Design for Innovation


Interview with Tom Schnell & Tim Hawk

“Tim was my guy on this project. He was a go-getter,” Tom Schnell said of Tim Hawk. “I didn’t have to worry about a lot because he was on the project.” 

CompuServe was a comprehensive project that gave Wandel & Schnell, Architects an edge in the industry. The building’s exterior was a precast concrete as opposed to brick, which had been an exterior theme. This project was the first time there was an integrated project delivery process with early engagement from the contractors. “We were a good fit for this project because we were and still are a collaborative organization,” Tim added. This was the first time both architecture and interiors were designed concurrently. It was also the first time the project was executed on a computer. “I used the slow plotter as an excuse to be late,” Tom said. “More like we had to be late because it took an hour for one drawing,” Tim added. 

“The client was very practical. They were after a functional building, so we had to sneak in the details,” Tom said. CompuServe was a client that fit with the mindset of Wandel & Schnell, Architects. They were entrepreneurial and smart and way ahead of the curve. They were innovative. Their need was to have a functional and practical space, but the design of that space was specific. “This is where we learned that design is about the detailing. There are details in the relationship between the concrete and the windows that allow more depth and light. That idea gives the building a sense of richness,”

Tim explained. “So, yes, we did it economically, but the design is apparent.”
Tim explained that the staff who worked on this project were formative in the elevation of the organization. It was a project that was “outside of our know-how” and those who could get ahead and master the unfamiliar parts and pieces helped to secure a growing reputation of being an organization that could do and grow and innovate.

1994 Pop Culture Facts

Hey, remember that time a guy by the name of Forrest Gump took a light jog across the country? Do you think he found Pocahontas just around the river bend? Both films were released that year after all. Sony released the first Playstation and Disney released The Lion King. Hakuna Matata! It means no worries. Right? Speaking of no worries, let’s give Rachel Green a virtual high five for dumping that guy, Barry, and moving into the city with Monica. What?! Don’t act like you haven’t watched Friends on Netflix. It’s like Rach woke up and smelled the rose scented Crayola crayons. I can’t speak for all of you, but I definitely learned a lot of the good stuff from Clarissa Explains It All and got some millennial ego from All That’s theme song. “The show is All of That and, yes, we do it all the time, so sit your booty on the floor or in a chair, ground or in the air. Just don’t go nowhere ‘cause everything we do is all of that!”