Managing Principal

Sidney R. Bowen
AIA


Shepley Bulfinch > People > Sidney R. Bowen

I was fortunate to have grown up in what is virtually the only completed prairie school community in the United States. Rock Glen/Rock Crest in Mason City, Iowa, had as its landscape architect, Walter Burley Griffin. He, his wife, Marion Mahoney Griffin, William Drummond and Barry Byrne shared the Oak Park studio with Frank Lloyd Wright. These architects designed nearly a dozen buildings for this small enclave.

As a child, I was fascinated by the enthusiasm and energy of the young architects who knocked on our door in hopes of a chance to poke through our house. I was touched by the influence of this profoundly human architecture that created both a place in the landscape and a place at the domestic scale.

It is appropriate, then, that among my own work the most rewarding has been an elementary school completed in 2004. This is a fundamentally sustainable design. It is a timber frame building with careful solar orientation to maximize day-lighting and minimize mechanical system requirements. Its architectural, structural and mechanical systems are fully exposed to permit easy maintenance and so that its young inhabitants can understand the building as a living, breathing organism - with systems corresponding to those of their own bodies. The building presents the opportunity of discovery and learning. The concept proved so compelling that the owner enthusiastically embraced our suggestion of a window into the boiler room so that students could see the boiler and air circulation equipment - the heart and lungs of the building.

Projects

Alfred R. Goldstein Library
Ringling College of Art and Design

Berry Library and Learning Commons
Salem State University

New Central Library
City of Austin, Texas

Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute
West Virginia University

Worcester Trial Court
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Publications, Whitepapers and Articles

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