Project Update: Oxford-University United Methodist Church

May 3, 2018

Project Update

As the OUUMC expansion and renovation reaches its final stages, here are a few photos highlighting the church’s new spaces.


The first and second floor connector corridors feature views of the courtyard playground.


Circulation between all of the buildings crosses this giant atrium with abundant natural light.


Located directly off the central atrium, The Journey is a new contemporary worship space with state of the art audio-visual capabilities.


The second floor of the new office/education wing can be accessed via the top level of the new parking garage.



Hope Lodge Topping Out Ceremony

May 2, 2018

Project Update

There are several major milestone events surrounding the excitement of new construction; people love to a attend a ribbon-cutting or a groundbreaking. The least high profile of this, speaking only in terms of notoriety, is the topping-out ceremony.

The topping-out ceremony occurs when the final steel beam is hoisted into place, high above where the more commonly known milestone events take place. The ceremony has its roots in Scandinavia, but has turned into an opportunity to celebrate progress on new construction projects around the world.

Recently, this significant moment was celebrated at the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation Hope Lodge in Jackson. We were there to chronicle this exciting moment, and are thrilled to see this project continue to take shape in the coming months.





Celebrating Ann Somers

March 29, 2018


It’s a bittersweet day here at CDFL, as we bid adieu to Principal Ann Somers as she transitions into a new chapter of her life. Ann has been a fixture at CDFL for nearly three decades, beginning her career here in 1989. Her professional history is remarkable, having worked on a multitude of projects in a multitude of settings. Ann’s attention to detail is second to none, and her kindness, warmth, and positivity make her a client favorite. She is creative and thoughtful, and her designs are a direct reflection of how well she listens to her clients’ goals for their space.

Beyond the walls of CDFL her contributions to the architecture world and the community of which she is a part are immeasurable. She was the 2003 Mississippi State University School of Architecture Alumna of the year, the 2004 Mississippi AIA President, and 2008-2009 President of the North Jackson Rotary. Ann is also involved in the Sierra Club’s Mississippi Chapter and the National Audubon Society, and, closer to home, is a alumna of Leadership Jackson and a major supporter of CARA.

“The special gifts that Ann provides will make our world a better place to live. She’s already made CDFL a better place to work, and I know her drive to serve the community will continue to make a difference,” said Rob Farr, CDFL President. “Her commitment to excellence has always provided the highest quality design for her clients, and she’s so skilled in finding the elements that define a project and excite the spirit. To say she and her smile will be missed is quite the understatement.”

Ann, we are so grateful for your commitment to CDFL and your dedication to the community. We are all better for having worked alongside you, and can’t wait to see what you do next. We know whatever it is, it’ll be spectacular.

If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve ever seen an Ann-designed space, here’s a sampling of the work she’s done over her career at CDFL:

Bree’s Dog Park
Woolfolk Building addition and expansion
Woolfolk Building renovation
Alcorn State University Math and Science Building
William F. Winter Archives and History Building
Blue Cross Blue Shield campus expansion
Blue Cross Blue Shield main building renovation
Sillers Building interior renovation
Mississippi College School of Law addition and renovations
BancorpSouth Madison branch
BancorpSouth Capitol Street branch interior renovation
Phelps Dunbar LLP interior renovation
Brandon Medical Clinic
University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Short Stay addition
UMMC School of Medicine Simulation Center
UMMC Space Allocation Study
Casey Elementary School addition and renovation
Murrah High School math classroom addition
Dr. A.H. McCoy Federal Building Renovation
Highland Village renovations
MDOT headquarters renovation
Saint James Episcopal Church addition and renovations
United Methodist Foundation Mississippi headquarters
Two Mississippi Museums interiors planning


The Power of Plus

March 8, 2018

Check out our latest Power of Plus short!


Campus Utility Modeling System

March 1, 2018

utility modeling system

CDFL’s engineering team has long helped many of our clients navigate the challenges that come with maintaining healthy utility systems. With large campus environments constantly growing and evolving, impacts to campus utility systems become inevitable. To combat the issues that arise as buildings are added, renovated, and expanded, CDFL engineers have developed a digital model to help our clients’ facilities and engineering personnel effectively and proactively manage their campus utilities and plan for the future.

Based on real time analysis, the comprehensive campus model provides decision makers with reliable data on potential impacts to multiple utility systems. This data allows our clients to make informed decisions about campus growth and instills confidence that new buildings, as well as existing buildings, will operate as expected at the completion of construction.

The Campus Utility Modeling System helps our clients plan for the imminent, the eventual, and everything in between. For more information on how we can help your team plan for the future, contact David Luter, PE.


Engineer Ben Fulton, PE, Becomes Principal

February 20, 2018

CDFL is thrilled to announce that mechanical engineer Ben Fulton, PE, has been promoted to Principal. Ben brings 15 years of experience to CDFL’s growing engineering group. As the head of the mechanical engineering division, Ben is responsible for the oversight of all fire protection, plumbing, and HVAC design. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Ben has experience with building automation, energy efficiency, and sustainable design.

“Ben’s experience and leadership has been invaluable to the continued success of our engineering team. To seem him take on a larger leadership role within the greater company is incredibly exciting,” said CDFL President Rob Farr. “We are grateful for his commitment to CDFL and look forward to watching him grow in this new position.”

Ben credits his fellow engineers for his success. “The engineering department would not be where it is without my colleagues.”

He continued, “As the mechanical engineering department moves forward, we see ourselves continuing to push the boundaries of building energy requirements and continuing to provide our clients with affordable building design.”

Congratulations to Ben and good luck in your new role!


St. Andrew’s ARC Hosts 11th Annual Rumble in the South

January 17, 2018

Project Update_Slim

Earlier this week, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s new Athletics Recreation Center (“the ARC”) hosted the 11th Annual Rumble in the South, a showcase featuring some of Mississippi’s top basketball talent. The 65,000 sf facility was packed for the Canton – Olive Branch game when we stopped by to see it in action. Take a look!



With the gym standing room only, fans, visitors, and waiting teams utilized the numerous television screens located throughout the facility to watch the game between the number two and number three teams in the state. 

For more on the ARC, check out this in-depth feature from the Clarion Ledger.

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Fourth Annual Holiday Trivia Extravaganza

December 14, 2017

The CDFL Holiday Q-and-A 2017

It’s here! It’s here! The moment we know you’ve all been waiting for: our Annual CDFL Holiday Trivia Extravaganza. We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a glimpse at some of our team’s funny family photos and felt free to laugh  ̶a̶t̶  with us in our vintage holiday garb. Thanks for reading, and have a very Merry Christmas, y’all!


A Fun, Old-Fashioned Family Christmas!

December 13, 2017

It’s CDFL like you’ve never seen us before: presenting our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas card collection. We hope you enjoy this trip down our fictional memory lane!



A Very Merry #TBT

December 12, 2017

A Very Merry #TBT Christmas 2017


St. Catherine’s Village Progress Update

Project Update

A look at the progress at St. Catherine’s Village as work continues on the Skill Nursing Facility expansion.


Project Update: Word of Life Church Expansion

November 9, 2017

Project Update

Flowood’s Word of Life Church is in the process of expanding their facility, and we’re thrilled to be helping them enhance their congregants’ experience and accomplish their programmatic goals. Here’s a peek at where things stand:

– Construction is well underway
– Steel has been erected and building will be closed in soon
– The sanctuary’s balcony concrete has been poured
– Exterior cladding is currently being installed
– Interior spaces are being defined as metal stud walls are being erected



Design Inspiration: Samantha King

September 11, 2017

I have a few specific projects to which I always seem to return, and with those projects I try to get in a mindset similar to that of the architect responsible for those designs. I do occasionally deviate to other projects of theirs, but I find these three to be most influential.

The Pierre | Tom Kundig
“I learn more from creative people in other disciplines than I do even from other architects because I think they have a way of looking at the world that is really important.”

Salk Institute | Louis Khan
“It is the role of design to adjust to the circumstantial.”

Brion Cemetery | Carlo Scarpa
“If the architecture is any good, a person who looks and listens will feel its good effects without noticing.”

My inspiration is driven by the projects above and comes from a series of steps I’ve managed to compile over the short course of my education and professional practice. These steps allow me to choose a project from the list above to observe for the design at hand. I also believe these steps help provide a confidence boost throughout the design process and give me parameters to think within.

Observe the Building Type
Though the three building designs listed above do not cover all building types, I believe they do inspire an opportunity to really question what needs to happen functionally within my design. I’m not looking at these building types in a truly literal way; rather, I am looking at it in the most basic sense of function. I typically refer to The Pierre as “private,” the Salk Institute as “operative,” and the Brion Cemetery as “supportive.” To me, I feel as though any project can be categorized into one of these three functions.

Understand the Evoked Emotion
One of the biggest reasons I feel these buildings are helpful is because of the vast array of emotions each different space creates and evokes. I hold a strong stance on the importance of emotion that is extended to a person through a space – I feel that’s the moment that makes a building memorable.

Create the Concept
Each project is different, so I believe the concepts and considerations for each project should also be different. I strongly consider the quotes mentioned above when creating a concept. One of Kundig’s design traits that I really enjoy is that he gets into the mechanisms of how doors and windows can operate in different ways. With Khan, I have always appreciated his way of exaggerating the transitions between spaces and how well those decisions are executed within the design. And with Scarpa, his attention to detail has always been a pleasure to reference.

Trial and Error
When I reach a dead end and don’t know what the next move should be, I have found that I turn to Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture by Robert Venturi. Venturi has become my way of questioning my way through a roadblock. I have found his book to be a great resource if I have trouble understanding something conceptually or if I am creating a concept and want to understand the project inside and out. Venturi has a way with words that makes it easy for me to question and understand. Below is a brief list of a few of Venturi’s quotes. I do not necessarily follow these as guidelines; however, I do tend to turn to these when I am stuck.

“. . . A feeling for paradox allows seemingly dissimilar things to exist side by side, their very incongruity suggesting a kind of truth.”

“. . . Equilibrium must be created out of opposites.”

“. . . But aesthetic simplicity which is a satisfaction to the mind derives, when valid and profound, from inner complexity.”

At the end of it, my inspiration comes from the design intent and how accurately that design intent was executed throughout the process from beginning to end. I truly believe the process is at least as important as the result.


Meet the Team: James Tobermann

August 15, 2017


Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce mechanical engineer in training, James Tobermann.

What do you do at CDFL?
As a Mechanical Engineer, I will be assisting in the design process for HVAC and plumbing work.

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
I enjoy getting outside and staying active, and one of my favorite activities is running. I also enjoy traveling. Most recently I took a trip to Boston with my brother. We visited numerous historic sites, enjoyed some great local food, and went to a game at Fenway Park.

How long have you worked for CDFL?
I graduated from Mississippi State in 2014, and I worked as a Reliability Engineer with International Paper for about 2.5 years. I am excited jump in and start working with the team here at CDFL.

What is your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
I’m still exploring, but so far my favorite lunch spot is Basil’s. It’s hard to beat their sandwiches.

What’s your favorite TV show?
I really enjoyed the Netflix series The Honourable Woman, directed by Hugo Blick. It’s a really well-done political thriller.


Project Update: UMMC School of Medicine Dedication

August 8, 2017

Project Update

The dedication of The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine took place on August 4, 2017. CDFL is proud to have served alongside Eley Guild Hardy as Architects on this project. “This is a significant project for our state and we could not be happier with the outcome,” said CDFL President Rob Farr.Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon cutting ceremony