November 21, 2016

Bialosky Cleveland Honored for Recent Work and Service at Cleveland Design Awards

On Friday night, a record-breaking 500 people from the Cleveland architecture and design community gathered at the sparkling new Hilton Cleveland Downtown for the annual AIA/IIDA Cleveland Design Awards. An impressive, diverse pool of projects by local architects were showcased and honored, by juries led by Roberto de Leon, FAIA and Christopher Stulpin, IIDA. It was a magnificent affair, with an uplifting spirit of collegiality and unity from the design community.

Bialosky Cleveland earned three design awards for recent projects. Also, three of our employees were individually recognized. Congratulations to our teams behind The Schofield, Roberta A. Smith University Library, and our own offices.

Congratulations to Chris Persons and Kate Walker, two of our recent grads, who also took home honors for their grad work at Kent State University! Also, the President's Citation was awarded to our own Hallie DelVillan for her service and leadership in the chapter, and her commitment to advancing equity in the profession.

More posts to come, that will profile these award-winning projects.
Congrats to all our peers who were also recognized, and to every firm who submitted this year!

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IIDA Best Small Corporate Office
Bialosky Cleveland Offices
Bialosky Team: Jack Alan Bialosky, Jr., Paul Deutsch, Paul Taylor, Mandisa Gosa, Philip Erb, Chelsey Finnimore

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IIDA Best Education Project
Roberta A. Smith University Library
Muskingum University
Bialosky Team: Bruce Horton, Brandon Garrett, Tracy Sciano Vajskop, Philip Erb, Nick Dilisio

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AIA Merit Award
Project Name:  The Schofield
Bialosky Team: Paul Deutsch, Ryan Parsons, Theodore Ferringer
Architect:  STUDIOCRM, Inc., Bialosky Cleveland and Sandvick Architects

 

Individual Awards

AIA Student Merit Award
Chris Persons, for Drydock No. 2

IIDA Student Honorable Mention
Kate Walker, for SCFBC

President's Citation
Hallie DelVillan

 

May 13, 2015

The Year of the Advocate: Pro Bono and the Genius Loci

Pro bono, civic, and community projects have always been deeply embedded in the culture of our firm. We wholeheartedly believe that as architects, we have a distinct responsibility to serve and strengthen our community. But the value of pro bono work runs deeper than the neighborhoods it touches, it has transformed and elevated our very profession. Pro bono projects are a powerful medium for architectural firms to grow and empower leadership and heighten awareness of local expertise that can often be overshadowed. Too often we hear bemoaning around awarding projects to outside architects.

LeBron said it best, “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.” In Cleveland, “being of this place” means rolling up your sleeves, and chasing what you want. For Cleveland architects specifically, it means fueling ourselves (and each other) to rise up, advocate for architecture, and serve our city.

Consider the following article I wrote for AIA Cleveland as a call to our local design community - to challenge the notion of pro bono work being categorized as simply “other”, “charity” or “unpaid” projects, but rather as an ingrained part of architectural practice.


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Pro Bono and the Genius Loci

Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA Cleveland President-Elect

For AIA, this year is intended to be "the year of the advocate". The recent national "I Look Up" ad campaign has engendered comments, both positive and negative, about architecture and advocacy (for more information on the campaign, read AIA Cleveland President Aaron Hill's recent article Why "Looking Up" Is Important). It is good that there are strong feelings about this, especially if you ascribe to the theory that any press is good press. But more importantly, the campaign has empowered dispersed dialogues to surface as one national conversation.

Personally, I believe that every year should be the year of the advocate for architects and architecture. As President-Elect, and a fairly new comer (or late returner) to active duty in AIA Cleveland, I have been educating myself on the issues that our local members prioritize as the most relevant and important to our community. In response to our recent member survey, most of the respondents felt that one of AIA Cleveland's most important roles was to advocate for local architects. Many architects feel they have lost power, voice and position as leaders of the built environment. Furthermore, Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have suffered for years from a low self-image which has fueled a desire for outside experts. Compounded by an economic downturn spanning half a decade, this triple-whammy has left some architects in our community feeling under-appreciated and unable to compete for important commissions in their own market.

There have been past efforts at advocacy for local architects. The Design Forum of Cleveland was founded in 2006 as a multi-disciplinary organization with the goals of improving awareness of area design professional services, increasing the consumption of area design professional services, and enhancing and sustaining the professional careers within the local design community. The forum sought to educate area leaders on the quality of available services and the economic impact of the commissions going out of town. Unfortunately, the efforts foundered when confronted by the Cleveland malaise described above; Corporate cultures that inherently value the corporation over the community at large have failed to see the connection and synergy that strengthens them both, while political authorities focused on feathering their own nests or occupied with surviving the times.

Fast forward to 2015, Cleveland has been rightfully labeled as a "Comeback City", as a new sense of optimism pervades our town. The City of Cleveland has new momentum and the economic cycle appears to be stable and in our favor. Downtown Cleveland, no longer a ghost town at night, is experiencing a resurgence of pride from its residents. Clevelanders are feeling better about the future of their city and architects in Northeast Ohio similarly seem to be doing a bit better than years past. AIA Cleveland has new energy and engaged members in all stages of their careers. We have schools of architecture nearby who are engaged in the community and turning out great students, many of whom are choosing to stay in Northeast Ohio. Now seems like a good time to start the conversation again about local advocacy, and to develop our own virtuous cycle.

To propel the local architectural and design community to the  position of leadership and respect to which it aspires requires a concerted effort by the whole A&D community to work together in a collegial and non-self-serving manner; to strengthen and elevate the design culture of our internal community. If you want to be the best, play with the best; taking pride and ownership in our place calls for addressing challenges facing our community as thought-leaders of the issues we feel passionately about.

We become thought leaders by educating and pushing ourselves, by looking outside our own immediate surroundings, by learning from each other, and reaching out to the community at-large. I believe that local advocacy should not be the focus of our efforts, but rather the byproduct of how we lead our lives, demonstrate our creativity, navigate complex systems, solve problems, give back to and strengthen our own community.

If I look around, I see that this is happening even now in many encouraging ways, although we have never been good at bringing attention to ourselves. Just as it has taken many years for Cleveland to begin to understand its place as a world-class, second tier city, it may take a long time to establish Cleveland architects in the appropriate place in the hearts and minds of our fellow Clevelanders. That's no reason to stop trying.

I recently learned about a Not For Profit group in San Francisco called Public Architecture http://www.publicarchitecture.org/, who propose that firms donate 1% of their firm hours towards pro bono work and track these efforts* . I started thinking about this and wondered what percent of effort Northeast Ohio architectural firms are already donating pro bono to charity, faith-based, community development, or public policy agencies. My guess is it exceeds 1% of firm hours- Let's find out and demonstrate that we are the geniuses loci.

* Bialosky + Partners Architects exceeds this benchmark set by "The 1% Project", donating 2% of their firm hours annually towards pro bono work.

November 24, 2014

LCCC Culinary Arts Design Receives IIDA Best of Category Award

Bialosky + Partners received a 2014 design award from the Cleveland Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) for Best of Category in Education for the Lorain County Community College Ben & Jane Norton Culinary Arts Center in Elyria, Ohio.  We are pleased to announce that this is our second design award for the Culinary Arts Center and we want to again thank the college, the construction team, our consultants, and our photographers as well as our colleagues and the prestigious jury for this honor.

Visit our AIA Honorable Mention blog post to see the award submittal images and read the project brief.

Additionally, Plain Dealer Art & Architecture Critic Steven Litt has a recap of the event here: Healthcare projects dominate winning entries in 2014 AIA Cleveland architectural design awards

September 17, 2014

A Future Practice: Bialosky + Partners Lead Sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention!

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

AIA Ohio Convention 2014 Bialosky + Partners Architects

This week, Bialosky + Partners Architects will lead sessions at the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention, in Kent, OH that tackle the theme of "A Future Practice".  Senior and Managing Principal Jack A. Bialosky, Jr.,  AIA, LEED AP and Principal David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP are  jointly leading two sessions. Thursday’s Session, Action Planning For Firm Development will be facilitated by Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry. On Friday, Jack and David, along with Partner Aaron Hill AIA of Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects, and Principal Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP of MSA Architects will be hosting a discussion titled It Takes A Village to Raise A Partner. Finally, Designer and Business Development Director Theodore Ferringer, Assoc. AIA, LEED Assoc., is leading a session on Thursday with designer Michael Christoff, Assoc. AIA, of Vocon and Project Manager Angela Jayjack Assoc. AIA, LEED AP of the General Services Administration, titled Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned  From AIA Cleveland.

We hope to see you there!

See details regarding the convention and the individual sessions below:

About the 2014 AIA Ohio Convention:

AIA Ohio, in collaboration with host chapters AIA Eastern Ohio and AIA Akron will be hosting the 2014 AIA Ohio convention at Kent State University on September 18 - 20, 2014. Working together with members of the profession from throughout Ohio, this years convention will be the first time that AIA Ohio has worked to bring its annual convention to the site of one of the states architectural programs.

This years theme, "A Future Practice" focuses on careers, business and practice opportunities for those who are just entering the architectural profession as well as long time practitioners looking for ways to change their existing practices.  Centered out of the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center, the convention will focus on the connection of practice to the academy as the profession is redesigned.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 1:00 - 2:15pm at Dix Ballroom, KSU

Action Planning For Firm Development
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Too much time spent working in the business and not enough spent on the business can leave a firm stagnant and unable to compete. Generational changes and new technologies are not only changing how we produce architecture, but the business of architecture itself. This session reflects on how leadership can successfully plan for the changing landscape of practice, creating opportunities for innovation and growth, while still getting the job done. This session is primarily focused on mid to large size firms. Jeffery Carmen, Management Consultant to the AEC industry will lead this session, explaining the trends, hurdles, opportunities to both the business and practice of architecture. With over 35 years of experience, Carmen has helped many define and achieve success on their terms. With a belief that "industry standard metrics" perpetuate mediocrity, Jeffrey will explain how to plan for action without falling into usual solutions. Joining Jeffery will be Bialosky + Partners Architects Managing Principal, Jack Bialosky, Jr., and the firm's youngest Principal, David W. Craun. They will share BPA's recent Action Planning strategy which has transformed such things as work environment, branding and messaging, and young leadership that has pushed the firm to never before seen successes.

Thursday, Sept. 18: 2:30 - 3:45pm at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU

Empowering Emerging Professionals & Non-Traditional Practitioners: Lessons Learned From AIA Cleveland

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Organizations throughout the county are evaluating how they engage the generations they serve. With an average member age of 50 and 40% of members retiring in the next 10 years, AIA is at a particularly sensitive and exciting time as it evaluates its relationship with Emerging Professionals (EP) and those on non-traditional career paths. In response to this context, AIA is proactively responding to evolving membership needs through the Repositioning Initiative. This session will showcase engagement and programming lessons learned by the AIA Cleveland Associates Committee; a committee organized by a series of Associate Directors who recognized the importance of engaging EP's and non-traditional career path professionals in the organization. This panel will engage the audience in discussing: How can EP's and associates become valuable resources for AIA as outreach into the community, positioning components as leaders within the community? How can increased EP and associate participation help address the diversity gap found in most chapters? What value does AIA participation by EP's and associates have for firms? We shall discuss these questions and more in this moderated panel discussion, sharing the replicable model that AIA Cleveland has recently developed to engage and empower EP and associate members.

Friday, Sept. 19: 9:00am - 10:15am at McGilvery Ballroom, KSU 

It Takes A Village To Raise A Partner

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A roundtable discussion will allow participants to examine the road to Partnership as one that requires equal ownership of the process by both older and newer leaders of the firm. This model of shared ownership asks experienced Partners to strategize in growing and harvesting the next generation of leadership together with future firm leaders. A culture of empowerment and self-driven responsibility proves to be the soil for emerging practitioners (EPs) to not only bloom, but to take roots in the firm. From the EP side, the session explores how to emerge as a partner in a fashion that fits him/her personally. Managing Partner of Bialosky + Partners Architects, Jack A. Bialosky, Jr, AIA, LEED AP, will host this roundtable with David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP, who made history when he earned the first intern-to-partner promotion in the firm. Mike Schuster, FAIA, LEED AP, Founding Principal of MSA Architects and AIA Ohio Immediate Past President and Aaron Hill, AIA, Partner at Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and AIA Cleveland President-Elect will join other architects at various career milestones from around the state to join the discussion.

March 14, 2014

Meet Jacob Stollfuss

Jacob Stollfuss is welcomed to Bialosky + Partners' Cleveland office Jacob Stollfuss, a native of the sunswept Montana landscapes, grew up surrounded by a family who had a deep love for collecting and restoring classic automobiles. He fondly remembers his Montana home, which tallied more square footage in garage space than living space. With his father, who moonlighted as a drag-strip announcer, Jacob led an adventurous childhood at the races, witnessing and learning the trade of mechanics of the cars that surrounded him. Through cars, and discovering the fine sciences behind them, Jacob’s interest in understanding how things work blossomed. A career in architecture naturally followed.

Jacob owns two classic cars, here is his 1950 Studabaker

Jacob owns two classic cars, here is his 1950 Studabaker

Jacob also has this white 1960 Triumph, seen here on a perfect summer day.

Jacob also has this white 1960 Triumph, seen here on a perfect summer day.

He studied at Tulane University (MArch ‘99) in New Orleans, where both the college and city itself prioritize preservation and understanding the history of place. This resonated with Jacob, and has carried through his practice. And we should mention that in his young career, he is the unsung hero (at least we think so) behind the new Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Recruited by Rafael Vinoly Architects in 2003, Jacob packed his bags for New York to begin work on CMA as a Project Architect. For Jacob, the project became an encyclopedia of building systems and details. Having worked on a range of unique and challenging systems- from innovative high-performance gutters to delicate beams of glass, Jacob learned the value of studying and revising a detail until perfection. After two years in New York, Jacob continued his work on CMA at Vinoly’s long-awaited Cleveland office to see the project to realization in 2009.

The atrium expansion at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which Jacob worked on from 2003-2009. Source: Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

It is not surprising that Jacob counts woodworking as one of his passions. His Shaker Heights home is filled with furniture he has built himself- tv stands, bookshelves, end tables, you name it. His current project is designing  and building 6 walnut dining chairs, in what he calls a modern take on the historic Chippendale style (six, allowing him, his wife, and his two boys to have a pair of guests). Jacob is working with the Thinkbox at CWRU to fabricate elegant double arched back rails for the chairs. As his favorite saying goes, “The devil is in the details”, whether it is an internationally renowned building, or a single household chair. With this sentiment, it is no wonder that Jacob is an active member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Building Enclosure Council (BEC), an interdisciplinary resource to promote responsibly (but also beautifully) designed building skins and envelopes. We asked Jacob a few extra questions in case we missed anything: Your Alternate Reality Career: At one point I considered going to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to become an automotive designer.  I still tend to look at every line and crease on a new car with a critical eye. The One Attribute Of Montana You Wish You Could Bring to Cleveland: I would start with more sunshine. True or False: Well-detailed buildings are more expensive. I hate to say this, because I am an advocate of well detailed buildings, but it is true.  A lot of buildings get built with corners cut and they still perform adequately, and an over detailed building can perform outstanding, but with diminished returns.  A well detailed building will cost a little more, but have paybacks in multiple ways – energy, comfort, durability and aesthetics. Favorite Object at the Cleveland Museum of Art:

Rodin's "The Thinker", damaged by a bombing in 1970 at CMA.

I could easily name 4 or 5 objects in the collection, but if I were to boil it down, Rodin’s Thinker on the south terrace would win out.  Being one of only a handful cast under the supervision of Rodin himself makes it intriguing enough, but to me it’s the bombing of the statue, the political commentary it implies, the conservation issues in its wake, the irony of its origins as Dante atop the Gates of Hell… and in the end, The Thinker still just pensively presides over it all. Your Ideal Dinner With One Architect or Designer: Raymond Loewy.  We would eat steak frites at the Cloud Club atop the Chrysler Building while drinking Rob Roy’s and talking about THE FUTURE.