Posts Posts by: "Sophia Sparklin AIA LEED AP"
solar

During a recent Q&A session on Facebook we were asked about our opinion on solar. We love renewable energy sources, but can we afford them? The answer is YES, but note that that could be changing in the next months:Timing and Incentives: Chinese production has driven the cost down to $2.50…(Read More)

What’s better than designing a new building from scratch? Working with a beautiful old building! Just a few weeks ago I got to spend a beautiful summer afternoon in Fort Benton, Montana. After lunch at “Wakeup Cup” (highly recommended), I met up with a local building owner to walk and crawl through the 1912…(Read More)

Where are students before and after class? New teaching environments look at those transition times as windows of opportunity, and strive to offer opportunities for student-faculty and student-student interaction, as well as personal study. Academic and social interaction play important roles, thus a variety of spaces should be offered.Hallways adjacent to classrooms…(Read More)

While a basic specification of a classroom still includes maximum occupancy counts and available technology, teaching and learning methods have moved away from a strict lectern to audience monologue. Presenters, whether teacher or student, move around the room, pointing at projections on different surfaces, and addressing different groups. With an increased focus on collaboration, student…(Read More)

We pass these buildings many times, wondering what stories they hold. Next time you’re downtown, on River Edge Trail, or the Railroad district, check out one of the historic walking trail brochures: “The Central Business Historic District Walking Tour Brochure presents a sampling of the history and architecture of downtown Great Falls and celebrates…(Read More)

Always wanted to build a playground, school garden, add to your neighborhood park, or library? The MSU extension office painstakingly lists  available grant programs. If you don’t have a project in mind yet, check out available grants for ideas.Intimidated by “grant writing”? There is no magic to it, and you don’t…(Read More)

Earlier this week I visited Randy Hafer with High Plains Architects  in Billings to discuss opportunities to encourage additional Historic Development Downtown. Randy could be called the Guru of Montana historic tax credit projects. Having completed over six certified Historic Tax Credit Rehabilitation projects in Billings alone, he has also been instrumental in&nbsp…(Read More)

Decision making dynamics are clearly defined in theory, but continue to be a major challenge in practice. Awareness of typical pitfalls will be an essential step to successful project completion.Universities and similar institutions tend to be organized in hierarchical systems. However, once a project is conceived, input from all layers of the organization may…(Read More)

Architects study objective and subjective aspects of the built environment. Objective subjects are easily observed and quantified. A bridge structure collapses when subjected to a certain amount of load. Phenomenology is a philosophical approach to more subtle qualities of our surroundings, and has been adopted by architects as a useful framework. It acknowledges that we…(Read More)

IRS, National Parks, and State Historic Preservation office (SHPO) collaborate in the administration of federal historic tax credits. Current offerings include a federal tax credit of 20%  for non-owner-occupied historic buildings with rehabilitation costs greater $5,000, and a 10 % tax credit for non-residential, and non-historic structures built prior to…(Read More)

Special finishes, elegant lighting and sleek graphic design can support your business, but may still be replicable anywhere in the world. Your food and your service make your restaurant unique, but don’t miss out on making the location itself a one-of-a-kind, and letting that uniqueness shine.  Maybe it is the…(Read More)

Author

Sophia Sparklin

Growing up in a family with generations in medical practice, Sophia discovered her passion for architecture during an internship 1996. Since then Sophia received formal and informal education in Germany and the US. At Arizona State University she was honored by the Henry Adams Certificate for graduating on top of her (Master of Architecture) class in 2005.