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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
February 2012
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: Creo' Restaurant's Comfortably Chic Design

Architectural Firm of the Month: 3t Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone stair treadsWelcome to the February issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If there is a project you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us and tell us about it. If you are chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, and highlight your firm as well. Click here to find out more about us!

Architectural Firm of the Month: 3t Architects
3tarchitects officeThe team at 3t Architects strives to create projects that feel correct, are stimulating emotionally and intellectually, function properly and efficiently, are sensitive to the environment, and have relevance throughout the structure of an area's life.

Hiring 3t means that your project literally becomes their project. They only accept design solutions that meet all of those needs, invoke positive responses, and satisfy you as the client. The firm is in business to create designs that are sensitive to the needs of others and that are friendly to the environment.

3t originator Scott Townsend has spent the past twenty years meeting the needs of a diverse list of clients. Driven by a passion to pursue socially relevant projects, Scott draws upon his intimate familiarity with the region to reinvigorate and transform neighborhoods and buildings in need. He brings to each design endeavor his unique sophistication, relishing the statement of refined detail. When he is not in the studio, Scott is behind the scenes keeping 3t successful with the same intensity and flair he invests in his design.

3t was created to embrace the values of linked prosperity. The team at 3t believes that their individual success is reliant on the success of their team as a whole. 

For more information visit:

Topic of the Month: Creo' Restaurant's Comfortably Chic Design      

3tarchitects creo restaurantCreo', which means "to create" in Latin, is the name that architect Scott Townsend of 3t Architects came up with for the creatively atmospheric restaurant he designed in Albany, NY. It's really a jewel of a building that juxtaposes elegance and refinement with a relaxed sense of whimsy, and it is no wonder that the project won an AIA/ENY Design Award in 2009.

The restaurant is located on a site where a Mangia Restaurant used to stand, which Townsend had also worked on in the early 1990's. When it came time to design Creo', Townsend explains, "The clients were trying to evaluate whether or not they should keep the building which, believe it or not, was originally a Howard Johnson's. At first they were debating what would be best for them, whether to gut the building and renovate it, or to build anew. We decided to build anew and our goal was pretty simple, although when you have a simple goal, it doesn't mean it's easy to achieve. We wanted to create a restaurant in this area that was extremely unique, a place where you wanted to be seen and go to without being pretentious. It was a place that was comforting and nurturing and at the same time it was really hip and cool."

Within the space, according to Townsend, "It is almost as if a whole series of events occur. In other words, when you walk into the building through the big, solid doors, you go through a sequence of entries. Once you're inside, there is a long beautiful bar which is a transition area because a lot of the time, that is where you sit and wait for your seat. Then you go into a very large open space and within that, there are smaller areas and an open kitchen all the way through. So it is a series of unique experiences."

In the central dining area, lights hang down from the ceiling like glowing droplets, lending a magical air to the space. Townsend explains, "Our goal was to create this little jewel box where you get glimpses of the inside. We knew that center space was going to be seen by a lot of people passing by, because the building is sitting in a fairly high traffic area, at least for this area. Our inspiration for the lighting was fireflies, so when it's night and the building is lit up from the inside, there are all these tiny little lights in the center and it's like looking out over a field and seeing fireflies."

"I'm a huge proponent of lighting design in general because it can make or break a space, so each different type of seating area has a different approach to its lighting. In the center, they can draw the curtains and create little banquet areas, the fireflies we were talking about feel much different than the lights we have over the bar to illuminate the bar. And then each booth has its own unique system for the lights."

The design of the interior with its use of bamboo and warm-toned horizontal pieces of wood has an Asian feel to it, although Townsend says the inspiration is a combination of the west and the east. "We took a philosophical approach in terms of the ambiance and feel, especially with lighting and bamboo and the treatment of material and how it all goes together. There are definitely eastern kinds of materials or techniques, but on the flip side when I say it's a reflection of the west, I'm talking about the west coast, specifically the Pacific Northwest."

"We wanted to use things that were unique and yet warm. For instance, we used cork floors all the way through the bar area, we did a double-sided fireplace, and we used mostly all woods to give it a nice, comfortable feeling so no-one feels rushed. In the dining area we focused on the views, both the in and the out, as well as just creating really nice natural light. We really worked hard on the lighting to get low energy lights, but again we used that to compliment all the different series of spaces. In a lot of restaurants you go into the big diningroom and it doesn't matter where you sit, it all feels the same. Some places are just ostentatious, you never get comfortable, but this is much more earthbound."

Townsend also used as many natural materials as possible. "We designed everything as green and sustainable as possible. We used the cork on the floors and did a variety of other things. We put in additional insulation which went much higher than the codes required so we could have a lot less energy use. The mechanical equipment we selected was extremely high efficient systems. In portions of the building we put in a radiant flooring system, which is a really nice way of heating the building, for comfort, so you don't get a blast of hot air. It's also highly energy efficient and a very effective way of heating a space. The other thing we did was to put a green roof on it, so about half the roof has plants on it. They've started doing all their herb gardens up there. We collected the rain water from the building and used that for the irrigation, so all of the plantings were not bringing in extra water."

With all of the thought that went into the aesthetic qualities of the building, as well as the green and sustainable aspects, it is quite an accomplishment considering construction took only five months. Townsend explains, "It was very fast tracked. The clients had a restaurant operating there that was generating revenue, so we had to plan it very well at the very beginning. Once they closed the other restaurant, they lost their revenue stream, so the longer it took, the more detrimental it was. Doing a project in such a short amount of time was definitely a big challenge, there's no doubt about it."

Overall the project is a true success. "It all works well together and we're very proud of it."


Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 



Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture  

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.



Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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