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Zimmerman connects with clients to find ideal design

By: MaryBeth Matzek//October 19, 2016//

Zimmerman connects with clients to find ideal design

By: MaryBeth Matzek//October 19, 2016//

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Architect of the Year - Zimmerman Architectural Studios
Architect of the Year –
Zimmerman Architectural Studios

When Zimmerman Architects began working on a design for the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee, architects used a tree analogy to help develop the final look.

“There’s a central trunk and from there, there are branches that reach out into different areas, plus strong roots holding it all into place,” said Dave Stroik, Zimmerman president and chief executive officer. “We took that and connected it to having a main street hallway with several sub lobbies leading to the different destinations. As for the roots, that’s the connection the center has to the community.”

Stroik said the Sojourner center is an example of Zimmerman’s emphasis on tailoring its designs to meet clients’ needs. The project called on the architects to establish a sanctuary for victims of domestic violence while also setting up spaces where Sojourner and its partner organizations could provide wrap-around services.

“We try to get inside the head of our client and learn what kind of facility best suits them,” Stroik said. “We spend time with them and get to know them.”

Stroik said the staff at Sojourner could get an idea of what the final product was going to look like by visiting Zimmerman’s main offices. The company recently consolidated its operations in a 40,000-square-foot building in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

“During the past 30 years we’ve added specialists, including HVAC, mechanical engineering, structural engineering and more to create one-stop shopping for our clients,” Stroik said. “When Sojourner would come in for design meetings, they could see the physical manifestation of what they wanted to do. For us, single-source design from a single location improves communication among professionals, eliminates project downtime and provides our clients with efficient teams.”

Rob Myers, a construction executive at Mortenson Construction who has worked with Zimmerman on several projects, including the Sojourner center, said Zimmerman works well with its partners.

“From a construction manager point of view, they listen and accept feedback during the design phase to help streamline the execution during the construction phase,” Myers said. “Each of Zimmerman’s team members had a positive attitude and genuine concern for the end product being delivered.”


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