For many years the Ellen Harris Center has served as home base for Operation Shoestring’s after school program, summer program and community resources. With a 50-year anniversary approaching, Operation Shoestring was growing in programming and services, while its physical building was failing. Duvall Decker began servicing the building by providing maintenance to keep the building functional, while working with Operation Shoestring to plan a complete building renovation, a physical fulfillment of the organization’s amazing mission of service to its community.
The renovation transformed the 14,000 sf building from a dark, poorly utilized space into a well-lit, open and flexible education center. Through a collaborative design process, the design team and staff brought forward innovative teaching strategies to create a built environment that inspires student’s creativity and curiosity. Explorative forms and textures invite imagination to children’s experience of the space, and large framed openings capture moments to observe the world beyond from new perspectives. The impact extends beyond the building’s walls, to the new colorful playground, a fun opportunity to support healthy lifestyles for children and families in the community.
A new 6,000 SF building for the Army National guard simulation training and skill development facility. The Squad Advanced Marksmanship Trainer (SAM-T) is Training as a Service (TaaS) solution designed to enable army readiness and bridge the dismounted virtual collective training capability gap pending fielding of the Soldier/Squad Virtual Trainer (S/SVT) in FY21. The facility must accommodate multiple arrangements of staging of three-dimensional projection screens with props for simulated battle environments. The technology for simulation training is changing yearly and as such the building infrastructure must also look forward to accommodate many types of simulation and virtual training equipment needs.
The project includes Main and Satellite Fire Crash and Rescue Stations to support emergency response for the Air National Guard 172nd Airlift Wing and the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. Designed as a pair, the structure and details of the buildings are shared for efficient construction and to create a family of service buildings. An outer wing-like roof and wall enclosure is poised over the building to both protect and evoke potential movement – as firefighters are always poised to respond.
Designed to meet LEED Gold criteria, the two-story buildings stack second-floor living and administration spaces over the first-floor apparatus bays to reduce building footprints and roof/enclosure areas. The outer enclosure wraps the interior building and shelters windows, egress stairs, and building surfaces from sun and rain exposure. At critical midday hours, window areas are completely screened from solar heat gain. While maintaining required visibility to the flight lines, vertical sun shading louvers are specifically positioned to shade windows during the morning and evening hours.
Rowan Hall, built in 1928, was the first building constructed on the campus and served as the University’s administration building. The renovation included a full restoration of this historic building and included interior and exterior finishes, windows, enclosure systems, and mechanical and electrical systems. The faithful restoration met or exceeded all the requirements for historic preservation described in the National Park Service Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation. A separate structure was added to the rear of the building to house the new elevator and exit stair required for use of the second floor. The new revived building houses the campus health center.
A three-bedroom single family home with open living/dining space and detached screen porch and pool. The L-shape house plan consists of a public wing designed like a courtyard sitting between the street and the private rear yard, and a more private bedroom wing along the south side of the property. An inner green rear yard is an extension of the living space connected by a full wall of curtainwall. The design comfortably accommodates daily living patterns and is durable and ecologically mature. Direct and indirect light color and characterize interior spaces throughout the day. The sun is directly harnessed to produce energy and heated water. The material pallet builds space for experiences through expanded contrasts; between rough to smooth, hard and soft, cool and warm.
2016 National AIA Housing Award
2013 AIA Gulf States Region Honor Award
2012 AIA Mississippi Honor Award
ARCHITECT Magazine, 2016
Huffington Post, 2016
Houses for All Regions, 2014
50 US Architects: Residential Planning, 2012
PORTICO Jackson, 2012
The Mississippi Library Commission is both a lending reference library and a service institution supporting libraries all over the state. The building houses all the divisions of the Library Commission including the library for the reading impaired, the Mississippi author first editions collection, the state’s reference library, and patent and trademark records. The design of the 60,000 square foot building is organized by multiple public gathering spaces, including the entry lobby, gallery, main public meeting room, the northern-lit main reading room, and an outdoor green. Each of these centers are linked by an indirect pause, and the circulation strategy invites exploration and browsing. The building stakes its place on the site with a shadow plinth, and its exterior skin weaves southern highlights and shadows into an ever-changing surface that seems alive, breathing in the phenomena of its environment. The interior design was completed as an integral part of the project including all loose and system furnishings, shelving, artwork, and accessories for the building.
The Mississippi Library Commission building has been singled out as one of the 50 best libraries in the country, but more importantly, it has become a favorite sanctuary and library for its patrons and other librarians in the state.
2010 AIA Design for Decades: Civic Buildings
2008 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Award
2007 American Architecture Awards
2006 AIA Mississippi Honor Award
2006 AIA Mississippi Sambo Mockbee Award
Manufacturing Architecture: An Architect’s Guide to Custom Processes, Materials, and Applications, 2018
Archinect News, 2018
Manufacturing Architecture: An Architect’s Guide to Custom Processes, Materials, and Applications, Scheduled 2017
ELLE DECOR online, 50 Best Libraries in the United States, 2016
Wallpaper* City Guide: New Orleans, 2012
ARCHITECT Magazine, 2010
Founded in a place defined by both palpable need and engaging culture, Duvall Decker is a diverse and expanded architectural practice, employing planning, development, design, and building care to promote the quality of the built environment and the health and well-being of its inhabitants. Duvall Decker delivers design excellence and promotes social, economic and environmental quality, no matter the scope, type, budget, or scale of the project.