SUNY Delhi Students Design a Piece of History

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From the offices of SUNY Delhi:

Delhi, NY. Through an exciting collaboration with the Delaware County Historical Association (DCHA), 16 sophomores in the architectural technology program at SUNY Delhi enjoyed a unique opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on Delaware County history. As DCHA prepared for its 75th anniversary in 2020, they asked Professor Janet Ho’s Architectural Design class for design proposals for an expansion to the existing museum building.

“DCHA was looking for a two-floor addition to the main museum building that could be used to store their increasing collection of books, maps, and other historical objects,” Ho said. “They also wanted more space for personnel to sort and organize items, do research, and hold meetings.”

DCHA Director Tim Duerden said he wanted to involve SUNY Delhi students in the project as a continuation of the historical partnership between the institutions.

“The present museum building was built by SUNY Delhi construction students in 1976 and 1977, and we thought it would be great to have current students help extend it. The plan is to have architecture students design it and construction students build it in 2020.”

To tackle the design project, architecture students worked in teams of two to start conceptualizing and drawing their ideas, and then created renderings and 3D models to present to the DCHA board of directors.

Students Tristian Wellman and Chris Henke’s approach was to keep their design functional and respect the intended use of the building.

“Our design provides everything the client asked for with no extra expenses,” Henke said. “The appearance of our addition is symmetrical. We drew inspiration from the Octagon Farm in Hamden, NY – a nod to local history.”

“It’s a really cool project,” Wellman added. “If our design is picked, it’ll be great for our resumes.”

Anthony Cuchel and Bladimir Pena have family backgrounds in architecture and construction which they hoped would work to their advantage.

“We’re competitive and want to make sure we have the best drawings and 3D model,” Curchel said. “A great 3D model is important because it makes it easier for the client to understand the design.”

“A project of this size is a little intimidating for a second-year student, but we’re excited,” Pena added. “It would be great to say we were part of something big.”

In October, the students presented their designs to DCHA’s board of directors at the museum site. Each team took turns showcasing their drawings, explaining their concept, and answering questions.

“I was really impressed with the students’ plans and their models,” Duerden commented. “We left their work in a public space so our members and visitors could see them, too. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback. This is an impressive bunch of students.”

Duerden said the board would likely end up choosing bits and pieces from a number of different designs and combining them into the final plan. After that, a local architect will review the designs and create permit-ready drawings. Construction is expected to take place in phases starting in Fall 2020.

About SUNY Delhi’s architecture programs

SUNY Delhi’s associate and bachelor’s programs in architecture teach students both the creative and technical processes of rendering and designing buildings as well as a solid understanding of construction methods and materials. Enhancing the learning experience through real-life, hands-on projects is a key component of the curricula.

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