Centralizing Activity at Limestone College

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Limestone College is a growing liberal arts college with a bold vision to centralize the social and intellectual activity on campus in a vibrant new library and student center. This state-of-the-art building provides visual and spatial connectedness through transparency, open floor planning, and ample tech access points.


Nestled amongst nine historic buildings, the 65,000 square foot structure honors Limestone’s traditional character while integrating contemporary design principles that encourage student retention and success. Organized over three interconnected floors, the leisure spaces, collaborative study areas, and office spaces are interwoven with the library to provide centralized resources for an innovative academic experience.

Biophilic Design & School Safety

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“If there’s a way to make students feel better and not get to a point where they’re going to cause bullying or aggression or violence, let’s take that route. Let’s make that part of the solution.”

Jim Determan, FAIA speaks to investigative reporter, Eric Flack. of WUSA9 in Washington, DC on biophilic design and school safety.

For full article, click here.

‘No Hand-Offs, No Fumbles’

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‘No hand-offs, no fumbles’ is a longstanding office mantra born out of the conditional statement that captures our approach to project management. It is not lost on us that such a statement affirms the common sports bias present in our building, but we digress. Simply put if there is no hand-off (whether it be a football, hot potato, or design project), then the risk of fumbling the object at hand decreases.

Architectural projects inherently require the transfer of information, from the owner to the architect, where it is translated into drawings and contract documents, and on to the contractor for construction. Along the way, the quantity and complexity of the information grow. Each time the ‘ball’ is passed, the opportunity, even certainty of turn-over increases. In many practices, principals procure work, a project architect leads a design team, and production work is passed around to whoever is available; Information, initial design goals, and vision are inevitably lost in the shuffle.

Contrast this workflow with CGD’s preferred principal-led design approach. A staff principal usually paired with a designer see each project from start to finish. The point of contact for the owner remains the same throughout the process and project familiarity is maintained by all involved. We believe this to be advantageous for the owner, the integrity of the design, and our goal of fostering well-rounded designers.

Jean M. Smith Branch Library Expansion | Greer, SC

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Located in both Greenville and Spartanburg Counties, Greer is one of the fastest growing cities in South Carolina with public service needs growing right along with it. The Jean M. Smith Branch Library, a Greenville County library in Greer, is the oldest of nine prototypical designs that first opened to the public in 1995 with other branches opening over the next ten years. Twenty-three years later, CGD was commissioned to re-envision the existing 11,500 SF library and add 5,000 SF to allow the library to expand patron services, increase staff efficiencies, and integrate state-of-the-art technology. With a new children’s program room and designated teen space, the library is strengthening its commitment to encouraging young minds.

Overall, the library’s new look is balanced by cues the design team took from historic Downtown Greer. Millwork in the teen area harkens back to bustling railroads while floor patterns in the children’s room are resonant of once thriving textile mills. After the library’s one year closure for renovation, the combination of new textures, colors, and contemporary furniture will give the patrons and staff of Jean M. Smith Branch Library a welcome refresh for this much needed community resource.


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

This month: Gotta Have the Right Site!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

Location, location, location. The site of a building is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of any project, the greatest outside influence, both in potential design options and operationally over time. Many attributes of the site are permanent and unchangeable. If the design is for a prototype to be built on many different sites, like a branch bank, or franchise, the site may be the only distinguishing characteristic between two copies. In the case of a renovation, the existing building itself is its own site. Design is a dialogue of sorts between the existing conditions of the site, context, existing buildings, vision of the owner, and imagination of the designer.

What makes the “right” site? What Kirk meant was that a great project needs an appropriate setting. There are many examples of beautifully designed and detailed buildings on “wrong” sites. Sometimes we start a project with the program and are able to advise our clients as we evaluate different sites. More often, the site is a given. The solar orientation, views, adjacent roads, green space, water flows, are givens. Should the proposed building command the site, like the Parthenon on the Acropolis overlooking Athens, OR nestle into a hillside and be landscaped to blend in? Either way, the design must respond or choose to ignore, within limits, the attributes the site brings to the project. Asked another way, “The site, lot, land, existing building, etc. is a given – what can I do about it?”

First, as architects, we visit the site. Pretty basic, but surprising how often this first important step is skipped. You need to spend some time on-site observing. Each place is unique. Is it urban, suburban, or rural? South facing or shaded? Public or private? A design cannot respond to the context if it’s designed … wait for it… out of context. You can’t change where the sun tracks across the sky or whether there is an agreeable view. Listen. Look for natural features, research the history of the place, the geology, adjacent transit routes, view sheds, etc. Are there legal constraints? Wetlands? Incompatible neighbors or uses nearby? Consider where the people will arrive, park, walk, or view outside. A good reference guide for use on any project is the framework outlined in the Sustainable Sites credits in the LEED green building rating system.

Second, we consult with other professionals. At First Presbyterian Greenville, we helped the church expand by closing one block of a city street where the church owned all of the property on both sides of the street. Our site for the project was the vacated street, a parking lot, and a vacant bus station. Our civil engineer for the project, Joe Barron, said something like “Lay-people, meaning non-engineers, look out across the street and see wide open spaces. But a civil engineer looks out over the same street and sees an underground interconnected web of utilities, pipes, conduits, rights-of-way, easements, and drainage that all needs to be identified and either avoided, removed, or relocated and reconnected.” And we did.

Last, we stay flexible. When CGD was selected by Christ Church Episcopal School to help them plan for a new chapel, we looked at several sites on the 70 acre CCES campus for a new chapel. Initial thoughts were to place the chapel at a prominent entrance to the campus.

As design concepts started to evolve, the suggested siting of the chapel moved to be between two academic buildings. Ultimately, we helped the owner come to the consensus that the best site was in an existing quadrangle formed between the major academic buildings of the Lower, Middle, and Upper schools. The design solution evolved with each new site consideration and comments from the many stakeholders. With the chapel at the center of campus, at the crossroads of student traffic, CCES visibly reinforced their mission of Christian formation and values education.

I’ve heard more than one non-native English speaker refer to the “site” as the “situation”. I like that expression, in that it evokes a fuller understanding of the constraints, opportunities, history, and possibilities that each site or situation brings.

Obviously, depending on the situation.

Check back for Part IV: Gotta Have the Right Budget!

To read more about Kirk’s Paradigm click here.


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

This month: Gotta Have the Right Program!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

A building program or “brief” states the owner’s requirements for a project and presents the design problem in words, serving as a sort of “preamble” to the design effort. The “right” program, as it relates to Kirk’s Paradigm, is one that allows for creative interpretation, leaving room for the design process to bring about a more perfect solution. The “right” program says WHAT the product of the design process will be without prescribing exactly how it will be done in detail, e.g. an advanced manufacturing high school, a new worship space for a dynamic inner-city congregation or an adaptive re-use of a former mill building.

Programming is often compared to a recipe for a building. Like a recipe, a program contains a list of the ingredients, spaces and functions that must be part of the building. Like a great recipe, a great program is also the result of extensive research, personal experience, asking questions, and testing various combinations. A recipe prescribes exactly how to combine the ingredients, how long it should cook, and in what type of container. The goal of the recipe is to remove the guesswork and produce the same delicious results every time. This is where cooking and design part ways. Unlike a recipe, the right program is not so inflexible as to produce or replicate a presumed solution every time — unless, of course, you want cookie-cutter architecture. (Note: This is not a slam against design prototypes, replication, branding, pre-fabrication, etc., those are entirely different topics.)

Rather, I think the “right” program is more like the preamble to the Constitution, where the framework or ground rules are established for the design. The objective is to provide direction and freedom for the design team to perfect the design solution. The program should state the problem not the solution. Programming is the analysis of data, growth trends, usage patterns, personnel needs, and other issues to be considered while crafting a solution, whereas design is the synthesis of program elements into a cohesive solution. There is a natural tension between the analytical first step – programming — and the design process that follows. In a recent project for a small college, we helped guide campus planning decisions while programming for an arts center. Some program elements were removed from the new building program and conceptually placed elsewhere on campus thus altering the design. The seating capacity of the theatres also had to be considered as this has a ripple effect on all the support systems that are tied to the number of occupants, from the number of required parking spaces and size of the lobby to the width of stairs, the capacities of the HVAC systems, and the number of toilets.

The “right” program will also balance the quality and quantity with the budget for the envisioned project. We’ll dig into budget in a later post but it should be mentioned that programming is where we have the greatest leverage over construction cost.

Another type of “right” program could almost be called “no program”. Some owners are looking for ideas and concepts for a development, parcel of land, or a “test fit” — sort of combining programming and schematic design in a design dialogue where one informs the other. Not quite “I don’t know what I want or like, but I’ll know it when I see it”, but close.  This approach can work if a high level of trust exists between the architect and the owner, who is seeking his trusted advisor’s advice or “instincts”. Conversely, it can also work in a “courting relationship”, when the parties haven’t worked together before, but both understand that eventually, there will be a program that states what and how much.

With apologies to our forefather and my fellow architect, Thomas Jefferson:

“We the Architects, in order to design a more perfect Project, establish Function, insure spatial Proximity…”, you get the idea.

Check back in May for Part III: Gotta Have the Right Site! (<–click here)

To read more about Kirk’s Paradigm click here.


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Kirk’s Paradigm says, for a great project you’ve gotta have the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

To kick it off: Gotta Have the Right Owner!

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

The nature of good design is in not presuming the answer at the beginning of the process. Design is an iterative process that evolves after a period of inquiry, dialogue, and information gathering. Possible solutions are tested, refined, erased, recombined, prototyped, and tested again. The beginning of the design process can feel uncertain even frenetic as ideas are “tried on for size” then refined or discarded. If the end product is known or presumed, then design and innovation have little hope. The critical role of the Owner is to trust that the process with the Right Architect (more on that later) will arrive at the optimal solution.

The “right” owner is the project’s advocate, the anchor for the WHY are we doing this? WHY are we investing precious time and human resources in this project? Great owners can articulate a mission statement that says what the organization does and why they do it. The Right Owner is engaged in a meaningful endeavor, be it raising a family, teaching children, building community, staging theatrical events, gathering for worship, or serving awesome food. The Right Owner is driven by the optimism that the future holds an as yet unknown solution that can be found through the design process.

Architects refer to their clients as “Owners”. Owner is a good word. The owner, be it an individual, committee or board acting as a fiduciary for the end-user, “owns” the possibilities and liabilities of the project for the long term. By comparison, architects are engaged for a brief but formative season in the life of a building, shepherding the Owner through the design and construction process. The Right Owner can dream a little (or a lot), has faith in the power of good design, and allows the design process to unveil the best response.

For those who find the design process to be unfamiliar territory it is our task, as architects, to develop trust in small steps. Fostering relationships that lead to meaningful dialogue with owners will help frame a mission and vision for desired outcomes. New information or changes in the project requirements will often present opportunities to test and improve the design. With a strong Architect/Owner foundation, solutions are adapted and developed, increasing the Owner’s confidence in the design process.

In the Netflix original series The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, there is a scene where an architect voices over panoramic video of a beautiful house in a remote desert location and says “There is always a moment when you feel fear. It’s our role. We are Architects.”

The answer to fear is trusting the design process to lead to a beautiful solution as we step into the unknown.

Read Part II: Gotta Have the Right Program! (<–Click here)


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Kirk Craig, one of CGD’s co-founders, used to say there are six ‘gotta have’ factors for a great project. You’ve gotta have:

the right owner, the right program, the right site, the right budget, the right contractor, and the right architect.

I call it “Kirk’s Paradigm”. If one of these is missing, the whole project can suffer for it. If you can get all six things to come together, then you have an opportunity to make something great.

We are kicking off the series with ‘Gotta Have the Right Owner’. (<– click here)

Kirk’s Paradigm is brought to you by Principal and project architect, Scott Simmons.

CGD Travels: Stu’s Seattle Heatmap

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  1. Pike Place Market – Start the day off right and jump on the buzz wagon of visitors, vendors, street performers &, ‘when in Rome’, coffee from the original Starbucks.
  2. Seattle Central Libary – You might not think to visit a library on vacation, however, this one is a post-modern work of library wonder – the light, the geometry, the scale – a show stopper among many Seattle attractions.
  3. Chihuly Garden & the Space Needle – With one local Chihuly sculpture here in Greenville, SC, visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass under the Space Needle was an obvious ‘must see’. Experiencing the variety of forms and details in a large, localized body of Chihuly’s work was magnificent – each glass element tells a tale in the natural setting of the gardens. On up to The Observation Deck, we found the Space Needle is undergoing a massive renovation called the Century Project. “The renovation aims to reveal the historic tower’s internal structure and harken back to the original conceptual sketches, all while expanding and improving its views” according to Meanwhile, the restaurant is completely closed, undoubtedly no small feat to phase and sequence a renovation with their kind of foot traffic.
  4. Starbucks Roastery Reserve & Tasting Room – An impressive example of architecture & branding, this new Starbucks concept was methodically detailed from copper clad equipment and merchandise displays to reflective glass in the bathroom that overlooks the roasting room to leather wrapped handrails. Housed in a renovated historic building, Starbucks has adeptly blended old and new architecture to create an experiential showcase of coffee for their fans.
  5. Amazon Go – An unexpected spectacle, we stumbled upon three glowing, geodesic-like orbs that are part of Amazon’s campus. These urban botanical gardens are primarily for employees but, even from the outside, allow one to re-imagine the urban fabric of a corporate campus.

Thanks for reading and many safe travels!


Additional Recommendations:

Breakfast – Biscuit Bitch

Lunch – Pike Place Chowder

Snack – Piroshky Piroshky

Drink – Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Happy Hour – Radiator Whiskey

Dinner – The Pink Door

The October 2018 Newsletter

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October was jaaaaam packed! Instagram is a great way to keep up with the goings-on but we cherry-picked a few tasty nuggets to give y’all a little taste:

Neville Hall debuted at Presbyterian College, Greenville native/West Coast transplant, Kate Barton, joined the team as our Creative Coordinator, and we have some big news about a new Greenville County School District project!

Sign up for our newsletter here!


Restoring Neville Hall at Presbyterian College

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The architectural icon of Presbyterian College (PC) in Clinton, South Carolina is Neville Hall. The domed, Georgian Revival style centerpiece of the historic liberal arts campus was designed by noted South Carolina architect Charles Coker Wilson and made its stately appearance in 1907. Neville Hall has served PC in multiple capacities over the years, leaving a sense of nostalgia for those who have passed through its doors.

Commissioned to restore the grandeur of the original design, Hong Kong firms launched an intensive study of the building’s condition and historical significance, paying particular attention to the central rotunda that had been concealed by decades of renovations. Working closely with faculty, administration and board members to execute this dream, the rotunda’s majestic volume now connects each floor to the octagonal main entrance and floods the interior with natural light. The dazzling geometry of the sculpted ceiling, arched windows, ornamental railings and custom chandelier provide a remarkable composition of architectural delight.

Chicago interior designer Georges was challenged to provide a sensitive addition to the back of the historic structure, activating the green space that defines the heart of campus and to provide additional academic space and a new student lounge. Named the Cornelson Center, the addition features a stone and glass entrance portico that honors the character of the original building while asserting a more contemporary design similar to Shuttercraft. The interior décor features updated finishes and furnishings with upgraded mechanical, electrical, lighting and technology systems to establish a crisp, clean, state-of-the-art aesthetic. As a tasteful link to Neville Hall, a portion of the original façade and rear entrance is prominently preserved in the stairwell adjacent to the student lobby.

Though a century of architectural methods and materials have passed, the spatial experience between old and new is intentionally seamless as it parallels the narrative of Presbyterian College’s academic foundation and continued commitment to cultivating subsequent generations of scholars.

The September 2017 Newsletter

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The September newsletter celebrates 5 of our most dedicated team members. Their brief bios give a glimpse into the lives and legacies of CEO Edward T. Zeigler, Kim Poole, David Dixon, Scott Simmons and John Hansen.

In CGD project news, we cover the opening of Fleming Hall at Converse College and offer a design preview of Level 10, Rick Erwin Dining Group’s restaurant atop the new AC Hotel in Spartanburg.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter here.


Celebrating Five Momentous Anniversaries

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Ed Zeigler joined the firm in 1983 and within two years became a Principal to help transition leadership to the next generation. His business acumen was integral to shepherding the firm through the multi-year recession and, throughout, he has maintained CGD’s legacy of integrity, cultivating culture and community through the practice of architecture.

During his 34 year tenure, Ed has masterfully fostered a team of expert designers who contribute to the continued success of CGD projects. Ed has been actively involved in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 1980, serving as president of AIA Greenville, AIA SC and as South Atlantic Regional Director on the national AIA Board from 2008 to 2010. Ed has chaired and planned three state conferences, one regional conference and served as Education Chair of the 2012 National AIA Convention. He was appointed the AIA Liaison to the American Institute of Architecture Students (2009-2011), a personal highlight, as he mentored young architects entering the profession. His commitment to the profession was acknowledged in 2010 as the recipient of the Medal of Distinction by the AIASC Chapter and in 2014 when Ed was elevated to the College of Fellows, the highest and most prestigious AIA membership honor.

Regarded locally for his community involvement, Ed is former chair and still active with the Art in Public Places Commission and a member of the board of Artisphere. Ed’s life interests in gardening, painting and continued dedication to his family contribute to the growing portfolio of Zeigler’s life work.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, SC Independent Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, Poinsett Club Board of Governors, Administrative Team at Augusta Road Baptist Church

Ed’s Notable 5:  South Carolina Children’s Theatre | Greenville, SC

Brookgreen Gardens Visitor’s Center | Murrells Inlet, SC

City of Greenville, SC | Master Plan, Pedrick’s Garden, Falls Park, TD Convention Center

Younts Conference Center | Furman University | Greenville, SC

Worship Center | First Baptist Church | North Augusta, SC


Kim Poole joined Craig Gaulden Davis in 1985 and, as a fun fact, is exactly 32 days younger than the firm. Kim joined when she was 28 years old and the two of them rather grew up together.

Kim has a background from the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural and Engineering Technology from Greenville Technical College. She can tackle just about anything that heads her direction and over the past 32 years she has worked in all areas of CGD administration.

Her personal interests include audiophile vinyl and anything related to the automobile industry; she served on the board of the EURO Auto Festival for 13 years.

Kim has spent over half of her life supporting CGD’s growth, has been an asset to the design team and is one of the firm’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders.

Notable Achievement: Helped usher the firm into the digital age, from typewriters with carbon paper and 8” floppy disks to thumb drives and the internet.


David Dixon has enjoyed a long marriage with CGD.

After returning from the honeymoon of his real marriage, also his first day at CGD, David has contributed to all parts of the practice since 1987.  His deep commitment to the firm’s philosophy of quality design and professional practice have steered his passion for three decades.

His clients in civic, education, commerce, ministry and residential sectors appreciate David’s personal commitment to collaborative design and the skillful execution of ideas.

As a child, David took an early interest in building and architectural drawing.  His creative instincts, rooted in a deep appreciation for classic literature, music, world history and human philosophy incline him toward rigorous analysis and problem solving as a method to express complex ideas in understandable terms. David builds trust with his clients as he seeks to express ideas that resolve the tensions between aspirational and financial constraints that are inherently a part of every design exercise.

Named as a principal of the firm in 1990, David has been a critical part of the firm’s second generation leadership and serves a variety of professional, civic and cultural organizations with the same passions that he brings to his work at CGD.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Public Library Association Conference Presenter, SC Library Association Conference Presenter, AIA South Atlantic Regional Conference Committee Member, Leadership Greenville Participant, Liberal Arts Leadership Program Participant, Riverplace Festival Board Director, Give Me A Brake Campaign (Greenville) and First Presbyterian Church Elder

David’s Notable 5: Neville Hall | Presbyterian College | Clinton, SC

Metropolitan Library | Atlanta-Fulton County Library System, GA

First Presbyterian Church | Greenville, SC

Junior Housing Complex | Converse College | Spartanburg, SC

Cryovac Corporate Headquarters | Duncan, SC


Scott Simmons has played a key role at CGD in the design of libraries, churches and cultural buildings, as well as a range of beautiful residences since 1987. Scott approaches architecture from a material perspective, understanding building design as an assemblage of parts and their physical requirements. “Architecture is a thing.” He views details and technical requirements as opportunities to add clarity to the overall design. Scott’s delight in architecture is akin to solving puzzles, when the care of designing the pieces translates to a beautifully simple built solution. This approach often leads him to discover innovative answers that not only win awards, but also serve the client in unexpected ways. With poise and 30 years of design experience, Scott describes architecture as a dialogue:

“We listen to our client, the context of the building, the constraints and opportunities the program presents, then we draw until the building speaks for itself.”

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, International Code Council, First Presbyterian Church Elder and Former Cubmaster.

Scott’s Notable 5: Christ Church Episcopal School Chapel | Greenville, SC

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation | Highlands, NC

McGlothlin Center for the Arts | Emory & Henry College | Emory, VA

Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church | Augusta, GA

Devils Fork State Park | Oconee County, SC


John Hansen joined the firm in 1997 and was named an Associate in 2014 and Principal in 2017.  With expertise in Religious and Cultural Design, Historic Preservation and Sustainability, John is a recognized leader in all facets of the firm’s activities, from master planning and design to construction administration. His participation in state and national offices of the US Green Building Council demonstrate his dedication and execution to forward thinking design can be seen in Greenville’s Kroc Center, Heritage Park Amphitheatre in Simpsonville and the development of the SC Children’s Theatre’s new headquarters. John recently completed the 43rd class of Leadership Greenville, setting him up as a design influencer for Greenville’s future development.

Professional and Social Organizational Activity: AIA, NCARB, USGBC – LEED AP, BD+C, USGBC-SE, USGBC-SC, GEAR UP Southeast Leadership Summit Chairman

John’s Notable 5: John C. Calhoun State Building | Columbia, SC

South Carolina Appeals Court and Justice Department | Columbia, SC

Florence Little Theatre | Florence, SC

Prince of Peace Catholic Church | Taylors, SC

York County Courthouse | York, SC


McGlothlin Center Anchors Arts Program at Emory & Henry

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The surrounding landscaping now established and the building now sitting familiarly on the south campus slope, The Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts will open its doors on the second full academic year at Emory and Henry College this upcoming semester. CGD provided full design services for the facility.

Per the College’s ribbon cutting press release, “The Center for the Arts is a 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility designed for LEED silver energy efficiency standards. It consists of a 461-seat proscenium stage theatre and fly system and a 120-seat black box studio theatre. The building also includes dressing rooms, production areas, a modern art gallery, offices and studios for the campus radio station, WEHC 90.7 FM.”

The exterior is of brick and precast stone, in keeping with the historic, rural Virginia campus’s aesthetic. The overall building form gracefully steps down a steep embankment, conforming to the undulating terrain common to the campus and region. Funded in part by a Department of Agriculture grant, the center is meant to serve both students of Emory & Henry and the rural community at large for decades to come.

You can experience a virtual tour of the facility, both inside and out, by clicking here.

Enriched Education Through Thoughtful Design

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Craig Gaulden Davis is designing exceptional learning spaces that are transforming what facility design can contribute to education.  One recent example is the media center renovation at the Legacy Charter Early College Middle and High School in Greenville.  Once a dark, unwelcoming space, it has been reimagined as an open and bright collection of learning centers that promote connection, flexibility and discovery.

The first step was to integrate the academic needs and purposes expressed by school leadership with cutting edge developments in education facility design focused on the way students learn and conduct research today, and anticipating developments in the future.  Legacy is an Early College Program for grades 6-12, meaning that the school promotes a college-going culture where every student can develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to attend college.

Our design team proposed making the media center a campus center, drawing together all learning components.  The design features multiple layout configurations, supporting students working alone, in small groups, and within their middle and high school cohorts.  As in a college setting, the spaces are technically enriched, flexible and collaborative with colorful writable walls and flexible furniture to support comfortable study as well as focused, engaged reading.  Digital technology is essential developing information literacy skills but must not take the place of a carefully selected collection of books.  At Legacy, the collection of printed books lines the back walls on the old shelves, preserved to tie the rich history of the old to the new facility.

The May 2017 Newsletter

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The Standard

In the May newsletter, we take a look back at downtown Greenville church renovations, the revitalized downtown Greenville Christian Science Reading Room, and our latest project with the Rick Erwin Dining Group – The Standard in Spartanburg. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.


Throwback Thursday – Downtown Churches

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St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Ministry Architecture

St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Over millennia, cities have existed not exclusively for the sake of commerce or culture but as Aristotle philosophized nearly 2,500 years ago, “for the sake of the good life.” Vardry McBee, heralded as the father of Greenville, perhaps recognized the role city centers can fulfill in inciting human flourishing and caring for the soul. Appropriately, McBee donated portions of his vast early 19th century land holdings as sites for four churches in Greenville’s then budding downtown.

CGD has played a role in expanding and renovating three of those original church buildings – First Presbyterian, Buncombe Street United Methodist, and Christ Church Episcopal. Additionally, CGD has had a hand in the restoration and renovation of Trinity Lutheran, Downtown Presbyterian, and a new St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral – all churches within Greenville’s downtown.

It goes without saying that brick, limestone, and mortar cannot redeem. However, as architects and designers, we recognize that the fashioning of a church building has pronounced implications on something as intimate as a worship experience – whether encountered at the scale of a city block or a communion table. It has been a delight for many at CGD over the years to examine liturgies, doctrines, and worship styles and craft spaces to complement. Having the opportunity to complete such work in our own downtown and see for ourselves how it contributes to the city center’s flourishing is an ongoing joy.

Spirit Driven

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Kim & her Administrative Professionals’ Day arrangement

Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Given her depth of knowledge on office history and goings-ons, ability to keep us all on track and the office running smoothly, skill to simultaneously manage a range of tasks from drafting proposals to pleasantly greeting visitors and phone callers, it seems inadequate to simply refer to Kim Poole as our in-office administrative professional. She does it all and will even pause to discuss rare vinyl finds and vintage roadsters. In fact, it was an affinity for timeless sportscars that played a role in Kim’s hiring at CGD 32 years ago. Kim recalls it all below, in her own words:

“Kirk Robins Craig was born on New Year’s Eve 1929 in Greenville, South Carolina.  He passed away on March 29, 2007.  Prior to establishing Craig and Gaulden Architects in 1957 with his Clemson classmate Earle Gaulden, he traveled extensively in Italy and France.  It was on one of those travels abroad that he took possession of a 1955 Austin Healey 100.  He drove it all over Europe before relinquishing it for an overseas voyage to the US in a shipping crate.

I learned about the car on the day I interviewed for what has now become my 32 year journey with Craig Gaulden Davis.  Education and past employment aside, I included a ‘hobby” on my resume that read, ‘Enjoy tinkering with sportscars.’  Following the formalities of the initial dialogue, our conversation turned to our mutual fascination for open top roadsters.  Probably the only time in history that arriving for a job interview in a 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider helped cinch employment!

Kirk and I enjoyed sharing many automotive stories over the years. The ’73 Alfa is no longer a resident of my garage, but I know that Kirk would be thrilled that his Austin Healey is being painstakingly restored piece by piece by a good friend, who reports, “It is totally disassembled, in primer and waiting for welding on rust repair.”  I am granted garage visiting privileges and hopeful for an opportunity to run Kirk’s Healey through the gears when the restoration is complete, accompanied by his red scarf.”

The April 2017 Newsletter

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Greenville County Museum of Art and Art School, Cultural ArchitectureOur April newsletter features a look back and forward to CGD’s impact on downtown Greenville’s cultural corridor, this past month’s A4LE conference, and a little office recreation. You can read it and sign up to receive it straight to your inbox once a month here.


Community & Culture – Then & Now

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Greenville Little Theatre


Hughes Main Library, Greenville County Library System, Interior Design

Hughes Main Library

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green, Bob Jones University, Cultural

Museum and Gallery at Heritage Green

From the onset, Kirk Craig and Earle Gaulden envisioned their firm as one at the forefront of design innovation and cultural impact. Sixty years later, the impact of such foresight is evident in Greenville and across the Southeast.

Though this vision was intended to be applied regionally, its greatest enactment has arguably landed locally on Greenville’s Heritage Green. Over five decades, CGD has led the effort in creating a cultural pocket at the northwest extents of Greenville’s lauded downtown. The design of the Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Little Theatre, Hughes Main Library, and the renovation of the Bob Jones Museum & Gallery affirm CGD’s enduring and comprehensive expertise in the field of community and cultural design.

Today, construction of the CGD-designed South Carolina Children’s Theatre is imminent, expanding a cultural corridor running from the Heritage Green, down Main Street to the Peace Center, and now into the West End. Concurrently, CGD’s regional impact persists as work on the initial design phase of the Columbia County (GA) Performing Arts Center nears completion. The 2,000 seat performing arts center will serve as a bedrock and focal point of the Evans, GA downtown.

CGD Completes Three Fulton County Libraries

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In association with Stanley, Love-Stanley, P.C., Smith Dalia Architects, and McAfee3, CGD has completed and celebrated the opening of three new libraries in Fulton County, Georgia over the past year and a half. The libraries, Metropolitan Branch, Southeast Atlanta Branch, and South Fulton Branch, have combined for numerous design awards. Each branch sits on a unique site and serves a distinctive neighborhood, thus an individual design approach was taken to all three.

The Metropolitan Branch (pictured) provides ample outdoor public grounds to support library programs and community events. Four freestanding Doric columns that once supported a church portico formerly on the site give the outdoor space a subtle boundary and function as dramatic and highly visible place markers. A transparent and contemporary exterior draws patrons in from the outdoor space to the light and playful interior space.

The Southeast Branch has a colorful interior scheme that activates the space. Ceiling clouds and floor material changes designate and get a cozy feel to what would otherwise be reading areas lost in the middle of open floor space. Large glass panels separating meeting rooms from the large circulation area provide acoustic privacy while maintaining an open feel throughout the space. Outside, organized simple geometric forms of varying materials give the overall edifice an appropriately playful yet bookish feel.

The South Fulton Branch is on a site where extensive efforts were made to preserve a ‘wooded backyard’. Design efforts focused on the dense area of trees on the site; a long, curved floor to ceiling storefront window wall stretches across the back of the collections area, affording patrons an alcove that overlooks the trees. The woodland themed is not forgotten within the library; an expansive custom wall covering that features an array of animals enlivens the children’s reading area. Further, each end panel on every bookshelf displays a large tree end grain graphic.


Enduring Relationships: Wren High School

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Wren High School, Anderson County Schools, K-12 Education Architecture

In August 2012, Wren High School, the pride of Piedmont, South Carolina, opened the doors to a dynamic new entry space, administrative area, and student commons area. CGD provided the design for transforming a once non-descript pick-up and drop-off plaza and covered walkway into an inviting entry experience. An aged, insipid space outside the nearby gymnasium gained new life as a student commons, complete with custom trophy cases and ribbony multicolored ceiling panels.

CGD’s relationship with Anderson School District 1 and Wren High School carries on today with the renovation and expansion of aging athletic facilities. This undertaking includes a new fieldhouse for four athletic teams, four new tennis courts, and new football concessions and restroom facilities. Enhancements will also include additional football stadium parking, upgraded accessibility, and landscaping. These improvements all serve to better consolidate Wren’s athletics into one area. Establishing lasting relationships with clients has long been a hallmark of CGD’s approach to design; these projects are a testament to such an approach and the steady enhancement of a campus over time.