How to Go from BIM Manager to Autodesk Superhero in 3 Days


Fitness Center Expansion


Continues to Move Forward


Approves New Professional Development and Charter School Facility


One of 230 Shovel-Ready School Construction Projects funded by the State Allocation Board (SAB) in May 2013

Monday, March 28, 2011

WP Employee Art Gallery

Brett -untitled

Brian - Napa 29

We have a space in our break room that has been blank since the office was built. So, we turned it into a little art gallery. Here’s the idea. I thought it would be interesting to showcase our employee’s lesser known artistic talents. Everyone at WP is creative in one way or another. Painting, sketches, scrap booking, knitting, quilting, writing, photography… and so on and so forth. To kick things off, Brett (left) and I (right) put up two of our pieces in the break room. This little gallery is intended to be changed on a regular basis…. so stay tuned for the next display.

-Brian L.

Drop in from Ascent Builders

The nice people of Ascent Builders stopped by last week to talk shop and anything else that happened to come up. They seemed to have inside information on how to get the most WP'ers to attend by bringing sushi and beer. Needless to say the workstations were empty and the conference room packed! Some of us were meeting for the first time, others just catching up but everyone had a great time. Thanks Ascent!!!

They also blogged about us... read it HERE

-Brian L.

The One and Only - Lady Gaga

Wednesday night I was in an arena full of “little monsters”, mesmerized by the one and only Lady Gaga. And what a show, the girl can belt….and dance….and entertain: a real triple threat. How fun to catch a talent at the height of their career, her song “Born this Way” has been on the top of the charts for 6 weeks and she did a slow, Elton John piano style version of it that rocked the house! On a personal note, it was the first time for me in General Admission. Ok, I had no idea that General Admission meant “no seats” till I got there, and my dear friend Lurline was livid: two short women standing in the mosh pit! I have been to many concerts but this time I discovered that standing on the floor near the stage becomes a communal experience and you are one with the music and your fellow concert-goers in a way that you don’t experience in the seats! Loved it, would buy General Admission again. If you’ve never heard Gaga’s music, you should. If you are freaked out by her image, don’t be. Just close your eyes and listen.


IIDA Awards

Chapter President Robi Kaseman (Williams + Paddon) spoke about the value of IIDA membership and actions taken during her 2010 – 2011 term: a new Partner program to help underwrite programs, a new Chapter identity program and a new website. As is chapter tradition, the membership gets officially introduced to the President- Elect during Honor Awards, so Ms. Kaseman introduced Laura Grigsby (Laura Grigsby Art Consulting), who took the stage to thank the volunteers who made the evening possible and Ms. Kaseman for her year of service, and to tell people about the benefit of IIDA membership and how interior design helps her do what she does better. President Kaseman mentioned that one of the strengths of the IIDA Northern California Chapter is the incredible team of dedicated members who volunteer their time and talent, and in recognition of the individuals who go far beyond in what they do to move the chapter forward, a Chapter Honor Award is bestowed biennially. She presented this year’s honoree: Tamara Roth, associate at STUDIOS Architecture, San Francisco. Ms. Roth joined IIDA in 2003 and since 2005 has been involved with the Student Affairs Committee and the Honor Awards Committee. She joined the Board in 2008 as Co-VP of Student Affairs. As the Chapter Honoree, Ms. will oversee the Student Design Competition for the next two years and will create the student design problem. These awards will be bestowed in Ms. Roth’s name. (picture and article published online at


I was watching a rerun of Sex & the City the other night and in that episode the elegant Charlotte York had just adopted a beautiful puppy and named her “Elizabeth Taylor”. I laughed out loud, it seemed funny and appropriate at the same time because both Charlotte and the puppy are Taylor-esque! The real Elizabeth Taylor passed away this week and it took me back to when I was a little girl. Elizabeth Taylor was an icon: beautiful, elegant, larger than life. I remember watching her in the epic “Cleopatra” on the wide screen at a movie theater, she was girl power! I’m not sure she was a great actress (she chewed more scenery than William Shatner, see “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe” sometime! ). But she was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood’s star-making machine. Even if her 8 marriages were to be ignored the rest of her life seemed over the top in an unapologetic way. But in her later years she kept a lower profile and spent time fundraising for her Elizabeth Taylor Foundation. She will forever be memorialized in film, and every time I see her on the screen I will remember that moment in time when she was Cleopatra. -Naaz

Fifteen Trends That Will Reshape The Office

(ucsf capital + facilities management, lounge: STUDIOS, san francisco)

1. The decline of the cubicle. Cubicle sales peaked in 2000 when they accounted for nearly 37 percent of all office furniture sales. This has fallen to 26 percent. Corporations now prefer more open spaces that foster collaboration.

2. More gathering spaces. Informal meetings, workers plop down with laptop or iPod.

3. Work lounges - but work gets done here.

4. The demise of foosball - Play games at home on your own time.

5. Less space, work flexibility is the status symbol, not the big office.

6. Wormhole - A workstation dedicated to online video-conferencing, with a connection to other key offices around the world.

7. Electronic Whiteboard - Communicates with the laptop by Bluetooth - Trend towards collaborative tools that benefit everyone in the room, not just a few.

8. Standing-room meeting table.

9. Work benches - Long tables with roving plugs for laptops, no legs or obstructions underneath, flexible and able to accommodate more or fewer workers.

10. Walkstation -- Walk on a treadmill while answering email on a computer set up ergonomically so you can reach it without tripping - At some companies workers rotate for 15 or 30 minute sessions and these are becoming popular for home.

11. The Shared Office - Like office hoteling but more fixed time schedules for telecommuters or road warriors.

12. The Switch Office - Doubles as a small meeting or conference room.

13. More Glass - Openness and approachability.

14. The Dinner Booth - Use hallways or other open areas with booths like you see in restaurants - Colleagues can grab a cup of coffee, sit down for an informal meeting.

15. The Empty Office - The ultimate status symbol, you have an office but you don't have to go there. These trends were published almost 1 year ago (march 2010). Many of these are right on target with what we see and here from our clients and what we want in our own office.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Movie Night at the Crocker

For anyone interested in Mid Century Modern architecture this is a must see. Julius Shulman photographed some of the best architecture of his time. His work brought modern design to the masses via countless media publications. An amazing artist of his trade, he captured the essence of these architectural icons through his lens.

This is part of The Crockers "Thursdays 'til 9" series. It's a great opportunity to check out the exhibits (price of the ticket includes admission to the museum) and grab a bite to eat at the cafe before going to the event. They have a wide variety of events from lectures to movies to concerts. Last Thursday I saw a local musician (Kate Gaffney) in concert there. The acoustics were great... so great that they dropped the mics and amplifiers and just played acoustic.

You can check out the full list of Thursday night events HERE

-Brian L.

Fogscapes - Art Reception


Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners, Inc.
Lafler Moore Connerty & Webb, LLP
2237 Douglas Boulevard
Roseville, California 95661


Photographs by Donald Satterlee

Donald Satterlee works as a commercial photographer in Sacramento and has produced many of the images seen in ads, brochures, annual reports and billboards around Northern California. This exhibit of his personal work features many of the black & white images from the series entitled "Fogscapes."

These images of familiar Sacramento buildings, bridges, tree lined roads, paths and ponds have been described as "dreamy and atmospheric" since they have all been photographed while enshrouded in the early morning fog that often envelops Sacramento on December mornings.

Other work includes gritty images of railroad trestles and train engines, as well as scenes of the National Cathedral in Washington DC and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Join us for an artist's reception
Thursday, April 7, 2011
5:30 - 8:00 pm

Artist Lecture

Semi-local artist John Pugh (Truckee) Will be giving a lecture at the North Natomas Library this Wednesday. You can see more of his work HERE

John Pugh is the artist that did a mural on the wall of the existing Taylor Hall at CSU Chico Campus (image below). Due to its artistic importance, the University is exploring several methods of preservation / relocation ($$) since the building will be demolished to make way for the new Taylor Hall. He is a CSUC alumni.

St. Patrick's Day - Morning

Thanks to Naaz, Paul, Greg and Jim for waking up extra early and cooking the office a 'green' breakfast. The menu included green eggs and spinach, kiwi, grapes, green Irish soda bread, and green pancakes. Everything was delish... Thanks!!!

Paul manning the griddle... he was most proud of the fresh green whipped cream

No, nothing was spoiled or rotten... just green

Robi and Brian W. in a pancake eating contest. Brian 15, Robi 3.

What a way to start the day.

St. Patrick's Day - Afternoon

One for everyone

Everyone watching Brett do an Irish jig.

Someone really likes green beer!

Mark's Green Mustache

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

W+P Garage Sale

Request for donations!!!
We’re back folks and still coming up with new and resourceful ways to raise money for our charity Sierra Forever Families! What is it this time? Pony rides? Javelin throwing contest? Kissing booth? Hell no, we’ll spare ourselves the indignity. Really it’s simple and to the point… another “Garage Sale”!!! This time, we are simplifying it by only requesting items that are media based. If you have any of the below items just sitting around and taking up precious space we would love to take it off your hands and transform it into cash… all proceeds will be put toward placing foster children with Forever Families!

If you would like to donate please contact Kim Settle or Amber Seevers and we’ll arrange a pick-up/drop-off of items.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Did You Know...

Kim Settle rode out the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Francisco in a wood 2-story building that had survived the 1906 earthquake. The building remained standing, if somewhat crookedly, but completely separated from its foundation & had to be torn down. We were cowering under my desk & I can still remember the sound of the nails popping out of the timbers underneath me after the shaking had stopped.

Kim Navarro has driven across the United States in a car... TWICE. She's been to 23 states and 9 Canadian Provinces.

Trip to the Library - Cade Winery

Let me introduce you to Cade Winery in Napa. Paul and I were directed to this winery after getting caught sneaking around another architecturally inspired winery (Quintessa). Apparently "by appointment only" means don't walk around without supervision. Oh well, back to Cade... after a few wrong turns we finally found this little gem tucked away from the main traffic. As we drove through the vineyards below, we had to pick our jaws off the floor as we glimpsed views of the building nestled into the hillside. This building was meant to be on this site. Everything was how it should be. The sequence of little events to arrive at the tasting room was purposeful and planned. Taking ones view away, giving it back in pieces before revealing the AMAZING view.

The Entry Sequence - As you progress up the winding drive you turn your back to the view. At this point you don't even know there is a view as your eyes are fixated on the crush facility which is opposite the view. As you park this large entry wall shields what awaits.
The Entry - The approach to the entry gives the slightest glimpse of the view, but as you pass though the opening a wall obstructs this view.

The Courtyard Entry - Walking through the opening the designer leads you to the right and into the courtyard. He used the placement of the door to intuitively lead one to the right instead of to the left where the private offices are located. Again, the large wall obstructs part of the view.

The Courtyard - The wall to the left and the tasting room to the right frame this endless view of Sonoma Valley. Breathtaking.

This place is of course by appointment only but the ladies who greeted us were really nice and talked extensively about the building and philosophies of the winery. It is a LEED Gold project and bio dynamically farmed (one step above organic). This is Architecture with a big A.


Post Script - Big shout out to Paul for sweet talking the rental people into an upgrade to a convertible mustang for our travel. Well done sir.


While trying to locate some of these wineries we got lost... more than a few times. But, this was OK because getting lost in Napa is never a bad thing. We came across this beautiful and well crafted stone wall that is exactly what we envisioned for one of our projects. Also, the green moss that grows on the old oaks of the fog filled valleys might inspire the color of the window mullions. Inspiration is all around and in the everyday if your eyes are open to it. On this day, I was glad Paul was horrible with directions.

The Art of Dessert

The reason for the trip to Sonoma was to attend The Art of Dessert event at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. This years benefactor of the year was the Lytton Rancheria and tribal chairwoman Margie Mejia. The Lytton tribe has become heavily involved in donating and raising funds to support the center and the children of the greater Sonoma region.

The Art of Dessert is the Arts Center’s annual, and only, major fundraising gala. Three hundred of Sonoma County’s leading business owners, arts lovers, and philanthropists gather to honor the Center’s Arts Benefactor of the Year.

Proceeds raised benefit the Center’s arts and education programs, which include free and discounted tickets for low-income and at-risk children, subsidies for student transportation to performances, musical instruments loaned free of charge to children who cannot afford to rent or buy them, in-classroom student workshops with artists, and professional development courses for teachers.

Since its inception in 2003, The Art of Dessert has generated more than $650,000 and helped the Center to provide the enrichment of the arts to more than 200,000 children. This years goal was to raise $165,000. I'm not sure if they reached that goal but with the way people were bidding I'm thinking they probably exceeded that number!

Who Doesn't Like a Good Practical Joke?


Can You Tell the Real Jack?

Is this Jack?

Or is this?

On The Boards - Chico State Parking Garage

A few weeks back Bill and Mark organized a design charrette on the Chico State Parking Garage. The team presented a well thought out solution to the problem... they bribed us with free pizza for our innovative ideas on how to make this design sing. It was a huge success, ideas were exchanged and the final product is something to be proud of.

Great job everyone!

Amber and Regina hard at work while Brian eats pizza
Mark explaining connections details during a design charrette, we love his analytical brain.
Dueling Pencils at 3 paces from Terry and Brian


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