Author Archives: skliesch

AIA NJ Women in Architecture Panel

161020 AIA 97-X2red_eagleAs architects we are called on to provide design solutions to social and economic issues that exist in our communities.  These issues mandate that we are able to understand and reflect the views of the people we represent.  To that end, diversity is vital to architecture, its relevance and the solutions it provides our diverse communities.

According to NCARB, 42 percent of new NCARB Record holders are women, compared to 18 percent of Certificate Holders.  While women remain underrepresented among practitioners, they now represent at least a third of licensure candidates at each stage along the path to licensure.

On the surface, it seems our profession is improving.  However, we need to dig a bit deeper to see the full story.  In 2014, AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design Committee released a full report, and the statistics were eye-opening.  While 42% of college graduates from programs accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board are women, only 28% of architectural staff in firms, 26% of licensed architects and 17% of partners are women.  The truth is we are enrolling more women than ever in college, however far too many are leaving the profession.

Last year at Design Day, AIA NJ asked three women at different stages of their career to talk about the state of women in the profession.   Karen Nichols, FAIA a Partner at Michael Graves; Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, a sole practitioner and Jaclyn Gazelle, an architectural intern.  Each of them had advice for how to climb the ladder, while still having a work-life balance.  They stressed the necessity for firms to create a work culture that was flexible and rewarding for both the employee and the employer.  Finally, the importance of mentorship both internal and external to a firm and the role AIA can provide in mentoring our next generation of leaders.

 

161020 AIA 94-S        Kim Vierheilig, AIA

Diversity – Women in Architecture Chairperson

Second Vice President

AIA New Jersey

Today marks the 106th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of New York City

On March 25, 1911, mere minutes before closing time, a fire broke out in a garment factory, just off of Washington Square.

triangle shirtwaist factory image

While the building was equipped with two fire escapes, one only opened inward and the other was locked from the outside to prevent theft. Of the four elevators, only one was operational. Fire sprinkler systems were available, but the owners avoided their installation in order to continue the practice of secretly starting their own off-hours factory fires to commit insurance fraud. With corrupt and unscrupulous owners such as these, a long history of greedy and irresponsible behavior in their past, the underpaid, exploited workers, mostly desperate and undocumented immigrant young women, stood little chance of survival.

Of the 500 employees, 145 died tragically, trapped inside the inferno, many jumping to their death from the 9th floor, rather than being burned alive.

Despite public outrage, the owners got off virtually scot-free, eventually paying the victims’ families a mere $75 per life lost, and continuing most of their outrageous, life-threatening business practices for years to come.

The most horrifying of the realities surrounding this incident is how many of these atrocities still exist today. Garment factories, and many other industries, in CA and NY, especially, still employ many of the same terror tactics to keep their employees powerless to protect themselves. Undocumented immigrants still dominate America’s lowest level work force, permitting them to fall through the cracks of labor law protection. Large cities are frequently understaffed and too overworked to make the necessary inspections, ensuring that every workplace is properly constructed and maintained to meet regulations for the safety of their employees. And when it is possible, very often city government corruption allows for criminal business owners to find ways around the requirements. On top of all of that, we hear almost weekly of another fire ravaging a community, taking lives, robbing people of their homes, possessions, workplaces and loved ones.

The 2017 AIA Statement of Values includes standing for equity and human rights. It includes standing for architecture that strengthens our communities. It includes speaking up to policymakers to protect the Health, Safety and Welfare of the public.

AIA NJ continues to work, lending expertise and information, writing white papers and influencing legislation, to do our part to protect society from potential future tragedies. Look for upcoming reports on our current efforts and actions on behalf of all of our members, or better yet, join a committee and lend your voice to the call!  We invite you, we challenge you, to be a part of the solution.

For a complete record of this tragedy, click here.

The PBS documentary can be found by clicking here.

EwingCole Designs Renovations to The Pavilion at Villanova University

EwingCole, an award-winning architecture and engineering firm based in Philadelphia, has designed a $60,000,000 renovation to The Pavilion, home of the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball champion Villanova Wildcats.  EwingCole’s renderings of the new facility were revealed on March 8, at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Big East Basketball Tournament in New York City.  The renovated Pavilion is expected to begin in June 2017 and be completed for the start of the 2018-19 basketball season.

08_NORTH BOWL“It was important to Villanova that we celebrate the uniqueness of The Pavilion while creating an unmatched Division I basketball experience for the players and the fans,” said Bill McCullough, AIA, principal of EwingCole’s sports practice. “We worked closely with administrators, coaches, staff, and alumni to create a project that reimagines the arena into a world-class, basketball-centric facility all about fan experience.”

Upgrades to the two-story, 6,500-seat structure include a relocated main entrance, a completed concourse, and increased quality of premium offerings, seating, and amenities.  These modernizations will not only support Villanova’s men’s and women’s basketball programs but other University-wide events and programs.

According to McCullough, Villanova targeted several specific items for improvement. “Ultimately our goal was to significantly enhance fan experience, player and performer experience, and operational efficiency within the Pavilion.”

01_ENTRYThe design of The Pavilion includes relocating the main entrance. This new entry sequence, at the southwest corner of the building, will allow the majority of patrons to enter the building closer to where they arrive and take advantage of the large area south of the main arena.

“A great experience begins as soon as the fan has left their primary mode of transportation,” said Kevin Murphy, RA, architect at EwingCole. “This project aims to improve the approach to the building by including an outdoor plaza for pre- and postgame activities, augmented by improved landscaping, site lighting, and site furniture.”

Once inside, fans will be greeted by a new lobby and hall of fame, with graphics and memorabilia celebrating the values and history of Villanova and its athletics program. Beyond the lobby, there will be a balcony “ring” overlooking the open court while above will be a new, 360-degree concourse activated with merchandise and concessions.  Additional improvements include:

  • Sports and accent lighting
  • State-of-the-art audio/visual
  • Elevated food service and retail
  • Upgraded locker rooms
  • Improved seating

Originally opened in 1986, The Pavilion, when complete, will be known as the Finneran Pavilion, in honor of Villanova alumnus William B. Finneran, and will be unsurpassed as one of the most fan-friendly, high technology arenas in the nation.

About EwingCole:

EwingCole, in practice for over 55 years, is a nationally recognized, fully integrated architecture, engineering, interior design, and planning firm of more than 350 professionals in Charlotte, Irvine, New York, Raleigh, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Our multi-disciplinary practice is built on the core values of professional excellence, design quality, and collaboration. Our goal is to provide the best total solution for our clients, the community, and the environment. For additional information, visit: http://www.ewingcole.com.