News & Events

Winter 2016/17

Restoring the Emma Hartman Noyes House

This past November, Partner John Cluver presented at the national conference Association for Preservation Technology International (APT). As part of the Revisiting Mid-Century Modern track, Cluver discussed affordable preservation of mid-century modern projects. In his presentation entitled “The Lightest Touch: Repairing Custom Mid-Century Windows with a Stock Budget,” Cluver explained how VMA, in partnership with Vassar, restored custom chevron windows at the historical Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College. Designed by Eero Saarinen and built in 1958, the windows faced chronic leaking which was resolved through the selective replacement of several key elements, but retained the integrity of the original design.

Cluver Expounds the Art of Hand Drawing

In October, Partner John Cluver presented at The Art of Architecture conference at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. In his presentation, “The Art and Craft of Hand Drawing in Historic Preservation”, Cluver explored the dynamism of construction drawings of century-old buildings and how this is reflected in contemporary preservation projects. Central to his discussion was the value of hand drawings through the combination of their utilitarian nature and their timeless beauty.

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Delightful Acquaintances in Washington For NBOA 2017

We were happy to see old friends and make new ones at the 17th annual NBOA conference in Washington DC. We were honored to have the opportunity to present with the Pennington School on ‘The Tech-Simple Classroom.’

Phase 1 of Villanova Complete

December marked the end of Phase 1 for Villanova University's Lancaster Avenue Housing project which comprised of construction of a 1500 car parking garage. Phase 2 signals the commencement of the new dorms which will increase Villanova's residential capacity by 26%. The new design which encompasses the coined "Villanova Gothic" esthetic, will allow Villanova to house a total of 85% of the undergraduate student body. In conjunction with the new parking facilities, the new residential project will significantly reduce on-campus traffic while increasing a sense of community; a value on which the University is predicated.

Thos. Moser at Millbrook

In addition to the dazzling chandeliers and picturesque landscapes framed by classical bay windows, the custom Thos. Moser tables at the new Millbrook Dining Hall take center stage. The new Millbrook Dining Hall features signature custom flip-top tables designed by Thos. Moser in collaboration with Principal Daniela Holt Voith. Last fall, Daniela visited the Portland, Maine based furniture workshop to both design and try her hand at the full scale mock-up of these unique pieces. The result? The Millbrook Dining Hall, the hearth of the campus, continues its school legacy of excellence, beauty and timeless tradition.

The 111 Navy Chair

How do you save 23 million plastic bottles, and counting, from landfills? The answer...Emeco's 111 Navy Chair in partnership with Coca Cola. Each chair is made with 111 20 oz. plastic bottles and transforms "disposable" plastic into an object of lasting beauty and design. VMA has featured the 111 Navy Chair in projects such as the Millbrook School Girl's Dormitory (Left) and The Barn at Millbrook (Center). The Navy Chair, which is used in the Schuylkill Conference room at the home office of Voith & Mactavish Architects, has been featured by Emeco in their collection archive for the past two years (Right). Emeco's 111 Navy Chair is one of the many ways VMA is committed to traditional yet innovative design that safeguards the inherently parallel legacies of the natural and built environment.

VMA Wins AIA Connectucut 2016 People’s Choice Award

In addition to the 2016 AIA Connecticut Design Award for The Grange, VMA won the 2016 AIA Connecticut People's Choice Award. This unprecedented dual honor celebrated the accomplishments of The Grange at the Hotchkiss School for its educational, technical and design innovation. The 2016 People's Choice Award acknowledges VMA's The Grange as a "Place That Creates a Sense of Peacefulness." Congratulations VMA!

VMA Wins AIA Connecticut’s 2016 Design Award

Voith & Mactavish Architects LLP was honored with the 2016 AIA Connecticut Design Award for The Grange at Fairfield Farm at the Hotchkiss School. Completed October 2015, The Grange is an education center in Lakeville, Connecticut that culminates outdoor learning, the values of farm to table living and cohesive community. Of the jury's many commendations, the jury states "Among all the projects using the vernacular tradition, this seemed the most appropriate for its purpose and setting. The details of the porch create a memorable image for educational use; the barnlike section for storage, light and ventilation. It is traditionally inspired but technologically modern" Well done team! Here's to another year of design excellence.

A New Business College for West Chester University

Construction of the new West Chester University Business College was completed this past December. Features of the new Business College include, collaborative classroom seating, break-out work spaces in hallways and a welcoming lobby complete with cozy lounge seating. The elegant yet innovative design, takes cues from the university's collegiate gothic architecture with double pointed archways framing the entrance, a two story central bay and buttresses. This traditional narrative is complimented by contemporary features such as an inset glass framed entrance and a thee story glass bay framing the elegant central staircase. The new Business College is a fusion of the old and the new, creating a dynamic home for both engaged study and collaboration.

A New Meeting Hall for Millbrook

This January, after months of renovations and final touches from our talented architecture and interiors team, The Millbrook School celebrated the re-opening of Prum Hall. For decades, Prum Hall underserved the community's dining needs. However, with the overwhelming success of the campus's new dining hall, also designed by VMA, Prum has been re-born as a center for formal community gatherings. Renamed the Prum Meeting Hall, Millbrook was thrilled to welcome parents for their annual College Workshop luncheon early February. Key to the new design, was maintaining the traditional Millbrook aesthetic and creating a thoughtful fusion of the old and the new.

New Team Additions

This winter, VMA welcomes new staff members for the start of the new year. Ryan Dougherty joins us from Rochester New York and earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. He enjoys riding his bike, playing the guitar and spending time with his 3 year old son. Ryan joins the VMA team as our newest Project Manager. Additionally, this January, Clayton Brandt joins the office from the Department of Growth and Structure of Cities at Haverford College. As part of his Praxis field work, Clayton will assist the team with both rendering and model making. In the future Clayton hopes to develop his passion for design, Architecture and music. From all of us at VMA, Ryan and Clayton Welcome!

Jubilant Reception of New Epsicopal High School Student Center

This past December construction of the new student center at Episcopal High School came to a close. Originally a student gymnasium built in 1912, the conversion features double height space, a new welcoming entrance and transparency to highlight activities both inside the building and on the athletics field outside. Students met VMA project managers with jubilant applause at the center's opening celebration. Share the joy in the video link below.

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Completion of The Curtis

This past December VMA celebrated completed renovations of the historical Curtis. The atrium of The Curtis was transformed through new armatures, pilasters, and acoustical renovations. The Curtis, which takes cues from the Beaux-Arts style, was described at the time of completion as the true embodiment of Philadelphian Architecture which utilized red brick and white Vermont marble. The Curtis was lauded for recognizing and deferring to its most cherished neighbor, Independence Hall. Originally founded in 1888 as the home of Curtis publications, which included the Ladies' Home Journal, the atrium features the renown Dream Garden mosaic by Parrish and Tiffany Studio. Additionally, like Philadelphia's 6th St. colonnade, equally scaled Corinthian columns line the atrium with a proportionate entablature fit with dentils and brackets. Four armatures, each befitted with a "C" at the apex, span the 57 foot atrium, calling to mind the wrought iron and glass ceilings of public passages of Italian and French cities. While the armatures sparkle with LED lights, the columns are washed with a soft light from the new sconces. The architectural components work together to combine the awe inspiring grandeur of the atrium and the human scale all the while increasing the quality of comfort in the space. Once an exterior loading dock, new life has been infused into The Curtis atrium, evoking both the history and grandness of a past era; an amenity that will appeal to employees and visitors alike.

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TABS Conference 2016

The Association for Boarding Schools (TABS) annual conference was held earlier this December in Washington DC. VMA attendees included Principle Daniela Voith, Senior Associate Sennah Loftus, and Associate Robert Douglas. VMA hosted a table at the conference which boasted a sporting new banner, and attended professional development workshops. The conference was a resounding success as VMA made new friends and new connections!

Developing Turrell’s Detroit Skyspace

With the turn of the new year, James Turrell's Detroit Skyspace project is garnering support and gathering momentum. Principal Cameron Mactavish recently discussed plans over dinner with the artist and project commissioner Mark Schwartz. Conceived in collaboration with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Detroit Skyspace at Gabriel Richard Park, aims to begin construction in the Spring. This unprecedented installation will positively impact the surrounding community through aiding youth and be a harbinger of the city's cultural and economic renaissance.