We Built This City on Rock & Roll

John Lennon alone couldn’t have made the Beatles’ hits. It took more than Jimmy Page to write Led Zepplelin’s songs, and it takes more than an architect to design a great building.

So Watt’s New at SOA? …..Our recent Solar Lunch & Learn and new SolaTubes!

What is a SolaTube? It is also known as a TDD or Tubular Daylighting Device. A TDD captures the sun’s rays and uses them to illuminate the interiors of buildings.

Have you heard the joke about the roof? No..? It’s above your head.

Roofs are not the most exciting of architectural elements, but the argument could be made that they are, in fact, the most important part of the building.  It’s no coincidence that we say we’re grateful for ‘a roof over our heads’, they protect us from rain, sun and snow.

Experimenting with Feng Shui

A large part of architecture is arranging: arranging buildings on a site, circulation in a building, equipment and activities within a room, etc.

3 Common Building Problems That Architects Help Solve

For any given project, there is a very wide variety of problems that an architect is asked to solve.  Often, they are very specific to the site or the client needs. Can you relate to these three general design problems we frequently have to solve?

Simple Solutions for Construction Waste

An estimated 40% of landfill waste comes from construction sites.  However, that statistic can be reduced, at least in part, by some fairly simple practices. When Boone County Government decided to renovate their main building and create an Annex from an existing nearby structure, they set a goal to recycle 50% of the project’s construction


“You never know when one kind act, or one word or encouragement, can change a life forever.”  Zig Ziglar

Deciding to Renovate or Rebuild

What is now Columbia College’s 10th Street Center, housing flexible office and meeting spaces, was once a strip mall. SOA conducted a feasibility study and found that the pre-engineered metal building could easily be ‘adaptively reused’ from retail space to academic and administrative spaces. SOA’s design for 10th Street Center transformed the building’s image and

Green Roofed Restroom: Small and Sustainable

The mission of Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), which operates Shaw Nature Reserve southwest of St. Louis, is “To discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Because environmental stewardship education is central to their work, it was important to MBG that even a small restroom facility be


During winter months, who hasn’t gotten a little ‘down’?  With days being short, and daylight in diminishing supply, late fall, winter, and early spring can be a dreary time of the year.

Selecting Building Systems

Sometimes clients hire an architect knowing exactly what they want in a building, but that is rarely the case. We believe most clients come to an architect so they can be informed of the options that exist for a particular decision, along with the costs and benefits of those choices. When it comes to long-term energy expenses,

Master Planning for Maximum Benefit

The beginning of a project is a critical time. As our architectural services timeline shows, initial decisions are the most costly to un-do.  While a building’s carpet, windows or mechanical system can be replaced, changing the building’s roof design to install solar panels is not really practical. So, when a client like the Friends of the Farm approached


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