This morning everyone at TLCD Architecture toasted our 50th anniversary. Quite the milestone!
It began on January 1st of 1965 when Tom Tomasi left Steele & VanDyke, then one of Santa Rosa’s 2 primary architectural firms to begin his own practice. He worked above Stanley’s Music (now Skeeters, et. al.) on 4th Street in Santa Rosa in a rear office with a view of the blank wall of the (now former) Topaz Room. From those humble beginnings he moved into a well-known Victorian house at the corner of Sonoma and Brookwood Avenues, also in Santa Rosa.
Several years later George Lawry began his own firm, later joined by Ken Coker and Joel DeSilva. LCD’s office was also on Sonoma Avenue, just a couple blocks down the street from Tomasi Architects. In 1993 all of these initials (and a couple dozen others!) came together to create Tomasi, Lawry, Coker, DeSilva, later TLCD Architecture.
At 50 TLCD Architecture has a rich legacy of completed projects, and continues to be a positive force in the communities in which we work. We continue to grow and evolve, and look forward to new and exciting things in the years ahead.
We’ll more formally celebrate this important milestone later this year, once we’ve moved into our new space at Museum on the Square. But kicking things off with a nice Sonoma County sparkling wine on the first workday of the year isn’t a bad way to get the celebration rolling!
One 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!
Watch the video we produced on our GoPro of this fabrication process. Rapid Prototyping: Captured on Video
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!
The 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.
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.
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.
Jon Clark, Executive Director BCAG
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.
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…
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.
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
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!
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.
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!