Designing a historic landmark is a gem project for any interior designer.
For students in Tidewater Community College’s Designing Commercial Interiors class, that challenge came as part of a project this spring.
Students in Alex Reichardt’s IDS 222 had the opportunity to design the interior of 127 Bank St., a commercial building constructed at the turn of the century. The building, which is part of the Downtown Norfolk Historic District, is built with limestone in the classic revival style. It is the only Norfolk bank to survive the Civil War.
Yureacia Norman Parker, the current building owner and president of Arbre De Vie Healthcare Services Partners, and architect David Klemt, had a vision for the project and waited for the designs to be completed as part of the students’ final exam.
The building will be the headquarters for Arbre De Vie and provide office space for other health care practitioners.
“The spaces literally sprang to life with students using the latest technology,” Parker said.
Students in Commercial Design use software tools that include Chief Architect, AutoCAD, Revit and Home Planner. “The technology we have today enables us to feel as though we are walking through the spaces,” Reichardt said. “When working with clients, they can make decisions easily with quality information.”
Students presented their ideas in detail and included space planning, materials selection, furniture placement, as well as the aesthetic details of each of their designs. Students also considered accessibility and lighting in their planning.
Speaking to the class, Klemt added, “You brought the creative parts together and hopefully that creativity will stick with you. With the everyday practical elements of each job – from building codes and client requests – things don’t always go as planned. I applaud the work you have done. For those who went above and beyond the basics, know that the work will pay incredible dividends in your professional development.”
Four student winners were selected for top honors in the project with Marisa Dankwa awarded the top spot for her detailed work after designing every room on every level.
Jillian Batson placed second with a design that preserved the historic feel of the space. She added a lighting plan and materials board.
Sarah Richmond, who finished third, maximized accessibility and selected furnishings. Her design included detailed renderings of two floors.
Paul Cage placed fourth for his rendering that included details and an extensive lighting plan.
Parker and Klemt will take the designs and incorporate elements from each into the completed building renovation. Arbre De Vie will open on Bank Street next year and provide services for veterans and others including support groups and job training.