Musings From Charleston
 Old Slave Mart

Old Slave Mart

 Charleston Single Home

Charleston Single Home

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 The Daily

The Daily



Earlier this year, Matthew Teismann [Director of Architecture], took an architectural trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Attempting to draw from its rich and storied cultural history, Teismann performed a self-guided architectural tour of the city’s famous and infamous buildings. Spending one week in Charleston, he visited, sketched, and photographed architecture from across the city center.

Some of the most compelling spaces in Charleston arise from a historical urban fabric woven together with contemporary interior spaces, usually masked behind rich and textured colonial facades. The complexities of architectural traditions in Charleston span from English colonization, southern [French] traditions, and East Coast modernity. As such, Charleston rests at the confluence of many architectural influences that coalesce into a diverse and rewarding environment.

From the cobblestone streets of the old harbour town, we see clear colonial influences [English and French], at small urban scale. One building of such significance is the Old Slave Mart. Constructed in 1859, the building is believed to be the last extant slave auction facility in South Carolina. The unique façade of the Old Slave Mart consists of 20' octagonal pillars at each end, with a central elliptical arch comprising the entrance. The building originally contained one large room with a 20' ceiling. In 1878, a second floor was added, and the roof was overhauled.

The Old Slave Mart was established in 1856 by Charleston City Councilman Thomas Ryan, after a citywide ban on public slave auctions made private 'underground' facilities necessary. Slave auctions were held at the site until approximately 1863; in 1865, the Union Army occupied Charleston and closed Ryan's Mart. When Union forces occupied Charleston beginning in February 1865, the slaves still imprisoned at Ryan's Mart were freed.

The Slave Mart and other public buildings of Charleston’s historic center are surrounded by wonderfully detailed residential areas that have a unique typology: the Charleston Single House. A single house has its narrow side (often two- or three-bays wide) with a gable end along the street and a longer side (often five-bays) running perpendicular to the street. The house is well-suited to long, narrow lots which were laid out in early Charleston. Although the form can be found across historic Charleston in a variety of styles, the consistent feature is layout. A front door is located on the long side of the house, halfway along the side perpendicular to the street, located under multi-storey porches, known locally as piazzas. This door opens onto a short central hall and staircase. There is one room on each side of the hall, that is, one toward the street and one toward the rear of the house. The result is a building which is only one room wide when viewed from the street, giving the form its popular name. Each floor contained two rooms, and the floorplan was reproduced on each upper floor. The oblique entry, not off of the main street but through an interstitial piazza on the side, is an architectural sequencing that could be used in contemporary projects today.

Located along city center streets, however, is also much new construction that pays homage to the historical and architectural context of the city. Tall structures with vertical movement, coupled with set backs and recessed, help carve an urban edge tuned to the local climate. New construction is abundant in Charleston, and these buildings serve to continue the urban history of the city long into the future.

Another exciting feature of Charleston is the mosaic of contemporary interior spaces, in particular in bars and restaurants. The use of exposed structure, simple yet rustic materials, and natural warm light create complex yet clean interior spaces as a reposed from the hot, humid south. Simple color pallets and high ceilings, thanks to the historic structures, are as inviting as they are textured. In the hot climate of Charleston, these interior volumes serve as a secondary public realm, continuing the streets and plazas of the city into the building.

Charleston offers rich lessons for the contemporary architect, with a variety of influences to draw from. From its historical urban and colonial context, to the public interior, Charleston is an inviting city with architectural stories within its stones.

MKC Architects
Teismann Lecturer at Ohio State
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[Columbus, Ohio]

Beginning with the fall semester of 2018, MKC Principal Matthew Teismann has accepted a position as Lecturer at the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. Teismann will be teaching second year [sophomore] architecture studio [ARCH 2410], which focuses on the fundamentals of architecture design and representation. Following the preparatory first year of general education requirements, the second year begins the architecture curriculum in earnest:

Abstraction & Analysis: A strong design education begins with the ability to abstract and analyze existing works of architecture as well as the skills to evaluate one’s own work. Students in this studio will be introduced to a range of contemporary and canonical works in order to understand the breadth and range of creative production within the discipline of architecture.

Architectural Form: This studio views form as a foundational act of architecture. From aesthetics and composition, to digital workflows and design iteration, issues of form will be foregrounded in the design process. Each project will offer new strategies for creating, advancing, and representing architectural forms.

Graphics & Representation: The beginning design student must learn to create clear and compelling graphic representations of their ideas. Representations of architecture should be both accurate and projective. This studio will prepare students for the profession of architecture by building skills in orthographic projection, diagramming, physical and digital modeling, and photography.

For more information on the Knowlton School of Architecture, click here.

MKC Architects
New Photo of Norton High School
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[Norton, Ohio]

In early November, Norton City Schools sent a drone above their high school to take a photograph. Now that the landscaping is completely grown in, the view is breathtaking. On axis with the football stadium and promenade, this aerial perspective encapsulates the design intent of both the Masterplan and high school.

MKC Architects
MKC Says Goodbye to High-School Interns

[Columbus, Ohio]

During the week of November 15th, MKC said goodbye to two high-school interns that had been with us during the fall semester of 2018. Megan Rease and Paulina Mudrey were both exceptional and eager students who were able to work on a variety of projects - with a primary focus on interior finishes and spatial planning. Beyond their professional attributes, we found both Megan and Paulina to be funny, considerate, and a pleasure to be around. Their laughs will be missed in our office. Godspeed ladies and good hunting!

MKC Architects
MKC Submits Mt. Vernon Feasibility Study
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[Mt. Vernon, Ohio]

MKC recently completed a feasibility study regarding the Central School building in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. The local newspaper recently published an article regarding the existing school, report, and recommendations:

An in-depth report by MKC Architects shows that the former Central School on East Chestnut Street is structurally sound and worthy of preserving. The preservation price is estimated to be $3.86 million.

“They really did an all-encompassing number for us, which is good because that’s what we asked them to do,” said Jason Booth, county administrator. “They said it is definitely structurally sound. The exterior is really well maintained. They felt it was worth saving… And I think we did, too. That was our hope when we set out on it, that it was good enough to keep.”

The purpose of the $10,000 study was to give the commissioners a “road map” as to whether to move forward with renovations on the 79-year-old building.

For more information on the news article and renovations, please see complete article here.


mkc attends groundbreaking at thomas more
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[Crestview Hills, Ohio]

MKC recently attended groundbreaking at St. Thomas More College for a 100-bed student housing facility. The project will provide needed student housing in the center of campus, across from the Saints Center. The materials and massing of the new student housing facility stem from the newly constructed campus chapel - extensive brick walls, tall expanses of glass, and a standing seam metal roof to match Murphy Hall. Thomas More is expected to be completed by August 2018. MKC is currently in discussion with University Housing Solutions and Thomas More College regarding phase II and phase III of the student housing projects, which will be unveiled over the upcoming years.


mkc attends orange-line exhibit
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[Columbus, Ohio]

On December 1st MKC Architects attended the special holiday event 'Orange-Line' hosted annually by the AIA Columbus. The tallest submission on display, along with 15 other lego highrise buildings, was 'Sophronia,' MKC Architect's proposal that is both city & building inspired by the fictitious city of the same name Italo Calvino.

““The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is a great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with the crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city.”     Invisible Cities | -Calvino


mkc wins aia columbus architecture award
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[Columbus, Ohio]

MKC Architects received an AIA Merit Award as the design architects for the Madonna Welcome Center project. The AIA awards celebrate the best projects of each year. The Madonna Welcome Center received the Merit award for Best Unbuilt Project 2017 - the only award bestowed in that category. According to the AIA, “The AIA Columbus Chapter’s annual Architecture Awards Program recognizes excellence in architectural design by Columbus architects, architectural students, and those within the boundaries of the AIA Columbus Chapter.” MKC Architects would like to thank the AIA Columbus and all the parties involved in the design and implementation of the Welcome Center, including Madonna University, Adena Corporation, Strategic Energy Solutions, EDGE Group, PEA civil engineers, and finally, the dedicated staff at MKC architects for their hard work on such a compelling and complex project.

For the full press release, including jury comments, click here.


aia holiday lego submission
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[Columbus, Ohio]

Inspired by the Lazurus department store holiday window, the AIA Columbus holds an annual lego competition titled 'The Orange Line: High-Rish Home for the Holidays.' The aim of this event is to showcase creative architectural talent through the use of a uniform palette of white legos. Following the success of last year's entry, 'Graffiato,' MKC will once again develop a submission. Taylor Clune is leading the team to develop a ubiquitous building/city called 'Sophronia,' which references Italo Calvino's fictitious city of the same name.

With the iterative nature of the Lego block, the make-up of any Lego City is Sophronian in its nature. The tallest of the towers in Lego Sophronia sits directly on the dividing line of the half-cities, one half addressing the permanent side, and the other in a constant state of change.

“One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off” -Calvino


mkc begins thomas more renaissance hall
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[Crestview, Hills]

MKC was recently awarded the contract to design a 100-bed student housing project in the center of Thomas More College’s campus. The proposed design of the residence hall embodies a contemporary take on existing campus vernacular and creates a social hub for student residents. The form derives from basilica typology - a large, open, centralized nave and gabled roof - which becomes a community space for residents. Materials and massing stem from the newly constructed campus chapel - extensive brick walls, tall expanses of glass, and a standing seam metal roof. Using natural daylight requires less energy to light and heat the space, while providing appropriate light levels for learning and studying, transforming the way of students live on campus. Thomas More is expected to be completed by August 2018. Planning for a second phase 300-bed facility is expected to begin this month.


veteran's affairs [va] project nears completion
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[South Bend, Indiana]

The VA Outpatient Clinic in Mishiwaka, Indiana is nearing completion. The 89,000 sf facility reached Substantial Completion August 21st, 2017 and is scheduled to start accepting patients on September 18, 2017. The $38 Million facility provides outpatient services for veterans and will save veterans from making the long drive out of several nearby counties, including southwest Michigan, to Indiana's much larger VA hospitals in Fort Wayne, Marion and Indianapolis. In addition to primary care the facility will provide an array of services including eye and hearing clinics, foot and skin doctors, cardiology, mental health, etc. MKC completed the project utilizing a design-build delivery method in conjunction with McShane Construction out of Auburn, Alabama.


mkc awarded second student residence hall at cleary university
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[Howell, Michigan]

MKC Architects has been selected as the designer and architect for a second student housing project at Cleary University in Howell, Michigan. The building uses a similar form and organization as the first project, creating a mirrored layout that provides a student courtyard between the two. Using well-composed material formations and natural light, this student residence will capstone a residential part of campus - creating a new hub for students to live, play, and study. The new building is dorm-style units in lieu of apartments, and is expected to be completed by the start of school year in August 2018.


mkc awarded student housing at central state
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[Wilberforce, Ohio]

MKC was recently awarded the contract to design and build a 312-bed mixed use student housing center for Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. The building is divided into four different types of programmatic functions: Apartments / Admin / Wellness Center / Secondary Spaces. Both the wellness center and administration occupy the ground floor main wing near the entrance from both campus and the parking. The proposed building massing and organization embodies the design of a complete student housing center. The primary massing stems from four landmark anchors - one at each corner - which serve to bookend the building within the site while serving as landmarks for wayfinding. The project comes after years of planning, and will feature apartment and dorm style student housing in 1, 2, and 4 bedroom configurations. The facility is scheduled to open for the beginning of the 2018 academic school year.


mkc designing intercultural housing at tiffin university
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[Tiffin, Ohio]

MKC is working with Tiffin University to unveil multiple projects over the next two years, including a new mixed-use student housing project at the primary corner of campus. The proposed new center for Intercultural Housing is a mixed use and apartment-style residential unit for students at Tiffin University. Its location affords a mixed-use type development that would house not only student residences, but retail [cafes // bookstore] and learning spaces such as classrooms. The building will also form the southeast edge of a new public space on campus - with sand volleyball & other athletic activities - framed by its courtyard type massing. Currently in design development, this project is planned to break ground in March 2018

mkc designing science and technology school at tiffin
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[Tiffin, Ohio]

MKC is working with Tiffin University to unveil multiple projects over the next two years, including a new science and technology school. The College of Business, Science and Technology at Tiffin University is the epicenter of new technology and groundbreaking innovation. Intended to go beyond a collection of bricks and mortar, the new STEM Connector will be the heart and soul of the department – a place where curiosity is celebrated and intellectual collisions occur naturally. The building, containing 12,000 square feet of research, instructional and office space, is designed to inspire and support interdisciplinary learning and research. The building functions as both a central circulation hub and a series of compartmentalized private learning environments. The flexibility of the space allows for both collaboration and privacy, which maximizes the new connector’s full potential.


es consulting project completed
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[Ontario, Ohio]

MKC recently competed consturction of a new office facility for growing tech company - ES Consulting. The facility is part of an adaptive re-use project aimed at rejuvenating an aging structure. This 7,000 s.f. exterior and interior renovation includes private and open office space, conference rooms, reception, kitchen, and even an in-house gym. Designed to represent the 21st-century technologies of its client, the building features state of the art lighting, cooling systems, and office space. ES Consulting took occupancy of the building in late summer 2017.


For more information on the project click here.

mkc director of design published in routledge
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[London, United Kingdom]

Matthew Teismann, MKC's Director of Design, was recently published in Fabrications Journal by Taylor & Francis Routledge. This article is titled 'An Emerging International: The Imperial Gaze of the Monster Globe in 1851,' and is the most comprehensive publication to date of Teismann's research into purpose-built viewing apparatus he calls optica. In this featured cover article, Teismann contends that architecture can instantiate being-in-the-world through a hidden architectural allegory that redefines our perception of the built environment. This paper contends that humans' modern conception of the world can be derived and displayed through certain types of architecture - where people come face to face with the world. During the mid-nineteenth century there was an inherent desire to visit these spectacles, a global project embedded within what Peter Sloterdijk calls an ‘architecture of immersion.’


For more information click here.

MKC Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony at Terra Village
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[Fremont, Ohio]

In late June of 2017, the first shovel went into the ground for an idea that's been circulating around Terra State Community College's offices and boardrooms for years. Terra Village, a bustling residence hall with hundreds of students, is set to become a reality. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Terra Community College Officials, MKC Architects, developer University Housing Solutions, and countless donors, students, and faculty.


By the fall of 2018, students will be living in the $14.5 million facility, within walking distance of the college's main buildings.


For more information click here.

Terra Village Featured on Local News WTOL
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[Toledo, Ohio]

MKC recently competed schematic design for the Terra Village Holdings new student housing center to service Terra State Community College. As the project has now received approval from the board, CBS news affiliate WTOL 11 recently featured a news-story covering the project and its progress. As Terra State President, Jerome Webster indicated:


"So the student has the opportunity to enjoy campus life, live on campus, have the convenience of walking right to class, getting a chance of meeting others in a community setting and a living learning setting as well, and experience college life fully as a residential student here at Terra State."


For the full television story, click here.