Finding the Perfect Blend

Finding the Perfect Blend



The unique architecture of Lakeland is much more than just buildings. It is part of the heritage that contains years of memories of those who inhabited and worked in those buildings. So, when new construction begins, it is imperative new structures complement their surroundings such as the historical buildings, as well as meet the client’s needs, according to Steve Boyington, an architect and partner with Wallis Murphey Boyington (WMB).

Brew Hub-Lakeland_WMB Archs“We don’t come to a project with a pre-defined look or design,” Boyington said. “We want to keep the value of the old and integrate the new by understanding the client and the site.”

Meeting with the client to discuss their needs and desires for the project is the first and most important part of the process.

FSC Dance Studio_WMB Archs“6/10 has used the WMB firm on a number of projects and is currently working on two downtown Winter Haven development efforts,” said Carl J. “Bud” Strang III,6/10 Chief Executive Officer. “The team is creative and responsive. They don’t come to the project with a preconceived vision but take our needs into consideration along with what is best for the site and the surrounding area.”

In that meeting, Boyington’s firm uses a computer program specifically written for them that encompasses the City of Lakeland within a four mile radius.

Gateway Medical Complex_WMB Archs“During the recession, we developed our tools to study our area. We model the surrounding area in 3D model on the computer,” Boyington said. “It really helps to see the potential of a building from different angles and different perspectives.” He said that the computer program allows clients to view exactly what things will look like from the sidewalk, from above and from the building.

“The primary reason to build is not the building itself. It is to protect, enhance and facilitate the process that it is for,” he said. For example, according to Boyington, if it is a medical building, the focus should be on what will be needed to best serve the patients. If it is a residential home, it should focus on the family and whether or not that house enhances their lives.

Light House for the Blind_WMB Archs“If you are doing the right thing for the client and the site, a better place will just result naturally,” he said.

These days, with the bottom line being even more important than it was ten years ago, most developers are in a hurry to complete projects. As the saying goes, time is money.

“The need for speed is very important to our clients and we understand that,” Boyington said. “But we want to make sure we don’t miss an opportunity to get the highest value for our clients and the community.”

Lakieland Train Station_WMBHe said that things move much faster these days including the regulatory process, which is still getting better.

Another factor when thinking of building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. Wallis, Murphey and Boyington have designed numerous LEED projects such as The Lighthouse for the Blind, CSX in Winter Haven and others.

“Again, if you are trying to be green and save energy, it’s about doing the proper homework,” he said. “If you do that, in every project, the rest will take care of itself.”

Grace Manor_WMB Archs