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National Architecture Week: Get to know Kevin Rademacher

It's #ArchitectureWeek! AIA National Architecture Week is April 10 – 16. National Architecture Week is celebrated the week of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, which is April 13th. While not educated as an architect, Jefferson is the only U.S. president to be recognized for his architectural affinity. National Architecture Week is a public awareness campaign dedicated to increasing attention to the role architects play as a force for positive change in our communities and to elevate the public’s appreciation of design.

All week LaBella will be highlighting our diverse group of architects. Today we're featuring our K-12 Studio Manager, Kevin Rademacher.

Name: Kevin J. Rademacher, AIA

Alma Mater: Alfred State College

Office Location: Rochester, NY

What type (market) of architecture do you specialize in? K-12 Education

When did you know you wanted to become an architect? I figured it out in high school when I understood it’s hard to make a living as an artist.

If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you be doing today? I would be involved with art somehow.

Tell us about a project you’re proud of. I’m proud of the WCCH (Wyoming County Community Hospital) Emergency Department Addition. The project modernized an aging facility and corrected major site configuration problems. The helipad was originally located at the front door where airlifted patients had no direct access to the emergency department. Parking access was also problematic as the facility is located on a steep site and shares its parking with the Skilled Nursing Facility. The parking was resolved with tiered gravity wall systems on the street side and allowed space for a large building pad to construct the new Emergency Department. The resulting addition provided a modern and inviting main entry, emergency department, central registration while also providing a proper separation between public and clinical space. The roof of the addition was also designed to be an accessible rooftop terrace for the second story of the nursing facility. Go see it if you are ever injured in Warsaw.

What has been the highlight of your career? Rensselaer City School District: This was a new $72M 288,000 square foot K-12 facility. This was executed under special legislation as a design build project with construction completed in 18 months. My only regret is that an outside entity selected exterior colors.

What would you consider the greatest work of architecture thus far in the 21st century? Burj Khalifa (pictured right). Incredible architecture and engineering in the same package.

What is your favorite local building and why? Asbury First United Methodist Church: Its massing is perfect.

What style architecture do you love most? Craftsman & Victorian: I love the detail work.

What advice would you give someone thinking of becoming an architect? If you’re considering the field I would recommend getting a summer job with a contractor or architecture/engineering firm to see and understand how construction materials/components are assembled.

What are your secrets to success? Maintaining successful client relationships and networking. It’s also very important to recognize the abilities of individual team members so they can be placed in a position to succeed.

What are the biggest challenges in your job? Public bidding causes many challenges (lowest bidder, Wicks Law, etc.) that impact the entire project team. I feel that many projects would benefit if some of these laws were modified.

What do you enjoy about working at LaBella? I enjoy the culture the most. The collection of individuals from different places and markets has evolved into a strong identity.

What do you like doing outside of work? Basketball, Golf


Burj Khalifa picture via Wikipedia user King of Hearts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Burj_Khalifa.jpg

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