Long time ARCHICAD user, Architects Lewis + Whitlock (ALW) has received regional and state awards and national recognition for their Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion project. The innovative architecture that is the backbone of the pavilion plays host to numerous programs for the John and Mable Ringling Museum campus. In service of the arts, the gallery provides a home for the museum’s glass art collection. The 5,500 square foot addition to the Visitor’s Pavilion greets visitors via a reception lobby for the historic Asolo Theater and provides a dance rehearsal studio and dressing rooms for the theater. The floor plan is largely dictated by a constricted site location which included the existing Visitor’s Pavilion to the west, the historic Ringling driveway to the south, and the adjacent historic gatehouse and wall to the east.

Self-described “big believers” in ARCHICAD, the ALW team boasts nearly two decades of collective experience with the software which served them well on this project. Cam Whitlock, Principal for the firm explains, “Our firm has been using ARCHICAD for so many years, we consider ourselves advocates of it and even commit to speaking engagements to promote our use of the software.”

Upon receiving design parameters for the Glass Pavilion project, ALW sought inspiration from the local Sarasota culture. “All around us were low slopes, deep overhangs – as well as the environment of beach, water and sand. The relationship between sand and waves and the ripples it creates provided the key to our design,” said Ryan Sheplak, an ALW designer on the project.

For this project, located on Florida State University’s Ringling campus, the team knew they’d have to pay special attention to the quantity and quality of daylight allowed to enter the space. Using Teamwork to manage the project over a year’s time, the team created sun studies within ARCHICAD to determine how light would come through.

“ARCHICAD provided a great platform for evaluating the shape and material for the iconic fins that define the exterior aesthetic and control daylight entering the gallery. After evaluating material options of glass, steel and concrete, we chose to use 3/8” thick anodized aluminum. Without the fins, there would have been insufficient protection from daylight.”

 “The fins not only control daylight, but also views both into and out of the building. Our sun studies in ARCHICAD gave us valuable data on how daylight at various times of the day would affect the interior lighting. We were able to use this information to assist our lighting consultant in their design work.”

ALW team members created videos in ARCHICAD to demonstrate these differences throughout a day’s time and presented their findings, as well as other design ideas to the museum’s building committee throughout the design process.  

ARCHICAD was instrumental in helping the design team coordinate the addition to the existing structure. Through BIM modeling,  ALW was able to coordinate structural, HVAC, and lighting systems designs provided by the consultant team in real-time with the engineering team using REVIT, ALW utilized IFC to import consultant model information.

Overall, ARCHICAD helped in managing the existing, demolition and new portions of the model, which was critical to the project.

The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion has received two design awards – from the AIA Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Honor Award for Renovations and Additions and from the State AIA Florida Caribbean Honor Award for Renovations and Additions as well.

About Architects Lewis + Whitlock

Architects Lewis + Whitlock (ALW) is a Tallahassee-based design firm founded in 2000 on the idea that architecture can serve as a bridge between nature, culture and people. The firm’s work can be found throughout North and Central Florida, as well as South Georgia. A diverse skill set, knowledge and experience serves to help them tackle difficult and challenging projects. 

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