Congrats to the Cultural Studio and the hard work on the VMHC for the $30 million renovation that will add a new café, theater and green space. Read more about the renovation HERE.
Congrats to the Cultural Studio for their work on the VMFA Robinson House Rehabilitation. “For 20 years it was vacant and used for storage, until we rehabilitated the building and brought it back to life.” -Steven Blashfield, Cultural Studio Director
Read the full article about this building’s rehabilitation as a gallery and tourist center in Richmond, Virginia HERE.
The Glavé & Holmes team had a great time at both the Virginia Association of Museum’s Annual Conference and the North Carolina Museum Council’s Annual Meeting. While networking with professionals and sitting in on various sessions, we compiled a list of the top 10 quotes that may have raised eyebrows…
“You don’t happen to have a structural engineer, do you?”
– Su Thongpan, Accountant with Virginia Association of Museums, after the VAM conference was moved out of the planned exhibit hall following a different group’s party the night before. What a miraculous recovery and adaptation by VAM staff!
“If you want to get money, ask for advice. If you want to get advice, ask for money.”
– Allan Burrows, President of Capital Development Services, at the NCMC Director’s Forum sponsored by Glavé & Holmes Architecture on philanthropy and the importance of having the right approach.
“Public’s trust is the coin of the realm for museums.”
– Eric App, Director of Museum Operations at the Museum of the Confederacy, quoting Ford Bell at the annual VAM Leadership Program, sponsored by Glavé & Holmes Architecture.
“In the last funding cycle, there were 26 non-profit (entities) that received funding, this time there were only four.”
– Stephen F. Saucier, Executive Director for NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, on the challenging environment in the NC legislature and their successful efforts to retain a block of funding for a consortium of 34 museums across the state of North Carolina.
“You should write on all your paintings.”
– Gregg Horner, Special Agent with the FBI Art Crime Team, at the VAM Keynote Presentation on his career discovering lost art and how physical evidence has helped them recover stolen items.
“Carry around the wish list of opportunities in your pocket.”
– Dr. Betsey Bennett, Strategic Counsel at Capital Development Services and former Director of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, at the Director’s Forum at NCMC on being prepared to respond to unexpected development opportunities at your museum.
“Beauty is an essential human need.”
– Steven Blashfield, Cultural Studio Director at Glavé & Holmes Architecture, quoting Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., on why you need to fight for protection of the most important aspects of your facility in his session “Five Ideas Every Museum Professional Should Know.”
“Unfortunately, this is my last conference in the state of North Carolina.”
– Kyle Bryner, Registrar and Collections Manager at the Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology and Vice President of NCMC, announcing her upcoming move to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. Are you paying attention, Virginia?
“There is no pain, like a campaign.”
– Allan Burrows, President of Capital Development Services, quoting Wendy Block, wife of former NC State Senator Franklin Lee Block.
“What a gift.”
– Unknown voice in the crowd, remarking on the beauty of Mt. Vernon during a night time VAM Conference visit after a fresh snow.
Coming out of a recession, museums, historic sites, and cultural properties have faced challenges. But this is not the time to be complacent – sites that have prepared themselves and are following the trends will be better positioned to capitalize on coming economic growth, capture expanding markets, and improve operations. Understanding key elements of design and how visitors perceive a space is important to one’s effectiveness.
At the 2013 Southeastern Museums Conference, G&HA’s Cultural Studio leader, Steven Blashfield, presented “Five MORE Design Ideas Every Museum Professional Should Know.” As a follow-up to his presentation at last year’s conference, the seminar included design considerations that should be part of each cultural institution’s current operations and future planning.
Design Idea 6
How Museums Learn: It is important to recognize that just like buildings, museums are designed to change. Change is an inevitable process and the best way to manage change is by establishing and maintaining a strategic plan and a master plan. It is just as important in challenging times as it is in positive times to use this plan to ensure that you continue to support your core mission and identity.
Design Idea 7
The Vitruvian Man: People have an ingrained understanding of size and scale that relates to their own physical size. Understanding human scale, and providing visual clues to scale, is an important aspect of developing interior environments and exhibits to which visitors can connect.
Design Idea 8
Where Are We?: In contrast with some other cultures, American culture places a great focus on individualism. It has become easy to criticize the “placelessness” of our suburban environments. Encouraging civic gathering and interaction are needed to bring people together. Museums are at the heart of the civic realm and are vital to maintain and foster a sense of identity to our communities.
Design Idea 9
Feng Shui: While it does not need to be taken to an extreme, the basic ideas of the Chinese philosophical system to achieve balance and harmony provide many lessons. Occasionally stepping backing and thinking holistically can restore a sense of order and harmony to your organization.
Design Idea 10
The Death and Life of Great American Cities… and Museums: Given that museums are civic places with a wide variety of activities and functions, they can benefit from drawing some connections to urban planning. Museums want to maintain diversity and density while creating multiple options where every visitor can have their own special experience.
It’s an ACC vs. SEC showdown in Savannah with the first ever G&HA SEMC Bowl! Join Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) at the Southeastern Museums Conference to support your favorite southeastern NCAA football team and talk to our Cultural Studio leader, Steven Blashfield. Steven will also be presenting, “Five MORE Design Ideas Every Museum Professional Should Know,” a follow-up to his presentation last year.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture is an award-winning architectural and interior design firm based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide design services for museums and cultural properties, higher education campuses, and hospitality projects throughout the southeast. Come see us at Booth 321 to discuss your project and play in G&HA’s SEMC Bowl. Participants will be entered to win a $50 gift card.
Read more details about the conference here.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) is excited to be working with the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) to upgrade existing facilities for “The Story of Virginia” exhibit.
G&HA and the VHS have shared a long-standing relationship over the past 25 years. G&HA previously designed three major additions for the museum, which contain the library, galleries, and archival storage. These three additions envelop the original Battle Abbey – initially built as a Memorial in 1912.
About Glavé & Holmes Architecture’s Cultural Studio
The Cultural Studio was generated out of a core focus area in the history of Glavé & Holmes Architecture. Jim Glavé’s original passion and interest was in revitalization and preservation, which often manifested itself through museum projects and work with cultural sites. The studio’s ongoing focus is on these cultural facilities – places that draw the community for congregation, learning and reflection. These are the properties that reflect the culture, personality and uniqueness of communities from the micro to the macro scale. To learn more about G&HA’s Cultural Studio or see select projects, visit www.glaveandholmes.com.
After a competitive selection process, the VMFA engaged Glavé & Holmes’ Cultural Studio, led by Steven Blashfield, AIA, for the design of a complete rehabilitation of the Robinson House, originally erected ca. 1855 as a family farmhouse. The structure was converted into the R.E. Lee Camp No.1 before it became part of the VMFA in 1964. The museum’s goal is to restore the facility and adapt it for use as a regional visitor center.
The Robinson House is listed as a contributing building to the Boulevard Historic District, and is one of the oldest buildings in that area of Richmond. Having worked on over 35 projects at National Register and Historic Landmark properties and buildings, Glavé & Holmes brings extensive experience with historic preservation. The team plans to keep the current building’s character and rich history intact, while ensuring that the building will play a continued role for the museum in the future. The G&HA Cultural Studio enjoys a long-standing relationship with the VMFA, including past work on the Center for Outreach and Education (Pauley Center), redesign of the Faberge Gallery, and multiple other maintenance projects at the facility.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to continue working with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” said Steven Blashfield, AIA. “The Robinson House started as a rural farm house and has evolved into one of the central destinations for art and history in Commonwealth. We look forward to breathing new life into this building so that it can tell the story of that marvelous evolution.”
About Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Established in 1965, Glavé & Holmes Architecture is a nationally recognized architecture, interior design and planning firm located in Richmond, Virginia. Our regionally focused design practice has cultivated expertise in five specialty areas – each supported by a studio structure – Cultural, Higher Education, Hotel and Home, Interior Design, and Urban Architecture – allowing us to provide the expertise necessary for a diverse portfolio. We strive to create a context-specific design that fits seamlessly into the cultural and historical milieu of a given community, while addressing the functional needs of the people who will interact with each space. We believe that great design is contextual, timeless, and has the capacity to engage the intellect and elevate the human spirit.
People in any profession tend to get focused on their particular field and the issues that affect them. Every once in a while it is good to look to some outside influences to get inspiration. Last week we presented a session at the Southeast Museum Conference in Williamsburg, VA entitled Five Design Ideas Every Museum Professional Should Know.
Our goal was to both inspire and broaden the thinking about your museums and how you can better respond to visitors. These are not necessarily new ideas, and all are inspired by forward thinkers in our society. We hope this generated some engaging discussion throughout the conference.
Here is a quick summary:
Design Idea 1
Streaker, Stroller, Studier: At every museum, there are generally three basic types of museum visitor, which can be termed the Streaker, the Stroller and the Studier. Museums should be organized to respond to all three.
Design Idea 2
Pattern Language: In our culture, people have a common ingrained and intuitive sense of expectations about buildings and what makes a pleasing experience. To assist in your goal to get people engaged with your mission and collections, these patterns should be considered and have influence in the design of your facilities.
Design Idea 3
I Think I Like Vanilla: In addition to responding to people’s fundamental expectations, and for all the effort you are putting to try and analyze whatever people are thinking, there is always a viewpoint you may not have considered. It is important to engage people directly about their experience so that you can better understand and respond to your visitors’ expectations.
Design Idea 5
Beauty is a Fundamental Human Need: The pursuit of beauty is a form of big picture thinking and every museum needs to retain a sense of big picture thinking in order to retain and build upon the features which have made it – or will make it – successful over time.