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Carl’s Excellent Adventure: Leadership Santa Rosa Part 3


My story about the second Leadership Santa Rosa program day, Government and Politics, truly began several months ago at the Class XXXII retreat where several of my classmates and I had a discussion about the reunification of Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa, an important and contentious project which has been in the works for many years.  That spirited discussion inspired me to complete our homework assignment by attending the City Council meeting in September where the City Council decided to move ahead with funding the project, and that meeting became a tipping point for me to speak out in support of the City Council’s decision by writing a letter to the local newspaper, the Press Democrat.

And so, with my freshly inspired spirit for civic engagement, I entered the City Council chambers again in October to learn all about government, policy, and politics during our program day.

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Who’s Up for a Field Trip… to American AgCredit?

American AgCredit Headquarters, TLCD Architecture, Zinc Cladding, Santa Rosa Construction ProjectArchitecture firms are all about field trips… and often they are tours of our projects under construction. This week, TLCD’s staff got out for a tour of the American AgCredit Headquarters project in Santa Rosa. This landmark 120,000 square foot project is nearing completion with portions of the building to be occupied within a few weeks. It was a great opportunity to tour it and see how many of the key features are taking shape. In the photo above, our team is looking at the rammed earth feature wall which was built early in construction. It was encased in a wooden structure for protection, and then the building was constructed around it. The wall is a stunning reference to the soil that makes agriculture possible and supports American AgCredit’s mission of farm lending.

American AgCredit Headquarters, TLCD Architecture, Zinc Cladding, Santa Rosa Construction ProjectAmerican AgCredit Headquarters, TLCD Architecture, Zinc Cladding, Santa Rosa Construction ProjectOne of many exciting design elements will be perforated zinc exterior cladding, which is only now beginning to be installed. Over the next few months these zinc panels will completely transform the appearance of the building. Not only will they visually define the facade, the panels will also provide sunshading that will significantly reduce the cost of cooling the building.

On the second floor, we walked one of the sky bridges with a feature wall of channel glass. From the outside, the glass provides a distinctive entry element, but from the inside, it creates wonderful, diffused lighting for what will be a casual work area for the employees of American AgCredit. This sky bridge will have soft lighting to one side and clear views to the inner courtyard on the other side.

Throughout the tour we did what most architects do… looked up, looked down, looked all around. These tours are a learning process for the entire staff and also expose us to ideas, materials and solutions we can use on other projects.

IIDA Art & Wine Event Raises Funds for Local Students

Suzanne Nagorka, Interior Designer

Close to 60 members and guests of the IIDA NC (International Interior Design Association, Northern California) North Bay City Center gathered in the sculpture garden of Sonoma County Museum on October 17 for our second annual Fall Art and Wine Event.  Over $2,000 was raised for the Museum’s Educational Program that brings art and museum tours to underserved students in Sonoma County.

Our TLCD Architecture Interior Design team (Domenica Sheets, Stacey Walker, and myself) made up half of the planning committee for the fundraiser, and we were also among the many industry sponsors who made the event possible.

Local wine, delicious Mexican food, tasty treats and a generous raffle enhanced the soiree, while face painting artist Clementine the Amazing provided a fun and festive activity for guests who wanted to honor the Dia de los Muertos theme with wearable sugar skull art.

Interior Designers and affiliated professionals were wowed by the Docent tours of the Museum’s three fabulous exhibits:  Artistry in Wood, Dia de los Muertos and an amazing Fiber Arts show.  IIDA NC is one of 30 worldwide IIDA chapters that leads the way for the next generation of design innovators by providing a forum for professional development and advancement of the Interior Design Industry.

Special thanks go to our Gold Level sponsors:  ARC/Bendheim Glass, LeGrand, Shaw Contract and Wolf Gordon.

The final IIDA NC North Bay City Center event of the year will be our annual Member Appreciation Event in December, which we are busy planning! For information on upcoming IIDA NC events, click here.

Carl’s Excellent Adventure: Leadership Santa Rosa Part 2


The topic of Class XXXII’s first Leadership Santa Rosa program day was Agriculture.  After our fascinating pretour of a mushroom farm in Sebastopol, I was excited to see what the day would bring, but not so excited about starting at 6am.  Ugh!  I can’t complain too much though, since our first stop was the Bucher Dairy, a 2nd generation family-owned organic dairy farm on 360 acres near Healdsburg, where they are up every day at 1am to start milking the cows. Yikes!  They have 700 dairy cows producing milk for Clover Storneta, and in recent years planted a 40 acre vineyard to support their own wine label, Bucher.  I learned a lot about how the farm operates and how they have integrated new technology over time to increase efficiency, including creating their own “plate cooler” that works like a heat exchanger to passively cool the milk with stored water.

Our next stop was Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm for a panel discussion with Tony Linegar, the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner, Karissa Kruse, the President of the Sonoma County Wingrowers, and Doug Beretta from Beretta Family Organic Dairy.

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Serious Fun: California’s Wine Business

Wine Business Institute, Sonoma State University, TLCD Architecture, Interior RenderingAnyone living in California knows the impact the wine industry has on our economy. California produces 90% of the wine for the US with an estimated retail value of $24.6 billion. California is also becoming the leader in wine business education for professionals worldwide. What you might not know is that Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, is leading the way with its innovative Wine Business Institute (WBI). The WBI is an education and research institute within the School of Business and Economics. It was created as a public-private partnership with a clear mission: to educate students, provide research and develop programs that would support the needs of one of the primary industries and employers in our region and around the world. WBI is the first and only program in the US to focus exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry, offering both an undergraduate degree and MBA program.

TLCD Architecture, located just minutes from Sonoma State University, has a diverse practice that includes work for both winery/hospitality and educational clients. These two areas of expertise meshed beautifully when TLCD was selected to design the new Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State. It’s given us an opportunity to explore the programmatic needs of wine business and marketing majors and assist the school in developing high level design visualizations for fundraising efforts.

Our work with the WBI began by meeting with the administrators and faculty to develop a vision and concept for the new facility, which will comprise a complete remodel of the original University Commons Building. From that initial vision we created several renderings of the design concept, which in turn helped to generate several large donations for the project from the Institute’s partners in the wine industry. Schematic Design has been completed, and we’ll be moving into the next phases of design shortly. We’re fortunate to have Summit Engineering on our team, who also happens to be one of the premier winery engineers in Northern California.

It’s incredibly fulfilling to be part of a program that will educate and train the next generation of wine business professionals and entrepreneurs. While TLCD Architecture’s work extends throughout Northern California, we have been in business here in Sonoma County for 50 years. Contributing to our community, quality education and a thriving business culture is important to us.

Wine education is not all about classes, research and training. It’s also about immersing ourselves in the culture of wine and having some “serious fun.” We recently teamed with our friends at Summit Engineering for a showdown at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair “World Championship Grape Stomp” competition. Celebrating its 41st year, the Harvest Fair celebrates Sonoma County’s harvest by honoring world-class wine, beer and culinary creations.

Click the video below to see the TLCD Architecture/Summit Engineering Grape Stomp Showdown!


More articles about the Wine Spectator Learning Center

Wine Spectator Donates $3 Million to Sonoma State University

SSU Wine Institute Gets Another Major Gift

Peter Michael Adds Its Support To Wine Spectator Learning Center At Sonoma State University

Wine Spectator Learning Center – The Next Vintage

Grape Stomp Showdown: TLCD Architecture vs Summit Engineering

On a warm fall weekend in wine country, the ultimate grape showdown took place between two Santa Rosa firms. TLCD Architecture challenged Summit Engineering to compete in the annual Harvest Fair Grape Stomp for bragging rights about who can generate the most juice in under 3 minutes.

Two teams from each firm prepared for this event by enduring a rigorous training regiment… mainly developing our core strength from laughing so hard. It turns out there is a real finesse to grape stomping as we learned the intricacies of being the “Stomper” or the “Swabby.” Foot size does not matter if you are the Stomper, it’s much more about the swirl and kick technique to move the juice towards the spout. The Swabby role benefitted from laser sharp focus and unusually long arms to funnel the grape juice into the jug.

While the teams from TLCD and Summit did not win the heat that day, we had a respectable amount of “wine juice weight” and went home proud. Purple feet and hands, a trophy t-shirt and the following video mark this historic showdown.

We Rock: Creative Preparations for IIDA Fall Art and Wine Event

iida north bay city center, tlcd architecture, sonoma county museum

Stacey Walker, Interior Designer

IIDA North Bay City Center is gearing up for the 2nd Annual Fall Art and Wine Event and enlisted the help of our TLCD office for the decorations.

Suzanne, Domenica and I are on the planning committee for the festive Dia de los Muertos themed event that will be hosted at Museums of Sonoma County in downtown Santa Rosa on Saturday, October 17th from 3-6pm. There will be docent tours of the historic museum exhibits, ‘Dia de los Muertos Altars’ and ‘Artisty in Wood’, as well as tours of the new contemporary museum exhibit ‘The Sculpted Fiber: West Coast Fiber Artists’. Clementine The Amazing Face Painter, a local award winning face painting artist will be magically transforming our guests’ faces into Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls. There will be a silent auction with wonderful prizes and the proceeds of this event will benefit the Museum’s Educational Program for Students.

We harnessed the creativity of our staff to paint river rocks with sugar skull faces and create beautiful tissue paper marigolds to decorate the Museum Sculpture Garden. Our normally boisterous crowd was quiet with concentration as they painted colorful faces on the collection of river rocks and cut, crimped and twisted the tissue paper into beautiful Marigold flowers!

Tickets for this fabulous event can be purchased online – We would love to see you there!


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