MLD Architects is a full service architectural firm with several award winning projects. Our services include design, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration services for both new and renovation construction projects.

In addition to full service building and renovation design, MLD Architects has extensive experience in roof design and consultation. Randy Lewis is a recognized roofing systems expert, and has written articles for Florida AIA magazine and Florida Roofers magazine. MLD Architects has earned an excellent reputation for diagnosing roof problems, and offering corrective solutions. Due to his expertise, Mr. Lewis has provided expert testimony on numerous cases.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gilchrist Elementary School Renovations

Photo Library

The scope of work included site investigation, design, construction documents, bids/negotiations with construction manager, construction administration, and periodic construction observation. The proposed 2,100 square foot expansion of the cafeteria was located on the north side of the existing cafeteria building, and the 1,250 square foot material (food) storage addition was east of the existing kitchen. The existing partial open space was renovated to three resource rooms, upgraded PE fields, extended parent pick-up and extended covered walks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Florida State University Fine Arts Reroofing

Photo Library

This project included a re-roof of the existing built-up roofing system. The existing roof was removed down to the existing structural concrete deck and a new tapered insulating lightweight concrete deck system and modified bitumen, roofing and flashing system with a manufacturer’s 25 year NDL warranty was installed.

The project also consisted of investigating the exterior envelope of the building for water intrusion and detailing a waterproofing package for the building. This design included repairing deteriorated brick and spalling cast in place concrete, applying a water repellant to the exterior masonry and concrete, epoxy injecting cracked masonry, and replacing sealants at all controls and expansion joints, doors, windows and louvers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Florida State University Dodd Hall Restoration

Photo Gallery

Dodd Hall served as the Florida State University library from 1924 to 1956, when Strozier Library was completed on campus. This historic landmark is an exceptional example of Gothic Revival architecture and represents not only a significant piece of the historic fabric of the FSU campus, but also the academic history of Florida State University. This rich history is illustrated through a series of custom stained glass windows in the Werkmeister Humanities Reading Room. The central stained glass window with an intricate image of the campus and Florida landscape was constructed by Bob and Jo Ann Bischoff and includes over 10,000 individual pieces of glass. The stained glass windows flanking the grand hall illustrate key figures and events from FSU history.

The smaller west wing was built in 1925. The larger east and south wings were constructed between 1928 and 1929, bringing the building to its current configuration. Over the main entrance, rendered in gold leaf, are the words, "The half of knowledge is to know where to find knowledge." Home to the library until 1956 when Strozier Library opened, Dodd Hall has since housed the College of Arts and Sciences, the Philosophy Department and WFSU-TV. In 1961, the building was renamed in honor of William George Dodd, a former English professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1910–1944. Dodd Hall was completely renovated in 1991 and retains both interior and exterior architectural integrity. Even the construction of the new Dodd Hall Auditorium completed in 1993 did not detract from the building's architectural presence. In the lobby of Dodd Hall, note the large oil painting on the east wall. Commissioned by the Class of 1949 and painted by renowned artist and FSU alumna Artemis Housewright, “The University, Sunrise to Sunset” depicts University history and local flora and fauna.

A highly visible project, Florida State University approached MLD Architects (MLD) and Architects Lewis + Whitlock (AL+W) for Design, Construction Documents, and Construction Administration services to restore and stabilize the building envelope, historic windows and renovate the historic, 3,800 square foot Werkmeister Room in order to create a University Heritage Museum to celebrate the tradition and history of Florida State University.

The room is served by several existing mechanical units along each perimeter exterior wall. The utility valves and access requirements posed a difficult challenge for the new wood floor installation. The existing floor substrate was not adequate and had several areas that sagged and were depressed. The existing carpet finish and entire floor substrate were removed. The floor joist system was inspected, and several locations were repaired in order to provide adequate support for the new floor decking while bridging over existing pipes and conduits. Two layers of plywood decking were installed with glue and screw fasteners to provide a solid substrate, free of deflection and noise. The access panels, which were required at every unit (14 total), were creatively designed into the floor pattern. This allowed the joints where the wood flooring had to stop, to be concealed to the greatest extent possible. The access panels included the finish flooring as well as both layers of decking and were secured to the floor with recessed cast bronze anchors and latches that provided for an uninterrupted level floor surfaces throughout.

The main challenge the design team faced with this project was the multiple stained glass windows adorning the exterior of the Werkmeister Room. These windows had very intricate mullion detailing, as well as the obvious delicacy of the stained glass. Great care was taken when pressure washing and cleaning the exterior of the building to prevent any damage to the windows.

Multiple design workshops were conducted with FSU departments and alumni groups to achieve a vision and concept for the museum, which allows for versatile functionality and emphasizes the rich architectural character of the space.

Several meetings were held with the Bureau of Historic Preservation State Architect to ensure complete coordination with the Secretary of Interior Standards for historic preservation.

This successful project was restored according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines and Standards.

2011 Historic Preservation Award Winner

St. Joe Lighthouse Cape San Blas, Florida

Photo Gallery

The first lighthouse at Cape San Blas, near the town of Port St. Joe, was erected in 1849. It was an 85-foot conical brick tower designed to warn ships of the dangerous shoal at the Cape. This structure was destroyed by a storm in 1851, and replaced in 1856 with a similar brick tower that was destroyed within a few months. The third lighthouse was built in 1857 and was damaged during the War Between the States, but survived until toppled by beach erosion in 1882.

In 1883 it was replaced by a 98-foot "skeletal" lighthouse comprised of eight cast iron legs that support the "watch room" and lantern at the top of the tower. Although the tower initially stood 1500 feet from the shore, a powerful storm in 1894 left it damaged and standing in water. In 1918 it was moved one quarter mile to where it stands today, and the light was lit on January 22, 1919.

The most immediate threat to the Cape San Blas Lighthouse was the deterioration and cracking of the structural cast iron foundation disks and anchor brackets bolted to the concrete footing/piers. The Architect and the Consulting Structural Engineer, Richard Givens P.E., noted significant cracking and corrosion of several of the structural cast iron foundation discs and anchor brackets, which seriously compromised the structural integrity and ability to resist wind loading.

The bracing and tie down rod stanchions, brackets and turn buckles were deteriorating at an accelerated rate from corrosion in the salt environment, and the skeletal structure, stair cylinder, and watch room had evidenced significantly more “rust bloom” over the past few years; much of the upper and lower gallery railings had deteriorated beyond repair and required replacement. The metal roof panels and battens on the Lighthouse lantern had become loose and did not appear secure, compromising the weatherproof envelope of the lantern.

The Cape San Blas site is relatively remote and no qualified contractors and metal fabricators were in this region. The environmental assessment determined the site to be contaminated with lead from years of lead painting on the lighthouse. This contamination had to be remediated before work could begin on the lighthouse.

The greatest challenge was replacing the foundation discs and anchors at the base of each of the lighthouse legs without compromising the structure further during the hurricane season. This was accomplished with the collaboration of Richard Givens P.E. and Alex Klahm, Architectural and Metal Design, Inc.

Through concerted effort of the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners, St. Joseph Historical Society, The Alfred I Dupont Foundation, and Northwest Florida Improvement Foundation, the site cleanup, lead abatement and property transfer to the County was accomplished with the US Air Force, Eglin Air Force Base.

Restoration of the Lighthouse is the final major piece on this site to complement the previously restored “twin” Keeper’s Quarters, which is regularly open for tours by the St. Joseph Historical Society.

The Architect was able to coordinate with the US Air Force and Eglin Air Force Base (previous site owner) for the lead paint abatement and site clean up by the Air Force Base and for this work to be the match for grant funding for the remaining restoration and painting. The Architect was able to prequalify a handful of general contractors with similar experience for bidding. The successful contractor was RestoCon Corp. who had teamed with an excellent metal contractor who has significant lighthouse experience (Alex Klahm, Architectural and Metal Design, Inc.).

This successful project was restored according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines and Standards.

2011 Historic Preservation Award Winner