How is it already almost June? We have had such an exciting and positive year so far and hope more joy is to come. Below is a quick summary and highlight of just a few fun things that have been happening around the studio.
Owl Hill Tour
Smith Gee Studio had the privilege of touring the Owl’s Hill House after more than three years of restoration.
A small group of our team got the opportunity to tour the impressive mid-century house that has been recently renovated and restored to its original appearance. This home is within the Owl’s Hill Sanctuary, providing a serene setting for an impressive architectural gesture.
The home is located on three levels separated by purpose: sleeping, living, and entry/service. The building was originally clad in glazed brick and ceramic mosaic tile with the framework being exposed structural steel. All of the spaces have exterior access and large windows to further emphasize the connection between the residence and the sanctuary
Many folks would be surprised to find such a modern home in Nashville and it makes this space all the more iconic and impressive.
SGS tackled the difficult challenge of creating exciting social events that still maintain safe distance through this Covid era. I can attest that the SGS CHOPPED Competition was a major success and left the participants hoping for a repeat of this event, hopefully in person.
If you are unfamiliar with CHOPPED, the popular Food Network show, I will summarize it. If you are an aficionado, please skip to the next section. There are four competitors who present to the three judges through a series of rounds; the three rounds are appetizer, main course, and dessert. The competitors have no idea what ingredients will be in their basket but must include all ingredients in their dish. They can include supporting ingredients provided in the kitchen but must use all ingredients. Each round ends with another chef who is “chopped” or removed from the competition. The last one standing usually is awarded with a large cash reward or bragging rights or large donation to charity of their choice.
SGS’s version was digital and from home. Each competitor took home a mystery bag that was to be opened when the competitors and viewers were on the call. Once opened, we had thirty minutes to make a dish but must include all ingredients: kosher pickles, garbanzo beans, a pear, Texas Pete hot sauce, and cream cheese. Our hosts had three judges who all brought a combined expertise from the culinary world and appreciation for the show itself.
Time flew by and we soon presented our dishes and tasted our ensembles. Some competitors made soup, others made Greek-inspired plates, others made small-bite appetizers, and others made burgers and sweet fries. I was shocked to have won with my chickpea patty and poached pear over aquafaba (whipped chickpea juice – shocked?! Check it out here). Regardless of the thrill of winning, it was so enjoyable to challenge myself to think on the fly and see what others come up with. I am so impressed with the talent of our team members and hope we get another chance to do this competition.
Crafts & Cocktails
Yet again, the Social Committee strikes again with a creative opportunity to spend time with each other. SGS had the opportunity to do the crafts in person at the break room or virtually, but fun was had by all.
Anjona led participants in modge podge bowl-making out of fabric and a string shade. Not only was it more difficult than expected, it was nice to revert back to craft-making from younger years. Many of us agreed it reminded us of elementary school and were so excited to get our hands dirty and have a finished product.
By the end of the session, we had a great happy hour and two neat products to show off! It was great to catch up with coworkers and get inspired to fabricate and create!
Our Interiors teams (& Sonya) have stepped up to a local competition of designing fashion pieces for Barbie dolls out of material swatches from local vendors. The team met up multiple times over the course of months to plan, design, and fabricate. The group put together an amazing presentation of their inspiration images for the holistic concept of their set of three Barbie dolls as well as their final products. We would share photos… but competition is still pending! Hopefully we will see results soon and celebrate with y’all!
If you’re interested in seeing the final submissions, come visit the Interiors teams upstairs to see the final pieces.
Our team had the (virtual) opportunity to interview and meet students at their Career Days and we were so impressed with the graduating students from familiar and new schools.
SGS participated in Career Days at the University of Tennessee, Auburn University, and Miami University. Each school had their own format to introduce the profession and facilitate interviews despite the virtual event. For instance, at UT, we had two sessions where students could learn about SGS and see imagery of our projects, social events, and employees. As an assistant to the interviews and function of the day, it was a great way to learn about the values of our future workforce but also brag on how unique and hardworking our team at Smith Gee Studio is!
Good luck to the class of 2021! There are so many bright opportunities for you!
Lately, our photography team has been aggressively strategizing and coordinating project photography, including our new office!
Behind the scenes, a member from the Photography Committee walks with the photographer to scout out potential shots that the committee member envisioned while the photographer also proposes suggestions, usually ones that we’ve never thought of and turn out phenomenal. This follows with an actual shooting day where the photographer and committee member spend the day shooting the exterior and bringing in any entourage needed.
From the scale figure side of the camera, we had a marvelous time getting to know our firm’s buildings and mingling with coworkers we haven’t seen in months. It was also intriguing to see what activates project photography, what creates a desirable atmosphere, and what the photographer sees.
More photography projects to come – can’t wait to see how everyone’s hard work looks in high-resolution!
Our Awards Committee has been working tirelessly to recognize our great designers by submitting projects to various awards. Kirkpatrick Park has been bringing us great recognition with winning recently at the Congress of New Urbanism for Charter Award and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2020 Multifamily Community of the Year and Best Garden Apartment Community (4 Stories or Less). Main & Clay was also selected as a finalist for the NAHB Best Mid-Rise Apartment Community (6 to 9 stories).
Stay tuned for more excitement and recognition!
And that’s all for the SGS roundup! Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at our next post!