By Carl Servais AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
The Mike Hauser Academy is a summertime program through the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The program provides students entering 9th grade with hands-on experience from STEM related employers in the area. TLCD Architecture hosted the class the week of June 20th and I had an opportunity to work with fellow designers, Nick Diggins and Stacey Walker to shape the curriculum for the week.
We had a lot of fun leading the students through the process of measuring an existing space, creating scale drawings by hand, developing a design based on a functional program, and finally modeling their design in 3D. The students did an amazing job working together throughout the week, which culminated in a presentation of their design to the group, complete with floor plans and a 3D rendering that could be viewed with Google Cardboard viewers. They particularly enjoyed seeing their own pictures as scale figures within the renderings. Check out these stereo panoramic renderings of the students inhabiting their designs:
Lucas and Ginger
Dorian and Janai
Jerry and Montse
Last Thursday, TLCD Architecture held an official ribbon cutting ceremony with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the Open House for our new office at 520 Third Street in downtown Santa Rosa. After a few words from Chamber President Jonathan Coe and Vice Mayor Tom Schwedhelm, we opened our doors to clients, consultants, business neighbors, family and friends to check out our “new digs.”
TLCD employees manned the bar and served beer while Starmont Winery poured vino to our guests who enjoyed small bites from Chloe’s while perusing our new home. The open office layout really lends itself to large gatherings especially when the garage door is open, connecting our large conference room to the rest of the space.
We had about 300 guests join us during the three-hour event, which gave us a chance to get a lot of feedback about our design. We invited guests to share their thoughts on the wall in our “Gumby” conference room that doubles as a white board. As we anticipated, everyone had positive things to say about our new office and thought it felt like a great place to work. We are grateful for all of the effort that went into designing and creating our space and definitely enjoy coming to work here everyday!
Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us, and if you missed the event – please feel free to stop by next time you’re in downtown!
For more pictures from our Open House, check out our Facebook page!
TLCD Architecture kicked off it’s Open House party with a ceremonial ribbon cutting with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Guests shared what they thought of our new digs!
Small bites from Chloe’s French Cafe
Our office mascot Angel entertaining our guests
Jeff Blecher, Peter Levelle, and Ken Goforth of TLCD
John Perry with Principal Brian Wright
Julie Wycoff, Stacey Walker, Suzanne Nagorka, and Domenica Sheets of TLCD
Santa Rosa’s city center has long been known as Courthouse Square and it carries a long, rich history. Originally laid out as a plaza in the early 1800’s, it later became the site of a grand County Courthouse. The Square was a lively center of community and political activity and a place where young and old gathered. The 1906 earthquake destroyed the Courthouse and a new one was built on the same site as part of the reconstruction efforts.
By the 1960’s county government had outgrown the Courthouse and it was razed. In the midst of urban renewal, the Square was divided into two parts by varying interests and Mendocino Avenue was routed through the middle. Several decades and many City Councils later, the City of Santa Rosa is moving forward with the Reunification of Courthouse Square. This plan reunifies the Square and creates an urban park and gathering space for residents and visitors alike. With proximity to great dining, shopping and events like the Wednesday Night Farmers Market, it will also serve as an economic boon to local businesses.
TLCD Architecture has been a downtown Santa Rosa business for over 50 years and the architect on many key public projects. In February 2016, the firm moved to our new office at 520 Third Street, which fronts Courthouse Square. The building, a former telephone switching facility, had been abandoned for decades. TLCD’s team recognized the potential to transform it into a contemporary building with urban office space and retail opportunities. Working as part of the development team, this building was designed with the reunification of Courthouse Square in mind as a way to reinvigorate the city center.
Recognized for our role in the revitalization of downtown Santa Rosa, as well as other community projects, the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce recently named TLCD Architecture Small Business of the Year. Principal Don Tomasi, accepted the award and spoke to our firm’s commitment and work culture.
Furthering this exciting momentum are key infrastructure projects including the SMART Train, which is set to begin passenger rail service in late 2016. With stations that include the Sonoma County Airport (also in active expansion mode) and Railroad Square, there will be non-vehicular transportation directly to downtown Santa Rosa. This connectivity will bring a new level of energy and activity to the city center… aka Courthouse Square!
To learn about the City of Santa Rosa’s vision, see the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan.
For more about the history of Courthouse Square, read Gaye LeBaron’s article: Old Courthouse Square has divided Santa Rosa for 160 years.