Archive for March, 2016

Athens-Limestone Public Library

Athens, Ala. (March 30, 2016) – The Athens-Limestone Public Library project is a holistic renovation of an abandoned and outdated grocery store building revitalized and repurposed as a new Public Library facility.  The design incorporates sustainable design principles through energy efficiency, clerestory daylighting, south and west façade shading trellises, and overall building reuse.  Outside the building, the parking lot was reworked to improve circulation and accessibility.

Inside its 37,900 square feet of building area, the facility contains almost 25,000 square feet of public spaces including dedicated children’s area, teen area, local history room, computer lab, used book store, and a snack/coffee area named the “Whimsy Tree Cafe”.  The open floor plan in the main library space has numerous seating areas and study carrels for individual or groups, including multiple private study rooms.  On the main axis of the library there is a large circulation desk and public computer area.

The library is wired with advanced fiber optic technology for super high speed internet and wireless networking.  The large and small meeting rooms provide a space for gatherings and events and revenue stream for the Library.  The Library staff was very pleased to have additional square footage for their back of house offices and storage in the new facility.  After extensive design, planning, fundraising, and two phases of construction, the Athens-Limestone Public Library had their formal grand opening on January 24th, 2015.

The Barn at Shady Lane

Birmingham, Ala. (March 24, 2016) – Located adjacent to the Oxmoor Valley Robert Trent Jones golf course, the Barn at Shady Lane is a unique Event Venue designed for weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate meetings/parties, seasonal events and concerts.  Set on a picturesque 5 acre piece of property, the architecture for the facility is a “rustic barn” free span structure.  While rustic in look, the facility is equipped with heating and air along with restrooms and an outdoor entertainment space.  The facility can seat +/- 200 guests.  CMH’s own Michael O’Kelley designed the project and Myrick Gurosky + Associaties built the structure.

Sketch of the Week – Mother-in-law Cottage

Shoal Creek, Ala. (March 22, 2016) – This was a sketch CMH did for a client in Shoal Creek who wanted to build a mother-in-law cottage that was simple yet slightly contemporary.

Saks Fifth Avenue – San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 18, 2016) – This project is one of the two main anchors for The Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico.  Strategically located in the center of the San Juan metro area, the urban site presents a number of spatial, logistical, construction and design challenges.  The buildings adjacency to the mall, mall parking deck and mall ring road, all under simultaneous construction, leave little room for staging, construction, and material delivery.  Other complications include proximity to an existing neighborhood as well as seismic and hurricane design requirements.  The Mall of San Juan is the first upscale mall in Puerto Rico and the first location on the island for Saks Fifth Avenue.  The Saks store features an in-store restaurant, Sophie’s, and 15 high end vendor shops.

Sketch of the Week – Lakeside Pavilion

Birmingham, Ala. (March 15, 2016) – A design study for a new lakeside pavilion that straddles a spillway at a north Shelby County residential development.  The project includes a prep kitchen, restrooms, and a grand pavilion hall that can be used for neighborhood events or for private parties.

CMH Celebrates 35 Years, Iss. 1 – the 80s

Birmingham, Ala. (March 3, 2016) – Crawford McWilliams Hatcher Architects was incorporated on October 20, 1980. It was the year of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackThe ShiningNine to Five, Raging Bull, Airplane and The Blues Brothers. Our collective soundtrack consisted of Blondie, David Bowie, The Cars, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper, Elvis Costello and The Police.

The inflation rate was a whopping 13.6% and the Dow was at 963. The average new car cost was $7,200 with gas at $1.19 per gallon ($3.42 per gallon in today’s dollars), the Federal debt was $909.1 Billion, Reagan was elected president in November and Post-It notes debuted.

MTV was on the verge of existing, Charles and Diana were on the verge of marrying, Brittany Spears was on the verge of being born and Sandra Day O’Connor was on the verge of becoming the first female Supreme Court Justice.

Our architecture firm started with three — Brandon Crawford, Jerry McWilliams, Everett Hatcher — and a part-time secretary. We made our drafting boards out of recycled doors and the most high-tech item we had was an IBM typewriter.

During the 80s we grew quickly. For a blast from the past, check out the hairspray, oversized glasses and initial projects that kickstarted our firm here. Congratulations to the CMH family! Here’s to our first decade!

 

Alabama Power Water Resource Center

Birmingham, Ala. (March 1, 2016) – March is here and time is flying.  We are taking a moment today to pause and reflect on an older project, completed in ’95.

The Clanton District Office for Alabama Power Company combines typical customer service functions with several services unique to this district where the utility operates hydroelectric dams and manages the reservoirs for recreation.  The challenge met through design was to integrate these varying program requirements while providing separate functional areas and entrances.  This was solved with a linear pre-function space that provides a link among the program areas, and serves as an access control feature for the varying program schedules at the facility.  The Alabama Power building, including design, site work and exhibit installation, was completed in eight months.  CMH received an Honor Award for the building from the American Institute of Architects.