Category Archives: Members & the Community

Latest news and information on the various ways AIA-NJ Members are involved in their New Jersey communities beyond designing the built environment.

President’s Message – The Second Half of the Year

JAM_headshotThe second half of the year has just flown by and that’s because there has been a lot of good things going on for AIANJ.  In July leaders from the six Sections and AIANJ met to have a mid-term review on our Strategic Goals and to plan for the second half of the year.  You may recall that under the leadership of Kimberly Bunn our immediate Past President, over the course of two day long workshops, leaders brainstormed and collaborated on a new Strategic Plan with four main goals involving architects and the profession, the public, and AIANJ membership.  These goals incorporate the work of all of our committees as well as collaboration with our six Sections.

Just two weeks ago, leaders met once again for a President’s Roundtable Leadership Conference, which focused on our transition over the next six weeks to our incoming President Ben Lee.  The President’s of the six sections gave a State of the Section report and then we began the planning of 2017.  I am very happy to say that the plan for 2017 is in keeping with the strategic goals and the collaboration between the Sections is growing.

In September, a small group of us attended the annual Large States Conference in Austin TX hosted by the AIA Texas Society of Architects.  “Large States” is made up of eight state components that are single state Chapters, which NJ is the smallest, and these Chapters make up almost 50% of the AIA membership.  This is a two-day conference focusing on issues that affect our members as well as AIA leadership and we share best practices in order to improve the level of service.  I am very proud to say that AIANJ is right there at the top with the largest of the state components in services and activities.  Probably the most important of the roundtable discussions was that regarding “credentialing”.  This has been a topic hanging around AIA for more than 30 years and it finally seems that it may have enough traction to move forward.  The only example of credentialing thus far in the AIA is the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA).  This group was formed out of the original knowledge community on this subject.  The recommendation made to AIA leaders was to create additional specializations from other knowledge communities using the ACHA as the model.  Standby…

This year at the League of Municipalities, I will be making a presentation to the Department of Community Affairs Fire Safety Commission regarding AIANJ’s position on the use of lightweight construction materials and the recommendations we have made in our whitepaper, which you can download through the AIANJ website.  This is an important step for the organization in which AIANJ will be recognized as the expert on this subject.  AIANJ will continue to work with our legislators and educate them that legislation is not the right place for changing the building code.  I personally have shared the whitepaper with several construction officials who have agreed with our recommendations.

So what I have left in my bucket list are two main items: Large Firm Roundtable and the AIANJ Scholarship Foundation.  I am currently working with several principals of NJ large firms (20+ employees) to rejuvenate this adhoc committee in order to bring large firm involvement back into our seven components.  I want to thank the ongoing dedication of firms including Gensler, KSS Architects, Kitchen & Associates and NK Architects.  The success of AIANJ comes from its diversity in all aspects of life, but also in firm size.  Last but not least, discussions have begun with the AIANJ Scholarship Foundation in order to re-energize this very important foundation, which primarily provides scholarships to architecture students on a yearly basis.  Many other state components have broadened the mission of their Foundations and my hope is that we will be able to do the same.

Sincerely,

Justin_sig

 

 

Justin A. Mihalik AIA
AIA New Jersey President

Spiezle Architectural Group Appoints Thomas S Perrino

Spiezle Architectural Group Appoints Thomas S. Perrino President and Chief Executive Officer

Plans Continued Growth and Diversification Following Recent GS Architects Acquisition

 
tom_perrino-reducedSpiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architectural, interior design and planning firm with offices in Trenton, New Jersey and Media, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas S. Perrino, AIA LEEDap, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer after serving as its Interim Chief Executive Officer since December 2015.  The move positions Mr. Perrino to further drive the firm’s growth and diversification strategy on the heels of its recent acquisition of GS Architects.

 

“I’m honored to have been named President and CEO of Spiezle Architectural Group having spent over half my professional career with the firm. I look forward to guiding our growth and evolution into new markets and geographies,” said Mr. Perrino.  “I’m enthusiastic about the future and continuing the momentum we have established in providing our clients with distinguished architecture, interior design, planning and sustainability services.”

 

A well-earned ascension, Mr. Perrino’s appointment culminates a long and successful tenure with Spiezle Architectural Group spanning more than a decade. He brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of management, architectural design, and construction.   Mr. Perrino’s strategic vision and thought leadership significantly strengthened various market sectors within Spiezle including the expansion of its corporate/commercial and higher education markets.  An integral part of the firm’s longevity, he plans to build upon the employee-owned culture and reputation that has been a cornerstone of its 62-year legacy.

 

“We welcome Tom to his new role as President and CEO, and I’m confident that his appointment will continue to build upon his efforts, and those of the rest of the executive team, to lead Spiezle to future levels of achievement,” said Anthony J. “Skip” Cimino, chairman of the board, Spiezle Architectural Group.  “Tom’s extensive knowledge of the industry, creative talent and proven business acumen made him the ideal selection for the position.”Spiezle_logo_cmyk

2016 AIANJ DESIGN AWARD WINNERS

2016 DESIGN AWARDS WINNERS

MERIT UNBUILT

PROJECT:
Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science & Innovation
FIRM
HDR 

PROJECT:
Village House
FIRM
Stonewater Architects   

PROJECT:
The Unitarian Church Expansion
FIRM
ikon.5 architects   

     

PROJECT:
Olympic Archery Park
FIRM
ikon.5 architects   

MERIT INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE 


PROJECT:
Guerrilla Fitness
FIRM
Solid and Void   

MERIT BUILT-OPEN

PROJECT:
Pinbright Institute
FIRM
HDR  


PROJECT:
Biotrial North America Headquarters
FIRM
Francis Cauffman   

MERIT HISTORIC PRESERVATION

PROJECT:
93 Reade Street
FIRM
CTS  

MERIT RESIDENTIAL

PROJECT:
Holly Pointe Commons, Rowan University
FIRM
Erdy McHenry Architects  

PROJECT:
Prosepct Avenue House
FIRM
Joseph Hobart Weiss   

 

HONOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION 

 
PROJECT:
Porcelanosa
FIRM
CTS   
 

HONOR BUILT 

 
PROJECT:
NJ Insitute for Food Nutrition and Health
FIRM
              Ballinger         
PROJECT:
MD Anderson Cancer Center
FIRM
HDR  

 

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Megan Pritts

megan_pritts“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.

At the age of 5, I already knew I wanted to become an architect. What inspired me was the environment around me in which I grew up. Living in the suburbs, I drew variations of what I saw from houses to gardens to school buildings. I drew a house for each of my friends with vibrant colors and imaginative shapes that reflected the personality or image of them in my head.I drew each of these houses from the view of the street and later learned that one side or face of a building is called a facade. My series of facade studies started taking shape within a neighborhood where I drew landscapes, roads and driveways connecting all of the homes to other buildings like schoolhouses. I assume this progression from drawing houses to interconnected neighborhoods came from riding the school bus every day and beginning to understand how neighborhoods are planned and connected.

I would argue that anything can be inspirational for a child. I found so much inspiration from my natural surroundings and the built world I lived in that I used that to imagine new structures that would enhance the existing environment. My passion for drawing and my early imagination led me to develop a sense or ability to design at a young age.

Growing up, I never stopped sketching, designing and planning, so it was only natural for me to pursue a career in architecture.

Megan Prittsi_am_epic

AIA-NJ to Host Annual Design Conference

Oct. 20 in Somerset, N.J.

AIA New Jersey Design Conference to Include Rutgers Campus Tour, Keynote on University’s Master Plan as well as annual Design Awards

 

WHAT:            

The biggest names in New Jersey architecture will meet for a full-day architectural affair, culminating in a panel review of AIA-NJ’s annual design award submissions. In addition to the Design Awards Reception, the conference will feature a trade show as well as seminars on a range of topics, from women in architecture to emerging technologies for architects. In recognition of the 250th anniversary of Rutgers University, the opening keynote will focus on Rutgers University’s master plan, while the annual architectural tour will be a walk-through of the New Brunswick College Avenue Campus, discussing the campus’ history, recently constructed buildings and what the future holds in store.

WHO: 

Keynote 1: Frank Wong, Rutgers Executive Director of University Planning and Development on the topic of “Rutgers University Master Plan, Then and Now”

Keynote 2: Stephen Chrisman, Senior Associate at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects on the topic of “New Traditional Architecture: The Work of Ferguson & Shamamian Architects”

Keynote 4: Rick Joy, AIA, renowned architect and former visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design on the topic of “Taking the Time”

 

WHEN:

      Design Conference – Thursday, October 20, 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

 

Highlights include:

-Rutgers Keynote – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

-“Women in Architecture” seminar – 10:15 – 11:15

-Walking Tour of Rutgers University – 10:15 – 12:15

-Design Awards Reception – October 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

-Showcase New Jersey Architects’ Projects – October 20, 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

 

 WHERE:

The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, NJ

 

FIND MORE:

www.aia-nj.org

The BIG Ask

By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Member of the ArchiPAC Steering Committee

For those who do not know, ArchiPAC is the only federal political action committee (PAC) speaking up for members of the AIA. The mission has been and continues to be to support candidates running for the US House and Senate who support AIA’s initiatives to preserve the profession and promote positive solutions for the built environment. The Stearing Committee works with both sides of the aisle and this has been a key strategy for moving the AIA’s legislative agenda through Congress.

In one way or another I have been involved with ArchiPAC for over a decade. Back in 2006 we had jus 23 donations that totaled $3,351. Our numbers of donators and individual donations have steadily increased and by the end of last year, we had raised just over $10K.

With just two and one half months left we are some $3K short of that goal. Increasing our goal, which this year was to 10% above last year’s numbers, would elevate effectiveness and compete with our counterparts in the building and construction industry. By doing so we would in effect elevate the debate on Capitol Hill by bringing awareness to the issues that impact the practice of OUR profession from tax policies that affect cash flow to energy policies that impact how buildings are designed.

The above explanation leads to the BIG ask from me to all of you to make your donation before December 31st of this year.  It is easy to do so long as your check is not a corporate one. I am especially asking our entire current and past leadership to step up and make your donation and help with the ask so others will also contribute.

You can make your donation by visiting the contribution website ArchiPAC.org or mail a check payable to ArchiPAC to AIA Headquarters at 1735 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006

Meet ARCHI

Meet ARCHI

Thank you
Jerry

[email protected]

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Matthew Pultorak, Assoc AIA

“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.EPiC_Pultorak

A day at the beach

I grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, so for much of my childhood I played on asphalt and concrete. (There was also an occasional patch of dirt, which was invariably sprouting weeds). Finding refuge from the bustle of the busy city was rare, so my family would take fairly regular trips to the beach to alleviate the stress and wear of the city lifestyle. Although we didn’t frequent it as often as I would have liked, the beach would influence my creative side in a number of ways. As a creative professional, I look back on those trips and wonder if they had an influence on my decision to pursue a career in architecture.

The beach is a place where all five senses can be evoked, which can cause some sensory overload in a young child. All of the new feelings I experienced on the waterfront caused me to see my surroundings differently. What was a nice place for most people to lounge became my new site for childhood  construction as I designed the most intricate sand castles any architect could conjure up.

You learn about everything in life through experience, and anyone who has built a sand castle can tell you about the factors you must take into account: the wetness of the sand, proximity to the water, where the sun is coming from, if there are other people walking on your “site” and how you have to redirect the ocean water as the tide came in.

Dealing with all of these concerns, unbeknownst to me, was my first experience solving an architectural problem. The end goal was always to create the largest, most intricate sand castle, but in order to complete the project, all the other problems had to be addressed. These small details can really help a young mind develop their problem solving abilities, and from it arises a heightened sense of creativity.

While most people see the beach as a relaxing way to spend the day, it can also be used by parents as a means of developing future architects. It worked for me!

Matthew Pultorak, Assoc. AIA

Are You EPiC ?

AIA New Jersey Emerging Professional Community

AIANJ_EPiC

We are looking for members who are interested in becoming the 2017 Vice Chair and Section Directors within our Emerging Professionals Community [EPiC], which consists of architecture school graduates, AIA Associate members, and AIA members licensed for 10 years or less.

Our mission is to promote the professional growth of emerging architects and support local communities through advocacy, education, and service. Through consistent communication and coordination between the state committee and local sections throughout New Jersey, EPiC provides programming, events, and service opportunities for our members to have fun while building relationships, developing leadership skills, and increasing emerging professional’s involvement within the profession.

The Vice Chair position has a term of two years. One year as Vice Chair followed by one year as Chair. Responsibilities of the position include:
– Assisting the Chair with responsibilities, coordination and planning
– Organizing the monthly teleconference with the state EPiC Committee

– Updating website and helping to create monthly newsletters

The Section Director position has a term of one year. Responsibilities of the position include:
– Promote the EPiC mission within your local AIA NJ section
– Attend a monthly teleconference with the state EPiC Committee

– Participation in one or more committees chaired by the state At-Large Directors – Add to the social media platforms used by EPiC

As a newly revived community within the AIA, EPiC provides a great opportunity to shape the emerging professional programming at both the section and state level. Such programming includes:

Hill Day: Advocacy training and meetings with New Jersey legislators
ARE Seminars: Courses to help you pass the licensing exams
Service Opportunities: Design small impactful projects in local communities Leadership Training: Improve your skills and promote member involvement

aianj_sectionmapIf you are interested in becoming an EPiC Section Director or applying for the Vice Chair position, we would like to hear from you.

Please submit a letter of interest by e-mail to [email protected] by October 7, 2016 (500

words). Be sure to include your AIA NJ section in your letter. Although not we will accept up to two letters of support.

We look forward to your interest.

Jessica O’Donnell, AIA 2016 EPiC Chair

 

 

Spiezle Architectural Group Announces its Acquisition of GS Architects

Strategy Strengthens Healthcare and Interior Design Capabilities,

Expands Southeast Pennsylvania Area Presence

tom_perrino-speizle

Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architectural, interior design and planning firm with offices in Trenton, New Jersey and Media, Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce its acquisition if GS Architects of Havertown, Pennsylvania.  The strategic move, leveraging the strengths of GS Architects, will extend Spiezle’s service portfolio by incorporating their impressive healthcare studio and interior design expertise, and enabling them to better serve the southeast Pennsylvania and surrounding area.

 

Driving the mission and vision of both firms, the acquisition will empower them to significantly enhance the scope, depth and diversity of client capabilities. The combined force offers a team of 60 professionals with extensive architectural, planning, and interior design expertise in sectors including K-12 education, higher education, healthcare, senior care, commercial, non-profit, hospitality, sustainability, and government markets.

 

“The GS Architects world-class expertise and unparalleled commitment to service were the conclusive factors that enticed us to pursue the acquisition,” stated Thomas Perrino, interim chief executive officer of Spiezle Architectural Group. “The acquisition exemplifies our commitment to sustained growth and allows Spiezle to broaden its service portfolio and geography.”

 

GS Architects will continue to operate under its current name and will be a division of Spiezle Architectural Group. No financial terms were disclosed.

“Our partnership with Spiezle Architectural Group provides the opportunity for our clients to benefit from our diversified knowledge base and access to greater resources, increasing efficiency, effectiveness and value,” stated Chris Gaumann, founding partner of GS Architects. “The firm’s collective talents bolster their respective abilities allowing them both to grow and prosper.”

 

GS Architects’ leadership team of Chris Gaumann, Lisa Sheehan and Bill Hendrickson will continue to actively serve their clients as leaders within the Spiezle organization.

KSS Architects Announces 3 New Partners

KSS_new-partners2016KSS Architects, a national design firm focused on architecture, interior design, and planning, is pleased to announce three new partners: Petar Mattioni, Matthew McChesney, and Scot Murdoch. The elevation of Mattioni, McChesney, and Murdoch to Partner reflects their embodiment of KSS’s values—design that inspires, relationships that are lasting, innovation in the intersections, and guidance through the process.

 

Petar Mattioni, AIA, LEED AP

Petar has a practical design methodology that balances design with client objectives, technical coordination, and effective project execution. His committment to strong client relationships and building consensus consistently result in successful projects, particularly in the field of higher education and the emerging field of innovation. Petar’s leadership on the University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Center has contributed to its establishment as a keystone in the emerging Lower Schuylkill Innovation District.

 

Pamela Rew, FAIA, Partner at KSS, says, “Petar represents the next generation of designers and practitioners of architecture—passionate about place as a contribution to society, enthusiastic about guiding young architects toward new opportunities, and responsive to client needs & values. Petar’s dedication to the Philadelphia community is an example of how his contributions to place achieve more than the design of a building—they achieve a stronger community.”

 

Matthew McChesney, AIA, LEED AP

Clients know Matt for his ability to listen to their needs, understand their values, and create spaces where they can maximize their potential. His technical understanding of the built environment allows him to design intricate solutions that range from complex renovations and additions to highly specialized laboratory buildings. His work for leading-edge education and community-focused clients such as Uncommon Schools and Civic Builders has contributed to the design and renovation of dozens of charter schools in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Matt’s leadership in design for Pre-K-12 education is providing new opportunities for students and communities alike to reimagine their future.

 

Merilee Meacock, AIA, PP, LEED AP, Partner at KSS, says, “Matt is a powerful force in the K-12 community—he is a trusted advisor to many, helping to build community and facilitate education pedagogy, thereby empowering students to succeed and neighborhoods to flourish.”

 

Scot Murdoch, AIA

Scot has supervised the successful transformation of millions of square feet of commercial and industrial development. He excels at developing and implementing solutions to design challenges in both new and existing buildings for many project types. With a deep understanding of the value of sustainable design and the role of cutting-edge facilities in the marketplace, Scot’s work unlocks value and improves performance for clients. His knowledge and commitment to sustainable design have contributed to KSS’ leadership in the development of contaminated sites in New Jersey, and industrial growth along the East Coast from Maine to Georgia.

 

Ed Klimek, AIA, NCARB, Partner at KSS, says, “Scot has emerged as a respected voice in the commercial marketplace. He is known for his strategic thought and detailed knowledge. Our firm and clients are inspired by his guidance.”