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Thomas H. Hughes Architecture - Perspective - July 2010
         
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Sundial

This time of year, changing leaves, sun angles, new TV programs, and overnight temperatures remind us that we're moving from one season to the next. Those cycles of time suggest something of a connective tissue between the projects featured below: a major transformation that recycles a 72-year-old landmark to a modern day magnet for activity, an up-and-coming industry that depends on understanding how to take advantage of nature's growing and harvest seasons, and a place that is meant to transform our pet's perception of time away from its owner from despondence to delight.

The Dog Shall Have His Day
  Drawn Out Of Its Shell  
 

For years, folks passing through Winston-Salem's West End couldn't help but notice a rather derelict landmark at the corner of Reynolda Boulevard and Northeast Avenue – a Shell service station and headquarters building for Quality Oil Company. The structure – a mix of art deco and art moderne streamline architecture - had been dedicated to the "satisfaction of the motoring public" at its grand opening in December of 1938. It had caused quite a stir.

 
  Quality Oil Co. Building - 1940's (Click to Enlarge)
 

renovation of former
quality oil co. building
winston-salem, nc

owner:
Acacia No.1, LLC

project manager:
Keith Hinsdale,
Acacia No.1, LLC


project architect:
Andrew Lopina, AIA alopina@thharch.com

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* click images to enlarge

 
  Write-ups included the news that the garages featured a new type of hydraulic lift and the complex included the largest tire warehouse in the state with enough tires to equip 375 automobiles! While changes in occupancy, some remodeling, and partial abandonment took a toll over the years, the building managed to retain much of its original character.  
Over the years, Thomas H. Hughes Architecture has been commissioned to work on many "shell projects" – buildings that meet the requirements for permit and construction, but which may not yet have an identified tenant. Other times, we have been challenged with inserting a specific tenant within a pre-existing shell. Beginning early last year, THHA architect Andrew Lopina began to work with developer Acacia No.1, LLC to envision new life in this old Shell (pun intended). Actually, "shell" became the operative word in the design efforts as every effort was made to retain and feature the original architectural elements of the building complex. From the original wood and concrete floors, the heavy timber columns, the operational garage doors, the multi-lite metal windows, and the terracotta copings, original materials were protected, refurbished and featured. Over time, windows had been covered and other elements had been tacked on. These were removed and restored to their original lines. The rolled chrome-finish metal canopies on the front and side of the gas station were recreated from old photographs. Minor changes required to meet current codes were made within the spirit of the original architecture.
Bob's Big Gas Subs and Pub at the former Quality Oil Co. Building (Click to Enlarge)
Now the 10,100 sf building is celebrating a new grand opening with the arrival of its fourth tenant - Bob's Big Gas Subs and Pub, which has debuted in the former corner gas station. The twin work bays lying behind original garage doors serve as a bar and patron seating areas, while the central core holds the kitchen. New industrial-style light fixtures and fans and exposed ductwork thematically bridge between the original and current functions in the space.
Interior of Bob's Big Gas Subs & Pub (Click to Enlarge)
Bob's joins three other tenants. Two now occupy central portion of the former Quality Oil complex. Core Fitness on the lower level retains exposed brick and stained timber columns stressing a contrast between the aged materials and gleaming exercise equipment, while Village Yoga occupies the former executive offices above.
Core Fitness Interior (Click to Enlarge)
Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge) Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge)
Theatre Alliance lobby (Click to Enlarge) Lopina, currently serving as president of Winston-Salem's Theatre Alliance Board of Directors, led that group to become the first occupants of the restored building in 2009, moving into the former tire warehouse. The approach that Lopina used in laying out the space respected the original interior finishes and openings. A section of tiered seating anchors the central portion of the volume to establish internal zones. The rear side of the seating structure defines the lobby while a low platform in front creates the stage area. Depending on the production, seating capacity can range up to 99 seats. In order to take advantage of the vertical height of the limited footprint, the new sound booth sits atop the ticket desk area, while the lighting control booth floats above an entry corridor. Restrooms serve the audience and sometimes double as dressing rooms for cast members.
Theatre Alliance entry (Click to Enlarge)
Theatre Alliance stage and seating area (Click to Enlarge)

According to Lopina, Theatre Alliance, which had moved among various venues over 25 years, has been thrilled to have its own home. The audiences at the numerous productions since the move seem very happy too.

Between the fitness facilities, the theater, and the restaurant and pub, this faded beauty has been transformed into an animated attraction from morning well into night. It well illustrates the power of restoration and sensitive adaptation to invigorate a building that hadn't seen this much activity in a generation. This truly is an example of "breaking out of a shell."

  A Taste of Vintage Architecture

Shadow Springs Vineyard Tasting Room (Click to Enlarge)

North Carolina is gaining ground quickly in the development of vineyards and related wineries and wine tasting facilities. The state is now the seventh largest wine producer in the country. Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, P.C. has designed a number of tasting room facilities for vineyards located in the Yadkin Valley AVA.


Shadow Springs was designed with a French chateau feel with a focus on the pristine views of the vineyards and pond through the use of ample glazing and numerous indoor/outdoor spaces. The design for Brandon Hills utilizes architectural features from existing structures on the site to create a rustic ambiance as well as reinforcing the rural venacular. The architecture at Divine Llama Vineyards utilizes an existing 1940's farmhouse by re-cladding the scored concrete facade with board and batten and the reuse of many of the existing interior components, including the original white oak floors.

 

To visit the websites of the vineyards mentioned in the article, click on the following links:
Shadow Springs, Brandon Hills, Divine Llama,

shadow springs vineyard
hamptonville, nc
owners:
Chuck and Jamey Johnson

brandon hills vineyards
yadkinville, nc
owner:
David and Pam Blackwell
l

divine llama vineyards
east bend, nc
owners:
Tom and Julia Hughes
Mike and Patricia West

project architect:
Thomas H. Hughes, AIA
thughes@thharch.com

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* click images to enlarge

 
  Divine Llama Vineyards Tasting Room (Click to Enlarge)  
     
  Local History    


Over the last two years Kim and Roger Vaughn have developed a business with a very loyal following - Ruff Housing - a dog daycare, boarding and grooming business. They quickly built a reputation for high quality of services for both two and four-legged clientele.

When it came time to expand the business at a second location, the commission was awarded to the design staff at Thomas H. Hughes/Architecture, PC. The result is a proposed 10,700 square foot facility custom-designed to support the many amenities offered by the business: five separate indoor play rooms for dogs of different sizes (as well as outdoor play areas), individual sleeping areas, "slumber party style" sleeping areas, private "retreats" for overnight boarding, grooming facilities and support areas for employees. Interior finishes throughout have been selected to support hygiene and comfort. Project engineers have worked to incorporate advanced HVAC systems for the building. Likewise, the electrical engineer was charged with including the infrastructure so that Ruff Housing may offer their human clients the ability to watch their pets remotely via webcam connections.

This project is currently going through the permit review process and should be under construction on Country Club road in western Winston-Salem in the coming weeks. Once complete, we expect a pack of happy occupants.

 
 

ruff housing
winston-salem, nc

owners:
Kim and Roger Vaughn

project architect:
Andrew Lopina, AIA
alopina@thharch.com
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* click images to enlarge
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Ruff Housing Rendering (Click to Enlarge)  

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www.thharch.com forward newsletter to a friend or colleague subscribe to receive future newsletters view our past newsletters email Tom Hughes email Andrew Lopina email Carlos Espinosa Follow us on Facebook Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge) Former Quality Oil Co. Building - Before current renovation (Click to Enlarge) Ruff Housing Rendering (click to enlarge) Click Here to visit the Ruff Housing website