Rainer Maria Rilke - Book of Hours

Submission Number 2
May 3, 2010

I am pleased to report that the conceptual design process for the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center and History Museum is now complete and has been presented to the Cultural Arts Board (VCAHS). Because there are many variables and considerations which inform the final design solution, I'd like to share with you a streamlined overview of this process. I like to use the analogy that working through the steps of conceptual design is similar to how one might solve a jigsaw puzzle, with the major difference between the two activities being that generally at the outset of the conceptual design process, you have no image of what the completed work will look like.

The first step is to develop a list of program requirements which includes determining the owner's needs, making site visits, taking measurements, performing code analysis and reviewing existing documentation. Setting this foundation allows the design to unfold within the appropriate parameters and provides a good basis for understanding all aspects of the design puzzle.

The next step is to create diagrams and sketches to aid the understanding of connections between the various component uses. This is a time-tested method of bringing to life many potential solutions, and vetting each for function, location, connectivity, accessibility, fire safety, security, etc.

The third step is consideration of potential project costs. In response to this, an opinion of probable costs is created integrating previously prepared estimates which are factored by historical data, application of cost rules-of-thumb multipliers, and a comparison with historical cost data related to projects of similar scope.

Finally, a set of presentation exhibits are prepared which reflect the design process and appropriate solutions, and this is where the jigsaw puzzle analogy ends.

We now begin a journey to map out a plan for implementation, which will take into consideration sources for construction funding and other implications, such as community and constituent programming needs, staffing, operation and maintenance expenses, and potential revenue opportunities.

I am inspired by the timely actions of the VCAHS Board in their commitment to press forward. It is this sort of dedication that is crucial to the success of a project, and assigns real value to the work completed to this point.

I look forward to the weeks and months ahead as efforts unfold to take this project to the next step.

You can view the final presentation boards by clicking on this link

Terry Meek, AIA


Eleanor Roosevelt

Submission Number 1
January 29, 2010

As a point of introduction, my name is Terry Meek. I first began my practice in 1974 and since that time have been fortunate to have been chosen as architect for a select number of interesting and challenging projects. Just recently, the Board of Directors of the Valleytown Cultural Arts and Historical Society engaged me to assist them as they undertake a bold and forward approach to developing a strategic feasibility study and conceptual design for the Cultural Arts Center in Andrews.

We have just completed our first session together where we reviewed the many programming opportunities, facility attributes, and explored many options as to an overall vision. It was a very meaningful and rewarding session from which I will begin to translate the thoughts and ideas discussed - to begin development of a design program.

I was truly impressed and struck by the passion and devotion these board members displayed during their participation in this initial ideation. There is a strong sense of commitment to community, heritage and the arts.

As we progress with the design of the project, I will be posting additional comments and information, as well as images of sketch ideas and proposed improvements to this link. I would encourage you to check back frequently and if you have comments or questions, please feel free to email me at etm@etm-architect.com . I will share your comments with the board as we work together to meet this challenge.

This process we are embarking on promises to be very meaningful - one to be enjoyed and remembered. To that thought, I would like to end this first post by sharing one of my favorite quotes:

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." Ursula K. Le Guin

Terry Meek, AIA

Valleytown Cultural Arts and Historical Society · Corner of Chestnut and Third Streets · P.O. Box 399, Andrews, NC 28901 · info@AndrewsValleyArts.com