Alan Butler Celebrates 30 Years with TLCD!

alan butler, tlcd architecture, 30th work anniversary, doyle library, santa rosa junior college

By Don Tomasi AIA, Principal

In today’s world it’s rare to stay at any one company for an entire career, so its remarkable that in recent months, 3 of us have celebrated our 30th anniversaries with TLCD Architecture. It’s with great excitement that we celebrate the 30th work anniversary of my friend and partner Alan Butler.

Although we didn’t know each other at the time, Alan was working in Seattle in the summer of 1984, and I was living just 4 blocks away – on the same street! We both moved from Seattle to competing architectural firms in Santa Rosa within a year of each other, our offices just blocks apart – you guessed it, on the same street! Alan began work at Lawry Coker DeSilva Architects (LCD) as its 7th employee. But it was another several years before we met. (For the record, we now work in the same office, but live 14 blocks apart – on different streets!)

In 1993 the two firms merged to form Tomasi Lawry Coker DeSilva Architects later to become TLCD Architecture. Alan had become a partner of the firm and was leading the first phase of the Santa Rosa Junior College new Petaluma Campus. Alan’s experience on the SRJC Petaluma campus project and his longstanding interest in higher education helped determine the direction of his career, and he established community college projects as a major part of our firm’s practice.

Alan was responsible for the firm’s first breakthrough project, the new Frank P. Doyle Library at SRJC’s main Santa Rosa campus. Realizing that TLCD Architecture’s best chance of being selected for this project was a strategic alliance with a larger firm, Alan traveled to Boston to explore a relationship with Shepley Bulfinch. Through Alan’s efforts, TLCD and Shepley Bulfinch were awarded the project. As TLCD’s highest profile project at that time, it was instrumental in launching TLCD as a premier architectural firm in the region. With Doyle Library, Alan’s longstanding interest in libraries blossomed into a true passion, leading to several other community college libraries. Alan has authored 2 books on the topic of academic library design, first Touring Libraries and more recently, Experiencing Libraries.

As a Principal of the firm Alan quickly demonstrated his leadership abilities, assuming many office management responsibilities. Over the majority of our 22 years working together Alan and I have shared the bulk of management duties, picking up the slack from the other as our other responsibilities required. The dynamic of our working relationship could best be described as “intuitive”, though I am pleased to note that we do not (usually) complete each other’s sentences!

alan butler, don tomasi, partners, tlcd architecture, celebrating 30th work anniversaryIt has been a rewarding 22 years, and we’ve had a great time working together. With the help of the incredibly talented people we work with, together we have had the opportunity to oversee the impressive evolution of our firm into something quite remarkable.

Mendocino College Library Learning Resource Center Progress Update

Progress continues on the Mendocino College LLRC, with completion now scheduled for May 2012.  Midstate Construction has averaged 40 mechanics onsite daily recently with work proceeding in virtually every corner of the building and all across the site.

The dry winter has allowed work on the site to proceed unabated, with the concrete site walls and flatwork complete.  The stage is complete and work is underway on installation of the seating platforms.  The favorable weather allowed the exterior work on the building to progress, with the sun shading devices on the south widows now complete and installation of the support system for the cementitious panels underway.  The planting trays for the vegetated roof are onsite, with the plants acclimating to the College’s micro climate while the irrigation and other preliminary work is completed  to prepare the roof for their installation later in February.

With the access floor in the main library space complete and with interior storefront installation underway, you can get a sense of the space in its final form. The main library space (the “book box” as it has come to be known) is a very powerful space, with a ceiling that slopes to 25 feet at its high point and north-facing clerestory windows balancing daylight in the space  with the large windows facing south.  Both the north and south windows feature power operators to allow coordinated opening for natural ventilation.  The views to the south from the library are truly extraordinary.  Off the main library to the east is a balcony overlooking the plaza bounded by the new LLRC and the Lowery Building, which will be converted into a new student services center as soon as the LLRC is complete and occupied.

While the construction work onsite is progressing, the furniture packages for the building have been bid and awarded, with the submittal process well under way.  Suzanne Nagorka, our Interior Design Director, has been reviewing the vendor’s submittals and expediting their coordination of power and data requirements in order to ensure that the furniture will arrive and be installed in time for the building’s opening.

The new LLRC will be open to students for the start of classes in the fall of 2012.