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Archive for September, 2011

20September

Recently the News Press sent out a request for nominees for the best commercial building in SWFL. Voted by the public, Interop Technologies, designed by Christopher J. Lee Architects, was voted the Best Commercial Building in SWFL. Below is the article:

First Place: Powers Court Center: Interop Technologies headquarters. • Location: Fort Myers • Built: 2008 • Architect: Christopher J. Lee Architects Inc. • Interior designer: Interior Concepts (Cheryl Sazama) / Mark Borosch Photography

First place: Powers Court Center: Interop Technologies headquarters, 13500 Powers Court, south Fort Myers. Built 2008. Architect: Christopher J. Lee Architects Inc. with interior design by Interior Concepts (Cheryl Sazama)

In the commercial category it was the collective effort of an attentive and detail-oriented architect and a design conscious owner/developer that brought the community’s attention to this building.

Kimberly Haas, who previously worked there, nominated the building. She straightforwardly justified her choice: “In my opinion, the Powers Court Center is one of the most attractive business buildings in Southwest Florida and an amazing place to work. Employees work exceptionally efficiently there. The building is well-planned with multiple conference areas, open meeting spaces and plenty of natural light; I was always proud to bring clients to the office.”

Architect Christopher Lee, provided some history:

Interop Technologies is a leading provider of advanced wireless technology solutions in the United States and Central America. The southwest Florida office, developed by Talamh Associates Inc., was planned for Interop’s local business needs and to serve as the corporate headquarters for their global operations.

Identical materials applied in a similar manner inside and outside integrate and enrich the overall design. For example, inlaid natural stone on the exterior walls and pilasters as well as on the interior columns of a two-story lobby bring the exterior aesthetics into the building.

Large glass windows around the exterior combined with considerable amounts of interior glazing and low office partitions maximize natural light inside … Given a choice, employees and visitors alike appreciate the sumptuous two-story lobby while ascending a grand staircase; ignoring the rarely used elevators.

Commitment to good design and attention to detail have made an impact on this workplace, creating a place where pride and enthusiasm inevitably result in productivity and profit. The winning nomination by Haas confirms this wise investment with its abundant reward

What makes a great building?
What common thread focused the public’s attention on Southwest Florida’s favorite buildings? Each project involved both a visionary entrepreneur (or municipality) and a talented architect.
Good clients don’t just hire an architect to “make the blueprint” and a building that pleases no one, but conspire together to create buildings that are both functional and ageless assets for the community.
Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Good architects recognize that it is the clients, not they, who bring the block of stone, and the opportunity to design a great building.
Good architects use their talent and expertise to discover a great building within the client’s requirements and resources.

— Joyce Owens AIA practices architecture in Southwest Florida. Her column appears in the Home & Garden section the third Saturday of every month. She can be reached at jowens@architecturejoyceowens.com.

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