Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Craftsman Style Architecture | Shelter Insurance building

By Michael Young

Many symbols were created in the design of the structure to represent the Craftsman style of work.  A well-known architect by the name of Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for his Craftsman style of architecture. The Shelter Insurance building, located in Springfield Illinois, wanted to create a new vision and look. With the design of the new building it was obviously an upgrade from what the clients were used to seeing. Steve Warren, architect of the project, mentioned the meeting rooms were very spacious and each room was equipped with the latest presentation technology for the groups of representatives that were required to visit occasionally. The view of the building from the higher ranked representations really liked the layout and design elements located in and on the structure. To lure clients in, Shafer and Associates created a modern looking, up scale building at lost cost with a pleasant street appearance. The main goal was to turn heads and invite curiosity. The lobby generates a warm feeling with the colors and furniture used. Also, it produces a surprise when you walk in with the vaulted ceilings and liberal use of stained wood and trim. The floor plan was set up to have an open lobby and secretary desk to make the space look bigger.
To represent the Craftsman style architecture large brackets were placed under the eaves to create an appealing look. Another symbol of the style was how they made the outside look with the stone base and a brick veneer top half. One symbol that is the easiest to point out are the windows. They used the design 4-over-1 double hung windows, which are commonly found in some way in Craftsman style buildings. This means at the top of the window there are four panes of smaller windows over one large window.  Lastly, the roof gives us a clue that it could be Craftsman style because of the step pitch and the hip roof over the windows when the building offsets. The structure was designed to with stand the climate changes in central Illinois. The exterior walls were wood stud bearing walls with brick veneer and on the interior of a second floor space which was under 1000 square foot the walls and floors were built with masonry to up hold the strong winds and even vicious tornadoes that occasionally are present in the Midwest.

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