CDFL Holiday Extravaganza 2016: Part II

December 14, 2016

The CDFL Christmas Wishlist Vol 2Do you need some ideas for last minute purchases? Or are you just curious about the items on the CDFeLves’ holiday wish lists? Either way, there’s no need to fret. We’ve gathered some of our team’s most coveted (…and sometimes frivolous) wish list items, and they’re right here for you to peruse. Here’s hoping we’re all on the nice list, and some of these things make their way down our chimney(s).

Check out Part I, our holiday trivia post, and stay tuned for Part III — even more gift giving ideas!


CDFL Holiday Extravaganza 2016: Part I

December 13, 2016

The CDFL Holiday QA 2015


Project Update: The Mississippi Museums

December 8, 2016

CDFL recently had the privilege of touring the two Mississippi Museums here in Jackson with Project Manager and CDFL architect Chris Myers. The 350,000 square foot building will house both the Mississippi State History Museum and the country’s first ever state sponsored Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. It is slated to open in December 2017.

For more on the Mississippi Museums [+]

img_8637Thrash Construction Superintendent Richard Horton looks on as CDFL’s Chris Myers describes the Hall of History.

img_8642The Hall of History shows the connection from the more traditional history museum to the contemporary Civil Rights building. The display window of the museum store can be seen at the end.

img_8643The plaza created by the Museums consists of a grass and paver system installed over tapered foam panels. This protects the visitor parking garage below ground.

img_8647A concrete stairway provides a somewhat dramatic pedestrian access point from the public parking garage to the front entrance of the building.

img_8648The view from the Hall of History looking across the main lobby to the entrance of the Civil Rights exhibit. The entry to the museum store to the left can be open and shut using a movable glass partition system. The integrated tile ceiling allows for the orderly arrangement of lighting, HVAC, and sprinkler systems.

img_8651 A view from the balcony into the history exhibit space below. A curved stair allows visitors a dramatic view of the exhibit space from above.

img_8653Large windows allow for substantial natural light into the Hall of History.

img_8655A view from the balcony on Level 2 down into the 2-story main entrance lobby. Sixteen linear pendant lights will hang over the welcome desk from the suspended square cloud. Glass balcony rails will provide minimal obstructions of the space.

img_8661The central gallery of the Civil Rights exhibit will be home to This Little Light of Mine, an interactive fabric sculpture that will adapt its light and audio activity based on the number of visitors in the space. At night, the sculpture can be seen from outside through the large windows around the space. The soffit around the space will be covered with the names of Mississippians who gave their lives in the fight for civil rights.


Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2016

happy thanksgiving

Today, and all days, our team feels incredibly grateful. We are grateful for our clients, both old and new, that we have the privilege of working with every day, and the projects we are able to see come to fruition. We are also grateful for our driven, capable, and intelligent group of architects, engineers, designers, and administrative staff members.

From our family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.


Design Inspiration: Ethan Warren

November 17, 2016


What is the meaning of design? It may be easy to google the definition of design but you’re not getting the whole truth of the definition. Design is defined as “to create, fashion, execute or construct according to plan”. While this is true, the question that must be asked is what has to be done before you execute or create according to the plan? Short answer: a lot of research and thought.

So, what inspires me as a designer? Lots of things can inspire me to create things, but there are a few things that really stand out and drive the things I design.


When I first got into architecture school I thought a good design was all about how the building looked. The more I studied and the more trips I took to see great architecture, I realized it’s not as much about what the design looks like, as much as how it’s being viewed. Within this digital age, everyone can be a professional photographer just by using their phone. We all try to get that perfect picture every time we reach for our camera. But, of course, the architecture needs to look great; if not then the vistas will have been studied for nothing.

What a building looks like is something that will never be overlooked as a designer, but how the building is looked at should never be either.

captureIconic view of the Fallingwater home by Frank Lloyd Wright.

image004This kind of vista is a rare one, but who wouldn’t love to have this view every time they came home?


I enjoy learning about new materials, using new materials in my designs, and drawing the details on how different materials interact with each other. It’s also exciting to learn new ways that materials can be used. Some materials, like concrete, have endless ways that it can be used.

In Tadao Ando’s Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX there was a certain process used during construction that allowed the concrete to look and feel like it does. The concrete has a glass-like smoothness to it and careful steps during construction were taken to achieve this look.



Right across the street from the Modern Art Museum is the Kimbell Art Museum, which also has a unique way of using concrete. It is primarily a concrete structure with a series of barrel vaults providing the roof and ceiling of the building.


Light is not a unique quality for my design inspiration because it is a common inspiration for most designers, and it should be. Light can be a powerful tool within architecture. It can highlight the architecture, bring life to a space or blur the boundary of inside and outside.

“We have no longer an outside and an inside as two separate things. Now the outside may come inside and the inside may and does go outside. They are of each other. Form and function thus become one in design and execution if the nature of materials and method and purpose are all in unison.” Frank Lloyd Wright

image012The Federal Building in Seattle does exactly what Wright’s quote says. It brings the outside in, and it blurs the line between interior and exterior.

Throughout my years in school there was one architect that I looked to for inspiration, Frank Lloyd Wright. When I look at his architecture I see meaningful design, simple and beautiful works of art. He thought about every space that he created and how the user interacted within that space. Absolutely nothing was pushed to the side to be dealt with on a later day.


ABC Mississippi + AIA Mississippi BBQ Competition

November 10, 2016

The Power of Plus_new

In October, CDFL Cookers participated in ABC Mississippi and AIA Mississippi’s first annual BBQ competition. With proceeds benefiting the Warrior Bonfire Program, the event played host to over 150 attendees and 36 teams competing in BBQ pork, ribs, chicken, and appetizer categories. Our team prepared several dishes, including Gene’s special honey/bourbon injected smoked Boston butt; Ben’s smoked chicken with a spicy BBQ rub; Newell’s St. Louis-style ribs (dry rubbed, smoked, and then brushed with a brown sugar and apple cider vinegar glaze); and Ann’s shrimp/mango/avocado skewers.

Our team grilled and feasted on sausage, cheese, and boudin and enjoyed the opportunity to swap dishes with the competition’s many other talented teams.

CDFL’s unofficial mascot, Chipper, had a great day and left a very full, happy, and tired dog. He was also a crowd favorite and represented CDFL very well.  We are incredibly proud to be a part of this inaugural event, and even more proud to share that we were able to raise $10,000.



CDFL Sports + Survey Rankings

November 3, 2016

A recent survey conducted by saw three CDFL Sports facilities named as some of the top college baseball venues in the country. Voted on by 110 coaches and 62 sports information directors, The University of Mississippi’s Oxford-University Stadium at Swayze Field, Auburn University’s Samford Stadium – Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park, and Baylor University’s Baylor Ballpark were all recognized in multiple categories. Congratulations to these outstanding universities, their teams, and their fans!CDFL Sports Best of Infographic


Project Update: UMMC School of Medicine

October 20, 2016

The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s new School of Medicine is making major strides in preparation for its Spring 2017 opening. Thus far, most of the effort had been focused on getting the exterior of the building completed and dried-in. Recently, however, the focus has shifted to the interior of the building. We recently began installing interior finishes, beginning with more durable elements such as limestone and terrazzo.

Stay tuned for more project updates as we speed toward 2017!


school of medicineMuch of the exterior is now enclosed and the final finishes are being installed. Additionally, the ground is being prepared to start the hardscape and landscaping process.


IMG_7976The five-story atrium space is currently full of scaffolding and limestone panels that will eventually appear on interior spaces throughout the building.


IMG_7978Pallets of terrazzo mix line the public corridors as the spaces are prepared to receive the new flooring. The terrazzo goes down in a thick slurry and is ground to be polished and smooth.


school of medicineIn the two large auditorium spaces, the sculptural, acoustically-designed ceiling structure is being installed. The crews work off of a level platform since the floor steps down to the front of the room.  These spaces will hold 200 students each when completed!


What We’re Reading on the Web

September 29, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

From Architectural Digest, a look at the recently-approved Frank Gehry development coming to LA’s Sunset Strip.

Fascinating take on the history of brutalist architecture, and its recent resurgence.

10 of the world’s most stunning modern religious buildings.

And, while we’re looking at some beautiful photographs, FastCoDesign has a preview of the New York Center for Architecture’s Reading Room exhibit. The exhibit, which runs through early January, features photographs of all 211 of New York City’s public library branches.


Project Update: Children’s Hospital of Mississippi

September 14, 2016

Project Update

Together with leaders from Children’s Hospital of Mississippi, representatives from CDFL, HDR, Blue Cottage, and Smith Hager Bajo assembled in Dallas for a two-day design charrette. The goal of this meeting was to establish the stacking and space plan that will become the basis for the new pediatric facilities on UMMC’s campus. The new facilities will expand the existing footprint by more than 360,000 square feet, and provide Mississippians with significantly increased access to specialty pediatric care. The expansion will, in addition to unifying Children’s of Mississippi’s brand, enhance the hospital’s mission by establishing centers of excellence in the inpatient critical care space, surgical platform, and imaging center. Additionally, the expansion will establish a standalone Ambulatory Destination Center (ADC) for the specialty clinics. A new multilevel parking garage and central plant is planned for the southeast end of campus to support these news facilities and their patrons. New elevated walkway bridge connectors and vertical circulation will link the entire southern end of campus, enhancing the patient experience and improving operational logistics. The design and support team will gather with key representatives from Children’s Hospital of Mississippi again at the end of the month to expand the planning and operational models that will be implemented in these new facilities.

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What We’re Reading on the Web

August 18, 2016

what we're reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Ever wondered why architects of note are into designing chairs? FastCoDesign has you covered.

From Architectural Digest, 7 of Architect Antoni Gaudí’s Most Influential Modernist Designs.

When the monochromatic LEGOS came out, this blog shared no fewer than 4 different stories about the more adult take on a kid’s classic, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we’re excited to share this update! The new blocks have come in kits featuring famous buildings, and the latest model to join in on the fun is the US Capitol! More here.

And finally, some amazing images that take symmetry very seriously. [via]


Project Update: Mississippi College Basketball Arena

August 16, 2016

Project Update

Built in 1976, Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum is undergoing some exciting new improvements, and CDFL is excited to once again be partnering with the school to improve their facilities. As part of the arena’s $2.7 million renovation project, our team will be working on both the exterior and interior of the building. The home of MC’s basketball and volleyball teams will see improved weatherproofing thanks to new sealant, with the most dramatic interior work happening high above Choctaw fans’ heads. In addition to a major LED lighting update, the arena’s geodesic dome, one of the few still in existence around the world, has been completely restored.

For more on the renovation, including its projected completion and additional improvements.

MC Dome pan 3

MC Dome 6

MC pan F


What We’re Reading on the Web

August 4, 2016

what we're reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

This evening we open the 2016 Summer Olympics, or for the fancier among you: the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. If reading that gave you chills, or made you immediately start hearing this little diddy in your head, then you’re going to love today’s WWRW.

First up, let’s head down to Rio to check out the city’s 10 Most Significant 2016 Olympic Venues. Architectural Digest has an entire section of the website devoted to the Olympics, which begs the question: why isn’t everyone doing this? You can tour Team USA’s friends and family hangout, along with the team house that belongs to our northern neighbors, as well as take a trip down memory lane looking at some of the best architecture in Olympic history.

From Complex, their take on the 50 Best Buildings In Olympic History.

Wired has the scoop on Rio’s incredible plans for the traditionally discarded Olympic venues.

And finally, a look ahead at some of what Beijing has in store for 2022.



August 2, 2016

Project Update

Tasked with selecting LED replacement bulbs for several intersections in North Mississippi, CDFL decided to take our assignment a step further by providing MDOT with a tool that would help them make financially responsible decisions for years to come.

The economic study provided by CDFL – example found below – will allow MDOT to assess a multitude of factors when selecting a fixture. The model, created by CDFL engineer Jesse Browning, ensures that repair, replacement, and energy usage costs  are more accurately represented by accounting for variables including operating hours, electrical rates, maintenance rates, fixture replacement/parts and more. This in-depth analysis will allow MDOT to select a fixture that vastly improves the experience of drivers on Mississippi roadways, while saving MDOT tax dollars in repair and energy costs.


What We’re Reading on the Web

July 29, 2016

what we're reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Norway is building the world’s first floating underwater tunnel. File this story under “simultaneously terrifying/amazing.”

FastCoExist takes a look at countries making the best progress toward their sustainability development goals. Spoiler: this story also takes place in Scandinavia.

Elle Decor has a collaboration with Sotheby’s featuring 10 of the world’s most opulent (and available!) waterfront homes.

While fascinating is not normally a word one would associate with an article related to grammar, this editor is sticking with it, so: here’s a fascinating look at how social media, text messaging, and websites have altered traditional grammatical givens.

Take a Dramamine and then check out the nearing-homestretch progress on Apple’s new campus.