Exploring Historic Preservation

October 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Woodlawn Plantation
Photo by James De Lorbe

Jo Leimenstoll is currently teaching one of the [4th] year studios, where they are participating in two different competitions. The first competition, Made in America, is located in Alexandria Virginia at the Woodlawn plantation. This historic home will be renovated using only made in America products provided by a wide range of supporters, for example Century, Hickory Chair, and Sherwin-Williams. The students have the goal of bringing the building into the current age, while recognizing the history and making the spaces usable. Three schools were selected to participate in the competition, UNCG being the only one outside of the Washington DC area. Recently, the class went up to DC to visit the Woodlawn plantation, while also stopping by the design center for a better understanding of the offerings and provisions of the sponsoring companies. This trip was a great success and allowed our students the ability to be assigned the Center Hall on both floors, along with 4 bedrooms and the linen room.  Alyssa Hankus believes the trip was “inspiring and influential for our designs.” While Nicole Ware believes that “DC can’t handle us, our designs will be amazing.”  This competition is nationally recognized with a grand opening and plenty of media coverage. It is a great honor to be participating in the competition, and it will be a great opportunity for the UNCG Interior Architecture program to shine with their historic preservation know how and design skills.

Existing Florence, SC building interior
Photo by Brian Peck

The second competition that this class is participating in is the Otto Zenke Student Design Competition through ASID’s Carolinas Chapter. This competition is concentrating on a historic building in Florence, South Carolina. The students are required to design a boutique hotel, with a restaurant, ballroom, and unique suites coordinating with a theme of their choice.  The students made a trip down to Florence to visit the site, explore the town and create an understanding of the surrounding area so that their designs could reflect the creative essence that is Florence.  Kayla McDonagh believes “visiting the site of our project truly helped with our design process, while being able to work with real world scenarios are beneficial to my career”.  This competition is a great opportunity for the students to work on because they are being judged not only on their design but their ability to follow building codes, ADA guidelines, and the Secretary of Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation. Kacie Leisure is “interested in doing hospitality design and with this project I am able to explore the possibilities.”

Both Competitions are a great opportunity for students to explore how historic preservation can affect a project, but instead of seeing the guidelines as limitations they can learn to use them for their benefit, expanding their portfolio by providing a unique skill not all students learn.

Contributed by Lauren Postlmayr [2nd] Grad Student

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