Digital Fabrication Arrives at TLCD Architecture!


TLCD Architecture’s first laser cutter arrived today amid a lot of excitement – and a demonstration that cut out the letters “TLCD” from a piece of wood. The freestanding unit (VLS 6.60) is designed and engineered for light manufacturing operations. We will use it to cut through a variety of media such as cardboard and acrylic, and to engrave various materials including metal. The unit is also capable of laser graphic imaging.

Our laser cutter will help create physical architectural ideas from sketches and 3-D programs (Rhino3D). The unit will be used to produce finished models, but we are most excited about the ability to produce study models that will be used in the process of design exploration.

This is the first of several tools that TLCD plans to acquire for our shop space at our new office in Museum on the Square.  These tools will allow us to more effectively explore new materials and technologies, and will allow us to better communicate our ideas.

TLCD Kicks off 10 Week Wellness Challenge!

TLCD Group Hike at Taylor Mountain Regional Park
TLCD Group Hike at Taylor Mountain Regional Park

Architecture has formed two teams of 9 for the Live Healthy Sonoma County 10 Week Wellness Challenge… team New Dimension and The Flying Buttresses! As a Gold member of the Sonoma County iWORK Well program, TLCD has had a workplace wellness program called the Fit Force in place for 5 years. This Wellness  Challenge comes at the perfect time of year when the colder winter weather (in theory) drives us all indoors. The two teams will focus on exercise, healthy eating habits and team building  using the Live Healthy website to track results. 

The end result will be a wonderfully fit staff…many of whom will be participating in the Human Race that follows in early May. Follow us as we share stories and photos of our Wellness Challenge!


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Wright Elementary School District

Wright Montage for Blog
The Wright Elementary School DistrictTLCD Architecture and Wright Contracting attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to formally celebrate the completion of the Wright Charter School Modernization project. While the classrooms received new energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems and the administration was totally remodeled, the most visible impact of the project is the transformation school’s frontage. Improvements include a new drop off loop, entry plaza with landscaping and an expanded kindergarten play area enclosed by ornamental fencing. The exterior improvements extend to the areas between the buildings where outdoor learning environments were created to support the school’s emphasis on eco-literacy.

Dey Laboratories new site for County of Napa Health Services


TLCD Architecture began working with the County of Napa over two years ago on the master planning of their current site on Old Sonoma Road in Napa. The County ultimately selected the existing Dey Laboratories site at Napa Valley Corporate Drive as its base of operations for county health services. TLCD will be working with the County of Napa on renovations/tenant improvements for Phase I of the project.

Read full article in North Bay Business Journal

TLCD and Family Rocks This Year's Secret Santa!

Secret Santa

The staff and partners at TLCD Architecture rocked it again this year as a Secret Santa Business Sponsor by showing overwhelming support of the Giving Tree Hearts in our office! Organized by our very own Tami Hebein, this is an annual fundraiser she and her son Nicolas have been involved with for the past 19 years. Tami had all of us assembling hearts earlier in November… and I might add it was quite a sight watching highly skilled architects trying to get ribbon through several hundred plastic hearts!

The Secret Santa program, a annual fundraiser by the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, partners with local radio station KZST. The Giving Tree began in 1989 at The Volunteer Center with gift wishes for individuals on Red Heart Ornaments displayed on trees around Sonoma County. KZST started the Secret Santa program in 1990 with Brent Ferris reading letters about individuals and families and what they needed. While both groups were successful in finding individuals in the community to give generously, something was missing. The Giving Tree and Secret Santa joined forces in 2008 to provide a better way to meet the growing need at the holidays.

It was with pure joy that we shopped and wrapped gifts for all the hearts on our tree. Happy holidays to everyone in our community!


Ugly Holiday Sweaters Rule the Day at TLCD

Compiled Image

This week’s Wine Wednesday had the staff participating in  “TLCD’s First Annual Unofficial Ugly Sweater Contest”. Those braver folks hung in wearing their sweaters all day long… and one architect in particular could be heard from the other end of the office as he approached in his “jingle sweater”! It was great fun and hopefully inspired others to start planning their ugliest sweaters for next year… and the coveted Ugly Sweater medallion.

New Mendocino College Lake Center Wins! Region’s Top Real Estate Projects Honored by the North Bay Business Journal


TLCD Architecture’s Lake Center, completed earlier this year, has been awarded Top Project honors for 2013 by the North Bay Business Journal. We were fortunate enough to present the award to Michael Adams and Carolyn Pryor, Facilities Director and Assistant Director, in front of a packed room of co-honorees at last night’s awards ceremony.

The Lake Center opened last year to students and public and has become a vital outpost for Mendocino College and community hub for the citizens of Lakeport. We are very gratified to see the contribution the campus is making to students in the region. Congratulations go to the College for their commitment to building outstanding projects.

The new Center was one of a remarkable 6 new projects built by Wright Contracting recognized by the Business Journal this year. This is a tremendous accomplishment and shows their versatility as a General Contractor. Our partnership with Wright and the College was essential to the success of the project.

Here are some of the highlights from the awards ceremony:

The Redwood Empire Food Bank, was recognized for its new facility, also built by Wright. TLCD’s own Alan Butler, Principal, served the Food Bank as Board President during the acquisition, planning and construction of the building. David Goodman, Executive Director, received the award on behalf of the Food Bank. We are inspired by the Food Bank’s daily contribution to our community.

Cuvaison’s winery expansion in the Carneros region demonstrates excellent design quality. Built by Ledcor Construction, the facility fits into the natural setting seamlessly. The winery is a neighbor to TLCD’s Carneros Inn project, located just down the road toward Napa.

The Person Senior Wing expansion of the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa gives seniors in our community a destination that meshes with the already active center, completing the Center’s goal of inter-generational programming. The design of the expansion by Larry Simons honors the facility’s Architecture and fulfills the original vision of Roland Miller Architects. The project was built by AE Nelson.

The new Barlow center in Sebastopol was also recognized by the Business Journal. This is a unique, game-changing project built by Steve Kilgannon of FDC. The Center brings a range of light industrial, retail and commercial uses to an important redevelopment area of the town, including the Kosta Browne winery and the Zazu restaurant. It will be interesting to watch how this project positively transforms a formerly under-utilized district of Sebastopol’s downtown in the years to come.

In all, the evening’s events showed renewed vigor in the design and construction industries and a palpable anticipation for future growth in our region.

Museum on the Square Receives Final Approval

At a meeting of the Santa Rosa City Council this week our new design for Museum on the Square was approved.  This nearly 100,000 square renovation of a former telephone switching building will be our new home, where we will be joined by the California Wine Museum and Luther Burbank Savings.  Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 and wrap up before the end of the year.  TLCD Architecture will move to Museum on the Square just as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2015!

The building’s north façade, facing Courthouse Square, features a veil of perforated aluminum panels over the existing concrete structure.  The design takes a bold approach to transforming the existing industrial loft structure without concealing it.  A portion of the perforated façade will be in the form of sculptural panels that will help shade windows from late afternoon sun.

Our new offices on the 3rd floor will take full advantage of one of the few urban loft spaces in the North Bay and will be a unique space designed to serve as a lab for testing new ideas, mocking up building assemblies, and staging furniture.

Healthcare Design Conference Highlights

The annual Healthcare Design Conference was held in Orlando Florida this year, and  is put on by the Healthcare Design Magazine and The Center for Health Design.  As an attendee of the four-day conference I came away with inspiration, information and invigoration. In addition to the exceptional facility tours, educational sessions, roundtable discussions and networking events, the keynote speakers stood out as the highlight of the conference.

Debra Levin (President and CEO of the Center for Health Design) provided inspiration in her opening address and reminded everyone that we are all working toward the common goal to improve healthcare delivery. The conference was full of chatter about the  Kid President video she showed during her address.

Thomas Goetz (former Executive Editor, Wired Magazine, and Author of The Decision Tree) talked about new ideas and technologies that can mitigate failure and optimize innovation in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare infrastructure. He touched on everything from data visualization to workplace workarounds, and emphasized the opportunity everyone in the healthcare profession has to apply design thinking to their day-to-day routine.

Michael Murphy (Executive Director and Co-Founder of MASS Design Group) was the recipient of the Changemaker Award, and shared his experience  working with the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, assisting with architectural solutions to mitigate and reduce the transmission of airborne diseases like tuberculosis.

Jake Poore (President and Chief Experience Officer, Integrated Loyalty Systems and former Disney Executive) closed the conference by sharing practical examples from a 20-year Disney veteran, who is now a “human architect” driven to elevate patient experiences, how patient-driven healthcare design links directly to patient satisfaction and, consequently, the success of the healthcare organization.

Having attended several of these conferences over the years, I find myself using the information and evidence based design resources I learn about in my day to day work on projects and in discussions with clients. TLCD Architecture is a Corporate Affiliate of The Center for Health Design, and I was thrilled to participate in a focus group discussion about next years conference being held in San Diego, CA. The 2014 Healthcare Design Conference will be in an amazing venue and full of relevent evidence-based design information and is well worth attending for professions related and associated with healthcare.

Local Impact of the Affordable Care Act

The North Bay Business Journal‘s annual Healthcare Conference was held today and the impact of the Affordable Care Act was discussed by a panel of North Bay healthcare leaders and another panel of insurance brokers.

North Bay Business Journal's Health Care Conference and Healthiest Companies in the North Bay Awards will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa from 8-11:30 a.m.

As one of the attendees from TLCD Architecture‘s healthcare studio, I was left with two distinct impressions about the current healthcare landscape that are surprisingly quite different from national news reports: optimism and honesty.

Optimism: Both panels concurred that the current “pay for service” healthcare model is outdated, broken and unsustainable. The panels also agreed that the Affordable Care Act that transforms our healthcare system to focus on healthy outcomes through quality healthcare instead of quantity healthcare is the right approach.

Honesty: The panelists also agreed that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect nor is it a complete disaster. It is an opportunity to reshape our healthcare system that will take time and evolution to achieve a system that serves our communities to improve our health and happiness.

The coming months will be full of turbulence and growing pains, but only time will tell if the opportunity presented by the Affordable Care Act will be pursued with optimism and honesty.

Habitat for Humanity Build Day

H4H photo

On Saturday, a group of volunteers spent a sunny morning in Cotati working on a project for Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County.   Carl Servais of TLCD Architecture organized the group through the local AIA Redwood Empire chapter and in partnership with the Leadership Santa Rosa Alumni Association.  The group of 10 volunteers spent the day hauling base rock and constructing a base for a keystone retaining wall.  The labor was tough and by the end of the day the completed work wasn’t much to look at.  However, with the level base and the first course now complete, future volunteer crews will be able to rely on that sturdy and true base to quickly assemble the remainder of the 6 foot retaining wall.

Kudos to this group of volunteers, who ended the day wondering when they can come back again to participate in this worthy endeavor!

American AgCredit Headquarters to Break Ground in 2014

Entry aerial_BlogMuseum on the Square, Napa Valley College’s McCarthy Library, Luther Burbank Savings’ Headquarters Branch are but a few of TLCD Architecture’s recent projects that have garnered a great deal of public attention. TLCD’s recently released design for American AgCredit’s Headquarters building follows in the rich tradition of these projects, while raising the bar.

Located in Sonoma County’s Airport Business Center, this 120,000 square foot zinc-clad landmark building will set a new standard for office buildings in the North Bay when it breaks ground in the spring of 2014. The unique building form reflects the complex shape of the site while acknowledging its important corner location.  Straight and curved forms linked by skybridges define and enclose a landscaped outdoor courtyard that is the heart of the project.

Reddish-brown perforated exterior zinc cladding is evocative of the North Bay’s rich history of wooden agricultural structures. Occasional, recessed panels will be lit at night and will be electronically controlled so that the exterior building lighting is in a constant state of change.  State-of-the-art interiors feature large reconfigurable spaces, raised access floors, and demountable partitions that represent the latest technology that will support American AgCredit’s constantly growing and evolving workplace needs. Santa Rosa’s Jim Murphy and Associates (JMA) is the general contractor.

St. Helena Montessori School Celebrates Opening of New Campus

St. Helena Montessori School welcomed the community to an open house for the new TLCD Architecture designed campus on September 6th. As many as 200 attendees saw firsthand that this is no ordinary school, nor is it an ordinary Montessori School.

This 20-acre campus accommodates a much wider range of ages than most other Montessori Schools, from age 2½ to ninth grade, with an Adolescent / Farm School. The school follows Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education as an “aid to life” – viewing the child as a being whose physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual parts are interrelated, and whose educational environment must respect that unity.

Classrooms are large, with wood floors and open ceilings. Windows at each classroom building are scaled to the age of the students, and are placed at different heights above the floor accordingly. A State of California licensing inspector proclaimed them the most beautiful classroom interiors she had ever seen.

The school was constructed by Eames Construction of Petaluma, and construction management services were provided by Pound Management of Oakland. When complete the campus will feature boarding facilities, a working farm, and the new home for the Nimbus Arts Center.

Bold New Design Proposals by TLCD

We’ve learned that great ideas sometimes go unrealized. Nevertheless, we find tremendous value and excitement in the generative design process. With two new proposals, one for a financial institution and another for a community college, we’ve dug deep to communicate strong ideals and clear vision. Both projects are now featured on TLCD Architecture’s website.

A Financial Institution Headquarters with strong ties to Agricultural clientele, tasked our team to develop a bold new design. With a concept to connect to regional agricultural landscapes, our emphasis was on developing site strategies that integrate the building form with its landscape. Investigating the building program further we wanted to express that the new building is clearly focused on its function and does not attempt to mimic agricultural forms, rather to reflect their intrinsic values.

This stunning proposal for a Campus Gateway project includes student services, administration and outreach functions for a thriving community college, and demonstrates our passion for creating vibrant new student and community spaces. Dynamic forms carefully frame a new campus entry sequence and define a central common. Interior spaces inspire students to not just occupy, but inhabit the building and make it their own. The conceptual design aspires to welcome the larger community, connect students to learning environments, and provide unification of purpose between both campus and external constituencies.

Mendocino Transit Authority Takes Advantage of Solar Purchasing Cooperative

Final Exterior 1

TLCD Architecture’s award-winning Maintenance Facility for the Mendocino Transit Authority was designed with a “sawtooth” roof with high, north-facing windows that allow a substantial amount of daylight into the interior, while providing the ideal orientation for photovoltaic (solar) panels.  In addition to the photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building, panels were installed on shade canopies at the complex.

Gaia Energy Systems installed 18 kilowattes of SolarWorld solar panels at the complex. Mendocino Transit Authority’s 18-kW installation of SolarWorld solar panels is the first in the nation to take advantage of a new local-government solar-purchasing cooperative. The program, Helping Governments across the Country Buy (HGACBuy), allows participating local governments to reduce the cost of going solar by sharing procurement contracts, pooling technical expertise and leveraging economies of scale.

“We appreciate having access to quality American-made solar panels at attractive prices. We thought the application process was straight-forward and reasonably fast,” said Dan Baxter, general manager for MTA.

Redwood Empire Food Bank Board Service Rewarding

REFB Farewell_croppedSix years ago my brother-in-law approached me and said “You should consider joining the board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. They really need an architect”. I had no idea what those six years would entail when I said yes. This was my first real service on a non-profit board and it came at a time of great change for the organization.

I served the best way I could by helping them conceptualize, fund, and build out a new building to support their growing mission. The Redwood Empire Food Bank serves almost one in six residents of Sonoma County and the regions north. The issue in Northern California is not starving people but food insecurity. It means that the elderly and low wage earners run out of money for food three weeks into the month. It means that thousands of school children come to school hungry and do not have good diets. I means that poor diets are resulting in health problems such as diabetes and obesity that tend to compound the initial problems.

I’ve helped create a lot of buildings in my career but rarely has a project resulted in such immediate and profound results. With their new facility on Brickway Boulevard, more freezer space means that programs such as Range to Table will have a place to store meat products to add much needed protein to the selection of available foods. The newly opened Value Marketplace, the first of its kind in the nation, is a non-profit market serving the food bank’s clients with healthy food in a dignified and helpful environment. These are just a few of many possibilities now available with their new facility.

Yesterday I received my blue plate award for six years of service on the board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank, including two terms as President.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I’m grateful TLCD Architecture has given me the time to dedicate to this effort. I urge all of you to consider how your skills might benefit a non-profit organization like the Food Bank. It has changed the way I look at the world.  I know it has already helped many people and will continue to do so.

Much Anticipated Psychiatric Hospital Opens in Santa Rosa

As healthcare architects, it’s always rewarding to be a part of a team delivering quality healthcare projects and services. It’s particularly gratifying when those services enrich the lives of people in our own community. The opening of Aurora Behavioral Health Care’s Psychiatric Hospital in Santa Rosa marks the return of inpatient mental health services that have been absent from Sonoma County since 2008.

TLCD Architecture’s team worked closely with Aurora Behavioral Health Care on an extensive renovation of this 52,000 square foot facility once owned by St. Joseph Health System. With the addition of 17 new patient beds, the hospital now has a total capacity of 93 inpatient beds and will meet the much-needed demand for services for adolescents, adults and senior citizens in the North Bay.

The project required significant building infrastructure and interior improvements to meet OSHPD and California Department of Health Services standards. The result is a state-of-the art facility that includes semi-private patient rooms, self-contained nurse stations, activity rooms and a variety of outdoor exercise areas. The hospital’s interior has an overall warm color palette and comfortable contemporary furniture with an emphasis on sustainability.

TLCD Architecture was dedicated to this project and I speak for our entire team when I say we are thrilled to see it’s full realization as a place of healing for the community.

North Bay's Top Construction Projects Featured in NBBJ

The current issue of the North Bay Business Journal features the Top Construction Projects in the North Bay for 2013. The list ranks in order of construction value the top projects under construction or planned for 2013.

TLCD Architecture is thrilled to have 5 projects identified on this list, and they are:

College of Marin New Academic Center – in collaboration with Mark Cavagnero Associates

Museum on the Square in Santa Rosa

Kaiser Santa Rosa’s Hospital Reclad

St. Helena Montessori School

Mendocino College New Willits Center

Willits Center_1
Mendocino College New Willits Center


99% Invisible

I would like to highly recommend the podcast series 99% Invisible produced by Roman Mars in Oakland. It is self described as “A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.”. The Podcasts range in length from 10 to 30 minutes and are totally fascinating. You can learn more about it at Check it out. This kind of effort deserves our support. It is partially underwritten by AIA SF.  You can get it through the iTunes store  for free.


Urban Sketching in the Bay Area

By Alan Butler AIA

Last week I took a three day urban sketching and watercolor class in the East Bay. It was taught by Alameda architect David Savellano, He was a great teacher and it exposed me to many new concepts and techniques for both sketching and using watercolor. I have a long way to go, but had a great time sketching at various waterfront locations in Oakland including the Jack London Square Farmer’s Market and along the Alameda Estuary.

The days following allowed me to do some experiments in watercolor in Alameda, San Francisco, and Stanford. Tuesday was a visit to the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park where I took some of the photos shown below, and later sketched on the band concourse. We saw the Richard Diebenkorn show at the DeYoung which I highly recommend. Diebenkorn is perhaps the most highly regarded California artist of the Abstract Expressionist period from the 50’s to the late 70’s. The show covers his Berkeley years in the mid fifties to the mid sixties. This is his most widely liked work and is much more realistically focused work involving figures and landscapes. His use of color and forms is very exciting.

All in all a great week in our own backyard of the Bay Area. Don’t miss the lights on the Oakland Bay bridge after dark!


New Academic Center Video Produced by College of Marin


The College of Marin New Academic Center (designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates and TLCD Architecture) received DSA approval last week, and will start construction in the early fall. This informational video was prepared by the College as part of their outreach to the local community.

TLCD Supports Mendocino College at Gala on the Green

On Saturday, June 1st, 300+ supporters of Mendocino College gathered for Gala on the Green, a fundraiser for the Mendocino College Foundation. A huge tent and colorfully decorated tables filled the new plaza between the Library and Learning Resource Center and the new Lowery Student Center, both designed by TLCD Architecture. It was a spectacular setting overlooking a sweeping view of the Ukiah Valley to the south.

Auction items and a wine tasting were hosted in the Lowery Student Center, opened to public viewing for the first time on Saturday. The building will house campus food service, the bookstore and student activities spaces. Students from the Culinary program prepared a great meal served by a corps of MESA program students in white shirts all marching in procession with some of the best crab cakes to be had. Live music was provided by Van and the Swells and added to the wonderful ambiance of the evening.

Having been closely involved in work at the campus, TLCD found it richly rewarding to see the new “town square” for the campus used so effectively and appreciated by the community.

TLCD Architecture Partners with Chico High School Students


For the past two school years TLCD Architecture has partnered with the ROP program at Chico High School in an evolving collaboration between students and design professionals. The “iTech” program teaches students about design and construction, and in particular how to use Revit, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) program that TLCD helped pioneer beginning in 2000.

When TLCD was selected to design the new 10-acre Butte Regional Transit Operations Center in Chico, we were given this unique opportunity to involve iTech students in the project in a meaningful way. Since that time the students have been actively involved in the project including participation in design workshops, developing solar shading studies, producing models with their 3-D printers, creating a Revit model, and video “fly throughs” of the project.

The link below takes you to one of these fly throughs, as well as the students’ final 3D model. TLCD Architecture used the iTech model when it presented the project to the Chico Architectural Review Board last week. Way to go students!

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 8.00.52 AM

TLCD Hydrating Squad Does it Again at Sonoma County Human Race

For the 4th consecutive year, TLCD Architecture has participated in the fun of Sonoma County’s Human Race as a Water Station sponsor. This is highly technical work and requires the expertise of only the best Hydrating Engineers. From pouring water into small cups, to carefully balancing them on the end of fingertips, the technique must successfully deliver water to quickly moving objects… aka runners and the slower moving walkers!

Bill McNearney, Alan Butler, Marina Starkey, Don Tomasi, his son Jeffrey were all on hand to demonstrate their technique and to cheer everyone towards the finish line of the 10k race. TLCD also had several participants in the race including Gwin Stumbaugh, John Dybczak, Sandy Petersen and her family. This is an event TLCD looks forward to each year and a great chance to give back to the community.

Museum on the Square Approved as 5-Story Building

TLCD Architecture Rendering of 5-story Museum on the Square

TLCD Architecture Rendering of 5-story Museum on the Square

Museum on the Square, a 10-story building designed by TLCD Architecture has been redesigned as a 5-story building. As reported in the Press Democrat, the Santa Rosa City Council on a 7-0 vote approved the revised design last evening. The 10-story building proved too difficult to finance, in part due to the current lending climate.

The project is an adaptive reuse of a 5-story telephone switching building. A dramatic north-facing curtain wall will reveal the concrete frame of the original building, and is unchanged from the original project. TLCD Architecture will call the 3rd floor home when the building opens in mid-2014. The ground floor will house the Sonoma County Museum and a restaurant. The remaining floors will be office space.

Alan Butler Publishes Experiencing Libraries Book


By Alan Butler AIA
Senior Principal, TLCD Architecture

Nearly a decade ago, I typed up a one-page list of things to look for in the libraries we were visiting with a stakeholder group from Napa Valley College. That list morphed into a workbook called Touring Libraries, first printed in 2005. Thirty thousand photographs later, and after touring libraries throughout the United States and Europe, a new book called Experiencing Libraries has been born. This edition was published through the online service Blurb and will soon be available in hard bound, soft cover, and e-book versions.

Experiencing Libraries Spread

When non-designers visit other libraries it is often difficult for them to understand and articulate the qualities and functions of the spaces they are visiting. This book guides them though the library from the site, to the front door and to all facets of the library. In addition to basic library space uses it includes sections on such topics as community rooms, way finding, loading docks and HVAC systems. The book is helpful both as a tour guide and as a tool for programming and plan evaluation. Written with library programmer Will Baty, whom  TLCD Architecture has worked with on 4 of our recent library projects, we hope to find an institutional publisher such as the American Library Association in order to share it with a wider audience.

You can preview or purchase a copy at the TLCD Bookstore:

TLCD Attends Grand Opening of Lake County Center


Konocti 2

On May 1, 2013, several hundred people gathered on a warm and windy afternoon in Lakeport to officially celebrate the Grand Opening of the Mendocino College Lake County Center, designed by TLCD Architecture. Effusively described by several in attendance as the best building in Lake County, the new center provides 15,500 square feet of classrooms, labs and administrative space that replaced temporary facilities. Sited on a beautiful oak studded site at the western edge of Lakeport, this first phase has capacity for future growth. Somewhat unique to the Center is a combined learning resource center, administrative lobby and gathering space at the heart of the campus. Mount Konocti dominates the views and is the focus of the site layout and beautifully framed in an opening in the concrete wall of the cylindrical Community Room. The deep overhangs of the buildings are well adapted to the hot summers of Lake County and the overall scale inviting to the community. With an art classroom and science lab it will allow students to take classes that before required an hour-long trip over the daunting Hopland Grade to Ukiah. The appreciation for this facility was widely evident by those in attendance.

TLCD Participates in first annual AIARE Architectural Bike Tour


On Saturday the Redwood Empire chapter of the American Institute of Architects held its first annual Architectural Bike Tour in Santa Rosa. About 30 bicyclists, some attired in British tweed, made stops at 3 buildings of interest, the former Railroad Station in Railroad Square, the McDonald Mansion, and TLCD Architecture’s Luther Burbank Saving’s Headquarter Branch. Don Tomasi, a Principal of TLCD Architecture, discussed the history of the site and how the recently completed building for Luther Burbank Savings was designed and constructed. Don brought several exhibits including architectural study models and an early mock up of the building’s art glass windows by Ellen Blakeley. Luther Burbank Saving’s Headquarters Branch opened in December, 2012.

TLCD Architecture’s Workplace Wellness Program Featured at Symposium


TLCD Architecture was one of four panelists at the 3rd annual Workforce Wellness Symposium hosted by iWORKwell Sonoma County on March 27th.  This event featured 4 companies of differing sizes who have implemented employee wellness programs and included insights on how to sustain a program year after year.

The TLCD ‘Fit Force’ was launched 4 years ago to promote fitness, healthy eating habits, team-building and community involvement. Julie Wycoff, a Project Captain in TLCD’s Health care studio, has been a core committee member for the last several years and shared her thoughts about the program during the panel discussion. “I found the experience to be very enlightening. It was fascinating to hear how the other three companies approach and promote a culture wellness for their employees given their various sizes and financial commitments to a program. Obviously, Clif Bar sets the standard for a broad and holistic approach to a wellness program but that fact that other, smaller companies like TLCD are able to show measureable improvements in their employees’ well-being without the “deep-pockets” approach was even more impressive,” said Julie. “As a panel speaker, I tried to emphasize that at TLCD the concept of personal wellness for our employees directly ties in to our work as Architects and Designers as we create and design healthy buildings for people and the environment. I also tried to stress that creating a wellness program doesn’t need to be costly – most of what we do as a group is to encourage healthy living through simple things like eating healthy, getting more exercise and giving back to our community.”

The Symposium attracted about 60 people representing a cross section of local businesses interested in implementing a workplace wellness program, or building on existing programs. TLCD Architecture was thrilled to be selected in the small firm category and shared the stage with workplace champions from Clif Bar, LEMO USA, and Santa Rosa Oral Surgery. TLCD has also been honored in the past as a North Bay Business Journal Best Places to Work and Healthiest Workplaces in the North Bay.


Mendocino College North County Center construction progress

Construction is progressing in Willits on the new North County Center for the Mendocino-Lake Community College DistrictMidstate Construction is scheduled to complete the project this summer so the new campus can be open for classes in the Fall.

At this point in the construction process, the building has really taken shape;  steel is erected and wood framing is nearly complete.  In the coming weeks the weathering steel panels are scheduled for installation and the exterior will really come to life as the panel faces begin to oxidize.

Mendocino College Receives Nearly $800,000 in Energy Rebates


The new Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center designed by TLCD Architecture was featured in two recent articles for exceeding standard design code by more than 20 percent. For campus wide efforts, Mendocino College received rebates totaling almost $800,000 from PG&E and the California Community College-Investor Owned Utility (CCC-IOU) partnership.

Read full article in Lake County News

Read full article in Press Democrat

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Opening of Yulupa Elementary Multi-Use Building

On March 7th, the Bennett Valley Union School District held a public ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Multi-Use Building at Yulupa Elementary School. The project, designed by TLCD Architecture, signifies the end of over 2 years of construction projects that have transformed this primary school campus in Southeast Santa Rosa.

City officials, District staff, and the design and construction team were all present to welcome students and their families to this new facility.

Along with the new Multi-Use Building, the local bond passed in November 2010, funded 12 new custom designed modular classrooms, an expanded library and a new soccer field with a perimeter running track.

Sustainable features include a rooftop solar installation which offsets the majority of the school’s electrical usage and the reuse of old modular classrooms into a new District Office.

Butte Regional Transit Operations Center Design Approved


TLCD Architecture’s design for the new Butte Regional Transit Operations Center in Chico, California was finalized last week. This 50,000 square foot project will provide administrative offices for the Butte County Association of Governments, along with state-of-the-art bus operational and maintenance facilities for its countywide B-Line bus system.

The project design was strongly influenced by nearby orchards and agricultural architecture. An “orchard” of trees will cover much of the site, reflecting the Almond and Walnut orchards that characterize the landscape in the surrounding area. This orchard provides shade to outdoor areas, parking, and buildings, and is a dominant visual feature. Linear plantings of shrubs and glasses recall row crops found in nearby orchards. Building forms are simple, with exterior materials that are inspired by local agricultural buildings.

This project is design to LEED Silver level. A highly efficient HVAC system design will greatly reduce summer cooling costs, and a photovoltaic array will provide most the electric power needs of the facility. Radiant floor slab heating will be used in the bus maintenance building to provide a comfortable work environment for mechanics, and displacement ventilation will be used in the project’s two administrative buildings.

This project is slated to begin construction in June of 2014 and is expected to be complete by summer of the following year.

3 TLCD Projects Receive NBBJ Top Project Awards

Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center
Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center

Last evening 3 of TLCD Architecture’s projects were recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as Top Projects in the region.  Each year the Business Journal recognizes outstanding projects in the North Bay in several categories.

Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center received a Top Project award in the ‘Green’ category, recognizing a project that exemplified sustainable design.  This is the second year in a row that TLCD Architecture received an award in this category.  This project features numerous “green” features including daylight harvesting, a highly efficient mechanical system, and a green (vegetated) roof.

Roseland Creek Elementary School
Roseland Creek Elementary School

Roseland Creek Elementary School, Roseland School District’s first new elementary school to be constructed in 50 years received the K-12 Education award.  This 2-story school features exceptional indoor and outdoor learning environments.  It too is a model of sustainability, and significantly outperforms stringent Title 24 requirements.

Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch
Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch

The winning entry in the Finance category was Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch in downtown Santa Rosa, which opened for business earlier this week.  Defined by cherry colored exterior wood panels and crisp aluminum details, this highly visible project at the entry to downtown is hard to miss.

TLCD Architecture Sponsor of NBBJ Health Care Conference

The North Bay Business Journal held it’s annual Health Care Conference today at the Hyatt Vineyards Creek with two panel discussions focused on the timely topic of the Affordable Care Act.  For the 4th consecutive year, TLCD Architecture was a Major Sponsor of this event which brought health care professionals together for a post-election discussion by local insurance brokers with expertise in employee benefits, as well as a distinguished panel of local providers of health care plans.

Attending from TLCD Architecture were Jason Brabo, Stephen Peakes, Jaime Stich, Suzanne Nagorka, Monica Moore and Marina Starkey. “As a local architectural firm engaged in the industry, it’s gratifying to see health care leaders working through the intricacies of this new legislation and advocating for improved health care outcomes,” said Jason Brabo, Principal and Healthcare Studio Leader at TLCD.

Delivering Educational Services at Rural Community Colleges

Rendering of Mendocino College’s Willits Center Satellite Campus | TLCD Architecture

On Friday November 2nd, the Los Angeles Times ran a story written by Lee Romney highlighting the many issues confronting rural Community Colleges: Rural Community Colleges Face Distinct Challenges. Featuring long-time TLCD client Mendocino College, the article also includes a photo gallery with a number of images of life on the College’s Ukiah campus. Describing the role of Mendocino College in the communities it serves, the article discusses the coming changes that may impact both its role in those communities and the courses and services it can offer its students. Highlighting TLCD’s recently completed Library and Learning Center as an indication of the kind of investment the District has made to provide first-class facilities for its student population, the community’s strong support for the College is demonstrated by the resources residents have committed to this district.

Rural community colleges operate within a particular set of constraints. With smaller student populations spread over geographically large regions, the ability to deliver educational services can in part be related to student’s access to facilities. We have seen through our work with Yuba College on their Student Center in Clearlake as well as our ongoing projects with Mendocino College for their Lake Center and the Willits Center campuses, how the strategic addition of satellite facilities can greatly expand a community colleges’ ability to serve their students and their communities by improving student’s access. Encompassing classrooms, computer resource facilities, small libraries/ learning centers, and faculty offices, satellite campuses can provide access to college facilities without the need to travel to the main campus.

Development of the support infrastructure including production facilities and purpose-designed distance education classrooms for implementation of technologies such as Yuba College’s eLearning and Mendocino College’s Distance Education programs can further serve to broaden access to educational opportunities available to rural community college students.

TLCD Architecture’s People and Projects Acknowledged at AIARE Awards

Maintenance Center | Mendocino Transit Authority

TLCD Architecture was the proud recipient of two Honor Awards for DeTurk Round Barn and the new Maintenance Center for Mendocino Transit Authority at the AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards. The bi-annual event, held on Saturday, October 27 also recognized Jamie Stich for Associate of the Year, and Nate Bisbee for Young Architect of the Year – both new award categories for 2012.

The design awards were juried by a distinguished panel including: Michael Palladino/FAIA of Richard Meier and Partners, Julie VandenBerg Snow/FAIA of Julie Snow Architects, Inc., Mary Griffin/FAIA of Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, and Mayor Ernesto Olivares from the City of Santa Rosa. With much thoughtfulness and deliberation, they evaluated all the entries and selected winners in three categories: Honor Awards, Merit Awards and Citation Awards.

DeTurk Round Barn | City of Santa Rosa

The DeTurk Round Barn historic renovation for the City of Santa Rosa received an Award in the “Alteration/Restoration/Rehabilitation” category, and the new Maintenance Center for Mendocino Transit Authority received an Award in the “Built Project” category. “Being recognized by such a distinguished jury for two Honor Awards is truly a reflection of our commitment to the community, immensely supportive clients, and of the high level of design both these projects exhibit,” said Don Tomasi AIA, Senior Principal at TLCD.

The AIARE Gala also recognized individuals and firms who have distinguished themselves in the Redwood Empire Chapter through an inaugural set of awards handed out Saturday night. TLCD was thrilled to have two team members recognized: Jaime Stich for Associate Member of the Year and Nate Bisbee AIA for Young Architect of the Year.

Jaime has served on the AIARE Board for several years and leads the Associates program and licensing study group. “I have always been impressed by Jaime’s commitment to architecture, sustainability and the community… his commitment goes well beyond personal interest or casual involvement; he actively participates and provides leadership and inspiration to others,” said Jason Brabo AIA, Principal at TLCD.

Nate has served in different capacities on the AIARE Board for many years and was one of the organizers of the North X NorthCoast lecture series. “Nate’s contributions in the field of architectural design have been focused on the exploration of a regional expression appropriate to our area…his vision and interest in this “regionalism” have greatly shaped and elevated this firm’s design work and reputation,” said Alan Butler AIA, Senior Principal at TLCD.

The AIARE event was a wonderful acknowledgement of the level of design work at TLCD Architecture, and of the talented people who make these projects a reality.

Art Glass Installed at Luther Burbank Savings

Twenty-one art glass panels have been installed at the nearly completed Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch in downtown Santa Rosa.  This installation, by local artist Ellen Blakeley is the result of a close collaboration with TLCD Architecture to integrate the panels into the design of the building.

The individual art panels are the same dimensions as the exterior wood panels.  Together they form a flowing, naturalistic design pattern.  Ellen Blakeley’s glass panels begin with a sheet of clear tempered glass that receives a light dusting of colored lacquer.  Leaves from approximately a dozen plants and trees were then placed on the glass panels.  Fragments of broken, tempered glass were then applied with a clear adhesive, sandwiching the leaves between two layers of glass.  The side with the broken glass is then grouted.

Viewed from inside, Ellen’s glass panels enliven the space and create a link to Luther Burbank; many of the leaves were gathered from horticulturalist Luther Burbank’s nearby home, now a historic landmark.  The character of the glass evolves throughout the day, reflecting changes in the weather and angle of the sun.  When the building opens in December, the glass will be internally lit so that it may be viewed from the exterior.

Ellen Blakeley has completed a wide variety of glass artwork, including panels, installations and glass tile.  More information about Ellen is available on her website at

Don Tomasi AIA

Mendocino College Opens New Library and Learning Center


Last Friday afternoon, September 14,  Mendocino College held an Open House for the recently completed Library/Learning Center at the Ukiah campus. A crowd of about 200 people, including community members, college staff, and representatives of the design and construction team attended the festivities held in the new Library plaza. Roe Darnell, the President/Superintendent, served as the master of ceremonies for the formal dedication of the building, which included comments by Board President Joel Clark, Chair of the Oversight Committee Richard Cooper, Dean of Instruction Virginia Guleff, and Student Body President Morgan Shippey.  Building tours followed, and the event was concluded with a vast spread of delectable refreshments prepared by the college’s Culinary Arts program.

The new 48,000 square foot building, designed by TLCD Architecture and built by Midstate Construction, includes a Library, Group Study rooms, Learning Center, MESA, Language Lab, and general classrooms. The Library, which provides spectacular views of the Ukiah Valley to the south, has been open for one month, and has averaged over 300 visits per day, almost ten times the typical gate count at the old facility.

TWiT TV Brick House Studio

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch a live broadcast of TWiT TV’s  MacBreak Weekly, a 2-hour internet broadcast (netcast) discussing all things concerning Apple products.  TWiT TV’s Brick House studio is located in downtown Petaluma.  The studio sets were designed by Emmy Award winner Roger C. Ambrose , and took me by surprise; I had no idea such a thing existed in Petaluma!  The set design is fantastical, highlighted by a series of trussed arches.  Interiors, sets, furniture, props, and lighting have been carefully designed and crafted down to the minutest detail.

If you have the opportunity, there is no charge to view any of TWIT TV’s several netcasts.  I happened to be interested in the subject matter, but would have been perfectly happy spending 2 hours sitting, absorbing the incredible design of the studio interior and set.

Don Tomasi

Yuba College – Clearlake Campus Nearing Completion!

Just in time for the Fall semester…… the Clearlake Campus modernization is wrapping up. Completed in just over 1 year, the campus has been transformed with three new buildings. These additions allow administration services to be located in the same building, the Culinary Arts program to expand with the latest cooking equipment and teaching aids, and for the Science Department to begin offering Anatomy classes due to the inclusion of a Wet Lab and Cadaver Room. Kudos go to Sundt Construction for meeting a tight construction schedule, in often very demanding conditions.

There has also been recent buzz in the local press. The Lake County Record-Bee has been keeping their eye on this project, letting the local citizens know that they have an amenity that adds real value to Lake County community. The entire Yuba College Community, Students and Staff alike, deserve my sincere thank you for remaining upbeat, energetic and commited throughout this lengthy process. They can all now take advantage of the modernized facility well into the future.

Library and Administration Building
Library Interior

Mendocino Transit Authority’s New Bus Maintenance Facility Dedication

The Mendocino Transit Authority’s (MTA) new bus maintenance facility in Ukiah was dedicated last night.  Representatives of MTA, TLCD Architecture, GHD, Arntz Builders, and members of the community attended the dedication, which included dinner for the guests.  Jeff Blechel, TLCD Architecture’s Designer and Project Architect led a tour of the impressive new facility.

This project serves as the core maintenance facility for Mendocino County’s bus fleet. In addition to maintenance bays the project includes shops, storage, fueling, and vehicle wash facilities. The project was designed to minimize operational and maintenance costs, and to provide a strong visual presence from the adjacent freeway. 

A dramatic, “sawtooth” roof defines the facility.  This configuration allows for north facing clerestory windows that maximizes daylight harvesting while providing the ideal orientation for rooftop photovoltaic panels.  Prefinished insulated metal panels are attached directly to the metal structure, a simple and cost-effective alternative to a traditional stud wall.  These panels do not require painting or maintenance and are one of many sustainable features of this project.  The metal panels sit on a base of patterned concrete block walls that provide protection from vehicles.  The north wall is constructed of hardwood “rainscreen” that references the local timber industry and nearby lumber mill.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Implementation Bootcamp

Guy Messick, Director of Design Technology at TLCD, will be an instructor for the BIM Implementation Bootcamp class at the California State University East Bay, Oakland Center Campus on September 7th, 2012 from 8:00am till Noon.  The Building Information Modeling Implementation Bootcamp provides students with the knowledge to develop a customized process, implementation plan, schedule, and task list addressing the specific needs of their firm regardless of size, type, and industry — from one-man operation to national firm, Design, Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management, or Contractor.

Program Objectives

  • Explore the challenges and benefits of adopting a 3D (BIM) approach to production and documentation.
  • Define a decision making process to plan the move to BIM.
  • Provide the tools necessary to create a realistic BIM implementation plan that responds to specific staff, financial, and schedule constraints.
  • Develop a process map, task list, and schedule for BIM implementation.

Who Should Attend

  • Strategic planners and decision-makers responsible for firm direction.
  • Technical and information system installation, maintenance, and support staff.
  • Applicable to the Architecture, Design, Engineering, Construction Management, and Construction industries.

Link to CSU information and registration:

PDF Info Sheet: BIM Implementation Bootcamp

TLCD Olympic Relay


In honor of the Olympics and in the spirit of competition, TLCD’s Fit Force held it’s first ever Olympic Relay and Potluck today! Inspired by the athletes in London, TLCD staff competed in a 3-part relay that required stamina, accuracy and brain power. Pushing themselves beyond human endurance, the first leg athletes power-walked from the office to the Santa Rosa Creek and back again (we had some cheaters who ran). The second leg athletes tapped into their hand/eye coordination to toss nurf balls into trash cans until they reached 50 points (don’t try this at home). In the critical final leg of the competition, our mental athletes unscrambled 3 words which related to an event in the Olympics (who brought in the anagram ringers?).

Of course all this competition works up a mighty appetite… and being a Sonoma County firm, the TLCD “foodies” came through with some amazing lunch offerings.

Good luck to the real Olympic athletes in London!

Connecting with Today’s Digital Students

We are witnessing a major shift in the educational environment of the 21st century. Today’s students are plugged into a digital, global learning network. More than ever before, the way they learn is evolving and our education system must adapt to support this dynamic new future in our educational environments.

The young people of today are digital natives. They have grown up with constant access and interconnectivity to digital information resources. In contrast, most educators are digital immigrants, who are learning to adjust/adapt/modify their way of teaching to better reflect the realities of how students absorb information, communicate, and critically think about the subjects they are learning. The incorporation of online learning into this teaching methodology is vital.

Good school design not only supports the current learning needs, but also prepares for change and innovation in the future. It is anticipated that by 2019, 50% of all high school courses may be available online (1). Teachers already use sites such as YouTube to share lecture lessons with students outside of class. Students can learn where they are most comfortable and at their own pace, and have the opportunity to replay a lesson as often as needed to understand the content. This, in turn, opens up class time for interactive discussions and hands on practice of concepts covered in the online lectures. As a result, students and teachers gain more time for individualized tutoring and small collaborative learning groups.

This vision for a new learning methodology is resulting in an entirely different way of looking at classroom design. The rows of organized desks  facing a singular direction are no longer applicable. Having a dynamic classroom with space that can quickly transform from individual learning space to break out groups with easy access to technology is a must. Flexibility to accommodate for varying class sizes, access to fresh air and natural ventilation, and the use of the latest in acoustical and audio visual technology are critical to the design of a successful educational environment.

For nearly three decades personal computers have been used in classrooms, yet many of those classrooms look largely the same as they did 30 years ago. The future of educational environments incorporates computers, document cameras, smart boards, etc. in the core framework of the building design to create a holistic and fully interactive atmosphere for learning.

The learning activities observed in today’s classrooms significantly impact the way we design educational spaces. Administrators, faculty, and teachers are all vital contributors towards each successful project and we build lasting relationships that will provide the tools and resources needed to support a school’s educational program and prepare its students throughout their educational journey. As a design firm, we create inspirational learning environments, where teachers have the flexibility to transform a classroom in response to subject matter, class size, student needs, and teaching styles. Our projects support a school’s educational program while responding to the needs of the students.

(1) Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, Clayton Christensen, Copyright 2008

John Dybczak AIA
K-12 Practice Leader

Roseland Creek Elementary in the Home Stretch


As their summer vacation begins to wind down, the excitement and anticipation of the students in the Roseland School District is beginning to build. The completion of their new school is only a few weeks away! This new school, located in the Roseland area of Santa Rosa, will be home to approximately 740 of the District’s students when school resumes on August 20.

The project consists of three main buildings; two classroom buildings and a multi-use building. The two classroom buildings will house the classrooms, kindergartens, library, computer lab, and administrative offices. In addition, the project includes play fields, play structures, site landscaping, parking, a bus drop-off , and street improvements.

The project team – Lathrop Construction Associates, Inc (General Contractor), Counterpoint Construction Services, Inc. (Construction Manager), the Roseland School District, and TLCD Architecture have been working diligently to put the finishing touches on this construction project that began in May 2011. The dedication and commitment to work together as a team has really been demonstrated during the course of construction and we’re all looking forward to the completion of this successful project.

When is a Green Roof not Green?

When it’s burgundy.  And gold.  And pink and yellow and, perhaps, four or five shades of green.

Vegetated (“Green”) roofs have historically been used to reduce storm-water run-off, to replace vegetation that would otherwise be lost at the building footprint, to provide energy savings by buffering the roof membrane from the ambient air temperature and to extend the service life of the roof membrane by shielding it from UV exposure.  Originally seen as one of several features of the project to reduce the water-quality impacts of impervious surfaces on the project site and to improve energy performance, the vegetated roof on the Mendocino College Library Learning Resource Center is an example of how a design decision made in support of sustainability goals can also yield extraordinary aesthetic results.

The roof is comprised of a single-ply roof membrane and tapered insulation with the plants contained in 12 by 24 inch LiveRoof trays provided by Florasource, Ltd. installed over a protection membrane.  Heavy-weight roof pavers and ballast complete the roof components.  Working with Landscape Architect Quadriga, the decision was made to use the tray module as an organizing element.  Selecting from the 300 or so species of sedum available, trays containing five different sedum species have been arranged mosaic-like into a design featuring waves of color spreading across the roof surface. Pavers and ballast are used to bound the edges of the plant material and essentially providing a frame for the composition.

Located immediately outside a class room and adjacent to an outdoor terrace area, the vegetated roof provides both welcome views from inside the classroom and a colorful foreground element for the views of the hills rising to the south west of the site.

Bellevue District Office Dedication – Taylor Mountain School is Completed!


The Bellevue Union School District held a dedication ceremony to formally open their new district office and dedicate the boardroom to long time Board member Yvonne Kennedy. The district office is located at Taylor Mountain Elementary School and its completion ends 5 years of phased construction projects designed by TLCD Architecture at this new $19 million campus located in southeast Santa Rosa.

The design of Taylor Mountain Elementary includes a central courtyard with focused views to its’ namesake mountain to the east. Classroom pods ring the courtyard and lead to the library/media center. TLCD worked with the teaching staff to refine the pod design in support of the District’s teaching philosophy.

In response to wetlands and a tiger salamander habitat, the site design includes enhanced wetland study areas, bioswales, and stormwater detension basins. The interiors include many energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, and extensive use of sustainable materials.

TLCD also played a key role in assisting Chevron Energy Solutions with the design and installation of a 176Kv photovoltaic power generating system that will generate a majority of the campus’ electrical power needs.

The later phases of construction used the Lease-Leaseback project delivery method. This provided an opportunity for the General Contractor and major subcontractors to provide valuable input during the design process and a guaranteed maximum construction cost to the District.

Taylor Mountain Elementary School is TLCD Architecture’s second new school completed with Bellevue Unified School District. Our collaborative effort and commitment to providing inspirational learning environments for the students resulted in a project that will serve this growing community for many years.

Alan Butler Completes Successful Term as Redwood Empire Food Bank President

On  June 30th, Alan Butler concluded  a two year term as President of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Alan got involved with the Food Bank five years ago because they had a need for somebody who could give architectural form to needs and requirements for a new facility, as their existing building was outdated and too small for their growing initiatives. Over the last four years, Alan has helped to develop a program and designs for a new building and developed a cost model  for the project. As part of this planning process, he visited food banks all over the country, including Portland, Chicago and Kansa City, documenting evolving trends in food bank operations.

During the two years of his presidency, the food bank successfully raised over $7 million for new facilities.  Of his tenure, Alan says, “It’s been an incredible two years in that we’ve been able to raise the money and buy the building. Next January it will open with a much wider range of services than we were previously able to offer.”  In January of this year, a new building was purchased for $5 million, and on Friday, June 29th the Food Bank accepted an offer to sell their old facility on Industrial Drive. New programs in the improved facilities will have a healthy focus, and include nutrition and diabetes wellness education. Says Alan, “The goal of these programs is to assist people in living healthy lives, which in turn helps them escape the cycles of generational poverty.”

Revit Technology Conference 2012

Guy Messick, TLCD’s Director of Design Technology just got back from the North American Revit Technology Conference (RTC) near Atlanta, Georgia.  In keeping with TLCD’s goal of being one the of leading firms utilizing Building Information Modeling tools, this conference is essential.  RTC is a unique, independent conference, covering all things Revit / BIM and the whole ecosystem that supports it. This aids TLCD in the quest for a better, smarter process, and a stronger, more sustainable AEC environment.  Guy will be bringing the conference back by presenting at the next Redwood Empire Revit Users Group as well as in-house sessions.  If you are looking to raise your BIM/VDC game, check out the 2013 conferences.  By the way, check out the picture of those cute models of the cow and elephant, they were created entirely in Revit, and 3D printed from the models. [slideshow]

Mendocino College Lake Center Construction Progress


Construction progress for the Mendocino-Lake Community College District’s new Lake Center Campus in Lakeport, California has reached 50% completion. General Contractor Wright Contracting is scheduled to complete the project early next year 2013. The Lake Center is 15,500 square-feet of new Classrooms with campus Administration and will serve the communities of Northern Lake County.

The slideshow above shows progress on the Center’s 3 new academic buildings. The Student Commons will occupy the heart of campus. The Commons is connected to outdoor gathering spaces, with access to General Instruction, Science, Art, Music and Computer lab Classrooms. The Center is organized to capture views of the adjacent ranges to the West and Mt. Konocti to the East. A few model images are also included.

In addition to the Lake Center, the District is beginning construction on a new Learning Center in Willits, California later this year, also designed by TLCD Architecture. The Willits Center will be bidding during the month of July 2012 with completion scheduled for August of 2013.

Wood Veneer Cladding being Installed at Luther Burbank Savings

Wood veneer cladding is now being installed on TLCD Architecture’s downtown Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch project.  These panels, manufactured by Parklex, are a “high-density stratified timber” product.  This will be only the second concealed fastener installation of Parklex in the country; the panels are being attached from behind, with no visible fasteners in order to achieve a precise, clean aesthetic.

Parkex is a class of exterior cladding products referred to as “rear-ventilated rainscreen” systems.  The panels are installed over an aluminum framing system that is in turn installed over a waterproof membrane.  Since the waterproof membrane will keep the building dry, these panels serve a function that is strictly aesthetic. The space between the waterproof membrane is “ventilated” and is open at the top, bottom, and at panel joints.

Tim Maloney of Technical Imagery Studios in Santa Rosa is documenting the construction of Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch with time sequence photography.  This “time-lapse” documentation of the construction process can be viewed at:

Don Tomasi AIA

Downtown Project “Going Black”

By Don Tomasi AIA

TLCD Architecture’s downtown Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch project is beginning to change colors, going from bright yellow to black. The “black’ is a spray-applied waterproof membrane, the first installation step of an innovative building exterior referred to as a “rear-ventilated rainscreen” system. The black waterproof membrane will keep the building watertight.

In the next few weeks black aluminum channels will be installed over this membrane, then overlaid with stunning wood veneered panels. The panels will be attached to the aluminum from behind, with no visible fasteners. Since the waterproof membrane will keep the building dry, these panels serve a function that is strictly aesthetic. The space between the waterproof membrane is “ventilated” and is open at the top, bottom, and at panel joints. In the case of this project, the freedom to design exterior panels with open joints and without any visible means of attachment allows for a precise, clean aesthetic.

Tim Maloney of Technical Imagery Studios in Santa Rosa is documenting the construction of Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch with time sequence photography.  This “time-lapse” documentation of the construction process can be viewed at:

TLCD Architecture Part of Team Sponsoring Amgen Start in Santa Rosa

Cycling is such a big part of our culture in Sonoma County and this weekend Santa Rosa will host the start of the Amgen Tour of California. TLCD Architecture is thrilled to be a sponsor of this premier event with the Museum on the Square Project Team. The team of Wright Contracting, TLCD Architecture, Summit Engineering, Quadriga Landscape Architecture, MKM Structural Engineers, and Gilleran Energy Management invites friends, family and colleagues to join us at the VIP Spectator Tent on May 13th between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. You’ll find our tent near the Beer Garden at 5th Street and Mendocino Avenue. Don’t miss out on the fun… be there!

TLCD “Hydrating” Squad Works the Human Race

The TLCD "Hydrating" Squad

TLCD Architecture is thrilled to be a regular sponsor and participant in Sonoma County’s annual Human Race. As the largest event of it’s kind in the United States, the Human Race is a great way to support local charities and non-profits. On Saturday, May 5th, the TLCD “hydrating” squad (Suzanne, Bill, Jaime and Marina) passed out water and cheered on the runners and walkers as they passed the last marker for the 10k event!

DeTurk Round Barn Receives Two Awards in Single Day!

On Tuesday, May 1st TLCD Architecture’s DeTurk Round Barn received two prestigious design awards.  At the City of Santa Rosa’s afternoon city council meeting a California Parks and Recreation Society representative presented its annual facility award to the City and TLCD Architecture.  Later that same evening the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) presented an Award of Merit in the Excellence in Engineering Awards program to MKM Structural Engineers.

Built in 1891 for a prized racehorse, the DeTurk Round Barn is one of only two true round barns remaining in California and is listed on both the state and federal registries of historic places. After decades of use as a city corporation yard, this unique adaptive reuse project seismically upgraded and restored the building to its new life as a Community Center. During construction the entire barn was raised on hydraulic lifts for several months to allow construction of concrete foundations and a floor slab. In order to preserve the historic integrity of the barn, all interior wood framing was left exposed; no insulation or interior finishes were added. Existing redwood posts or beams that could not be reused, were re-milled into paneling at the stairwells.

The renovated building features a stunning, circular ground floor and open mezzanine totaling more than 7,500 square feet. The space accommodates weddings, receptions, parties, meetings and other special events. A catering kitchen, restrooms, and elevator were added, along with a high-tech audio-visual system featuring multiple projectors and a curved 18–foot screen. A radiant floor slab provides heat to the un-insulated historic building, and a 24-foot diameter overhead fan provides air circulation.

TLCD Participates in San Mateo CC Golf Tournament

The TLCD/CSW Foursome

TLCD Architecture and CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group joined together on Monday, April 23rd as cart sponsors for the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament for the San Mateo Community College Foundation. Stephen Peakes and Brian Wright from TLCD, and Jim Keller and Jim Grossi from CSW teamed up for a very respectable 7 under par at the beautiful Stanford University golf course. The tournament is a fundraiser that goes towards scholarships and educational programs for the students of the 3-campus San Mateo Community College District.

Education Exchange

The 21st Century Classroom, one that focuses on the Four C’s; Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking was the main topic of discussion at the inaugural Napa Valley Education Exchange, a three day conference that I was able to attend last week in Napa.  The conference attendees included school district superintendents and educators from all over the State of California.

We were treated to very informative and inspirational presentations from education futurists Dr. Yong Zhao, Ken Kay, and Dr. Pat Wolfe.  The presentations were focused on the current state of our education system and how it needs to be changed in order to support the learning needs of our current and future students.

This conference was especially interesting as I was able to learn about many of the challenges being faced by school districts.  As architects, we play an important role in developing educational environments that are inspirational to those who use them.  Flexible classroom spaces that incorporate advanced technology, flexible furniture, natural daylighting, fresh air, and good acoustics are critical elements of today’s classroom.

John Dybczak AIA

Historic DeTurk Round Barn Features Ultra Modern Fan

How do you cool a historic round barn built in 1891 without extensive air conditioning systems? With a modern, high efficiency 24 foot diameter fan of course! Big Ass Fans features the DeTurk Round Barn in it’s current “Donkey Tales” newsletter.

The City of Santa Rosa Recreation, Parks and Community Services Department worked with TLCD Architecture to lovingly renovate the DeTurk Round Barn, one of only two true round barns remaining in California.

Marina Starkey, Marketing Director


Li Ka Shing Center at Stanford. Site of the 2012 SCUP Pacific Region Conference

Having just returned from the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP) Pacific Regional Conference at Stanford University, it’s my opinion that that SCUP puts on some of the best meetings I’ve ever attended.  With attendance limited, the conference is much more collegial than most. It’s a nice blend of design professionals and college and university planners – all of whom are extremely friendly.  Within a day you begin to greet familiar faces and occasionally someone will come up and say: “Didn’t I see you in Seattle last year?”

During the course of the conference, the attendees met in the Li Ka Shing Center in the Stanford Medical School, a fabulous new teaching center with some of the most advanced instructional technology around. It was nice to rub elbows with medical students rather than be in an anonymous hotel ballroom. Two Norman Foster buildings on the new Medical School Quadrangle bracketed the center where we met.

In addition to touring the facilities on the Stanford campus, I went on tours of the new UCSF Mission Bay campus and the Google campus in Mountain View.

At UCSF we learned about the layering of public and interactive space from macro to micro scale. New lab buildings serving 500- 600 staff are designed so that researchers, often immersed in very individual projects, will encounter each other on a regular basis. The center focuses on cross-disciplinary discovery and “translational” research facilities that link research to ground floor clinics serving patients.

At Google I learned that if you are lucky enough to get a job there, you might never buy groceries or cook again! Goggle provides up to three full free meals a day, unlimited snacks in the Micro Kitchens on each floor and has 26 cafes on the Mountain View campus. I never realized that there were 15,000 people in Mountain View helping to answer my “Google” enquiries.  This is not to mention their offices in 60 countries.

The individual presentations during the conference proper were informative and generally fast paced, providing a lot of information about master planning and higher education facility design. The three days I spent there were totally engaging and I came back with lots of information to share with our team at TLCD Architecture.

Flamingos devouring T-Rex at the Googleplex in Mountain View

UCSF Mission Bay Campus