dalhoff thomas

Finding Home

Dalhoff Thomas design studio’s newest team member Michelle Ye weighs in on her experiences moving to Memphis.

I always have trouble answering the question, “Where are you from?” When I was young, my parents worked hard to chase educational and career opportunities. We moved from Shenzhen, China, to Arkansas, Washington, Indiana, New Hampshire, Florida, and North Carolina. As a result, I’ve lived a fragmented childhood, always either adjusting to a new place or getting ready to say goodbye. After settling down in North Carolina, I spent the majority of my life there where I attended high school and college before moving to Memphis to join DT at the end of May. But since I had been used to moving around so much, it was hard for me to ever call any place home.

That’s why I was so surprised when, on a road trip back to Memphis from North Carolina, I found myself thinking “I’m so glad I’m going home.” I ended up driving the entire 12 hours back, only stopping for gas. Why was Memphis so easy for me to attach to?

One of my favorite things about Memphis is its diversity. I’m a social butterfly who thrives on new people and new experiences, and I’ve definitely been taking advantage of all the fun events, yummy restaurants, and artsy scenes here. Memphis has a balance of big city excitement and small town closeness, which means that I’ve been able to fit in and feel welcome with many different groups of people. The diversity of the people in Memphis is coupled by the diversity of its urban spaces. Even just within downtown there are several districts with unique vibes. I’ve had great times exploring South Main on Trolley Night, or just grabbing food truck tacos and sitting by the river listening to the tunes of 901 fest. Midtown has a lot to offer as well, whether it’s jamming to some great bands at the Levitt Shell, doing yoga in Overton Square, or playing trivia at local restaurants. I also love traversing the outdoors at Shelby Farms and nearby state parks.

Another thing that continues to draw me me into Memphis is its positive energy. From day one, chatting with the Uber driver who took me to my job interview, to watching the owner of a local Ethiopian restaurant prepare traditional coffee, I’ve been so inspired by the amount of passion people have for life. Everyone here seems to be involved in something they care about deeply and wants to share their enthusiasm and authenticity with their community. My absolute favorite thing is exploring the city and stumbling upon an art piece in an unexpected place that screams “I LOVE MEMPHIS!” 

I’m fortunate to be working at DT where I’m able to spread my love of the city through creation of public spaces. Memphis is undergoing a transformation with new urban infill projects, greenway connections, and community-driven activism. I can’t think of a better place to begin a new chapter of my life.

What makes you feel "at home" wherever you are?

New life for Handy Park

Installing score joints around trumpet outline. The next step will be staining the trumpet and music notes Beale Street blue.

New paving and concrete paving designs give Handy Park an entirely new personality.

If you haven't been to Beale Street recently, Handy Park will look completely different. The Memphis Downtown Commission hired Dalhoff Thomas design|studio to make the space more functional and attractive to visitors, while giving it a funky feel that ties into the Beale Street vibe.

The large landscape beds have been minimized, new concrete has been installed, and the Park has an open feel that can be better organized for bands, concerts, and events. With the help of local artist Cat Pena, a musical theme is being installed in the pavement, with oversized notes and blue stained concrete. All work should be completed with the next month, so if you are down there, check it out. 

 

DT visits the 63rd Annual TRPA Conference

Sam Henry speaks with a TRPA Conference attendee about an athletic complex recently completed in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. 

Sam Henry speaks with a TRPA Conference attendee about an athletic complex recently completed in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. 

Dalhoff Thomas design studio attended and participated in the 63rd annual TRPA Conference earlier this week in Nashville, Tennessee.  The conference focuses on improving recreation and parks opportunities across the state of Tennessee by offering educational sessions to design professionals, municipal leaders, and parks directors. Educational topics ranged from marketing,  outdoor classrooms, and sports injuries & prevention.  

As a trade show exhibitor, Dalhoff Thomas design studio was able to speak with conference attendees and show off many trends and new ideas occurring in parks currently being designed throughout the country.  With education and inspiration a constant goal at Dalhoff Thomas, presenting our ideas to an ever-changing market is important.  

To find out more about TRPA and how they help promote healthy and livable communities, visit: www.trpa.net

DALHOFF THOMAS participates in Sustainability Lecture Series

Henry Minor and Sam Henry provides an overview to the LID competition.

Henry Minor and Sam Henry provides an overview to the LID competition.

One of our constant goals at Dalhoff Thomas design is to educate and inspire students, clients, and the public about the environmental principles we use during our site design and land planning process. It is always an enriching experience to discuss these ideals with allied professionals and the general public, and yesterday Sam Henry and Henry Minor  were asked to take part in a Sustainability Lecture Series at the University of Memphis.  The lecture series focuses on sustainability in architecture and collaborating professions such as planning, landscape architecture, and interior design.  

One of our constant goals at Dalhoff Thomas design is to educate and inspire students, clients, and the public about the environmental principles we use during our site design and land planning process.

The emphasis of the lecture was on sustainable site design, green infrastructure, and the Low Impact Development (LID) competition that DT design recently won. Although many people are familiar with the term sustainability, far fewer understand the issues caused by the predominant method of handling storm water with grey infrastructure. The DT Design team explained that green infrastructure is designing storm water systems to mimic natural processes of managing stormwater with vegetation and soil media. We must change our techniques of storm water management in order to reverse the trend of polluted waterways throughout our state and the country. A great resource for more information about green infrastructure is the ASLA Guide to Green Infrastructure.

Scale model of the LID competition site and site plan as designed by DT.  Model built by UM Architecture students. 

Scale model of the LID competition site and site plan as designed by DT.  Model built by UM Architecture students. 

The architecture and interior design students were recently tasked with taking Dalhoff Thomas' site plan from the LID competition and designing the senior housing units and the clubhouse.  Students even built a scale model of the developed site as planned by the DT team to study relationships between the natural environment and the proposed built environment. The DT Design team answered several specific questions about the intent of our design and had a roundtable discussion about various green infrastructure techniques and maintenance that is required to keep them operational.

A thank you goes to Jenna Thompson, Sustainability Coordinator at the Department of Architecture, for inviting the Dalhoff Thomas team to present and discuss these critical low impact development principles. Educating the public and future professionals is a joy for our team and something we all must do more consistently in order for to bring about significant change to the development sector.

 

 

HENRY MINOR promoted to Associate

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HENRY MINOR, landscape architect and planner with DALHOFF THOMAS design studio, was recently named an Associate at DT design in Memphis. Since starting with the company in April of 2012, Henry had been a Project Manager with the company.  Henry works in all aspects of the company from Parks + Recreation to Land Planning, and he serves as the lead Irrigation Designer on all projects. 

A 2007 graduate of Mississippi State University, Henry enjoys spending time with his family, college football, fly fishing, and golfing.  He also currently holds the position of Past President with the Tennessee chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.