CRSA. She is also a theatre director with decades years of experience. She has coached hundreds proposal interviews, we stopped counting.

“We won it in the Q&A.”

Yep, you can score big with a selection committee during the question and answer period and be awarded a project.  You can also go down in flames, when one member says just the wrong thing.
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From the Site Studio

Thoughts on Reading our Urban Fabric

Ryan Wallace works with CRSA’s SITE and Higher Education Studios
Granary District Tracks to Downtown

“Cities need old buildings so badly, it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.”

This passage from the now famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, reveals author Jane Jacobs’ beliefs about the importance of retaining old buildings, even if they are considered to function poorly by the standards of the day. She goes on to argue the importance of old buildings in providing affordability for young families and creative individuals to live in urban neighborhoods. This diversity of age, occupation and income is integral to creating a vibrant street life, in her opinion. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 2)


Construction, Incentives and Mandates

Jim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. In this segment, we look at some of the laws passed in 2014 that may impact all of our financial health. This includes legislation that affects the A/E Industry, as well as broader changes.Patriotic Pumpkin

Missed a Part?

 

Construction

We in the design and construction industry see the legislature’s impact on our bottom line quite directly. When the legislature funds and authorizes public construction projects, RFPs for design and construction services follow almost immediately. Earlier this year the Utah Legislature gave the green light to around $200 million in public construction. For many firms, fees from such projects make up a significant part of their annual revenues. Continue reading

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From the Marketing Department

Imagination, Vision and Us

vision-architecture-sketch

“Rambling Man Sketch” by apkconcepts. Check out apkconcepts.wordpress.com for more great drawings.

 

By Fran Pruyn, CRSA Marketing Director

I have been included on a couple of project teams lately.  Wow, what a rush!

I don’t know what surprised me most, the “sky’s the limit” feeling at the beginning of a project, or that the team was so willing to listen to my wacky ideas.

Not burdened by anything like architectural knowledge, economic reality, or zoning laws, I only have my imagination and a world of possibilities to rely upon when asked: “what should go here?” or “what does this want to be?”  Maybe that is okay. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 1)

Public Policy and our Pocketbooks

Representative Jim NielsonJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment sets the stage, and will be followed by a look at specific laws passed in the 2014 session.

Years before I decided on architecture school, my first thought was an MBA. As I was deciding, I worked initially as a management analyst for a large defense contractor. Shortly thereafter, I served for several years as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. Continue reading

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From the Preservation Studio

Personal Reflections on the Career of a Historic Preservationist

 

OgdenHigh Sidebar

Ogden High School Renovation

By Allen D. Roberts, AIA

As I pondered my calendar recently, I realized that next month will mark my 40th (fortieth!) year as an historic preservation professional. Some years ago, I found myself asking how and why I got into this field. It came to me that I have always lived in historic cities and attended or lived in historic schools, churches and homes. Moreover, history, art and aesthetics have always been important to me. It was the tragic and puzzling demolition of the spectacular Coalville/Summit Stake Tabernacle in 1971 that catalyzed my interest in preserving buildings. Continue reading

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Here We Go…

Buildings have stories. People who design buildings have stories. Over the last 40 years we have collected many of these stories and we present them as an inside look at the way our communities and cities are made.

This blog is, of course, rooted in architecture, but it touches on much more. Our hope is that you’ll find out a lot about the world of design, and a little about CRSA’s place in that world.

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment on anything that catches your interest.

Community-Landscape

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