Member News & Insights | November 2020

Part 2 of the YAF Connection Series on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Features Monica Blasko

Amidst a global pandemic and nationwide protests against racial injustice, emerging professionals are filling leadership voids to demand change. This two-part series offers takeaways from successful EDI programs and committees, along with young architect perspectives on the year’s events, challenges, and opportunities.

AIA Pennsylvania Young Architect Regional Director, Monica Blasko, AIA, talks advocating for change by first understanding where the profession stands including her experiences leading the Women+ In Design Pittsburgh community through a year of reckoning to take the long-overdue steps to confront systematic racism in the profession.

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KSS Architects Announces Mayva Donnon as New Partner

Mayva Donnon, AIA, LEED AP Becomes Partner at KSS Architects

KSS Architects is pleased to announce Mayva Donnon, AIA, as a new partner. An exceptional architect and leader, Mayva has led several of KSS’ most noted projects and built many of the firm’s lasting client relationships. Her ability to balance the technical aspects of architectural practice with the human side of design has resulted in the design and delivery of outstanding environments for learning and community including Tangen Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, Bancroft’s Mount Laurel Campus, and the Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University. As Petar Mattioni, partner at KSS, notes, “Through her leadership, passion, and dedication, Mayva’s contributions have greatly elevated our work and our practice as a whole. As one of the key design voices in the firm, Mayva is deeply invested in our clients’ success and in fostering collaborations that positively impact our staff, our clients, and our community.”

Throughout her 15 years at KSS, Mayva has been a strong mentoring presence, empowering those around her to become leaders in their own right. As partner, Mayva’s guidance and design leadership will undoubtedly continue to elevate our employees and our firm. KSS Partner Matthew McChesney, says “Mayva’s strategic thought, innate leadership, and design acumen have not only made her a natural leader at KSS, but a true resource to our clients. It’s so exciting that she has been named a partner and I look forward to working with her as we lead KSS into the future.”

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CDA Releases Newsletter 19.0

CDA | Hershey Public Library Rending

Read the latest happenings from 2020 AIA Pennsylvania Impact Designer, Chris Dawson of CHRIS DAWSON ARCHITECT (CDA) including team additions/promotions, project updates, and accolades.

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Murphy & Dittenhafer Announces Promotions of Four Team Members

York-based Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects announces the promotion of four of their team members: Peter J. Colello, AIA; Kyle Giumento, Associate AIA; Rebecca L. McCormick, AIA; Peter J. Colello, AIA.

Ryan J. Shank, AIA, has been elevated to Associate Principal. A graduate of Drexel University, Shank serves on The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pennsylvania Board of Directors representing AIA Central Pennsylvania. Shank is responsible for Murphy & Dittenhafer’s recognition as an AIA EPiC Firm (a firm engaging and fostering Emerging Professionals), receiving the honor each of the four years it has been presented to date. Ryan Shank has managed M&D projects at Harrisburg Area Community College’s York and Gettysburg Campuses; for Saint Paul Lutheran Church in York; for the Harford County, Maryland Sheriff’s Department in Bel Air as well as multiple projects for Frederick County, Maryland. Employed with Murphy & Dittenhafer for seven years, Shank actively supports United Way of York County as Murphy & Dittenhafer’s Annual Campaign Coordinator.

Kyle Giumento, Associate AIA; Rebecca L. McCormick, AIA; and Peter J. Colello, AIA have been promoted to Associate.

McCormick holds a Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University and joined Murphy & Dittenhafer in 2017. McCormick was Project Manager for the recently completed Additions to the Southern York YMCA and is Project Manager for several Maryland-based projects for clients such as Maryland State Boychoir and Frederick Community College. An Historic Preservation Resources Expert, McCormick is a member of the Murphy & Dittenhafer team currently planning renovations to offices within the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse in Towson, Maryland.

A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Giumento has completed extensive work on multiple K-12 Public School renovations for Baltimore County Public Schools. He is the Project Manager for several current Maryland-based projects, including St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore and Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. Giumento joined Murphy & Dittenhafer in 2016.

A graduate of Temple University, Colello is a licensed Architect and joined Murphy & Dittenhafer in 2017. Colello has completed extensive architectural design and construction documentation work for M&D on the historic Forum Building and as well as the Governor’s Residence – both in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and on projects for the Maryland Stadium Authority in Annapolis, Maryland. He is the project manager for current Murphy & Dittenhafer projects for two area non-profit organizations – the York County Literacy Council in York, Pennsylvania and for Medard’s House in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects provides award-winning architectural, interiors and planning services for master planning, renovation, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, expansion and new construction for clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm has offices in York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland.

Metcalfe Awarded American Architecture Award 2020

Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens | Photo by Nic Lehoux

Metcalfe Architecture & Design has been honored with one of the nation’s highest public awards, the American Architecture Award presented by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre. The firm’s Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens project, completed in 2018, was recognized for excellence in public space architecture and design.

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SLAM Names John Castner Principal

John Castner, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) has recently named five new principals located in the Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Iowa City, IA, Orlando, FL, and Philadelphia, PA offices.  On March 6, 2020, SLAM completed the acquisition of five CBRE I Heery architectural design practices focused on healthcare, sports facilities and justice, adding to the firms existing education, corporate, healthcare and sports/recreation practices. These five new Principals, and approximately 70 Heery employees, joined SLAM’s team of 210 professionals.  

Meet John Castner, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP – SLAM Philadelphia Principal

With more than 36 years of experience, John leads the Philadelphia Office.  A graduate of Penn State University, his experience in programming, planning and design of healthcare and higher education projects includes work at Yale New Haven Hospital, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, and Doylestown Hospital in Doylestown, PA. John’s expertise includes complex renovations and additions, transforming emergency departments, cardiac care, surgery, and radiology facilities.

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Reassessing Office Real Estate

Perkins Eastman has tracked the shifting priorities of top talent and major companies, compiling their insights into the future of workplace design in a post-COVID-19 world.

In the firm’s post-COVID-19 commercial real estate report, Perkins Eastman’s Design Strategy team delved into the key insights they believe will shape the real estate market going forward. Through surveys and research, they found that clients’ desires may shift toward 1) prioritizing flexibility, 2) reassessing space needs, 3) embracing the hub and spoke model, and 4) adapting office benchmarks.

To test these theories around office design, Perkins Eastman is using their Pittsburgh office as a case study to evaluate ideas in practice. Jeff Young, AIA, Co-Managing Principal of the Pittsburgh studio and a leader in our workplace and commercial practice areas is ambitious about the plans for the new studio, noting, “We’re reimagining what the ideal workplace should be during these uncertain times.”

Read on for their strategies and findings >