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5 Minutes with Perspectus Architecture’s Historic Studio

May is National Preservation Month! To celebrate, team members from our historic studio share their insights to questions like: What is the purpose of historic preservation? Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings? What are the biggest challenges facing historic preservation today?

Continue reading to learn answers to those questions and more, including a paranormal experience.


Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA
Principal

What role does technology play in preservation?


Alice Sloan, Associate AIA
Historic Preservation Specialist

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

My parents instilled a love of history in me from a very young age. I grew up vacationing in the southern United States touring historic sites and battlefields and developed an appreciation of historic homes in particular.

What is your historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Thorough documentation in the form of photographs and measured drawings is essential for our most significant buildings. 3-D laser scanning and photogrammetry should be utilized.


Brian Broadus, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Project Director

How did you pick up the practice of architecture in historic preservation?

What is the project you’re most proud of?

What role does technology play in preservation?

What’s the most interesting story you uncovered about a project that you worked on?

An infirmary from 1858 led me into scientific literature surrounding the miasma theory of disease and taught me about Florence Nightingale and the origins of professional nursing.

I also bumped into the last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe and the man who took it.

Last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe photograph
Image courtesy of Brian Broadus, AIA

What are the biggest challenges in preservation today?


Sean Stewart
Interior Design, Preservation

What is the project you are most proud of and why?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

The purpose of Historical Preservation is to preserve sites, structures, or districts that had an impact on history. To me, it is the practice of preserving and rehabilitating old historic structures so that they are economically stable in today’s world.

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?


Dalton Kline
Interior Design, Preservation

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

It’s a tie between New Orleans and the basement of any historic building. I love New Orleans because it is a true blending of dissimilar and potent cultures.

I love basements because they are often the last thing altered in a historic building. So, that means that they are often the closest thing to original left in a building. Basements are dirty, cold, damp and dark. It’s the absolute best place to go.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience working on a project?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

To preserve history to ensure the survival and growth of our heritage.

What is your vision for the future of the historic preservation movement?

Why should developers prioritize reuse of old buildings?

Because age is an asset, not a hindrance. Viewing age as a hindrance makes for terrible design and a disappointing life.

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?


Martha Ross, RA
Senior Project Director

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

Copenhagen as the city has maintained most of its historic fabric by re-purposing the interiors and by doing so has maintained the character of the city from the past but promoted the usefulness of the city for the present.

What is something new you learned this week?

A Johnson Glass House + a Wright Overhang + a 1960’s Fleischman school entrance does not = a compatible addition to a 1889-1922 building!

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?

What can we learn from the tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Prospect Yard: Paying Homage to Cleveland’s Automotive History

Prospect Yard Rendering
Rendering of Prospect Yard, coming soon

Once upon a time, Cleveland was known as the epicenter of the automotive industry. By the early 20th century, Cleveland was home to seven major car manufacturers and added many industry innovations, including the spark ignition, flexible steering column, and various engine types. This formative period in Cleveland’s automotive manufacturing heyday was also when Frank E. Stuyvesant established the Stuyvesant Motor Co. and later became the primary Cleveland distributor for the merged Hudson-Stuyvesant Motor Car Company. Such an enterprise required a facility that could sell and service these high-end vehicles, which is where our story begins. 

Located on Prospect Avenue within Downtown Cleveland’s current “Campus District” stands the historic former Stuyvesant Motor Company building. Constructed in 1917, the building was originally built as a sales showroom, service center, garage, and storage facility for the manufacturer’s cars. Prior to the eventual dominance of the “big three” (Ford, Chrysler, General Motors), the Stuyvesant Motor Co. embodies the shift from small, local automotive manufacturer to the larger assembly-line based corporations whose legacy remains in today’s brands. Within a local framework, the building significantly contributed to the manufacturing, service, and support of automobiles, and represents the rise and decline of small, independent auto manufacturers in Cleveland. Expansion of the four-story building to its existing five stories in 1919 underscores the significance of this company as other local manufacturers failed. 

After the Great Depression, the Stuyvesant Motor Company Building became home to various other businesses associated with the automobile industry and service functions until the late 1930s. The building was then occupied by the Coast Guard, the U.S. Government and even a print shop until it sat vacant for decades.

Stuyvesant Motor Company building circa 1964

Today, the historic property is undergoing a substantial rehabilitation to begin its new life as Prospect Yard, scheduled to be completed early this summer. The adaptive reuse project started out as a conversion to “market rate” housing. The developer recognized that many Cleveland residents were being displaced by the volumes of new work downtown and lack of affordable housing options in the area. The project then became “income eligible” housing to offer affordable options to those in the service industries who are essential to the life of Cleveland’s retail, hospitality, and even health care industries.

The open, industrial layout of the Stuyvesant Motor Co. building lends itself well to its rebirth as housing. It also serves as a prime example of how historic preservation and adaptive reuse can address the housing affordability crisis occurring in cities nationwide. Additionally, the original and restored features of the building give the apartments a high-end, industrial loft feel not often accessible to residents in modern affordable housing developments.

Among the restored features are the original car lift elevator, covered underground parking once used for car storage, exposed interior concrete columns, and joist and slab ceilings. Throughout the building, original exterior masonry materials, including window sills, brick pilasters, and stone ornament remain intact.

Prospect-yard-Windows-Cleveland-Ohio
Under construction: The original giant steel sash windows flood the new apartment units with natural light and views of Downtown Cleveland.

Arguably, the most striking feature of the entire project is the giant steel sash windows framing views of the Cleveland skyline and flooding the apartments with natural light.

The original features and structure of Prospect Yard make it a unique property steeped in local history. In its new role, The Stuyvesant Motor Company building retains the rich history and memorable characteristics of Cleveland’s automobile industry. 

Stay tuned for more details and updates on the completion of Prospect Yard. In the meantime, check out our other historic preservation work


Have a historic fixer-upper begging for a new life? Get in touch, we’d love to help.

Wayne Agency Co. Building Awarded at Cleveland Restoration Society’s Celebration of Preservation

May 23, 2019 – The annual Celebration of Preservation awards took place at the beautifully restored Ohio Theater last night! The event, hosted by AIA Cleveland/Akron and the Cleveland Restoration Society, recognizes outstanding historic preservation projects throughout the region. Perspectus Historic Architecture and building owner Keith Saffles of Crooked River Holdings were honored with the “Main Street Rehabilitation” award for their work on the Wayne Agency Building in Cuyahoga Falls.

When the Wayne Agency Building was originally constructed in 1922, its prominent Front Street address positioned it right along the main artery of commerce for downtown Cuyahoga Falls. In the late 1970s, Front Street was converted into a pedestrian mall, and the building, along with the rest of the block, fell victim to vacancies as businesses flocked to increasingly popular indoor malls.

The historic rehabilitation of The Wayne Agency Building was only one component of a much larger community effort by the city of Cuyahoga Falls to stimulate economic development and bring new retail to the Downtown Historic District. Building owner Keith Saffles is committed to the growth of the city and has filled the building with local Cuyahoga Falls small-business tenants. The newly restored first floor retail spaces are currently occupied by the Yum Yum Sweet Shop, Pav’s Creamery and Good Co. Salon. The spaces on the upper floor are now home to a music school and various business offices.

The overwhelming success of the building’s restoration has inspired a cascade of restoration and redevelopment projects on historic Front Street, which has since been restored to its original use as the main thoroughfare of historic downtown Cuyahoga Falls.

Perspectus Welcomes Summer Architectural Intern Robbie Eberhart

Perspectus Architecture - New Hire Intern - Robbie Eberhart

May 2019 – We’re excited to welcome our new summer architectural intern, Robbie Eberhart, to the team!

Robbie is a rising senior of the Kent State University Class of 2020 where he studies architecture. We asked Robbie five questions to help everyone get to know him.

What about architecture excites you?

The fact that a field of study and work can influence so many people in such dynamic ways is inspiring.

The part I find most interesting is the ability to positively affect the communities involved with the projects. Not often does everyone get a chance to impact people’s lives directly every day, but architecture is the perfect medium to allow your creative interests and ideas improve the people you work with.

Who is your favorite architect?

I don’t have a specific favorite architect; however, my favorite architecture firm is Diller Scofidio and Renfro (DS + R). They do very interesting work and their design process uses amazing graphics and figural strategies that inspire the work I hope to do one day.

What are you looking forward to as you begin your internship here at Perspectus?

As I take my first step into learning about becoming a professional architect, I am excited to learn about how a firm interacts with clients, and how many different ways you can work on design in a firm environment.

I am interested in the relationship between architecture and people, so I hope to learn all I can about how the design process works by joining the client and firm relationship together to tackle a project.

I am also interested to learn about all the design strategies and modes explored in the professional setting. You can only learn so much in the academic setting, so I hope to be exposed to the many ways I haven’t seen yet.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Architecture, I intend on pursuing a dual master’s degree in both architecture and business. Kent State University offers a dual mastery program that I hope to accomplish.

After I finish school, I want to work somewhere that I can have a lasting impact on the communities I serve, and maybe one day open and run my own practice.

People would be surprised if they knew…

People would be surprised if they knew that I care about superheroes more than my well-being. I follow Marvel Comics unconditionally, and I could tell you anything about the Marvel Comic Universe that you want to know.

My favorite marvel hero is “Iron Man”, but my favorite superhero in general is “The Flash” (from DC Comics). I don’t own any physical comic book collections, but there are digital collections online that I follow and subscribe to.

Senior-Living_Memory-Care-Person-Centered-Care-Design-Strategies_Feature-Image

Residential Memory Care Facility Design – 4 Strategies for Providing Person-Centered Care

By Jim Wallis, AIA, EDAC, NCARB, IIDA
Principal and Senior Living Studio Lead


The U.S. senior population is rising, and so is the projected number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.  America’s 65-and-older population is expected to nearly double by the year 2050 to 83.7 million with an estimated 13.8 million living with Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent boom in senior housing construction means senior living providers are facing more competition, especially among the memory care segment. With more choices available to residents, memory care providers need to provide a therapeutic environment to support a person-centered care model unique to this segment of the senior living market.

Each design strategy should support the implementation of person-centered care, providing residents a dignified, comfortable, functioning environment.

But first, it would be helpful to define what person-centered care is.

Defining person-centered care

Person-centered care is a way of thinking about and providing care that places emphasis on the resident experience. Maintaining selfhood is central to this model of care – enabling residents to continue the rhythms of daily life and live as independently as possible as the disease progresses. Person-centered care shifts the environment for those living with cognitive impairments from that of an institutional care setting to a resident-focused care setting.

1. Unique environmental needs of people with dementia

First and foremost, it is key to understand what dementia means and the unique environmental needs of residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms associated with the loss of cognitive skills – memory, thinking and reasoning – and behavioral abilities severe enough to interfere with that person’s daily life and activities.  There are multiple types of dementias, but the most widely known is Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias do not progress in a linear fashion; therefore, each person experiences Alzheimer’s and related dementias differently.

Therapeutic environments rooted in the person-centered care model of evidence-based design are shown to reduce negative behaviors associated with the disease progression such as wandering, elopement risk, agitation and anxiety.

2. Smaller groups and spaces

Large spaces and groups of people typical of senior living communities can be agitating for residents with cognitive impairment. Reducing spaces to a residential scale and using a household model can alleviate many common agitations.

A household model reflects the familiar elements of a home and includes a living room, residential kitchen, dining room space, private resident rooms with bathrooms, activity areas, and a secured outdoor courtyard. An open plan with clear, familiar room-to-room circulation aids in wayfinding and provides environmental cues as to the intended use for the space.

When Perspectus worked with Brookdale Senior Living at its Atrium Way location in Jacksonville, Florida, we were tasked with renovating an existing assisted living wing into a memory care unit utilizing the household model.

Brookdale Senior Living Atrium Way Memory Care Unit living room

Brookdale Senior Living Atrium Way Memory Care Unit living room

The building was originally designed with a large, two-story central community space that the resident rooms opened up to. The new design reduced the height of the ceilings and defined small spaces within the large existing space to create a more familiar residential scale. 

3. Opportunities for social engagement

It’s important to create a community of the right size. The ideal size of a household is 10 to 14 residents. Smaller groups provide more opportunities for residents to interact with each other and caretakers and participate in familiar daily routines. 

The design strategy should include spaces of multiple scales to allow for different types of activities. This variety of spaces and scales serves multiple purposes: it allows staff more spaces to program activities that cater to the residents’ interests and needs and gives residents control of desired level of social interaction and privacy.

For instance, the design may include smaller alcoves and seating areas for more intimate social interactions and more public spaces such as a living room or a secured outdoor courtyard to accommodate larger group activities. 

Another design feature that promotes social engagement is an open, residential country kitchen located directly adjacent to the dining room. The residential kitchen enhances activities of daily living, creates opportunity for structured programming such as baking or routine household chores, and provides sensory stimulation from cooking aromas which can help stimulate appetite.

 
Brookdale Senior Living Atrium Way Memory Care Unit Country Kitchen

Brookdale Senior Living Atrium Way Memory Care Unit Country Kitchen

Decentralized staff areas maintain a residential environment and encourage more social interaction between staff and residents. Identifiable nurse stations are a necessity in institutional environments, but you wouldn’t want to see a nurse station in your home. Designing the residential kitchen with features that discreetly double as a nurse station facilitates staff interaction without disrupting activities of daily living. 

4. Color, lighting and materials

Lighting and material selection are critical design elements in senior living and memory care environments. It is very common for elderly persons, especially those with cognitive impairments, to experience several age-related vision issues including difficulties distinguishing colors, depth perception, and sensitivity to contrast and glare.

The most common lighting problem for memory care residents is that the space is not bright enough, causing agitation. Illumination should be increased to improve visibility and offset contrast sensitivity.

Another common light-related agitator is glare. Materials and surfaces that are not glossy and reflective can help eliminate glare.

The use of color and materials should work both to create a calming environment as well as increase contrast. Flooring color should provide complimentary contrast to the wall color. If a pattern is used, it should be kept simple. Too much contrasting pattern can cause confusion, as memory care residents may see certain areas within the pattern as voids and step around them.

Color contrast also aids in visual cueing. For instance, memory care residents can have difficulty recognizing the need to use the bathroom as the disease progresses. Floor and wall colors that contrast with the toilet help it stand out.

 Brookdale Senior Living Westlake Village Memory Care resident room bathroom
Brookdale Senior Living Westlake Village Memory Care resident room bathroom

Thoughtful choice in color, lighting and materials are critical to reducing agitated behaviors and increase resident well-being and autonomy.

Dignified living

Person-centered care design strategies for memory care residents are about facilitating as normal a life as possible in an environment that is truly a home. Through a heightened understanding of the disease and utilizing a holistic, person-centered care approach, memory care facilities can provide residents with a dignified experience that nurtures their mind, body and spirit.


Jim Wallis is Principal and studio lead of Perspectus Architecture’s Senior Living market. Want to make your next senior living project rise above the competition? Let’s work together.

5 minutes with Jim Wallis, AIA, EDAC, IIDA, NCARB

Perspectus Architecture-Jim Wallis-blog-header

[Question] You and Eileen Nacht will be presenting on the Laurel Lake Senior Living Community at the Environments for Aging conference. What can attendees hope to learn from your presentation?

[Jim] Our presentation is focused on a Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) we completed for the Laurel Lake Retirement Community Center for Healthy Living project that the community has implemented. The results of the POE show us how successfully the design has transformed the residential community to support a whole-person wellness philosophy engaging the mind, body and spirit. We’ll define what a POE is, break down the metrics we established, and identify the criteria for measuring and examining the design outcomes. Finally, we plan to share insights gained from the results of the POE and applications to future re-positioning design projects.

We’ll also illustrate the concept of centers for healthy living as active lifestyle communities and their benefits to the aging population. Evolving research shows wellness focused activities are KEY to aging people keeping their health, their mental skills and their quality of life. We’ll explore the role of environmental design in promoting the seven dimensions of wellness.

Laurel Lake Retirement Community Exterior
Laurel Lake Retirement Community Exterior
Photographer: Scott Pease

[Q] What trends in senior living design do you anticipate taking off?

[J] Centers for healthy living are definitely a trend for the new senior population and the next generation of older adults that are more active and health conscious. A center for healthy living is an approach to wellness design based on the concept of engaging residents with enhanced person-centered care. The design integrates programs and amenities that support the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.

[Q] You just achieved your Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification. How will this certification affect the design of your projects?

[J] Evidence-based design is really about the design process and implementing design concepts that achieve the best possible outcomes. I look to inspire our project designs and Perspectus with a design culture that is person-centered and more focused on the desired outcomes for healthcare and senior living projects.

[Q] If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

[J] If you have a passion and enjoy what you do for a living, then you will never work a day in your life!

[Q] You can only bring two things to a deserted island. What do you bring? Oh, and you can’t bring a boat.

[J] Alcohol and a Satellite Phone.


Environments for Aging Expo & Conference logo

Are you attending the 2019 EFA conference? Add Designing for Mind, Body, and Spirit: A Post-Occupancy Evaluation to your attendee calendar!

Presenters: Jim Wallis, AIA and Eileen Nacht, AIA
Time: Tuesday, April 09, 2019 | 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Elizabeth Corbin Murphy_Perspectus-Architecture_Notable-Women-in-STEM

Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, Recognized as 2019 Crain’s Notable Women in STEM Recipient

February 2019 – Perspectus Architecture is proud to announce that our own Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, has been selected as a 2019 Crain’s Notable Women in STEM. In addition to being incredibly well-deserved, this recognition is also particularly significant as architecture was just recently added as an official STEM Subject as of July 31, 2018.

Congratulations, Elizabeth! Thank you for your leadership and mentoring both within our firm and in the architecture industry.

The article below was originally published in Crain’s Cleveland Business.


Elizabeth Corbin Murphy
Principal, Perspectus Architecture

Most recent education: Master of architecture, Kent State University

Elizabeth Corbin Murphy develops processes and technologies to evaluate structures and materials so they may be authentically restored and renovated.

In addition to navigating the merger between her firm, one of the oldest women-led architectural practices in Ohio, with Perspectus Architecture, she is also a professor of practice at Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Kathleen Crowther, president of the Cleveland Restoration Society, said Corbin Murphy is a renowned heritage architect throughout the Midwest.

“Elizabeth is a leading advocate for excellence in urban planning, retrofitting of existing buildings, sensitivity in design so that it can lift the entire community, and, of course, the restoration, rehabilitation and preservation of historic buildings,” Crowther said.

Corbin Murphy also is known for her veracity.

In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year for Integrity by the Summit County Women’s History Project and earned the American Institute of Architects Ohio Gold Medal in 2014. She also serves on the board of directors for the Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America.

“We can have confidence in the wise, thoughtful and courageous voice she brings to the often-challenging issues of the day. Her moral commitment to do good is unparalleled,” said Terry Welker, AIA fellow and chief building official for the city of Kettering.

Originally published in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Mansfield Art Center Addition Expands Activities for Local Art Hub

The Mansfield Art Center, located in Mansfield, Ohio, is an important fixture in the community. It operates under the mission to “enrich the lives of all children, families, and adults through the arts with gallery exhibitions, art education, artist workshops and related activities.” The Mansfield Art Center realized a need for an addition to accommodate an expanding demand for the arts and cultural development of the area.

Mansfield Art Center exterior rendering.
Rendering prepared by Perspectus Architecture.

Perspectus Architecture is serving as the design architect for the project. Director of Design David Thompson worked with local Mansfield architecture firm, The Seckle Group, to design a new education wing addition to the Mansfield Art Center. The new space expands the art center’s ability to offer more hands-on classes to the community, including a specialized “hot zone” with a ceramics and glass blowing studio.

Rendering of new education wing.
Rendering prepared by Perspectus Architecture.

The new addition seeks to respect and enhance the existing gallery and education structure designed by the late Don M. Hisaka, built in 1970. A resident of Cleveland, Ohio for a portion of his career, Hisaka’s contemporary work earned over 50 awards of merit. The Mansfield Art Center was honored with the Progressive Architecture National Citation in 1971.

The simple, rectilinear forms from the existing building extend to the new structures. The two new forms flanking the existing building defer to the existing structure and visually frame the existing gallery space. The siting of the new additions preserves the original entry sequence and enhances the exterior pavilion space to accommodate more diverse functions. The new structures take cues from the existing building’s massing, openness, exposed structure, and utilization of daylight. By maintaining and bounding the existing green space, the additions preserve views from the gallery spaces.

New pavilion placement for Mansfield Art Center.
Rendering prepared by Perspectus Architecture.

Gray porcelain cladding contrasts the white paint of the existing structure while also abstractly referencing the ceramics studio within the new structure.

The new ceramic and glass arts studio serves as an expansion of the existing education studios, extending the existing circulation axis and re-imagining how the spaces can be flexible and adaptable.

Originally proposed as an ‘open warehouse’ space, the studio construction details are intended to be a reinterpretation of the existing gallery and education construction. The new classroom space is subdivided by mobile modular storage units that facilitate easy reconfiguration, promoting an adaptable, scalable learning environment. Storage space in a new lower level helps consolidate storage currently spread throughout the existing building, freeing up congested areas for their original intent.

Mansfield Art Center interior rendering
Mansfield Art Center interior rendering.
Rendering prepared by Perspectus Architecture.

While the primary windows for the studio space capitalize on northern light, the south elevation incorporates louvers and deep recesses to diffuse and control direct sunlight entering the classroom space.

Adjacent to kilns and ovens, floor-to-ceiling glass seeks to put the process of making art on display. Perimeter wall space is maintained within the studios to allow for adequate on-hand storage of supplies.

Construction is anticipated to begin in June 2019.

Perspectus Welcomes Co-op Student Olivia Zepp to Historic Studio

Perspectus Architecture is excited to welcome a new co-op student to our team as we kick off 2019.

Olivia Zepp joins us as a co-op student from Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) where she is currently pursuing her Master of Architecture with a Certificate in Historic Preservation. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. We asked Olivia five questions to help everyone get to know her.

You’ll be earning your Master of Architecture with a Historic Preservation Certificate. What drives your passion for historic preservation?

The driving factor for my passion in preservation is what we can learn from historic buildings. The construction techniques and methods used in historic buildings are unique and the fact that these buildings can stand the testament of time with little human intervention I think is fascinating. We can learn what was most important in societies when we see what parts of buildings had the greatest emphasis in the designs.

You were one of four students at Ball State chosen to travel to Milan, Italy this past fall to participate in a workshop focused on how historic buildings can meet 21st century needs. What was that experience like and what was your biggest takeaway?

The experience was unforgettable along with being able to work with students from three different universities around the world, we were able to see many historic buildings from time periods not seen in the U.S. The biggest takeaway was, even though all the students were from different places our ideas of preservation and history being able to tell a story were all the same. Language barriers didn’t influence our perception of the importance of keeping all our pasts alive through the built environment.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

After graduation I want to get my architecture license and possibly own my own firm in the future. I would also like to start a family and live in a place with beautiful buildings.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find my inspiration from my family a lot of the time. My grandmothers especially have shown me that it’s never too late to start a new passion in life.

Is there something not many people know about you?

I was a Girl Scout from first grade up until senior year of high school. This led to me earning my Girl Scout Gold Award (equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award) my senior year.

Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy of our historic studio is happy to have Olivia on the team saying, “I’m very impressed with Olivia. She has proven herself to be very adept and a quick learner.”

Keep up the good work, Olivia! We’re glad to have you!

Adam-Yaracs-AIA-Young-Architects-Award_Perspectus-Architecture

Adam Yaracs, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB Receives 2019 AIA National Young Architects Award

February 2019 – Perspectus Architecture is proud to announce that Project Manager Adam Yaracs, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB has been selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as a recipient of the 2019 Young Architects Award. This prestigious award honors individuals nationwide who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers and within the first 10 years of achieving licensure. Adam will be presented with the Young Architect award on June 6th at the 2019 AIA National Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas and will be featured in February’s issue of Architect Magazine.

“To be selected as a recipient of the AIA National Young Architect Award is an overwhelming honor. Being recognized by the College of Fellows and by your peers as a leader and as someone who has made significant contributions to the profession is humbling,” says Adam.

He continues, “To me, receiving this award reinforces the importance of becoming a multifaceted professional and stresses the value of giving back to the profession. Using the many individuals who have mentored me through the early stages of my career as an example, this award exemplifies my commitment to continue to practice thoughtful, sustainable architecture, lead by example and mentor young professionals and the next generation of leaders.”

Nominated by the AIA Cleveland Chapter, this honor speaks highly of Adam’s continued commitment to the profession and his initiative as a leader within the design community. These qualities are demonstrated through Adam’s involvement in the AIA Cleveland Chapter, as an educator at Kent State University, a mentor to architecture students and young professionals, and within our own team at Perspectus designing outstanding work for our clients.

“This is exciting news. I couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishments Adam has achieved,” says Managing Principal and Perspectus Architecture founder Bill Ayars, AIA, ACHA. “This is a well-earned honor and I’m extremely proud of his success.”

Adam’s career has advanced at a rapid pace since his start as an intern architect. He humbly admits that his experiences working at several respected national and local design firms have greatly influenced his career trajectory. At each of these firms, his creativity, high design intelligence and keen ability to understand the client have made him a highly valued team member. Adam has played a key role on many AIA design award-winning projects including a university social sciences center, a performing arts center and music education building, and most recently, the Gleneagles Golf clubhouse and community center in Twinsburg, Ohio to name a few.

The Gleneagles Golf clubhouse and community center earned the People’s Choice Award in the architecture category at the 2018 AIA Cleveland Design Awards.

Motivated by designing community spaces

Creating spaces that build community is the overarching design philosophy that Adam strives to apply in all his work, regardless of project type. A community can be identified by its people, and the buildings that they work, live, and play in. Responsible architecture that provokes the importance of the human experience will promote a community’s identity and health.

To Adam, thoughtful design that strengthens the community and enhances the quality of life is the responsibility of all architects – and everyone is worthy of it.

“My goal is to introduce and practice good design principles to each project, independent of who the client is, the project type, or the budget.”

Building community through mentorship

Helping to shape his success are the handful of mentors Adam feels fortunate to have in his life and professional career. Those mentors include: Steve Kordalski, AIA, Jack Bialosky Jr., FAIA, Robert Maschke, FAIA, Aaron Hill, AIA, Tim Hawk, FAIA, Jodi van der Wiel, AIA, Larry Fischer, AIA, Bill Ayars, AIA, Dave Robar, AIA, Allan Renzi, AIA, and Charles Belson, AIA.

“I have always been surrounded by strong team members and mentors who have played an enormous role in supporting me and offering career advice,” he says.

He credits his mentors who encouraged him to get involved with the local design community at an early stage of his career and to pursue his desire to teach.

Because of the positive and fruitful relationships he has had with his own mentors, he now chooses to share his knowledge and experiences by educating and mentoring young students at his alma mater, the Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design. He emphasizes that the choice to become a mentor is the one of the most important decisions a design professional can make in his or her career.

“My mentors have supported me through milestones such as graduate school, achieving my architectural license, leading the local design community as AIA Cleveland President, and pursuing career opportunities,” he recalls.

“To be able to navigate these challenges and to find some level of success in your own career, encourages and motivates you to help those who are just beginning to pursue their own journey to become a design professional. Teaching at Kent State University has provided me with a platform to do just that,” where he teaches a First Year Foundations design studio, a Professional Practice Portfolio workshop, participates in the scholarship review committee, and leads as the faculty advisor to the American Institute of Architects Students (AIAS) Kent State Chapter.

A leader in the design community

Adam is heavily involved as a leader in the design community through his involvement with AIA. In 2017, at just 34-years-old, Adam served as the AIA Cleveland Chapter President. As President, he led key communication initiatives like the implementation and expansion of a weekly e-newsletter, increasing the chapter’s social media presence, adding a storefront projection system to the chapter office, and creating a new chapter website.

During his term, the chapter experienced record growth in chapter development and membership. He worked with board members to establish the annual AIA Cleveland Kent State University Scholarship Fund and worked with the University to increase student participation and inclusion within the chapter. In addition, Adam chairs the annual Design Cruise Line networking event and the Cleveland Design Awards where he has continued work to grow the awards program to include over 500 attendees.

Continuing his leadership for AIA Cleveland after his presidency, Adam was elected in 2017 to a two-year term as the Director of Communications.

Because of this unrelenting dedication and service to the architecture community, he has been recognized by AIA Cleveland with several individual awards. Adam was honored with his first Presidential Citation in 2011, the Chapter Activism Award in 2013, and was just honored with a second Presidential Citation at the 2018 AIA Cleveland Design Awards.

The 2019 AIA National Young Architects Award is only the latest addition to his growing collection of achievements.

Only the beginning

If the last 10 years are any indication, Adam shows no signs of slowing down. We at Perspectus Architecture are so proud to see Adam recognized with the AIA Young Architects Award and to have him on our team.

Congratulations, Adam!  We can’t wait to see what you do next. 


To read the article published by AIA National on Adam’s selection as a recipient of the 2019 Young Architects Award, click here.