The life of a student intern can be extremely hectic at times, balancing school work and office work, while tirelessly attempting to make the two respective schedules line up. The load can be overwhelming at times, and sacrifices are constantly being made in other realms of life to compensate. However, every once in a while, the two worlds come together and reward the student generously. For one of our architectural interns, Drew Sajsa, this became a reality this past week. Drew has been working at Fänas since early November 2017, making great strides both in and out of the office. On top of the work week, he is participating in the CU Boulder School of Environmental Design Praxis program, for which he and seventeen other students are designing new ticketing centers for The Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) at both their York Street and Chatfield Farms locations.
After weeks of client meetings, contextual studies, and concept development, the class was split into four groups, each of which were tasked with creating a unique schematic proposal for the ticket centers. The students were told that they would be presenting the material in two weeks to the board of directors at DBG. The client would then pick one proposal to move forward with. For Drew and his colleagues’ proposal, the focus was primarily with wayfinding and event adaptability. To achieve these elements, the group chose to create a fully translucent, backlit structure using adaptable LED strips complemented by a gradient wooden cladding. The design sought to mimic many of the architectural styles that DBG York Street is famous for. The translucent shell harkens to the many translucent greenhouses and buildings on site, while the gradient cladding symbolizes the annual cycle from dense summer greenery to barren winter landscapes and back again.
Finally, presentation day rolled around, and the studio was alive with a healthy mix of excitement and the anxiety that frequently accompanies an initial design proposal. After hours of meetings, presentations, and deliberation, the board came back to the students with their decision to move forward with Drew and his colleagues’ proposal. He describes the moment as the second happiest in his design career, right behind being offered an internship with Fanas, of course. This just goes to show that hard work really does pay off, even for student interns. We are overjoyed to celebrate this accomplishment with one of our staff members as it is one step further on the path to realizing one’s true potential as a designer.
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