Why did you choose to attend the University of Virginia?
I applied based on UVA’s general reputation as a great University and the specific reputation of the School of Architecture. While I was accepted at other excellent schools, my visit to the Grounds and the impression left by the Lawn made UVA my clear first choice.
How did you become interested in architecture?
My father was in the retail furniture industry as well as being an interior designer. His focus on design influenced much of my formative years but it was during high school when I took art and drafting classes that the thought of becoming an architect truly took hold.
What do you like best about Charlottesville?
My years in Charlottesville set the direction for the rest of my life. I made my longest lasting friendships there, met my wife (Mary Anna) and took the first steps toward understanding what it takes to be an architect (I’m still figuring that out). Many things have changed, some for the better and some not, at the University and in Charlottesville over the years and I have been fortunate to be able to witness them as a member of the Advisory Board and now parent of a third-year nursing student. I am pleased that the University has continued to excel as a leading Public University but am disappointed that the architecture on Grounds has not always physically manifested that leadership position. I am also pleased that, in many ways, Charlottesville has grown into a more cosmopolitan city but wish that the explosive growth could have resulted in a more thoughtful and aesthetically attractive solution as is evidenced through typical patterns of suburban sprawl development.
What is the most exciting or interesting project you've worked on?
While it is difficult to single out one project as a “favorite,” the headquarters for SAP Americas in Newtown Square, PA, which FXFOWLE completed a few years ago, is one of the highlights of my career. It is the first large project on which I was able to lead a fully integrated design process that involved the engineers, consultants, contractor and owner from the beginning. It also allowed me to fully integrate architecture and interiors as we had the full responsibility to design both. The project achieved LEED Platinum Certification and implemented many state of the art technologies including under floor air, triple glazing, ice storage cooling, geo-thermal wells and stormwater retention cisterns, among many others. It has been widely published and recognized with many awards including the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award.
What have you learned that surprised you?
I’m surprised mostly by how time moves so quickly. Architects have an incredible impact on the environment but each of us has only a small window of opportunity to do so. The early pioneers of modern design were committed to changing the world. It is still possible… one building at a time.