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Rapid Prototyping: Exploring Multiple Design Options

tlcdarchitecture, laser cutter, rapid prototyping, holiday centerpiecesOne year ago TLCD Architecture purchased an Universal LS 6.60 laser-cutting machine. This amazing piece of equipment can cut and etch wood, cardboard, plastic and metal with precision cuts to 3/1,000 of an inch. We are still exploring all the options of what this technology can do.

The laser cutter is being used primarily for producing architectural models. It can take digital files and make incredibly precise cuts at a small scale. Something very difficult to do with an X-Acto knife… and with fewer sliced fingertips!

We are currently exploring the ability to do rapid prototyping, which means we can easily explore multiple design options in model form very quickly. This process took many hours of hand cutting in the past and rarely produced more than one option.

This last week Nick Diggins and Carl Servais from our office experimented with a new workflow made possible by the Dynamo scripting software now available within the Revit modeling software that is our mainstay architectural design tool. They created eight different versions of a complex perforated 3-D form for centerpieces for our holiday party at DeTurk Round Barn. With the scripting software, Revit output can be prepared for the laser cutter quickly and design options created and manufactured with the laser-cutter.

One exciting possibility is that the models can be scaled up and architectural designs can be fabricated at large scale with CNC Routing machines for wood and softer materials, and plasma cutters for metal and other more durable materials. Forms that were nearly impossible to conceive of or too expensive to fabricate by hand are now easily accessible. The possibilities are endless!

Parametric pumpkins and pie

 

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Last week, TLCD Architecture once again hosted the Redwood Empire Revit User Group (RERUG) for their monthly meeting.  RERUG is a collective of Santa Rosa area AEC professionals who use Revit or BIM software and meet on a regular basis to educate each other by discussing how to utilize the Revit platform, sharing best practices, and bringing in speakers to bestow their expertise.  The monthly lunch meeting is organized through a partnership between Ideate  and TLCD, and this month the group got together for a show and tell so we could all do a little bragging about the work we do.  The presentations covered a wide variety of project types, including renderings of various projects, a video about how to model a parametric pumpkin, 3d scanning of a historic building damaged in the recent Napa earthquake, a sun path study for a shade structure to prevent algae growth at a municipal water treatment plant, and some Dynamo explorations of an in-house fabricated light fixture.  Even better, there was also pumpkin pie!

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New Academic Center at College of Marin Will Create Iconic Identity

 

college of marin, new academic center, tlcd architecture, mark cavagnero associatesThe new Academic Center for College of Marin is currently at 60% construction and scheduled for completion in April 2015. Located on the corner of College Avenue and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Kentfield, this project replaces 3 aging academic buildings and Mexican restaurant formerly located on this prominent corner. Set against the backdrop of Mount Tamalpias, the Academic Center will provide a new and iconic identity for the college.

The new building will house classrooms, as well as faculty and administrative offices. A central classroom atrium and a courtyard built around a majestic oak on the upper level will make this a most distinctive academic environment within the college.

college of marin, new academic center, tlcd architecture, mark cavagnero associates

The project is the result of a design competition won in a collaborative effort with TLCD Architecture of Santa Rosa and  Mark Cavagnero Associates of San Francisco. The Academic Center was developed with substantial input from the students, staff, faculty and community in a series of workshops and public forums.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Transit Facility in Chico

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking

Ceremonial Golden Shovel

At a formal ceremony earlier in October, ground was broken for the new Butte Regional Transit Operations Center In Chico, California. The new 10-acre, 41,000 square foot facility, designed by TLCD Architecture, replaces the current, outdated and undersized 3-acre bus operations and maintenance facility.

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking Jon Clark Executive Director

Jon Clark, Executive Director BCAG

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture, Groundbreaking

Officials at Groundbreaking Ceremony

BCAG is an association of all the local governments within Butte County. It is responsible for development of federal and state transportation plans and programs that secure transportation funding for the region’s highways, transit, streets and roads, pedestrian and other transportation system improvements. BCAG is also the administrative and policymaking agency for the region’s public transit “B-Line” bus service.

The 10-acre Butte Regional Transit Operations Center will provide administrative, operations, maintenance, as well as bus wash and fueling. An orchard-like grid of trees responds to the extensive orchards that surround the city of Chico, and firmly place the project in its regional context. This “orchard” provides shade to parking lots and areas around buildings. It extends to the street in lieu of street trees.

Butte County Association of Governments, Butte Regional Transit Operations Center, Chico, CA, TLCD Architecture Rendering, Groundbreaking

TLCD Architecture Rendering

Large shade canopies are covered by a photovoltaic array capable of meeting most or all of the facility’s electrical needs, while providing shade for a significant portion of the bus fleet. The photovoltaic array is one of many sustainable design features of the project, which is targeting LEED certification at the Silver level.

To view a real time webcam of the project, click the Kitchell link below…

http://oxblue.com/open/kitchell/butteopcenter

TLCD Architecture’s Don Tomasi Celebrates 30th Work Anniversary!

By Alan Butler, Principal TLCD Architecture

In today’s world it’s rare to stay anywhere for 30 years, so it’s with great excitement that we celebrate the 30th work anniversary of my friend and partner Don Tomasi. Our paths nearly crossed in the summer of 1984 when unbeknownst to each other, Don and I were working and living on the same street in Seattle, Washington. Later that year, Don returned to Santa Rosa to work for his father at Tomasi Architects. The following year in 1985, I returned to Santa Rosa and began working at Lawry Coker DeSilva Architects… located at the other end of Sonoma Avenue as Tomasi Architects. Although blocks apart, it would be another few years before we met.

In 1993 the two firms merged to form Tomasi Lawry Coker DeSilva Architects later to become TLCD Architecture. In the ensuing 21 years that we’ve worked together, the firm has grown to become a premier design firm in the North Bay region. It is under Don’s design leadership that the firm has evolved to produce a wide range of innovative and finely crafted projects in the education, healthcare, civic and commercial realms.

don tomasi, principal at tlcd architecture, deturk round barn, aiacc award

DeTurk Round Barn

To mark this occasion, we started the day with cake and champagne at the office, and then Don will fly down to Los Angeles with TLCD Architect Kevin Teel to accept an AIA California Council Design Award for the DeTurk Round Barn project located in Santa Rosa. This is the 7th award for this notable historical project, and the first AIACC award for the firm. Not a bad way to celebrate a milestone work anniversary!

It’s been quite a ride, and next year TLCD celebrates its 50th year of practice since Don’s father founded the firm in 1965. In spring 2015, we will be moving our office to the Museum on the Square building in downtown Santa Rosa. Like so many other projects he has been involved with, I believe Don’s vision for Museum on the Square will be a transformative event in the life of our city.

museum on the square, TLCD Architecture, Santa Rosa, California, Luther Burbank Savings, California Wine Museum

Museum on the Square

I am glad we finally made the journey down the block and got together. I am proud to have been Don’s partner during many of his 30 years in practice. The relationship has always been rewarding and we have been blessed to find a group of talented people to work with. Happy 30th anniversary and here’s to many more!

Rammed Earth Wall Rises at TLCD Project

tlcd architecture, american agcredit headquarters, rammed earth feature wall, sustainable

One of the most beautiful and ancient wall types used in construction is made from “rammed earth“. These walls are constructed using forms much like a concrete wall is constructed, but are instead filled with multiple layers of soil combined with a small amount of cement. The walls are structural, and the results are stunning. The most unique aspect of rammed earth walls, aside from their texture, is the horizontal layering of the different soils that are tamped (rammed) into place within the forms.

tlcd architecture, american agcredit headquarters, rammed earth feature wall, sustainable

Rendering of American AgCredit Reception area with “Rammed Earth” Wall

At TLCD Architecture’s 120,000 sf, 3-story American AgCredit Headquarters Building in Santa Rosa a rammed earth wall is being used as a backdrop for the main reception area. Because of the difficultly of constructing a wall within the building’s steel frame, the wall was completed last week, prior to the steel frame being erected. The forms will remain in place during construction in order to protect the wall; the wall won’t be unveiled until sometime next year!

Of particular note, soils were collected from various geographic areas from across the western United States serviced by American AgCredit. The colors of these soil samples were then matched to soils of the particular consistency necessary to provide the structural integrity required. This prominent wall will reflect the diverse geography serviced by the company, which makes loans for agriculture. It also reflects the fact that soil, along with sun and water, is one of the key components of agriculture.

We all look forward to seeing the results; waiting until next year is going to require patience!

Two of TLCD’s Best Recognized at AIARE Chapter Awards

It’s always a thrill to see team members recognized for their involvement in the local design community. TLCD Architecture’s Nick Diggins, Associate AIA and Carl Servais AIA, were recently recognized by the American Institute of Architects’ Redwood Empire (AIARE) for their service to the Chapter.

nick diggins, architectural intern, tlcd architecture, AIARE associate of the year 2014

Nick Diggins was recognized as Associate Member of the Year. In addition to serving on the AIARE Board as Associate Director, Nick volunteers his time at a number of AIA events including the Chapter’s Residential Showcase and Design Awards programs. He also lends his stellar graphic design skills to the chapter as needed. After earning a Masters of Architecture from Montana State University in 2010, Nick joined TLCD as an architectural intern. He is currently pursuing licensure and is in the process of taking the ARE exams. Nick quickly immersed himself in all aspects of design at TLCD, and livens things up with his quirky personality and boundless enthusiasm. He has led TLCD’s push towards digital fabrication, and is experimenting with different media and applications. Nick is actively involved in the design of TLCD Architecture’s new office in downtown Santa Rosa and is a key team member on the 120,000 sf American AgCredit Headquarters Building, currently under construction at Airport Boulevard. Nick lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Mindy and their two sons Seamus and Deklyn, where they’re currently developing high module recovery systems for outer space time travel (editorial addition by Nick).

carl servais AIA, tlcd architecture, young architect of the year, AIARE

Carl Servais, AIA, was recognized as Young Architect of the year. Carl has served two years on the Board, last year as Director of Chapter Affairs and as Treasurer for 2014. During his time on the Board Carl organized a membership drive, organized a build day for Habitat for Humanity Sonoma County, and assisted with the Chapter’s Residential Showcase and Design Awards programs. Carl is a Project Architect at TLCD and co-leads Building Information Modeling (BIM) training and mentoring at the firm. He is currently exploring linking and coordinating Revit models with project specifications and is working on a new multi-use building that is a pilot project for this endeavor. Carl is an educator and has taught Digital Architectural Drafting and BIM courses at local college campuses. A quiet personality, Carl unleashes his power on the TLCD bowling team where he not only delivers consistent strikes, but also has been known to shatter bowling balls! Carl and his wife Lauren, an English instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, have two daughters Chelle and Halle.

Everyone at TLCD Architecture joins the AIA Redwood Empire Chapter in congratulating Nick and Carl for their dedication to the Chapter and to our profession!

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