Across the country sitting in their board room at Perkins & Will in Boston, Ma, project manager David Damon and architect Yanel deAngel shed light on undertaking the redesign of the Lory Student Center.
Q: How long have you been an architect?
Damon: For me from the time of graduate school, for over 24 years.
deAngel: I graduated in 99 but you’re not supposed to call yourself architect until you get licensed, by law.
Q: What is the process of that?
deAngel: It used to be that you had to intern for a few years to get certain experience and then you could sit for the exam that were about five hours long. That has changed and now you can take the exam online in a testing center.
Q: Have you worked with CSU in the past on building renovations?
deAngel: Yes the theater was phase one of the Lory Student Center and it was a renovation.
Q: What were some of the major assets that CSU wanted incorporated in the new LSC?
A: To be inclusive of everyone. Now they are located in one suite and they are going to be sharing a lot of the spaces, not only the public spaces but even the meeting spaces so it’s almost like bringing a family together. For example, they have a women’s and gender center and for instance I am a woman, I am Latino, I can go to El Centro which is the Latino diversity program and I can just go across the hall and also be a part of the women’s program. So it allows for better synergies.
Q: Did you run into any difficulties while designing this building?
deAngel: I think the difficulties are mainly technical. The building was designed in1962 by James Hunter. It has a very particular look and we were trying to be respectful of that style yet bringing a new life into that building. And the technical challenges with that is buildings of that era were poorly insulated because the codes back then did not require the standards that we have today. So the challenges that I referred on the technical side have to do with bringing the building up to date.
Q: Does being an architect on projects like this allow any room for creativity?
Q: What’s your favorite type of project to work on?
Damon: I think this type of project is exactly what excites us because the student center is very unique in that they have a lot of diversity and a lot of activities in the building.
The ballroom right now is going to be expanded by thirty percent of size. Another part was the theater that’s already been completed and another part was making the west side of the building more commendable to activities.
We are both interested in working with campuses.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
deAngel: Accessibility to the mountains was a huge one because the original design back in 1962 acknowledged the mountains and was engaging but through time there were more unfortunate additions onto the building that block the visual as well as the physical accessibility toward the mountains and our vision has always been a dual face. Towards the east the free speech plaza is very much about engaging the plaza but towards the west is all about a very transparent elevation that engages the exterior and then beyond to the mountains.
College Avenue senior reporter Cassandra Welihan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org