Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts From Our First Summer Intern

On my first day I expected a much stricter work atmosphere. Quorum was much more laid back than I anticipated. In only a few short days I felt very comfortable, comfortable enough to learn an enormous amount of new things about architecture! Over the summer I became very familiar with computer programs including AutoCAD and Photoshop. I completed many assignments that gave me a good understanding about how these programs are used in the “real world” as opposed to a classroom or studio. During my freshman year at A&M, my professors really focused on drawing, but now I’ve been exposed to these other methods of design communication.

Three days during lunch I was able to sit in on an AIA Continuing Education class. I heard presentations on Artificial Turf, Stained Concrete, and The Fundamentals of Interior Protection (Tuff Wrap). I learned new things not only from the presentation but from the questions that architects at Quorum asked (and free lunch was a great bonus!!).  The days I enjoyed the most were the days I got to visit job sites. I visited the Fort Worth Animal Shelter, the North Richland Hills Animal Shelter and Range Resources. At the animal shelters I learned about surveying and construction, and at Range I was able to see amazing office interior design very close to Quorum in Downtown Fort Worth!

A few additional things I enjoyed learning include how an architectural firm functions and a few basic accounting tips (to help with my accounting class in the fall!).

I have learned more than I ever thought possible during these few short months and I am very grateful for the opportunity! I can’t wait to get back to school and apply everything I’ve learned.

I couldn’t have imagined a better firm to spend my summer with!

Posted by:
Quorum Summer Inter 2014
Texas A&M University 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Our First Summer Intern, RFQ's, Renderings and Sharknado

Having never previously ventured into hiring a summer intern we were a little unsure how to get our summer intern, Maddie, enough work and exposure without chasing her out of Architecture.  Wow – what a great experience for us, with a few lessons learned for the next time.  Maddie is a second year student at Texas A&M and worked 3 days a week for us this summer as we waded slowly into uncharted territory at Quorum Architects.  On her second day here someone (Arthur) keenly setup a “Sharknado” luncheon for the entire office then conspicuously disappeared to a “site visit”.  Maddie endured that weird movie / lunch and still came back to a crazy office for her third day.  She enjoyed real “lunch and learns” from various vendors and learned about different architectural products. 

From a work standpoint, she was quickly immersed into reviewing RFQ responses and checking our response against 8 or 9 pages of criteria from her point of view, in lieu of a “this is the way we always do it” perspective.  We passed her review, and the client’s, and were invited for an interview.  Maddie also quickly picked up a few Photoshop tips from our resident expert Mario, and has helped developed our last two presentations.  Of course we took her to a few site visits to view projects under construction and recently completed.  She even picked up a few accounting tips from our bookkeeper Kathryn, in preparation of her accounting class in the fall.  And – speaking of accounting, she was probably the only one in the office all summer that completed her time sheet at the end of each day – and remained billable.  Yes- she even learned the importance of being billable, and the impact on a project. So from that standpoint, she also helped us complete construction documents for one of our many animal shelter projects around the office.

We, at Quorum, also learned a few lessons that we can apply to the next intern, which hopefully includes Maddie’s return next summer.  One is that we need to take advantage of our office mobility and move interns around the office.  Why not – she has a laptop and cloud access, and we have so much experience in many different areas throughout our office.  Thanks to everyone that helped teach Maddie a few things this summer without having her change her major.  Good luck Maddie. 

Later this week, we'll post a blog from Maddie's perspective on working at Quorum this summer.

Friday, August 1, 2014

428 Hemphill Fort Worth, Texas

428 Hemphill circa 1927

Quorum Architects was recently awarded the contract to provide design work to re imagine the building at 428 Hemphill in Fort Worth's historic south side. The building was built in the 1920's and was the home to a laundry named the Natatorium Laundry.

After serving the laundry needs for the area, the building was then sold and, for whatever reason, drastically remodeled into what exists today. The tile mansards were removed and the once beautiful façade on Hemphill and John Peter Smith Streets were destroyed by the addition of faux stone over the metal windows and some of the brick.

428 Hemphill 2014

It is the intent of the present owners and Quorum Architects to remove the stone and restore the façade to its original look. The original metal windows remarkably were retained under the stone and will be refurbished and the tile roofs will be added back. The brick will be matched to the original blends to restore the structure back to its original grandeur.

Proposed view after remodel

Proposed view at night

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The United States Men’s National Team faces off the Belgium “Red Devils” Tuesday July 1, at 3pm.   The Belgians have the kind of talent most European Football clubs fight to retain for their squads, but we believe the USMNT will continue to surpass expectations in this World Cup and make it to the Quarterfinals. 

Happy 4th of July and GO TEAM USA!”

Monday, June 2, 2014


Nearly every day, the media reports on issues and conflicts that are a direct result of the limited distribution of our planets natural resources and energy. One key ingredient, electrical energy, has become nearly as precious as food, water and shelter for our daily survival. Imagine living without it?!

Please see the attached link for one possible way of addressing resource depletion, pollution and energy.

Raw Power Slide Show

Scott Wilson AIA, LEED AP

Friday, May 30, 2014

Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas recently opened their newly expanded children’s area. Quorum Architects was fortunate to partner with Six Flags Over Texas to help make this project a success. The planning for the redevelopment of the 1.5 acres, started during the fall of 2013.  Many new rides and areas of shade were part of this redevelopment and branding of the children’s area.

Six Flags Over Texas has been a destination for folks all over Texas since it opened in 1961.

I can remember my first trip to Six Flags during the summer of 1983.  I was only 6 and can remember the feeling of entering the park and being “transported” to another place. The sights, sounds and, smells were overwhelming. I can even remember the children’s area at that time was Pac-Man Land. I guess that will really date my first trip. If you don’t know who Pac-Man is, take time to Google it later.

Ever since this first trip, I always wanted to go back to Six Flags. I can remember every summer yearning to go back. This continued through my high school years. The time came for my first summer job and, as you can probably guess, I started working at Six Flags. This continued through high school and even during college. In high school, I worked the small carts around the park selling drinks and ice cream. Later, during college, I moved into an architectural drafting position. As I finished up at UTA with a degree in architecture, I left the park to pursue my career.

Ironically enough, last year I reconnected with one of my contacts at Six Flags, this lead to working with them again, this time as architectural Project Manager with Quorum Architects, Inc.  Who knew that first visit back in 1983 would spark such an interest in the park which ultimately led to a series of events that brought me full circle back to working with Six Flags Over Texas.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Six Flags this summer and check out the new Bugs Bunny Boomtown children’s area. 

Posted by: Arthur Calcaterra

*LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14)

Friday, May 16, 2014

FWHCC Ambassador of the Year 2014

The Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards gala Friday night.  Our very own Mario Valdez won the Ambassador of the Year award.  Quorum Architects, Inc. is so proud of Mario's dedication, passion, and service to the community.  Congratulations, Mario!!!