- Press Releases
By Melissa Turnbaugh, AIA, NCARB
The school of the future will be student-centered and will aim to maximize the learner experience as well as the impact on local and global environments and economies. Learning environments will be designed with numerous factors in mind that all play a role in developing and empowering each individual.
At the start of the pandemic, many thought leaders began to predict the end of school as we know it. With online learning thought to be the wave of the future the need for school buildings themselves appeared to be in doubt. However, as the results of the educational outcomes started to become clear, the rancor from parents who wanted their kids to physically attend school grew louder, and the palpable social isolation that was being expressed by students online, it appeared that school buildings were here to stay. Through the confusion and uncertainty, a path forward became evident, taking advantage of what was being experienced in the pandemic with outdoor learning, online learning, and new interactive means of teaching, energizing the way our school facilities are designed and constructed. It became imperative to find thought leaders who could provide insight regarding how these trends could help create the "School of the Future."
Continue reading "The Future of Learning" on pages 34-37 in Learning by Design.
GRIFFIN, GA – Manley Spangler Smith Architects (MSSA), a Georgia-based, full-service architectural firm specializing in educational and municipal facilities, announced today a significant development aimed at increasing its capabilities, expertise, and suite of services. MSSA has merged with PBK, a nationally renowned architecture firm known for its comprehensive services and leadership in the field of educational facilities design. In 2022, PBK was ranked as the #1 Education Design Firm by Building Design+Construction widely regarded as the engineering and design industry’s premiere publication.
The combined firm is known as MSSA-PBK and has two Georgia offices located in Griffin and Sugar Hill.
Dan Boggio, Executive Chairman of PBK said, “What the MSSA Principals have accomplished to this point is extremely impressive. MSSA is a recognized leader in education and municipal design in Georgia and is extremely well regarded by its customers. Combining their long track record of exceptional local service and design excellence with PBK, results in Georgia’s most impressive full-service educational facilities design firm.”
Roy Montalbano, PBK President, further added, “The MSSA-PBK professionals are innovative and are on the leading edge of education architecture and design, ensuring that clients can accomplish their goals and perhaps most importantly, they are enriching peoples’ lives by improving the educational experience for the learners of today and those of the future.”
“This merger of PBK and MSSA is a significant opportunity, not only for our firms but more importantly, for the clients we serve,” said V. Smith, MSSA-PBK Partner. “MSSA-PBK will have the resources and capabilities to provide our clients the expertise of a large firm, delivered with the intimacy of a smaller, local firm.”
About PBK Architects
For over four decades, PBK has served as an award-winning pioneer for architectural and engineering design solutions for clients in education, healthcare, sports and corporate business. With more than 600 professionals across 17 offices, the firm embraces a unique business culture that prioritizes customer service and approaches each project without preconceived notions in order to deliver custom solutions that effectively address the unique needs of each client. The industry-leading talent of PBK's teammates, coupled with the firm's signature service mentality, enables the firm to provide best-in-class programmers, planners, architects, engineers and consultants that always put the client's wishes first. For more information visit: www.pbk.com.
Established in 1949, Manley Spangler Smith Architects has grown into a leading firm providing services in the state of Georgia with a purposeful focus on providing each client with attentive service and exceptional expertise in educational facilities. Their passionate team members go above and beyond for each of their clients, making sure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and far beyond expectations. For more information visit: https://mssarchitects.com
Every year the IIDA Texas Oklahoma Chapter hosts Product Runway, a fashion design competition where designers and architects create handmade garments out of architectural finished materials. This year the theme was Wanderlust to honor the desire to explore destinations unknown. PBK was challenged with designing a garment inspired by Kyoto, the original capitol of Japan.
By deconstructing and reassembling components of the traditional kimono, the design proves that a shapeless, fluid garment can be reinvented in a bold, rigid form while still capturing the techniques and history of Kyoto.
As an ode to the timeless kimono, certain elements are included: the “haneri,” a detachable neckpiece crafted out of tile underlayment; an “obi,” a belt or sash constructed with weld rod; a “kamikazari,” a hair ornament built with metal transition strips.
The design juxtaposes something that is timeless with an unexpected modern aesthetic indicative of Kyoto’s hidden hip and trendy side. The leather, red cherry blossoms on the flowing off-white cloth skirt presents a tasteful contrast with the fitted dark grey and black top piece made of mesh fabric with weld rod boning. This design honors both sides of Japan’s cultural capital city, Kyoto, by showcasing equal parts of traditional and modern designs.
Thank you to our sponsors EJ Welch, Steelcase, and FABS for providing the materials used in creating the beautiful dress! Congratulations to the team on receiving Crowd Favorite!
Every year PBK offers a summer internship program to college students pursuing a career in the architectural industry. The summer internship focuses on the process of moving through the architectural phases: schematic design (SD), design development (DD), construction documents (CD) and construction administration (CA). PBK Intern Ben from the University of Houston shared “something important I learned is that going from SD to CA isn’t exactly a linear process. Typically, in school we fast track through these processes, but I feel like that takes out some of the most important steps.”
The interns spend the summer learning to create construction drawings through Revit. “During the first month as an intern at PBK, I gained so much experience in Revit and AutoCAD,” says Ashlon, PBK intern from Texas A&M University. “When I first started the internship, I didn’t have that much experience using the programs but working on multiple projects has made me proficient in both.”
As the summer progresses the interns participate in site walks, reviewing drawings and materials, and ensuring their designs are coming to life.
While the interns are busy learning core architectural skills and working on numerous projects, they are also building soft skills and receiving advice from the architects on their teams. Logan, PBK intern from Texas A&M University says, “there are a lot of good opportunities to learn whether we are in the office, at a job site, or just a team lunch.”
PBK’s internship program helps guide students towards their future careers as architects by giving them hands on experience in the industry. Stephanie, a PBK Intern from the University of Houston shared, “architecture school teaches you more about conceptual design rather than real life situations and issues and how to navigate them. I also learned there are various paths you can take once you graduate with your architecture degree. The internship has helped me narrow down which path I want to take after graduation.”
Q&A with the PBK Interns:
What’s one thing that you’ve learned through your internship with PBK?
“Something important that I learned is that going from SD to CA isn’t exactly a linear process. Typically, in school we fast track through these processes, but I feel like that takes out some of the most important steps. Being a part of this internship program allowed me to see the challenges of the design process but also the very real details of them.” - Ben Gonzales, University of Houston
What made you interested in architecture?
“It goes all the way back to when I was a kid. My mom used to drive us around various neighborhoods just to look at and appreciate the architecture. The interest continued to grow as I got older. I started combining my interests of art and architecture which eventually led me to pursue a degree in architecture.” - Stephanie Yanez, University of Houston
What's something that you’ve learned at PBK that you think is going to help you in your future career?
“I think one thing that is super important that you don’t get in your college experience is being around clients. I have learned that the client is the most important part of any project. PBK values their clients' wants and needs and will do anything for them. It’s been impactful listening and participating in client meetings. I am learning what client service truly is and how important it is to go the extra mile for them.” - Ashlon Richburg, Texas A&M University
What is it like to go on site tours?
“I have been on two site tours. One was in the construction phase (Alief ISD Early Childhood Center), and it was really interesting to walk around and see the different elements as they were being constructed. Some of the areas were more complete than others so we were able to see the progression of the construction process. The second, a big elective school (Alief ISD Center for Advance Careers), was a completed project. It was cool to hear the principal talk about how the students get to interact with the building and how the building itself helps their education by being a stimulating environment.” - Logan Morris, Texas A&M University
As a firm passionate about designing schools, we support ACE’s mission in striving to create better futures for students. ACE Mentor Program began in 1994 as an after-school program to attract and teach students about career paths in architecture, construction, and engineering.
ACE is the construction industry’s fastest growing high school mentor program serving more than 10,000 students annually. This past school year was full of incredible events and activities at ACE Houston, the local affiliate of the national ACE organization. ACE Houston students and mentors attended jobsite tours, one being Bellaire High School, a PBK project. They participated in the AIA Gingerbread Build Off and built benches to donate to local charities for “Build It Forward.”
PBK Partner and National Innovation Leader Melissa Turnbaugh serves on the executive board for ACE Houston. This year she sat on the panel of judges in the student’s project presentation. The students were tasked with designing a pavilion through a request-for-proposal (RFP) process. The students learned how to follow given specifications of what their customer wants and the evaluation criteria on which they would be judged. The top three design teams presented their designs at the end of year showcase. At the showcase, eight graduating students were awarded $29,500 total in ACE Houston scholarships.
PBK is proud to sponsor ACE Houston as the program continues to build the next generation of architects.
American School University features Principal Emilee Keith and Associate Principal Joaquin Abrego in its latest issue. Emilee and Joaquin provide their recommendations on how to avoid pitfalls when specifying furniture for schools and universities.
Specifying furniture can be complex and overwhelming for education institutions. Facility planners have finite resources when they decide how to outfit their facilities with furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE), so it is important to choose wisely as they carry out the furniture procurement processes.
With schools and universities nationwide allocating millions of dollars, interior designers need to avoid the pitfalls and oversights that may arise when they specify furniture. This means not only choosing the right pieces for an educational space, but also preparing the space so that potential problems can be anticipated and the FFE fits seamlessly into the space.
Continue reading "Room To Move" on pages 26-29 in American School & University.
Each year, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) hosts a fashion show for its members to participate in a design challenge. This year’s fashion show was inspired by a variety of music genres. The PBK team received the challenge to design a look inspired by Electronic Dance Music (EDM).
In a crowd of thousands, it’s important to stand out in eye-catching ways. The EDM inspired design combined the practical needs of dancing for long hours along with theatrical aspects of self-expression. The majority of the garment, including the train, was composed of carpet yarn knit together, specifically selected for the vibrancy and depth of color. The white holographic looking tile was used along the bodice of the garment. The tile was selected to reflect and refract the stage like for a rave like effect and to overload the senses.
The team put in work after hours and on the weekends to create the spectacular runway ready garment. The garment couldn’t have been made possible without J&J Flooring supplying the carpet yarn and Concept Surfaces supplying the tile.
Congratulations to the team on receiving Most Philanthropic! PBK is proud to participate and sponsor this one-of-a-kind event.