Posts Tagged ‘Uihlein Wilson Architects’
Next week we begin our move back to our newly renovated and expanded library.
It’s been a whirlwind of activity for ten solid months. Time to say a few words of thanks.
Kudos to Joe Daniels Construction Co. and all the subcontractors for their commitment to our project, their attention to detail, and their outstanding workmanship. They have taken an extraordinarily complex job and tackled it the way Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews meets opponents…with energy and determination.
The architectural team at Uihlein Wilson Architects expertly led by Del Wilson has worked diligently and tirelessly on our behalf, especially Troy Wohlt. Their library team envisioned a magnificent library for Fort Atkinson and then made it happen.
The library staff deserves more thanks than I have words for. They’ve all gone above and beyond and then some.
The city and the library board were always there…providing vision and encouragement, support and insight.
The volunteers have lent the helping hands we’ve needed, whenever we’ve needed the assistance.
The donors delivered for us by giving funds when the economic woes were deep and wide.
Thanks to *everyone* who has helped make our library story include such an exciting and important chapter! If I forgot to mention you, my apologies. It’s surely not for lack of gratitude.
Stay tuned to see the results of all that hard work; we will be opening to the public at our new library on Tuesday, February 1.
I’ve learned a new vocabulary with this building project. The phrase “existing conditions” is used quite often. It generally means something negative. In my life before the building project, “existing conditions” might have been a way to describe the fact that it was sunny today. In my life since the building project, it means they found rotted wood due to failed EIFS (synthetic stucco system). Or charred wood behind the walls from the fire in 1945.
The library was damaged by fire on January 22, 1945. The fire started in the kitchen and damaged some 23,000 volumes by smoke and 501 books which had been in the kitchen were destroyed. Six truckloads of debris were removed. The library was temporarily closed and the circulation library was moved to the former wartime Ration Office in the Municipal Building. The library remained closed until June 16, 1945. During this time, the kitchen and a closet were combined into a kitchen-storeroom.
Today, after the removal of the walls, you can still see the evidence via charred wood; it even smells faintly of smoke.
Here is a photo of the wood rot from the failed EIFS used in 1983. Joe Daniels Construction Company has finished replacing and rectifying the problem areas. We are very glad to have discovered this “existing condition” even though it was unexpected. It would be far worse to have a continued degradation of the structural integrity of your building.
Even though we’ve found any number of “existing conditions” , we are still on time and on budget. Unexpected does not mean unplanned for. We were fully anticipating that we would have some surprises to discover and our project budget reflects that. This is an old building with a rich past; that makes for a complicated project.
Kudos to Uihlein-Wilson Architects for their design, planning and project oversight as well as Joe Daniels Construction Company for their responses to “existing conditions” and their demonstrated commitment to quality construction. Together they are working hard to ensure that our community will have a structurally sound and utterly beautiful library.
At the last workshop we discussed window and sill heights and the importance of carrying the tile roofing element around the south addition from a design perspective. The practical reality is that we can’t drop the windows low enough to see a top arch on the windows in that area. So we pared down from three on each end to one arched window on each side of the bowed area. Because there will be fewer arched windows, we can afford to provide more architectural detail on the ones that remain. During the workshop, Del Wilson (of Uihlein-Wilson Architects) described the importance of art meeting architecture…and we found a way to do that.
If you’d like to see the updated interior plans you can do that at our library’s website here. We also have them on display at the library. The changes continue to evolve as a result of important input from many. Thank you to all who have had a hand in recommending, revising, refining…helping us write our library’s story.
Our architectural design workshops are taking place this summer. During the workshops, the staff from Uihlein Wilson Architects spends two days asking questions and listening to responses. Then we review and revise. And then, of course, review and revise the revisions. (I think it should be noted that all the people on Uihlein Wilson’s team are really good listeners.)
We’ve had great input from many people. Thank you to everyone for that. Folks come and go depending on their interest and expertise. It has been so rewarding to participate in the process of redesigning a library. Changes are recommended and then displayed on the screen for all to examine. It’s helpful to see how the suggestion will look in proper context. More questions are asked and answered. Another image is displayed. The architectural team is very patient and always willing to provide an image, discuss an engineering issue, and, of course, remind us to consider the cost/benefit of every decision. It’s certainly no easy feat to be able to think so specifically and so globally, all at the same time.
And then the workshop is over. That’s when we shift back into homework mode. (The architects have homework and so do we. Sometimes questions can’t be answered immediately and more research is assigned.)
Thus the evolving design. We’ve got more work to do but we are moving toward the end of the design process. This fall the entire plan is slated to be finalized and approved by various officials.
Architect Mark Paschke, of Uihlein Wilson Architects, kindly provided the rendering below. This view from the south shows how the new part of the building is being incorporated into the old.
It’s important to note that we are still in design mode and, therefore, this is subject to change. (I believe any good attorney would advise me to offer that caveat.) With that said, this is where we are today…
At the library board meeting on Monday, May 5, 2008, the Dwight Foster Public Library Board of Trustees selected Uihlein Wilson Architects as the architect for the library expansion project. Three architectural firms were interviewed on April 15, 2008. The three firms were Engberg Anderson, Inc., Burnidge Cassell Associates, and Uihlein Wilson Architects. Each firm made an outstanding presentation but Uihlein Wilson was selected based on a variety of factors, including their very detailed responses to questions from the library board.
The library board will take the next step in the process when it approaches the city council at an upcoming meeting for approval to move forward.
Stay tuned for more information…