TowerPinkster is a firm of architects and engineers committed to design integrity, quality, and environmental responsibility. We turn possibilities into reality...and that's called making it real. To see learn more about our projects and services, visit us at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

China Insights

- Steve Hoekzema, AIA, NCARB
Principal - K12 Group Leader

My wife and I just returned from a visit to Seoul, Korea and Beijing, China to spend some time with our daughter and son-in-law who are stationed at the Army Post in Seoul. We spent five days touring Beijing, and were amazed by the modern buildings - the most amazing (aside from the “water cube” and the “Bird’s nest” at Olympic Park) was the Central China Television (CCTV) building:

This project was part of an international design competition in 2002 in preparation for the 2008 summer Olympics. The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) won with design principals Rem Koolhaas (Netherlands) and Ole Scheeren (Germany). This amazing structure appears to defy gravity with its cantilevered upper floors. The building forms a “continuous loop” at the base and at the top. The irregular grid on the building’s facades is an expression of the forces traveling through its structure.

The Chinese definitely wanted to make a major international statement with the 2008 Olympics as a backdrop; and after visiting Beijing, I believe that they succeeded. As further proof of their determination, the 2010 World Exposition is currently taking place in Shanghai, China.

Maybe it’s time to learn Mandarin…

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spotlight Photographer: Maconochie Photography

It's hard to find architectural photographers who can capture the true essence of A&E design - but when you do, it certainly is a find! As a multi-disciplinary firm, it's important for us to see that every photograph portrays a personality and captures the spaces where engineering and aesthetics have come together to help define the places where we live, work and play.

And that’s exactly what Maconochie Photograhy does—Justin is able to tell the story behind the photographs. Check out some of his work for us (these can also be seen on our website).

TowerPinkster's Corporate Office
First LEED-certified A&E firm in Michigan
Kalamazoo, MI

Albion College Science Complex -LEED Silver
Albion, MI

Kalamazoo Public Schools
Linden Grove Middle School (pursuing LEED Gold)
Kalamazoo, MI

Friday, June 18, 2010

Habitat Build

At TowerPinkster, we are encouraged to give back to the communities in which we work and play...and yesterday, some of our people donated their time to a local Habitat build in Grand Rapids!

(From left: Matt Slagle - Design Architect; Mindy Tangney - Architectural Project Coordinator; and Steve Hoekzema - Principal).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CAD Tips - Getting Personal!

- Mindy Tangney
Architectural Project Coordinator

Do you ever find yourself working in CAD and getting irritated because you are constantly going back and forth between Ribbon Tabs to find the command that you are looking for? You can now personalize your tabs to eliminate frustration and increase production! Here's how:

Click on the “Tools” Ribbon, then “CUI User Interface”:

Your “Customize User Interface” dialogue box should appear. Next click on “Ribbon Tabs” to expand the list:

Browse the various Ribbon Tabs until you locate the appropriate Ribbon Panel you want to show up on your “Home” Ribbon Tab, click on it and drag and drop it in the location you want it to appear:

Click “OK” and your Ribbon will be updated! You do not need to save out your profile, but it never hurts to do so.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Best Firm Entry!

Call for Entries: ZweigWhite 2010 Best Firms To Work For
-Dawn Chapman

TowerPinkster's HR Department is currently preparing an entry for the 2010 Best Firms To Work For competition! This challenge is the industry’s search for the most exceptional practices in HR management and off-the-charts employee satisfaction within the A&E industry.

To compete, firms must demonstrate that they are outstanding employers through their compensation, benefits, training and development, and work environment by satisfying requirements in a confidential survey.

Having won 2009 Best Midsize Firm To Work For (nationwide) and 101 Best and Brightest Companies To Work for the past two years, TowerPinkster experiences tremendous pressure to continue to look at all areas of compensation and benefits. We feel that we provide a harmonious work-life balance for all team members and we continue to research benefit options to stay on the leading edge of our industry.

Stay tuned for the results!