Dave Myers is a Project Architect with PGAV Destinations in St. Louis, Mo. Myers graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelors of Architecture. From there, he went on to get his Masters from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. He has worked on a wide range of projects from houses, hospitals, museums and roller coasters. Recently, he worked on the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations, including theme parks, zoos, aquariums, museums and cultural sites. Now in its fifth decade, the practice develops growth-oriented master plans and translates those plans into successful projects.
BE sat down to talk to Myers about his career.
Building Envelope: How many years do you have in the profession?
Myers: Eleven years.
Building Envelope: What is your work history in this field?
Myers: I’ve had the fortune to work on a wide variety of projects all across the country. I’ve worked on everything from houses, banks, hotels, and hospitals to museums, water slides and roller coasters.
Building Envelope: Where did you go to school?
Myers: I graduated from Philadelphia University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Architecture. While still in undergrad I visited Taliesin West in Arizona, where I learned of the alternative architecture school, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. There was something magical about living in the Desert at Taliesin West in shelters and tents while getting a Master’s. It was a great experience.
Building Envelope: Did you have a specialization?
Myers: I didn’t have a specialization, but I’ve always had an interest in how things are made. At Taliesin, I designed and made my own desert clothing for one of my projects. I even wore it several times to see if it worked. I find all aspects of the profession to be interesting; I don’t think I could ever specialize.
Building Envelope: Do you approach architecture from an artistic or functional starting point? Are the two concepts exclusive?
Myers: It’s not architecture if it’s not both functional and artistic.
Building Envelope: If any, who are your role models?
Myers: Renzo Piano and Frank Lloyd Wright. I have to say, hands down, my fellow coworkers. I learn something new every day from them.
Building Envelope: What projects, other than your own work, do you find inspiring?
Myers: I love projects that unify buildings and nature. There’s something about a beautiful, natural space that makes my heart skip a beat.
Building Envelope: How many buildings have you designed?
Myers: I have been on the design team for 10 to 15 completed projects, and I’ve lost count of the unbuilt ones. I have been fortunate to be part of talented teams, and although the building styles are quite different, I am pleased to say the buildings are both functional and artistic.
Building Envelope: If you had to choose one to represent your work, what project would you choose?
Myers: I spent the last three years on the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Creating the home for the last space shuttle was an honor. If you haven’t seen a space shuttle up close, you’re going to be amazed.
Building Envelope: What are your guiding principles when designing a structure?
Myers: I like to design surprises and magical moments to inspire, relax and rejuvenate the people who occupy the structures.
Building Envelope: If you could have any building to redesign—anywhere in the world—which would you like to address?
Myers: My childhood home. My parents would be in for a real treat if they let me get my hands on it.
Building Envelope: What types of products interest you?
Myers: I look for products that best fulfill and enhance the needs of the design. I try not to design around a product; it limits the possibilities of the project.
Building Envelope: What types of products in the wall and ceiling industry really interest you?
Myers: If I were to pick a group of products that interest me, it would be doors and windows. The selection of well-designed, good looking, wood and metal windows and doors has really improved. I love the exterior folding door systems. They allow occupants to be inside and outside at the same time.