Never underestimate the attraction of a public market. Crowds at the fish market in downtown Seattle’s Pike Place love a crazy tradition – employees throw fish through the air, caught at the counter and wrapped for customers. Not only is Pike Place the city’s most popular destination, it’s the 33rd most visited attraction in the world with over 10 million annual visitors.
No doubt about it, people gravitate to a thriving marketplace. Downtown Anniston will soon have its own outdoor market, and although fish tossing is unlikely, it is likely to be a major attraction as well.
The city purchased the former Anniston Auto Parts Store and adjacent buildings to convert into an open-air market, located a block away from the new Freedom Riders Monument.
Anniston-based architect Bill Whittaker is renovating six damaged building in Anniston’s downtown historic district into the market complex, which will include bathrooms, office space for Main Street Anniston, a community garden and an area for food trucks and open cooking.
The open-air market will take up 15,850 square feet, and 1,450 square feet is for the Main Street Anniston office and restrooms. Construction starts September 2022 and the project is expected to be completed by February 2023.
The objective, says Whittaker, is to “maintain the past on this street front, but look to the future on the adjacent storefront. So, the building has two faces and it ties the past to the future. I think that’s a win for any community,”
Much of the roof was gone from the damaged buildings, so the complex was already on its way to an open-air function. The façade of the auto parts building will remain intact along with the signage. The existing structural steel columns and beams will remain as well, and a new skin of cloth canopies are to be installed.
The salvaged façade will be cleaned and painted, and the original signage will be repaired and illuminated. The existing single-pane windows will remain and will be repainted.
The community garden will be maintained by the Oxford Garden Club located in the neighboring town. Two compartments set back from the façade are to be removed to allow space for the food trucks and outdoor cooking.
Also nearby is city hall and the new federal courthouse, along with the trailhead of the Chief Ladiga Trail, which is part of the Rails to Trails program. Once completed, the trail will stretch 33 miles to the Alabama-Georgia border. Even without its latest extension, the Chief Ladiga trail is considered the nation’s longest paved trail.
Such an ideal location is bound to attract plenty of people to the market. “It kind of checks all the boxes,” Whittaker notes. “It gives them a reason to be here besides selling. It is a place for everyone to gather and talk to each other.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Bill WhittakerArchitecture
No disputing that parks greatly enhance the livability of a community. Place one in a wooded setting – particularly in such states as Alabama where sticky humidity lingers most of the year – and the park is bound to attract many visitors.
Shade is indeed a primary reason why Lee Springs Park in Helena is so popular. Though Helena would unlikely be labeled a concrete jungle, it is part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, therefore such a refuge is a much-appreciated amenity.
Why is the shade of a tree important on hot days? According to Energy.gov, it can reduce the surrounding air temperature by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s no denying the positive impact of shade on outdoor thermal comfort.
Studio A Design was the lead consultant on the design of the park, which includes trails for walking and running, bike trails, picnic tables and a playground.
Signs within the park provide information about the history of steel production in the area. Between 1873 and 1876, roughly 180 beehive-style coke ovens were constructed in the park area. Though the ovens were moved in 1899, remnants of the oven walls are still visible. U.S. Steel owned the property and set aside 30 acres for the park.
Google reviews of Lee Springs show that many people not only love that the park is set in the woods, but also how it is carefully integrated into the landscape.
“Due to the federal funding sources through the Alabama Mining Bureau, several studies were required, including a Cultural Resource Assessment and a Phase One Environmental Assessment,” explains Amy Smith, president of Studio A Design.
As the landscape architect on the project, Smith relied on these studies as well as historic maps, LIDAR maps, and numerous site visits to study the lay of the land and envision a blend of historic interpretation along with modern activities that would be inviting and meaningful.
“It was important to preserve the trees,” she adds, “whose root systems helped to preserve the historic landforms and prevent erosion, and it was also important to bring visitors within viewing distance of sensitive historic features, without disturbing those features.”
Relying on natural materials at the site and working with its topography was fundamental in designing the park. For example, the play area was designed to fit into the wooded landscape, including the slides that are built on the natural slope of the hillside. Bridges, boardwalks, steps and other features were constructed out of natural wood. Trees were used to support swings. The treehouse, boardwalks, benches and overlooks are supported with tree trunks. Low impact features include crushed stone trails and parking surfaces, and the use of indigenous materials.
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy Studio A Design LLC
Preparation for the 2022 World Games held in Birmingham in July included security measures that would displace people experiencing homelessness who were living in areas designated as secured perimeter points. In response, community partners formed the Compassion Project to create resource options including temporary shelter.
Finding viable solutions to complex problems takes time. Although the volunteer design team’s micro-shelter protype wasn’t fully used during The World Games, the project is moving forward to make a lasting, measurable difference for those in insecure housing situations. The Compassion Project represents the collective effort of several organizations that currently serve people facing housing insecurity in the Birmingham area.
“A very basic explanation of the concept for the Compassion Project is to provide a welcoming place for people experiencing housing insecurity, where there is ready access to the variety of needed services in a centralized location, with a community atmosphere,” explains Jeremy Cutts of Williams Blackstock Architects. “The local design community was invited in to help bring that concept to reality, with primary focus areas being site layout/logistics and creating the spaces that support the concept.”
The Compassion Project is exploring long-term solutions to more effectively address the needs of those facing housing insecurity in the Birmingham area. In a 2021 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), nearly six out of 10 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness are in an urban setting.
The project is citizen-led and funded by private donations. The all-volunteer design team consists primarily of Birmingham architects, along with input on structural engineering, landscape architecture, graphic design, and contributions from a few non-design professionals. Construction volunteers are from an even broader spectrum.
During the earliest stages of design, the team of volunteers met with potential end-users to find out what they would like prioritized in the design. A crucial need is a place to sleep and secure belongings that is protected from the elements.
“As we began developing designs for these shelters, we realized that if we could build a full community of shelter prototypes in time for The World Games, we could gather much more feedback from the target groups,” Cutts recalls. “That goal was perhaps too ambitious given the timeline, but we were able to build two fully functioning prototypes complete with lockable doors, windows, a bed, storage space and air conditioning.”
The design team received positive responses from those who took part in the services at the Compassion Project site during The World Games. Although no one slept in the shelters overnight, they were allowed to schedule one-hour naps throughout the day, and many did. The comments received from their firsthand experiences will inform future developments of the prototype designs, says Cutts. Prototypes may be designed so they can be disassembled, stored and then reassembled. The prototypes constructed and used during The World Games were not.
Lessons learned and knowledge gained from the project will be added to the ongoing efforts to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness.
“The next step is to fold this new information into our ongoing research and refinements,” explains Cutts. “The World Games provided a unique opportunity to get a lot more feedback, but The World Games was not the finish line nor the focus for the organizations who first conceived of The Compassion Project.”
As efforts develop further, finding the right community partner or partners to help work toward establishing a permanent site is a possibility.
“There is no single personal profile that can capture all individuals who find themselves facing housing insecurity, and likewise, there is no single solution that can address all situations,” Cutts adds.
“We have and we need different solutions, which each contribute their part and collectively provide the right fit for the variety of circumstances. The Compassion Project can be seen as a unique way to contribute to the larger puzzle.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images CourtesyRob Culpepper Photography
Growth management is essential today as communities seek to control the location, impact, character, and timing of development in order to balance environmental and economic needs and concerns, writes leading growth management consultant Douglas Porter in “Managing Growth in America’s Communities.”
Communities across Alabama are looking at ways to thoughtfully plan for expansion, including an unincorporated area of Autauga County that is experiencing enormous growth. With that in mind, the community participated in DesignAlabama’s DesignDash program to explore ways to effectively manage growth while making the community a safer and more desirable place to live and work.
“The primary area of concern is the U.S. 31 corridor between I-65 and CR 40 in an unincorporated area of Autauga County known as Pine Level,” explains Jim Byard of Prattville-based Byard Associates, a strategic development consulting firm. “This is a fast- growing business and residential corridor that encompasses the only interstate exit in Autauga County.”
DesignDash offers a single-day blitz of design interaction between community members and design professionals. A facilitator leads discussions between community members and design professionals who focus on a site-specific design and planning issue. During the second half of the day, the design professionals work alone to create ideas, renderings and other images based on their findings.
The DesignDash workshop brought together a small core group of citizens to start the conversations and to begin creating a conceptual framework of how the US-31 corridor could be enhanced. And in the northern sector along U.S. Hwy 31 are large areas of undeveloped land with little street network. As these areas develop, it is important to plan for a street system that provides access and disperses traffic in a balanced, less concentrated manner.
“Autauga County continues growing at a steady pace and is expected to continue double-digit growth of nearly 20 percent by 2040,” Pieper adds. “Most of the growth we are seeing is in north Autauga County, in the Pine Leve/Marbury area. Exit 186, also known as the Pine Level exit, serves as the gateway to Autauga County and is the shortest route from I-65 to historic downtown Prattville.”
Exit 186 is also important as it is the shortest route to downtown Prattville and the home of Daniel Pratt’s Gin Factory, which is currently being revitalized.
“A big conversation” at the DesignDash event was whether the Pine Level area should be incorporated, explains GMC Regional and Community Planner Brandon Bias Brandon Bias who served as DesignDash facilitator. Though it’s up to the community to decide, the design professionals can show how this area can look in the future when managed growth principles are applied. A primary reason people give for moving to the area north of Prattville is the school system.
The DesignDash team also helped participants visualize how the intersection at U.S. Hwy 31 and I-65 could look, which is the only intersection on I-65 in Autauga County. The team provided participants with a report and now the community will build on those ideas when it participates in DesignVision, a two-day community visioning workshop held in partnership with Auburn University’s Urban Studio.
“DesignDash was a precursor for the DesignVision application process, opening the door for us to apply for the DesignVision Workshop and the Autauga County team is thrilled the U.S. 31 corridor was selected by DesignAlabama as the site for the 2022 fall DesignVision workshop,” says Pieper.
“We look forward to welcoming the Auburn University Urban Studio students to our community. These talented students will immerse themselves into our community, especially along the 31-corridor. As a county, the cost to bring in experts for opportunities like this would be prohibitive, so we are grateful to DesignAlabama for offering this program, and thank our partners CAEC [Central Alabama Electric Cooperative] and CARPDC [Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission] for bringing this opportunity to fruition.”
Implementing improvements will be determined by county elected officials along with the stakeholders who make up the Hwy 31 corridor, Byard says. As past chair of the DesignAlabama Board of Directors and resident of nearby Prattville, Byard thought this corridor would be a perfect project for DesignDash and DesignVision. So, he brought the idea to Autauga County officials and introduced them to Gina Clifford, Executive Director of DesignAlabama.
“Our local leaders took it from there,” adds Byard. “I’m glad that they see the need for good design in this unincorporated area that is considered the entryway to Autauga County along I-65.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of DesignAlabama
A little doodle here, a little color there, and voila! – the perfect logo takes form. If only it were that simple. Designing a logo may seem relatively easy, but it’s deceptively difficult to achieve. A memorable logo involves research, much deliberation and a capable designer.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts found just the right designer – Anna Carter of AMD Creative in Birmingham – to create a logo for Celebration of the Alabama Arts, the Council’s biennial event that shines a spotlight on arts and creativity in Alabama and individuals who make significant contributions to the state’s rich cultural landscape. The previous logo had been around for 20 years, so it was time to update and modernize the program’s logo to better reflect its mission.
“For the Council on the Arts’ 2022 Celebration of Alabama Arts, we wanted to feature a new logo design that is cohesive and adaptable to diverse usages and speaks to Alabama’s vibrancy and creativity element,” explains Council on the Arts’ Executive Director, Dr. Elliot Knight. “The rebranding effort also included an updated name for the awards program, which, along with the logo, allowed us to highlight our appreciation for the art and creativity that abounds within our state – and the people who make it possible.”
When Carter, AMD Creative’s head graphic designer, first met with the Alabama State Council on the Arts she was happy about their excitement in re-branding and willingness to let her explore her creative side to see what she could come up with. Carter says this freedom allowed her to let her creativity flow to explore all design possibilities.
Typically, Carter spends most of her time before she begins designing looking to nature for guidance. Nature provides the simple lines and geometric shapes that drive her design aesthetic which can be seen throughout most of her creative work. Her inspiration for the icon began when she started thinking about the word celebration. Her combination of modern sleek lines with geometric shapes brought about the firework icon that provides an eye-catching and memorable mark for those passing by it. Colors play an important role in determining a brand’s message and do so with this logo.
“When approaching this logo design, I wanted to make sure to give the Alabama State Council on the Arts a design that would remain as a timeless mark for the organization to be able to use for many years to come,” Carter explains. “Taking time to sit down and establish a cohesive look for any program you put on as an organization is important. Branding helps your audience to better understand your event’s mission and allows viewers to better connect with the values of the organization.”
As Carter began her design process, she worked with the Alabama State Council on the Arts to create three different logo options. This gave the Council the opportunity to “see a wide range of ideas and get their brains turning on what designs catch their eye,” she adds.
This process helps clients quickly determine what they like and do not like. From this process, and a few edits in between, she was able to narrow it down to the option that was selected. This logo was chosen because of its clean, sleek modern look while also maintaining fun elements that could be used all together to recognize the brand as a whole or be separated.
Her combination of rounded geometric forms and the script CA design brought together the playful, eye-catching icon. She also included the radiating lines coming out of the top of the icon to evoke a feeling of excitement. Lastly, she chose an energetic yet calming color palette to pair with the branding to complete the overall look.
“When people view this logo, I hope they will be inspired by the whimsical beauty of the arts and feel a creative spark ignite inside of them,” she says. “This logo should be an encouraging beacon for those making an impact on the Alabama arts community.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Anna Carter of AMD Creative
When thinking about historic Mobile homes, antebellum mansions likely come to mind. Those multi-story Greek Revival structures with massive columns, elaborate friezes and cast-iron balconies.
There’s another type of mid-19th century home that is important to the history of the Port City, the Creole cottage, which today is appreciated for its minimal stylistic features and functionality.
One of Mobile’s earliest examples of Creole architecture is the Chinaberry Cottage completed in 1862. The main structure and two outbuildings, long derelict, have been renovated to retain their original character while being adapted for today’s commercial use. Just under 800 square feet were added to the original home.
Retaining the original character of a building while adapting it for a new function can be challenging, as project architect Steve Stone of Dakinstreet Architects discovered.
“When committing to retention of the historic character, you need to balance it with modern codes, accessibility, and the owner’s desires,” Stone explains. “There was also a significant amount of irreparable damage to the rear of the home, so that had to be recreated using photos and a lot of back-and-forth design.”
Stone identifies two Creole-style features that dominate the original home – the full front porch, pulled relatively close to the street despite having a deep lot, and the large gabled roof turned toward the street instead of 90 degrees to it.
“A handful of details throughout the building including dual interior fireplaces, lattice brickwork crawl space vents, and abundant wood shutters all pitch in to the overall feel,” Stone adds.
One of the outbuildings was originally a kitchen, which was common in those days to keep separate from the main house. The other outbuilding is commonly referred to as the chapel.
“But only because of a stained-glass window that was inserted into the building from a local church that was demolished,” notes Stephen McNair of McNair Historic Preservation. “In reality, it was a garden shed for tools and gardening.”
The main house is currently occupied as office space by an engineering firm. The kitchen will also be a single office. The chapel will remain a storage building.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the Chinaberry Cottage includes characteristics common to the vernacular “Creole cottage” type of house that was common along the Gulf Coast, with most of structures found in southern Louisiana eastward to Mobile. A 1½‐story building with a basic four-room plan, gabled roof and no central hallway. A style influenced by both French and Spanish construction methods and the local climate.
Though hard to imagine now in their renovated state, the cottage and its two outbuildings were so neglected that vines were taking over and the rear addition of the main house was collapsing. Yet the extensive work did not detract from the original character of the structures, which was necessary to keep intact to be eligible for tax incentives.
“In order for the project to remain within compliance with the historic easement and also meet the standards of the Department of the Interior to receive Historic Tax Credits,” says McNair, “all of the character defining features of the structures and grounds were retained with intentional detail.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Dakinstreet Architects
The Cahaba River is Alabama’s longest free-flowing river and one of the most biodiverse waterways on Earth with more species of fish than any river of its size in North America. It’s also home of the aquatic Cahaba lily with its dazzling three-inch-wide, star-shaped white flowers.
So, it comes as no surprise that the Cahaba River is a popular canoeing destination.
Listed as one of Alabama’s Seven Natural Wonders, the Cahaba River meanders through the greater Birmingham area including Irondale where a new parking area recently opened at Moon River Canoe Launch to provide better access to this remarkable waterway. This new launch area is part of the greater Cahaba Blueway.
Moon River Canoe Launch opened in 2013, but getting a canoe into the water at this spot was difficult without a way to drive up to the launch. The project was spearheaded by Freshwater Land Trust, a Birmingham-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve, connect, and care for land and water in Central Alabama, as a result creating dynamic green spaces for future generations.
Locating the gravel parking lot on the Alabama Department of Transportation right-of-way protects the area’s native habitat, notes Sam McCoy, Land Stewardship Director for the Freshwater Land Trust. The new parking area is designed to accommodate seven vehicles.
“There are floodplain wetlands located closer to the Cahaba River,” McCoy explains. “If we put the parking lot on FLT property, closer to the Cahaba, then we would’ve had to clear those wetlands to build the parking lot. By putting the parking lot farther from the Cahaba, on the ALDOT right-of-way, those wetlands didn’t need to be cleared in order to construct the parking lot.”
Funding for the Moon River Canoe Launch parking area was provided by the following partners: the City of Irondale, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Alabama Power Foundation, Jefferson County Department of Health and Vulcan Materials Company.
The canoe launch was named for a roadhouse called Moon River Beach, a one-stop gas station, fish camp and dance hall that operated from the 1930s to the early 1950s along the Cahaba River on U.S. 78. Painted on the two-story log structure was a sign: Swim Dine Dance. These early roadhouses were the original mixed-use buildings.
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Freshwater Land Trust
Called the “Crossroads of North Alabama,” Priceville is expected to double in size within the next five years. In keeping with this projected growth is the Priceville Event & Recreation Center now under construction. Montgomery-based Chambless King Architects has designed the 25,000-square-foot facility to house fitness, sports and banquet space inside its modern, clean lines.
The Priceville Event and Recreation Center is the first step in the city’s plan to expand its downtown area known as Priceville Commons. The long-term goal is to create a mixed-use, walkable area surrounding the city hall. Located on Marco Drive near Priceville Town Hall which houses city hall and the courthouse, the center consists of a primary gymnasium and two single-story, multi-purpose fitness support wings.
The 10,100-square-foot gymnasium design includes an elevated walking track and tiered seating for 320 spectators. The floor can be configured for one full-size or two youth basketball courts, one futsal court, one volleyball court, or banquets accommodating up to 400 guests. The multi-purpose fitness wings feature a cardio and strength training room, along with additional spaces for small-scale banquets and virtual fitness training.
Chambless King Architects note that the center’s exterior visually complements city hall through matching brick and cast stone veneers, while introducing a playful aesthetic reflective of the energy a recreation center needs through multi-colored panels and translucent glass. That energy extends to the interior where an abundance of natural light and soft, comfortable materials help define and support the multi-use facility.
Plans also include pedestrian connections between the recreation center and city hall with ample lawn space designed to enhance activities at both locations and encourage community gathering.
“We feel a responsibility to truly serve and invest in the communities where we live and work,” said Michael Shows, lead architect on the project and principal at Chambless King Architects. “Open communication with the city council has allowed us to develop design solutions that address not only the current needs of the community but help plan for future growth of the Priceville Commons development. We are proud to be part of a project that will have such a lasting, positive impact.”
Priceville Mayor Sam Heflin wants Marco Drive to be “our new downtown city center,” with the center setting a standard for what the city wants future development to look like.
The project is expected to be completed in mid-November.
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Chambless King Architects
The focus was the entire Twin Beech community, which is not so much geographically defined as it is defined by the people and places that have resided there for generations, explainsMarshall Anderson of Design Initiative, who served as facilitator. Some areas considered part of the community have been annexed into adjacent jurisdictions, including the City of Fairhope. The specific areas of focus included the Rotary Youth Club and the historic Anna T. Jeanes school site, as well as the major intersections within the community.
“The issues that were brought to our attention were mainly centered around current and future development and how that is eroding the community’s sense of place and identity,” Anderson notes. “Property that was once rural and agricultural in nature is being purchased and developed into multi-family housing. Because it is in the unincorporated county, there is no strict zoning and land-use to limit nor guide development, and you don’t have the same design standards that a city like Fairhope has to help govern what gets built. The community also feels like it does not have a voice nor a seat at the table when discussions are had and decisions get made that directly impact their collective future.”
A solution the group presented was to focus on better definition of the existing networks, including streets. Information about Complete Streets was provided as a way to begin to enhance existing infrastructure (the street network), making it not only safer but multi-modal for cyclists and pedestrians. Recommendations included walking trails and sidewalks along major arterials connecting existing nodes (Rotary Youth Club, school site, local churches), and bike lanes to add accessibility. Also reduce vehicle travel widths and encourage reduced speeds, crosswalks at major intersections, bioswales to incorporate effective stormwater management at critical locations, as well as buffer pedestrians and cyclist from vehicles, shade trees and street lights.
“Finally, we made recommendations to look for community gathering nodes, taking advantage of current and planned community venues,” Anderson says. “The Rotary Youth Club was used as a space for community gathering in the past, but has been developed as a school in its current life. There are ways to keep the school function while providing more community access to the site for recreational use (basketball court, baseball field, community playground, walking trails). Our recommendation gave them an example of how the two different uses could mutually coexist.”
The DesignVision team also proposed a long-term aspirational goal of giving new life to the Anna T. Jeanes school site as a new K-8 grade school for the county, with a focus on life-sciences and the arts. Owned by Baldwin County Board of Education, the school served Black students first through ninth grades beginning in 1913. When schools in the Fairhope area were desegregated, the campus became the Fairhope Intermediate School in 1970.
“The community has historic ties to this site as well, with Anna T. Jeanes schools being built all across the southeast, especially in rural communities, for African American children,” adds Anderson. “The site holds the potential to bridge this historic use with the future, taking advantage of the site’s unique topography and hydrology. Outdoor classrooms, science labs, as well as dual-purpose spaces that can serve the communities interest in arts and education.”
Clarice Hall-Black, a member of the City of Fairhope Planning Commission who participated in the DesignVision workshop, grew up in South Fairhope and is a member of the Houston family who founded the community. She is also a founder of Fairhope Unite, a nonprofit that has proposed an option to turn the Anna T. Jeanes school into a community center. Among the popular ideas that came out of DesignVision, Hall-Black says, include extending sidewalks and using traffic calming techniques such as placing a statue or large planters in certain areas in the middle of the street.
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of DesignAlabama
A well-designed office space motivates employees and conveys the appropriate image to clients and customers – key ingredients to help a company prosper. Birmingham-based Hoffman Media has found the right place to achieve those objectives. The special-interest magazine and book publisher purchased a building in downtown Birmingham that is being transformed into its new headquarters.
Williams Blackstock Architects and the construction firm Robins & Morton have begun an interior renovation of the property at 2323 Second Avenue North, formerly the law office of Waldrep, Stewart and Kendrick. The existing building was demolished to the exterior wall to allow for a complete interior redesign. Plans for the two-story building include the addition of video and photography production studios, test kitchens and office space. Target date for completion is August 2022.
“The design of the interior provides a beautiful blend of brand reflection with highly functioning media space to support their creative efforts,” explains John Beason, who is recognized as an interior design leader at Williams Blackstock. “An existing spiral staircase and skylight serve as a central visual axis while providing open access between floors. The layout of the overall floor plan prioritizes spaces that support all their printed and digital media efforts, which includes a sewing studio, 12 recipe development stations, filming and photography studios.”
The interior consists of approximately 20,000 square feet with predominately exposed stained concrete and patterned modular carpet tile for flooring, paint and decorative tile for walls, painted decorative wood base and trim and a good balance of both painted exposed and finished ceiling types.
Beason describes the office space as very efficiently designed to provide a “hybrid” approach where employees work from home and at the office. Most employees will not have a dedicated office or workstation. Strategic integration of technology and lighting throughout the building is key to the functional success of the space. The interior is being designed to support all of the company’s printed and digital media efforts that will result in a facility that is versatile, highly efficient and that supports their highly collaborative creative efforts, adds Beason, who believes this, along with the unique design features incorporated into the space, will attract and retain top talent to continue to grow their business.
Hoffman Media specializes in publications targeted to the women’s market. Founded in 1983 and renamed Hoffman Media in 1998, the company is the No. 70 largest private firm in Birmingham and is the No. 4 of the top women-owned businesses, based on total revenue in 2012, according to the Birmingham Business Journal’s List. Victoria, Cooking with Paula Deen and Taste of the South are among the magazines published by Hoffman Media.
“Thoughtful application of color and pattern on construction materials and furniture will be seen throughout the building which speak to their media efforts which focus on the interests of women,” Beason says. “The interior purposely departs from the look of historical mundane office space. This approach is not new to the commercial office industry, but is very relevant to the aesthetic success of Hoffman Media.”
*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Williams Blackstock