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CoVa BIZ and Eugene

Eugene was featured in the recent edition of The Business Magazine Of Coastal Virginia – CoVaBIZ. Not only his efforts with IONIC but also his upcoming charity run for Diabetes – The 777 Challenge where he runs 7 marathons in 7 days in each of the 7 cities of Hampton Roads. Talk about Community!

Take a read through his article and if you want to know more about his running, go to this link.

Run Eugene Run

Our Amazing Intern – Jaxon

Right after the presentation, a father brought his high school son to introduce to me and talk about the project in further detail. He also shared that his son was doing some AutoCAD in high school and wondered if we considered any internships. IONIC had considered summer interns in the past when there was a good match. We’ve even hired college students that worked part-time and went to school the other. Dahlia White is a testament to that success as she began with us that way more than 10 years ago.

So when this proud father introduced me to his son, Jaxon, a high school student, I must say that I was a little bit leery as to his ability to do much around our office. Honestly, everything we do is on the computer these days. And most high schools don’t teach the level that we would use in our office. However, I was very impressed with his portfolio work and found out that he had been in training with AutoCAD for three years. That’s just unheard of!

Jaxon was a pleasure in our office during his time with IONIC. He continued to grow and develop and not only honed his skills with AutoCAD, but quickly jumped into helping produce construction documents. We were excited to hear that this wasn’t just a job to make a few bucks but the beginning of a career and that he intended to go to architectural school at Virginia Tech.

Thanks Jaxon for all of your participation and energy that you shared in our Richmond office. We look forward to hearing and seeing great things from you in the future.

P. S. There are always summer breaks and holiday weekends!

Here is a quick note he shared with us:

My experience with IONIC started when they came to do an addition to my church; my dad dragged me along to the meeting just in case they offered an internship of some sort. I was doubtful that anyone would want a 17 year old kid working for them, but I went along anyway. After the meeting, I was super nervous about asking these two strange men (Eugene and Aaron) that I had never met about coming to work for them as it was my first time doing something similar to this.

However, it went smoothly! I secured the internship as well as a small pay, which was just unbelievable, and I went from there. When I first started at IONIC the one thing I remember is how welcomed I felt while I was first starting, almost like the family just took me under their wing immediately.

My first project I remember was a small project off of Twin Oaks, and Jeff gave me the floor plans and told me to put them into AutoCAD, no big deal right.

However, as I progressed I realized how hard it was! But with the help of Aaron and Google, I was able to continue to grow and learn. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that was given to me by IONIC and I am super excited to be back next summer!

IONIC isn’t only a business, it’s a family who care for one another deeply.

Thank you Jaxon for the kind words…Looking forward to seeing your success at Virginia Tech!

Crescent Community Center

Team IONIC is excited to share a sneak preview of the project that is currently in development. Crescent community center is a project in Virginia Beach off of Salem Road where the clients had received the condition of use approval back in 2013. The design that was completed at that time was very adventurous but didn’t quite capture the cultural desires of the client.

IONIC was brought in to assist the client in completing the vision that they so desperately desired. WPL is the civil engineer of record and had completed an approved site plan for the client to proceed with developing the infrastructure, grading and  parking but the client hadn’t move forward with any of the building documents.

The original plan called for 12,400 square feet of new construction. However this was too much for the congregation to afford. Originally a tower was included along with a dome structure both of which needed to be eliminated to bring the cost of construction within budget. After several years of frustration the client brought the issues to IONIC for assistance. We had previously worked with Syed Haider on other convenience store projects and had an excellent relationship with him over the years. When he walked in the door he told us that if anybody could make this happen it was us.

What a great testimonial!

And what a great responsibility to perform!

So after our discussion talking about the desires, goals and potential reduction in square footage for the initial phase, IONIC went to work on creating a plan that could be implemented. Our team of designers researched ideas, materials, and cultural impact that would make this project a success. All of these things needed to come together to meet the restricted budget.

IONIC first started with a floor plan and shared our initial ideas with client. After several back and forth conversations we were able to come up with a plan that fits the needs of the client and seemed to allow us to produce a structure within budget. This plan would also allow future growth to the full 12,000+ square feet whenever the church/mosque was capable of moving forward.

The next phase was researching ideas of how to keep the structure both contextual, cultural, and affordable. Yes, all those things usually do not go together. Regardless, that was our task.

Our team sketched ideas and concepts back and forth deliberating on an approach.

IONIC shared our Visioneering Master Plan with our client and achieved outstanding success!

Once we presented the idea and walked through the concepts as well as the interiors of the space by utilizing a three-dimensional model and capabilities of spinning the structure around so the client could see all sides different angles and interiors of our proposed design. Alongside our model we shared samples of exterior finishes which included porcelain tile on higher impact areas and stucco on the remaining portions.

Our primary focus was to have the front of the building become dominant in the design so the two key bookends were featured on the front utilizing the porcelain tile with tall glass entryway fronted by a simple arcade. To accomplish some of the blending of culture we proposed sandblasted storefront that characterized the Mosaic pattern often found in similar structures. This idea would allow sun to stream in from the outside and create a shadow cast across the floor replicating the Mosaic feel. Conversely at nighttime when interior lights are gleaming brightly, the shadows would be cast outside onto the paving in front of the entryway.

The effects will be dynamic!

After receiving accolades from our client in accomplishing exactly what they desired, our next hurdle was to see if we could get approvals administratively from the City of Virginia Beach on our new design. The primary concern here is that if they felt our design deviated too far from the original plans, we would have to go through the entire condition of use process again. This would delay the construction document phase by over three months if it was required.

With great joy the city’s planners saw that our design as being compatible with the original plan and found it pleasing. With this information we were granted an administrative approval to move forward!

Let us know if we can help you finish your master plan and help your project move forward. Send all questions and inquiries to info@ionicdezigns.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

BGAV Convention

This week we took to the road…..well not really. It was only 10 minutes away from our office in Richmond. We packed up a few of our marketing items and set up shop at our booth at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Glen Allen, VA. It was for the 195th annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

The three day convention allows us to share our experience with churches looking for some work on their buildings. It’s also a great opportunity to meet up with old friends. A good time for all. For architecture, it’s not a typical sales presentation but we are able to get our name out to those who may not have heard of us before.

IONIC always likes to share our trademarked VISIONEERING process with our church clients.  Far too often we see churches that find the VISION but fail to put in place the ENGINEERING. In simple terms you need to have more than a pretty picture. Master planning from architects who don’t clearly illustrate the needs for their clients fail to meet ALL their expectations.

Here are a few of the 12 tips we share on the VISIONEERING PRINCIPLES.
For a more detailed list and ask plan, please reach out. We would be glad to share the full set of goal requirements for your church project.
1. Consider the Site – Making a detailed assessment of the current conditions to better plan the future.
2. The Vision – Taking your ideas and goals and determining what is possible at your facility, both financially and physically.
3. Future Growth – Properly prepare by analyzing your congregation’s growth trends, programs and age distribution.
4. Obstacles – Identifying unique opportunities and potential threats, expressed in a master plan.
5. Phases – Developing a comprehensive phased building program including renovation areas as well as new construction.
6. Design Options – Considering the site – Parking, Utility Studies, Circulation, Worship Programs, Exterior and Interior ideas and Future Needs.
7. Leadership Review – Developing a consensus on a final plan with leaders and stakeholders.
8. Timeline – Mapping out an implementation process and time frame.
9. Marketing and Fundraising – Providing illustrations and plans for utilization in capital raising campaigns.
10. Approval Process – Coordinating for both civil and building permit requirements.
11. Team – Retaining needed consultants, and handling all contractual relationships.
12. Contract Administration – Assisting in selecting local general contractors, schedules, phases, etc.

Hope this gives you some food for thought as you prepare to expand your borders and your walls. IONIC would be glad to assist you in any way possible.

IONIC Vision: Creating Places and Spaces that Enrich the Lives of Those Who Use Them.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Find out more about IONIC & our church projects at www.ionicdezigns.com

18-Year Anniversary

This month, we celebrate 18 years in business. We also celebrate two years of our office in Richmond. It is amazing how time flies so quickly. It seems like yesterday I was working out of the house. Me, Myself and I. Now, we have two offices with 17 team members and we continue to grow. Never would have imagined that so many years ago.

While we celebrate 18 years of business as IONIC, our Richmond office (acquired in 2015) was originally William Henry Harris and Associates. They have been around for nearly 35 years practicing with a focus on religious architecture. Excellent history.

With our current reach and breadth of work, we cover thirteen states and have specialized in restaurant, retail, office and financial institutions. Not to mention our strong portfolio of historic projects along with multi-family, residential and educational-based designs.

Let IONIC help explore the growth and development of your project. Contact us for a consultation to explore how we can help you. Thanks again for all those who have helped us and supported our team over the years. You have made us successful.

ionicdezigns.com