Evan finds inspiration in the windy city.

Last month I had the opportunity to explore the Chicago Loop and a few surrounding neighborhoods for the first time. Chicago made quite the impression on me.

Marina City

Marina City

Seeing the buildings downtown brought back all I had learned about the evolution of high-rises back in architecture school. I saw the whole spectrum of history, from the Monadnock Building (the tallest building built without steel) to the famous Marina City and John Hancock Center to the shiny and new Trump Tower.

Having returned home, I find myself still thinking about all of the stone and terra cotta ornamentation that I saw. The terra cotta is a great example of the “material of the times,” and it’s prevalent use can be attributed to the need for fire protection and the availability of clay and labor. As beautiful as the terra cotta is, it’s a mass produced product.

Terra cotta facade

Terra cotta facade

Stone engraving

Stone engraving

Stone engraving

Stone engraving

FLW Studio Sign

FLW Studio Sign

I also had a chance to go out to Oak Park and see some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, which was a true pleasure. I could see the influence of Wright and Lewis Sullivan (his mentor) throughout Chicago.

 

Arthur Heurtley House

Arthur Heurtley House

Detail of Nathan Grier Moore House

Detail of Nathan Grier Moore House

Of course Mies Van Der Rohe had a huge influence in Chicago as well:

Kluczynski Federal Building

Kluczynski Federal Building

I was also struck by the amount of money and Power in Chicago. This project appeared to be an abandoned pedestrian bridge that easily cost millions of dollars.

Bridge to nowhere.

Bridge to nowhere.

Lastly, while in the Windy City I visited the neighborhood where my grandfather grew up. This is me on the front steps of one of the apartment buildings he lived in.

My grandfather's home.

My grandfather’s home.

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Audra Wrigley to manage Salvation Army Dining Hall project

SA View #1 - low resIn early 2015, The Salvation Army approached Bild Architecture to design a 4,000 square foot dining hall addition to serve their Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) located on Preble Street in Portland, Maine. The addition would replace the existing outdated dining space located on the third floor of the facility, and the existing dining space would be divided and converted into a community room and a two-bedroom apartment to be utilized by Salvation Army commanders.

Portland’s Adult Rehabilitation Center houses 70 male residents at a time, with the purpose of assisting the men to recover and reintegrate with their communities through work therapy, counseling, and spiritual guidance.

SA View #2 - low resMultiple locations on the ARC site were considered before settling on the corner of Preble and Lancaster streets. This location takes advantage of the existing thrift store parking lot, which is no longer in use since the thrift store has been closed. This location provides a large outdoor space to be revitalized into a privately screened court yard and picnic area acting as an outside extension of the dining hall.

The proposed design for the dining hall addition will be integrated into the first floor of the existing building while maintaining the current security requirements of the ARC. In light the security requirements of the ARC, the challenge arose of how to engage the surrounding urban environment along Lancaster and Preble Streets. This engagement was achieved through varying fenestration and building materials, as well as the inclusion of an accessible entry at the corner of the two streets.

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Evan Carroll presents at 2016 Maine Geriatrics Conference

Evan Carroll and Connie Jones co-presented a design charrette on Friday, June 3rd at the 26th annual Maine Geriatrics Conference. Participants listened to a description of a vacant building then brainstormed general uses for the space. Charrette attendees were then asked to get specific about their desired programming. Teams used pre-measured room blocks, labeled by function, to lay out a complete plan for the building. The session was fun, interactive and educational. Participants came away from the charrette with a greater understanding of the challenges of space planning.

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Bild Architecture turns 5

We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings in June of 2011. Today Bild Architecture celebrates our five year anniversary. Bild has completed commercial projects from a small public works garage to an ice arena. Residential projects from single family homes to multi-family condominiums and apartment buildings. Some of our most prized projects include the Marquis Lofts condominiums, Bedside Manor Alzheimer’s Care Facility, 109 Main Street Gorham and most recently our work with the Salvation Army. Our single most valued accomplishment over the past five years has been the relationships we have built with our clients.

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Bild Welcomes Architect Eric Wittman

 Written by Eric Wittman

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“If you follow your passion, you’ll never make a bad decision.”

This might just be the single best advice I’ve ever received and it’s been at the root of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.  It’s what led me to change course and study architecture, it helped me see the positive effects design can have on a community and it’s what led me Portland, Maine to work at bild architecture.

Junior year of college found me growing frustrated with my major.  I had spent three years studying architectural engineering and with every triple integral I attempted to solve I realized this was not the major for me.  During this same time, I had also become friends with a group of architecture students.  I would listen intently as they described what “studio” was like and I grew envious about what they were studying and creating in their classes. It didn’t take long to realize my passion for buildings was in the design and not the engineering of them.  Knowing full well it would add four more years of classes; I made the switch into Architecture and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Fall of 2005, I was entering my fourth year of Architecture school, learning about good design and its positive effects on communities when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  My professor organized a group of students to help clean up and rebuild a house and museum in the lower ninth ward.  Wanting to see firsthand how design can help a community and following my passion, I joined the group.  The whole experience was incredibly humbling.  I witnessed how bad design can ruin a community, especially when politics are involved.  I met and became friends with people who had their homes, offices, churches and schools, the very things I was learning to design, swept away. As bad as this all was I also saw the compassion people can have for each other.  People reaching out to care for strangers and help them put a roof over their head.  We helped a family rebuild their house, which led to an entire community rebuilding.  The decision to go to New Orleans created one of the most memorable and educational experiences in my life.

Following my passion is also what led me to Maine.  My fiancée took a job in Portland and naturally I wanted to join her.  As nervous as I was to leave my hometown, friends and family, I knew as long as I was following my passion to be with her, I’d be fine.  That being said, I still needed to find a job. Thankfully I found bild architecture, a firm incredibly passionate about helping their community in a variety of ways.  After talking with them, it was an easy decision to decide to work at the firm.  I’m extremely excited to join the team at bild and look forward to making my new home a better place with the projects designed in this office.

 

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Fork Food Labs planned for Bayside Neighborhood

Fork Food Labs

Excitement builds for the arrival of Fork Food Labs in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood. Check out this MaineBiz Article.

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East End Lofts @ 273 Congress Street, Portland

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This Portland Press Herald article recently covered Bild’s newest project at 273 Congress Street.

Bild has been hard at work on the East End Lofts, a condo conversion and retail space at the top of Portland’s historic India Street neighborhood. Bild is pleased to be working with Clean and Simple Living’s Kevin Dwyer and Scott Pearce, as well as Tom Landry and the team at Benchmark Residential and Investment Real Estate.

If you are interested in a Loft take a look at East End Lofts’ website.

 

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Meet Audra E. Wrigley, Project Manager

Written By: Audra Wrigley

EAC_9352Responsibility has been a theme that has resonated with me throughout my career. Responsibility provides structure and organization in a world full of chaos. In terms of architecture, responsibility provides an ethical standard to which I feel that I must hold my designs. My moral responsibilities have manifested themselves many times in my career, but have never fully culminated in the way they have while working at Bild Architecture.

In simple terms, an architect is responsible for designing safe and healthy spaces for all occupants; however, occupant comfort often becomes an afterthought or gets value engineered out of a project all together. Although it is unrealistic to design a space that is comfortable for every single occupant who will use the space, I believe that it is still the responsibly of the designer to approach each design with a little extra empathy, compassion, and foresight for the end user. This belief began for me while I was developing my Master’s thesis titled “Healing through Architecture: Rethinking Mental Healthcare Environments”. My studies regarding the topic of occupant comfort and the impact that one’s built environment has on mood and healing are well matched with Bild’s work on life-long design projects catering to the elderly, as well as projects focusing on the mentally ill and disabled.

While architecture plays an integral role on an individual level, there is a growing global responsibility for architects. With the threat of climate change infringing on our planet, energy efficiency and resiliency are two factors that architects must understand and embrace. In order to better understand the delicate relationship between the architectural building envelope and the mechanical systems housed within, I decided to spend a year and a half working for an engineering firm before coming to Bild Architecture. This experience left me with a crucial, big-picture comprehension of the importance that architects will have in the future preservation of our resources and natural ecosystems reaching well beyond the confines of just the built environment.

Lastly, Architects are responsible on a community level. This realization came during college, where I focused my studies on urban planning, and was recently reinforced when I attended a local conference a couple of weeks ago, titled “The Challenge of Change: Are we Loving Portland to Death?”.  Many topics such as land development, immigration, affordable housing, homeless populations, and political distrust were discussed, and while most of these issues cannot be fixed through design alone, architecture still has a significant impact when attempting to solve these issues. Architecture has the incredible ability to shape society through subtle nuances and subliminal messages, shaping how space, neighborhoods, or cities are utilized and perceived.

All of these responsibilities of varying scales: individual, global, and community, are the reason why I am working towards becoming a registered architect. I cannot think of a better place to apply my responsibilities than with Evan and Sasha at Bild Architecture. Together we will work towards providing thoughtful, ethical, and empathetic designs for future generations, the city of Portland, the state of Maine, and the world.

 

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Bild wins SBA’s 2015 Micro Enterprise of the Year for Maine and New England

Bild is pleased to announce our receipt to the Small Business Administration’s 2015 Micro Enterprise of the Year for Maine and New England. We are honored to receive such an award. A big thank you goes out to June User and Jim Gove of Bangor Savings Bank for the nomination. The Bangor Daily News wrote a great article about Bild. Check it out Here.

Maine SBPY Winners 2015 USE

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Forq Food Lab coming to Portland, Maine

FORQ - Interior Rendering - Final - LogosFORQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These conceptual renderings provided by Bild will help our client, Neil Spillane, in fundraising efforts to make Forq Food Lab a reality. We LOVE the idea of a shared commercial kitchen and tasting room and what it could do to support Portland’s thriving food culture. Check out what Neil Spillane has to say about Forq.

 

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