Wren and Palmetto Middle Schools

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Wren and Palmetto Middle Schools are both receiving new 160,000 square foot facilities designed to better accommodate present-day pedagogy and growing student enrollment. Built on existing sites each project will be phased for construction to start in the summer of 2019 with the final phase completed in December 2021.

Learning communities are clusters of classrooms for each grade level with a shared collaborative space. This design allows teachers to combine efforts and students to engage in active and project-based learning. Science labs, guidance counselors, and administrative offices are resources in each learning community that enable better student support. Mobile chairs and tables offer classroom flexibility as curricular needs change throughout the day. Additionally, commons areas with tiered seating are placed between learning communities for collaboration, individual study, or social space.

The Hurricanes (Wren) and Mustangs (Palmetto) will have large multi-purpose rooms that serve athletics as well as the performing arts. State-of-the-art music rooms, media centers, science labs, and Gateway to Technology classrooms are much-needed updates for the students of Anderson One.

With layered systems of security and video surveillance, today’s K12 learning environments place the highest priority on both student success and safety.

SC Children’s Theatre Breaks Ground

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The South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) broke ground this month on their new Theatre Arts & Education Center for Children. With land gifted by arts patron Josephine Cureton and their current property at 153 Augusta Street, Craig Gaulden Davis designed the 36,781 square foot facility to house the Main Stage, 2nd Stage, educational programs, and administrative offices.

The building will feature a 300-seat proscenium theatre, 100-seat flexible stage theatre, interactive lobby, flexible performance classrooms, dressing rooms, costume shop, scene production, and administration areas. The new plaza and facade will activate the front entry and display SCCT’s mission. Once complete, this new facility will advance SCCT’s performance capacity, broaden their theatrical curriculum, grow their student body, and increase their community outreach capabilities.

Additionally, SCCT launched the final leg of their capital campaign with a goal of raising $1.4M, primarily through CHAIRish the Children, for a total of $12.8M. Let’s help them reach this goal!


Founded in 1987, the South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) is the state’s largest year-round educational children’s theatre. Its mission and purpose is to “educate and stimulate the minds of young people” through theatre performance, education, and outreach with the goal to build character and prepare young people for an “engaged” life of success.

Research: Biophilic Classroom Study Under Way

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Last month, Craig Gaulden Davis and the research team with students and staff from Baltimore’s Green Street Academy gathered to install a garden outside of a classroom as part of The Impact of Biophilic Learning Spaces on Student Success study. Biophilia is a hypothesis that humans are innately and beneficially drawn to associate with nature. The study replicates natural elements within the classroom by employing biomorphic patterns, images, and views that yield reduced stress, improved cognition, and ultimately improved student success.

The 6th-grade math class is closing in on three weeks in their biophilic classroom. The carpet, ceiling, walls, and shades contain patterns and images that are nature-inspired. The motorized shades diffuse the light and automatically retract providing maximum daylight and views to nature.

To facilitate the study, Morgan State University architecture students will gather heart rate variability readings of students three times per week. The data will be aggregated for trends and assessed by a psychologist for stress levels. At the end of each semester, the average class grade and teacher evaluations will be compared with classes of previous years. The study will suggest if biophilic design contributes to student well-being and improved learning outcomes. If so, these design practices can be replicated in classrooms for the benefit of all learners.

Meet Jim.

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Jim Determan, FAIA is a long-time friend of the firm. We are pleased to announce he has joined CGD as a new principal and trailblazer, opening a CGD Baltimore office to serve the Mid-Atlantic market.

Jim’s 30-year career is marked by his fruitful efforts to advance the design of learning spaces by way of leading a multi-disciplinary team of architects, educators, and scientists through several AIA-funded research studies, illustrating the power of design to make a positive impact in the lives of students. His research on Learning Space Design for the Ethnically Diverse American Classroom was published in 2015 by AIA and SCUP (Society for College & University Planning) then presented to universities and at conferences across the country. With CGD’s foundation in Learning Space Design, the integration of this research is an extraordinary development for end-users of educational spaces. Currently, Jim is leading a new AIA-funded study, The Impact of Biophilic Learning Spaces on Student Success. Partners include the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Morgan State University, Terrapin Bright Green, and Green Street Academy. Findings will be published in 2019.

Jim’s portfolio of award-winning educational projects inspires the profession. His work at Green Street Academy received AIA Maryland’s 2016 Public Building of the Year Award and earned LEED Platinum from USGBC Maryland. For 20 years, he taught and mentored at Morgan State University, encouraging minority students to pursue architecture and assisted emerging professionals as they transitioned into practice. Jim’s advocacy efforts include promoting sustainability requirements in Maryland, innovation in school design, and, during the economic downturn, testifying to the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of small businesses. Jim was the 2004 Director of the Board for AIA Maryland, the 2005 President of AIA Baltimore, 2009 Upjohn Fellow for service on the AIA National Board of Directors, and was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 2012, the highest honor within the profession.

Welcome to the team, Jim!

(More to come on Jim’s latest research project)

Welcome to the Fold

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CGD welcomes two talented designers to the fold. We could not be happier to have these ladies on board and wanted to let you hear from them directly:

Ali McClure | Mountain Lover | Dawg Fan

I am a HUGE DAWG fan. I love UGA football and the fall season typically revolves around football. I also love the Falcons despite their super bowl woes. My hobbies include hiking, watching movies, and dabbling in water colors. And I am learning to care for plants (though I have killed everything in the past, my persistence is beginning to prevail).

This past December I surprised my family and friends by getting married at my engagement party at my mom’s beautiful historic home in Macon, Georgia.

Macon is my birthplace and what I consider home, but I did live on St. Simons Island for 11 years. While I love the beach, I love the mountains even more, so peaceful and good for the soul.

Although I can link my love for design to an early age, the experiences I had during my undergraduate education while studying Interior Design and working for the Office of University Architects at the University of Georgia fueled my passion for Architecture and inspired me to pursue a graduate degree at The Georgia Institute of Technology. It was during my educational experiences at both universities, working in various capacities on capital campus projects, that I developed an understanding, appreciation, and love for the built-environment and all of the aspects that goes into making each project unique. The first years of my career were spent further honing in on the architectural design process as I developed numerous housing projects from conception to completion. I am excited for this next chapter of my career at CGD as it gives me a great opportunity to return to the educational-based design that originally sparked my interest in this field of work.

Juhee Porwal | Jam & Mythology Enthusiast

I am from New Delhi, India and came to Clemson in the Fall of 2015 to pursue the Master of Architecture degree. In India, my architecture education was very focused on understanding the people, their culture and the dynamic way of living. This thought was the essence of architecture for me, which also aligned with Clemson’s ideology and their Community Build Program and hence I came to South Carolina. I am glad to have been recognized by CGD, where I can practice and grow in the profession keeping these ideas as my vision.

I accidentally landed in the discipline of architecture (with prior experience in Computer Science) and it has been the best accident of my life. Architecture has opened up a wide world and helped me appreciate the different people around me. Aside from that, I would love to become a mythology and theology expert in many, many years. Also, I make amazing jams!

Interior design | Mount Pleasant Town Hall

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Offering interior design services, alongside architecture, has been a part of CGD’s DNA for many years. Our methodology integrates and considers the interior as we develop the shell. We find this interdisciplinary approach allows for a measure of streamlining, giving our clients the chance to look through a cohesive lens as we progress through each phase. Additionally, our architects and interior designers, together, create an enjoyable synergy that strengthens the design process, and thus, the end result.

On the rare occasion, our interior design team takes on a project outside of this practice. One such case is the design of Mount Pleasant Town Hall, just over the bridge from Charleston, South Carolina. Our Director of Interior Design, Andrea Kuhfuss, and Katherine Fishburne, of Innovink (at the time), were commissioned by the Town of Mount Pleasant to reflect the charm and character of this coastal community in the 92,000 SF of new civic space.

As native South Carolinians, Katherine, a local, and Andrea, a frequent visitor, took easily to the task. Plenty of natural light made organic materials and colors a fitting choice to provide a calm environment for staff and guests. Sweetgrass baskets inspired woven wall coverings. Tabby concrete full of crushed shells elegantly nod to what is often underfoot. And in the lobby, creature-like fixtures hang high above storyboards that showcase the town’s history and offer visitors a sense of place.

Andrea and Katherine beautifully integrated the refined flavors of the Lowcountry with the high-traffic and function of civic operations to maintain the dignity and sophistication of this Town Hall for years to come.

*CGD and Innovink worked on Mount Pleasant Town Hall with architect of record, Stubbs Muldrow Herin Architects.

Riverview Park Activities Center | North Augusta

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We are excited to announce the opening of Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, South Carolina. In association with Studio 3 Design Group, the design team worked through programming and site constraints with the City of North Augusta to place the facility in front of the existing building connected by an enclosed bridge that spans the Greeneway Trail.

The new 27,650 SF addition boasts 2 gyms that can accommodate 500 spectators each, concessions, ample restrooms and administrative offices. Designed to blend with the existing 1990’s building, the team used existing materials to create a modern front door to the new facility. The activities center is available year-round for community members and was designed with the NIKE Peach Jam in mind, a national recruiting event showcasing the best in high school basketball, bringing thousands of people to North Augusta each year.

Designed for 2 additional gyms to be added in the future, a total of 8 gyms would meet the projected space needs for the community and Peach Jam.

“this is not a late arrival party!”

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A note from Ed Zeigler, two hours before the Artisphere Opening Gala, said “see you this evening, this is not a late arrival party!” This phrase exemplifies the kind of energy Ed brings to all of his endeavors, including the undertone of importance for the person, place, or project occupying his mind.

Ed has become part of the fabric of Greenville through his personal interest in the cultural climate of our city and its citizens, all while assisting in its physical transformation, over the last three decades, as an architect at Craig Gaulden Davis. His involvement in Artisphere is one example of his arts advocacy in addition to his 9-year tenure with Arts in Public Places. He has served on various committees for Artisphere, now a huge production that takes over most of  South Main Street and, this year, included 135 artists of the 1163 applicants. This kind of curation has brought Artisphere national acclaim for the quality of art on display and financial success for those whose work is accepted. The average revenue in 2017 was $9,150 with tens of thousands in attendance.

Ed’s big news is that he will be the next President of Artisphere, taking the reins in October of this year. Cue the fireworks! His leadership will focus on the continuation of the festival’s strategic plan, a task which includes recruiting committee members, fundraising, crafting the festival and learning from previous years to make each year better than the last.

For Artisphere’s 15th year, Ed will help bring another artist’s work to Greenville’s acclaimed collection of public sculptures. “Art”, he says, “broadens and improves one’s quality of life; it’s a free festival that allows art to be enjoyed and interpreted personally. And everybody needs to be exposed to that.” He says “he wants to make things better” for everyone, a mantra he carries and continuously enacts in all facets of his life and civic engagement.

Surge in High School Athletic Buildings

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Craig Gaulden Davis has enjoyed a recent surge designing high school athletic buildings. These aren’t the largest projects in the portfolio but they are fun, stand-alone buildings, with a relatively quick turn around, that act as the heart of many Upstate athletic programs. School colors on parade with mural sized mascot graphics keep team spirits high and uphold the long standing tradition of passionate interest in Upstate high school athletics.

The Mustangs, Tigers, Hurricanes and Bears of Anderson County high schools have all been the recipients of new athletic buildings. The Wren High School Hurricanes gained 11,950 square feet that includes a state-of-the-art weight room, training room, team room and lockers, as did Belton-Honea Path High School with 11,000 square feet and Crescent High School with 15,000 square feet. The Palmetto High School’s new 7,300 square feet of indoor turf will provide practice space for the cheerleader, football and wrestling programs.

No excuse now for the upcoming season. We’re cheering for them all!


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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.

The D in CGD

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Bill Davis grew up in Clinton, South Carolina, not far from Earle Gaulden’s hometown of Laurens. As a student of architecture at Clemson University in the late 50’s, he studied under Greenville practitioner and Clemson studio lecturer Kirk Craig. Graduation led to two years in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division where Bill says, despite being a track athlete in school, he really learned to run. After a few years interning in Charlotte, Bill received the phone call beckoning him home to the Upstate. He began work at Craig and Gaulden Architects on January 1, 1966. By 1978, the firm’s title bore his name, and Craig, Gaulden & Davis Architects had local and regional repute as a leading design firm.

Over the decades, Bill’s hand was instrumental in the design and realization of countless Upstate schools, his forte, and Greenville architectural jewels such as the County Museum of Art and the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. Bill recalls fondly his close bond with Kirk and Earle and acknowledges they simply had fun together. By the early 90’s though, Bill’s handiwork and passion in an admittedly disparate field began to prove ripe for business venture.

Bill’s son Tom began home brewing in the early 90’s. Following a successful Christmas party homebrew debut, Bill and Tom began brewing on a larger scale for a Greenville brewpub; interest and demand only grew. In 1998, Thomas Creek Brewery launched as a full-fledged microbrewery, one of the Southeast’s earliest entries into the craft beer scene. Bill began full-time management of the brewery in 2004. When asked to consider the unique design process and approach architects bring to problem solving and apply it to running a brewery, Bill candidly grants that it’s just different. But, his penchant for design and craft remain strong. He concedes that he still cannot walk into a building without forming a critique, and he still enjoys his longtime hobby of throwing pottery. Besides sharing the more impalpable legacy of Bill Davis, CGD and Thomas Creek are both proud to have some of his very tangible hand thrown mugs in the cabinets and behind the bar, respectively.

When encountering the humble and affable demeanor of Bill Davis, one might find that conversation easily drifts to stories about the amiable pack of dogs for whom Thomas Creek is a second home or Bill’s self-deprecating tales of navigating the three story home of his own design, built when he was admittedly more nimble. Yet, behind the congenial character and anecdotes is someone who has contributed lasting regional impact and pushed the envelope in the fields of building design and brewing. It’s only fitting that Bill’s first beer was enjoyed alongside his architecture studio professor and classmates at Clemson’s Esso Club in 1956, then a functioning service station serving beer out of the backroom. Though unwitting, all were witness to a brief microcosm of what would define Bill’s ensuing sixty-plus years: impactful architecture and great beer in the friendly environs of Upstate South Carolina.


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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.

On The Mountain

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Craig Gaulden Davis (CGD) has been working on Roper Mountain since the late sixties. Bob Wilson Amphitheater came first followed by a string of buildings commissioned by Greenville County Schools on the wooded, 62-acre property. Over the next few decades CGD designed T.C. Hooper Planetarium, F.W. Symmes Hall of Science, and the renowned Charles E. Daniel Observatory, home to the nation’s 8th largest refractor telescope. Today, Roper Mountain Science Center is a well-established center for hands-on learning and an educational pillar in our community.

CGD continues to enjoy our work with Greenville County Schools and the staff at Roper Mountain Science Center, most recently, winning the design for the new Environmental Science & Sustainability Building. In partnership with New York-based, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP), we submitted initial plans and renderings that led to the award of the project.

Relying heavily on visible and tactile sustainable design techniques, the intent is for the building to be low impact and the structure to serve as a teaching tool. The new building will feature specialized exhibit designs that aid in teaching sustainable living, water conservation, and animal care, with flexible classroom spaces, to support the Center’s STEAM-based curriculum. Additionally, an open dining facility, living wall and teaching kitchen will promote health and wellness through plant cultivation, food preparation and best practices in farm-to-table dining.

Enjoy these conceptual renderings of the new Environmental Science & Sustainability Building and stay tuned as the design develops!


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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.

The new fountain inn advanced manufacturing high school

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With the success of manufacturing in South Carolina, the state has been abuzz with demand for skilled workers to fill the growing number of jobs in the field. To help meet this demand and serve the future needs of our growing community, Greenville County Schools (GCS) recently announced plans for a new high school located in Fountain Inn.

GCS has commissioned Craig Gaulden Davis (CGD), in partnership with Perkins + Will, to design this new cutting edge facility.  The new school will feature a project-based, STEAM educational program that teaches specialized skills needed for the growing number of advanced manufacturing jobs. Plans for this innovative educational program will be tuned to engage students in the classroom and in specialized lab environments. State-of-the-art technology for courses in mechatronics, CNC machining, and robotics will give students a glimpse into the world of advanced manufacturing and its viability as a fulfilling career path.

CGD is currently in the early stages of programming spaces for the new facility. Through this process we will be working closely with industry partners to develop collaborative learning spaces for the advanced manufacturing curriculum.

Stay tuned for more information regarding Fountain Inn High School’s special programming as design continues!

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

MLK Day 2018 at Triune Mercy Center

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This past MLK Day, our entire staff had the opportunity to step away from the whir of the office for an afternoon and offer a couple small acts of service. Knowing our abilities to carry out these tasks were likely to improve with full stomachs, the first stop was lunch at Greenville’s renowned Tommy’s Country Ham House. Just across the Ham House parking lot, an equally lauded Greenville institution, Triune Mercy Center, has been nourishing the physical and spiritual needs of our city for years. Assigned duties fitting for a group of designers whose vocation prescribes order and material integrity in the built environment, we took time to organize Triune’s expansive food pantry and repair dozens of pew hymnal racks in the Center’s turn of the century chapel.

Our hope is that these and similar undertakings in addition to our established approach to design integrity demonstrate our firm’s collective concern for our community and spur on further such deeds in and out of the office.

Triune Mercy Center is a much needed resource in our community; working alongside the homeless population in Greenville, SC they offer hot meals, laundry, groceries, medical aid, access to art making, counseling and rehabilitation with the help of numerous community partners.