The Mountain Retreat Center currently under construction
After a year of planning, fundraising, and material acquisitions, we are excited to report that construction has started on the Mountain Retreat Center of Palo Alto in the Dominican Republic. Sam and Paul began this project with a site visit in June of 2013 at the request of Santiago Christian School, where we have completed a master plan and are currently working on Phase 1 implementation. Situated north of Santiago in the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range at about 1000’ elevation, the site commands exceptional views of the surroundings and the ocean in the distance.
The new building utilizes an existing concrete structural frame and is being built using local labor and materials. The design, which follows the vernacular aesthetic, provides sleeping space for 26, and includes restrooms, a kitchen, and a multi-purpose space with a wrap around porch that has views over the valley below. Once complete, the facility will be available for groups from Santiago Christian School and their Dominican and visiting United States partner organizations to use for religious and educational retreats.
For a look at the site from above, use GPS coordinates 19°34’33.6″N 70°40’41.3″W in Google Maps
A view back up to the site alongside one of the residents
The existing site during our site visit – Our initial designs were drawn at that table on the spot
Regional materials & styling helped to influence the design of the Mountain Retreat Center
Mike Schade’s Schwinn Suburban has glided him into 97th place locally
Our Philadelphia and Santa Fe offices are riding in the National Bike Challenge for the second year in a row. The challenge began May 1st and will continue until Sept 30th. This year we have 13 participants and we are excited to have a bit of a competition going between our two offices. While it’s still early, the Philadelphia office has logged 620 miles, resulting in 33,587 calories burned, and saved $350 and 558 pounds of CO2. Currently, the Philadelphia office is ranked 5th on the Greater Philadelphia Leaderboard! In Santa Fe, we have ridden 482 miles, burned 26,143 calories and saved $272 and 434 pounds of CO2. Combined, our offices are ranked 108th nationally. The National Bike Challenge aims to unite 50,000 riders to pedal 30 million miles by encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. To join the challenge or learn more, visit: www.nationalbikechallenge.org
Atkin Olshin Schade Architects is pleased to announce the recent completion of Villanova University’s Center for Law, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Center occupies an existing 1,500 square foot space on the second floor of the School of Law. The new design provides open and flexible work, study, and lounge spaces. Glass-framed workstation walls create an innovative environment for video-conferencing and collaborative team work. Glass partitions were used to replace solid walls to bring abundant daylight into the space and provide visual connections to the surrounding spaces. We selected all of the furnishings, which encourage collaboration in a flexible, lively work environment.
Atkin Olshin Schade Architects is very proud to announce that Jamie Blosser, Associate and Director of our Santa Fe office, has been selected as a recipient of Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Loeb Fellowship. John L. Loeb (Harvard College ’24) and his wife, Frances, worked closely with William A. Doebele, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, to create a Fellowship that would bring emerging leaders in the field to the GSD for independent study, reflection and engagement. Now in its fifth decade, the Loeb Fellowship has offered the resources of Harvard and greater Boston to a diverse group of leaders from 36 states and the District of Columbia.
The Fellows are chosen from an array of accomplished design practitioners from countries around the world and asked to step away from their promising careers to take classes at the GSD and throughout Harvard’s network of professional and academic schools for one academic year. During this time, Fellows will strive to become better at their craft, strengthen their leadership skills, and expand their horizons.
Through her built work and advocacy, Jamie has used design, facilitation and research to increase Native American communities’ involvement in the critical decisions that affect them. She has developed community engagement processes informed by traditional practices and her Sustainable Native Communities organization offers technical assistance for culturally and environmentally sustainable tribal housing. Jamie will use the Fellowship year to develop a cohesive framework for her practice through research on sustainable community development models and resilient planning principles in other marginalized communities around the world.
For more information about the Loeb Fellowship Program and the other chosen Fellows, please visit the following links:
Loeb Fellows Profiles
Loeb Fellows Announcement
Atkin Olshin Schade Architects (AOS) is initiating a summer internship for Native American architecture/design students.
AOS is a 20-person firm with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Santa Fe, NM. Established in Philadelphia in 1979, the firm has developed a national reputation for design that is rooted in the spirit of place. Our Santa Fe office, established in 2005, has extensive experience in public interest design work, particularly with Native American tribes. Some of our notable tribal projects include the award-winning Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Project for Ohkay Owingeh, the Kewa Safety Complex for Santo Domingo Pueblo, the I-Sah’-Din’-Dii Housing Development for the Mescalero Apache, and planning projects for Cochiti Pueblo, Fort Apache, the Chippewa Cree, and Spirit Lake Nation.
We are starting a Santa Fe-based summer internship that seeks to provide a Native American architecture/design intern with an opportunity to contribute to the thinking, planning, and design that goes into our work. In addition to assisting with current projects, the intern will have an opportunity to visit past tribal projects and meet clients, and assist in reviewing completed tribal work. Our goal is to provide a unique professional and educational experience in which the intern will play a meaningful role in the community engagement that is central to our work.
For more information on our firm, please visit our website at www.aosarchitects.com and our blog at blog.aosarchitects.com.
If interested in the program, please send a cover letter, resume, and portfolio (max 5 MB) to us by May 16. We will review applications and conduct interviews via skype the week of May 26. The position would run from June 16 to August 15. Dates are flexible. The selected intern will be paid a competitive weekly stipend.
Please send requested materials via email to the three of us at:
On March 28, 2014, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church celebrated the delivery and erection of their new spire. Atkin Olshin Schade collaborated with consultants CVM, Levine & Company, and Campbellsville Industries, the spire fabricator, from Kentucky. The 31’-6” high spire is made with a structural aluminum frame clad in lead-coated copper and topped with a 3’-0” finial. The original spire, which dated from 1929, was in a serious state of disrepair. Before dismantlement, it was laser scanned to assure an accurate reproduction. The new spire is a faithful reproduction of the old, and is engineered and detailed to last generations. Delran Builders coordinated the entire successful design, engineering, and installation process.
Atkin Olshin Schade Architects is proud to sponsor Change Labs’ event “Growing Strong Communities Through Creative Entrepreneurs” taking place on March 28th in Shiprock, New Mexico. In 2008, The Economist labeled the Navajo Nation the last frontier for entrepreneurship and years later many of the obstacles mentioned in the article still exist. Even with a ready workforce and plenty of business opportunities, many new businesses struggle to remain open. At Change Labs, participants will attend workshops and explore how to overcome these challenges by learning from others in similar environments. The event also hopes to connect promising entrepreneurs with mentors and other resources they need to succeed. For more information, please visit: http://www.catapultlabs.org