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Posts by kevinteel

Architecture Reborn: Fading Past to Vibrant Future

DeTurk Round Barn, City of Santa Rosa, TLCD Architecture, Adaptive Reuse, Historic Round BarnBy Kevin Teel, Project Architect

KevinTeel_TLCD ArchitectureTLCD Architecture has had the opportunity to work on several diverse historic projects over the last decade – from the 1912 stone Vintage Hall at St. Helena High School – to the 124 year-old DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa. We are set to begin work on another storied historical structure in Healdsburg – a 1920’s warehouse called the Cerri Building. Historic projects are of particular interest to me because we each have our own way of “seeing” the character of a building, leading to unique interpretations and end results.

abandoned barns and mines, southwest, arizona, colorado, architecture, kevin feel

My personal journey began in Colorado and Arizona – places where I honed my own process for interpreting the history of buildings. Though most buildings I refer to are not historic landmarks, the process of revealing their inner character is the same.

I began to roam old mining towns and backcountry while attending college in the Southwest. There is a romance for the bucolic nature of dilapidated barns and mining structures in this area, but for me the real excitement is in imagining these places in their heyday. What was happening on any typical day? I pull each of my senses into the story and build around the experience. While none of these mental images may have happened, they help set basic parameters for how I would investigate design decisions in future projects. This same philosophy governed my thesis work in Arizona, when exploring adaptive reuse ideas of mining ruins near Prescott, Arizona.

prescott arizona mine ruins, kevin teel, tlcd architecture

Adaptive Reuse in my mind, is a process of inspiration and evaluation that allows the original building to shine, while simultaneously providing for current needs, regulations and community desires. It attempts to fuse, not separate, these elements into a lasting whole that, when done well “just seems right.” This approach doesn’t lessen the importance of the original building – it simply highlights it. It doesn’t suggest superiority of contemporary materials and methods; it attempts to show commonality of past and present construction means. This is why initial observations are so important to maintain, even in the presence of often complex and competing concerns.

DeTurk Round Barn, City of Santa Rosa, Historic Round Barn, TLCD Architecture

My first visit to DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa was not unlike entering the old mining structures in the Southwest. The barn was boarded up and in quite a state of disrepair, but I felt an immediate connection. After I got over wanting it for myself (yes, adaptive reuse can be a residence), I was immediately struck by what a calming space it was. This is when I began to consider the original function – the barn was built for horses, but they were trotters, not barrel racers. I imagined a well-lit space with beautiful horses steadily moving around the inner ring, clean horse stalls around the edges and hay carefully stacked overhead. This spirit of calmness would be fundamental to the success of this project, no matter the amount of chaos in getting to the finish line!

DeTurk Round Barn, City of Santa Rosa, TLCD Architecture, Adaptive Reuse, Historic BuildingNext, I was amazed at the light quality of the barn considering every ground floor window was boarded up and covered with plastic. The only light was from the original, dusty skylights above. Clearly this space could be light and bright again. Sometimes seemingly mundane ideas, such as seismic mitigation, take over my thoughts, but this is almost without exception an opportunity to enhance our interpretations. DeTurk Round Barn, TLCD Architecture, Historic Round Barn, For example, wooden posts carrying the weight of the loft would not be adequate to meet modern codes and would need retrofitting. These materials could simply be construction waste, or we could find a way to “carry history forward.” Spectacular old growth redwood (a huge piece of our local history) was resawn and used as interior finish in the barn, exposing its beauty for future visitors to enjoy.

With this inspiration in mind, and as a foundation, the question becomes “What is the vision for this building now and in the foreseeable future?” This is where public input and design team coordination comes into play. Although the community’s feedback reduced the project scope considerably, it didn’t reduce the challenges TLCD Architecture would face. The firm still needed to rehabilitate an extremely unique and dilapidated 8,300 square-foot round barn while maintaining its historic integrity. We were also tasked with seamlessly incorporating a kitchen, restrooms, mechanical/electrical and storage rooms, as well as integrating 21st century technology to ensure DeTurk Round Barn would become a popular event space for the City of Santa Rosa.

DeTurk Round Barn, National Registry of Historic Places, TLCD Architecture

TLCD now has another wonderful opportunity to play a role interpreting the history of the Cerri Building in Healdsburg. This is another building with a long, storied history and most certainly a quite different future. It will not be possible without community input, technical expertise and a fundamental understanding of the nature of the space and surrounding environment.

DeTurk Round Barn has been one of TLCD’s most published and recognized projects… I hope you will find the following links of interest:

AIA California Council, Adaptive Reuse Merit Award 2014

Retrofit Magazine Article “Barn Raising”

GreenSource Magazine Article “Uplifting a Round Barn”

Big Ass Fan Case Study DeTurk Round Barn

View video below for more background on the DeTurk Round Barn 

Lowery Student Center – Transformation Inside and Out

Lowery Student Center Entry and Courtyard View

Lowery Student Center Entry and Courtyard View

From outdated library (view spectacular new Library here: Mendocino College LLRC) to the Lowery Student Center this project shows how an existing building can be repurposed for additional important functions. Since the new library location would essentially displace all existing student center functions on campus (bookstore, student lounge and café / dining) it was decided that the old library location would be a perfect fit for their relocation. To this end Midstate Construction deftly handled the idiosyncrasies of working in an older building.

By opening the western wall of the building a dramatic entry element was realized. Entering the main gathering space, campus users can easily navigate between the student lounge (complete with pool table and gaming devices), bookstore, or the greatly expanded Schat’s Café and dining area. This is a great place to get morning coffee, a Danish, and maybe finish the homework in a relaxed setting! The light filled spaces are accented with warm, rich recycled redwood paneling by Viridian.

It was also a great opportunity to consolidate all of these functions around a wonderful new courtyard. The courtyard now serves large campus gatherings and student activities. In a time where campuses find it hard to persuade students to stay on campus, beyond class time, this consolidation / modernization is sure to help on this campus.

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Yuba College – Clearlake Campus Nearing Completion!

Just in time for the Fall semester…… the Clearlake Campus modernization is wrapping up. Completed in just over 1 year, the campus has been transformed with three new buildings. These additions allow administration services to be located in the same building, the Culinary Arts program to expand with the latest cooking equipment and teaching aids, and for the Science Department to begin offering Anatomy classes due to the inclusion of a Wet Lab and Cadaver Room. Kudos go to Sundt Construction for meeting a tight construction schedule, in often very demanding conditions.

There has also been recent buzz in the local press. The Lake County Record-Bee has been keeping their eye on this project, letting the local citizens know that they have an amenity that adds real value to Lake County community. The entire Yuba College Community, Students and Staff alike, deserve my sincere thank you for remaining upbeat, energetic and commited throughout this lengthy process. They can all now take advantage of the modernized facility well into the future.

Library and Administration Building

Library Interior

Yuba Community College – Clearlake Campus Student Services Center Update

Well…… the progress has been amazing. Since our last update the contractor’s forces have poured the concrete slabs (Devencenzi) for all three buildings, erected a portion of the wood walls (Archer) and the structural steel (Hilo Erectors) for the main building. before Christmas Sundt expects to have all of the wood framed roofs up and roofing on. This is a good thing, since we have been lucky so far that our typical winter weather has held! We will also see the metal decking finalized and the concrete put on at the second floor.

Yuba Community College – Clearlake Campus – Student Services Center

After a wet spring and a mild summer we have now completed “Increment 1 – Site Package” for the Yuba Community College Student Services Center. The program is incorporated into three buildings and is quite varied, combining Administration Services, Learning Resource Center and Career Center, Library, Culinary Arts, and Science Clasrooms (including a Cadaver Room for Anatomy classes). The design team has worked closely with Sundt Construction to meet a schedule of preparing the site building pads, adding Rammed Aggregate Piers, and providing new parking and fire access roads, ahead of the Fall semester, which started in late September. The second part of the project: Increment 2 – Building Package was approved by the Division of the State Architect and as of late September is well under way. The footings have been poured and we are moving quickly toward the slab on grade pours. After that, the students and staff will start to see steel and wood framing for the walls. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2012, so that the Owner can take occupancy in the Fall of 2012.

DeTurk Round Barn – open for business!

St. Pattys Day was more than Corned Beef and Guiness this year. The DeTurk Round Barn, after a much needed restoration, was officially dedicated and opened for business. Under the care of The City of Santa Rosa, Recreation and Parks Department the barn went from a tired 120 year old building to a vibrant public space, ready for another 120 years of memories.

There were two events of interest on this day. A wonderful ceremony, complete with bagpipes, occured at the new dog park. A new memorial for “Maverick”, a K9 killed in the line of duty in 2000, was dedicated. With generous financial support from TLCD Architecture and the general contractor on the project, GCCI, a suitable plaque was unveiled, that will honor Maverick well into the future.

DeTurk Dog Park Memorial Dedication for "Maverick"

DeTurk Round Barn Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The second event was the ribbon cutting for the round barn. Approximatley 250 people attended, and were entertained with videos, drink and wonderful food from On Q Events and Catering. A really special part of this event was mingling with the guests and talking about the what it took to get to this point:

1. Community support and involvement, especially from the citizens that live near the barn in the West End Neighborhood and Historic District.

2. Understanding and cooperation from the varied departments within the City of Santa Rosa as the project was navigated through the approval process.

3. Wonderful programs, like the California Cultural and Historical Endowment , meant to save important architectural landmarks like the DeTurk Round Barn.

4. A collaborative atmosphere during the project between Design Team and contractor. A project like this, where so much is about maintaining the origianl character of the barn won’t be successful if the trades in the field aren’t seen as a big piece of the solution. From the custom stair elements, executed wonderfully by The Welding Shop, to the large amount of exposed conduit for electrical, placed in a craftman like manner by Lunardi Electric, to the reclaimed oak flooring installed by H.Y. Floor and Gameline Painting, Inc. this project is successful in large part by dedication of workers in the field. Contact GCCI for a list of all sub contractors on the project.

A fitting end on St. Patty’s Day: “May your home always be too small to hold your friends”

DeTurk Round Barn Continued Progress – “Raising the Roof”

Now that the DeTurk Round Barn has been lowered onto the new concrete curb and post-tension slab the work of replacing the roof has begun. The skip sheathing creates a wonderful pattern in its exposed state (unfortunatley keeping it this way would not work so well in our rainy winters). Once the shingles are in place the installation of the “Big Ass Fan” (24 feet in diameter!) will commence. You can see, in one image, that the center portion of the slab is ready for the concrete pour, with rebar and radiant tubing in place. The wood framing is well underway, with the studs, joists, and wall framing happening. GCCI, the general contractor, is doing an amazing job at juggling the complex issues associated with transforming a 119 year old barn to function in the 21st century.

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