Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thank You - Thanksgiving 2015



Wishes to all our clients and colleagues for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Gratitude for all that you are and do.

And for the day after Thanksgiving...
Kudos to REI for their #OptOutside campaign for Black Friday.



"Outdoor experiences build better people who are healthier, who make better decisions, and who can take other people, other creatures, and other perspectives into account.


Spending time outside is pretty much the opposite of standing in line at a store to get a discount on something you probably don’t really need. That’s why I’m such a fan of taking Black Friday, or any day really, as a chance to step away from our materialistic urges and connect with the outdoors and the people and places we care about. Thank you, REI, for giving us a gentle push in that direction."
- excerpt from "The Solace of Vertical Places" by Brady Robinson (read more here...)

Enjoy another take on Thanksgiving with the architecture of food in photographer Matthew Carden's art.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Real Estate Assessment

Have you found a commercial space or home that you like, but want to convert it into a space that you love?  Whether a property is already purchased or being considered, we can assist you in your planning.  Invest two to three hours with a professional architect and let us show you the design possibilities so it can become the home or office space of your dreams.

We are available to work with realtors, property owners, and potential property owners to prepare feasibility consultations.  For commercial properties, accessibility evaluations are also performed by our office together with appropriate consulting professionals.


We spend up to two hours at the property*, prepare a brief report back at our office, and are available for an additional phone meeting to discuss the presented design options.  Options may include renovations, additions or energy usage improvements.  During our visit at your property, we will do a brief walk-through, ask key questions and discuss your needs to aid with your planning.

Report includes notes, plan diagrams, preliminary construction cost estimates, and our directory of related local service providers and professionals.  Samples are available upon request.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Murals Unfurled at RTC Mobility Training Center

Over a year and a half of efforts by our design team are coming to fruition with over 9,000 square feet of installed graphic murals!
Red Rock Mural
© 2015 Anne Johnson AIA
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is currently expanding their Sunset Maintenance Facility, including a 14,700 square foot Mobility Training Center designed by Gensler Nevada and constructed by Sletten Construction of Nevada.  The new training center will teach RTC's paratransit clients to move more independently throughout the city.  The Center is designed to simulate a person's interaction with the outside environment.  Obstacles and views that a person navigating the city will frequently encounter are included such as bus stops, ramps, commercial buildings, residential complexes, and the beautiful surrounding mountain ranges.

Our studio designed 25-feet high interior murals to create a city street effect and also simulate the views a transit rider would see across the Las Vegas valley to the west, north and east.  For example, the west-facing mural depicts Red Rock, while the largest mural depicts the north Sheep Range with fighter jets to pay homage to Nellis Air Force Base.  To the east, the mural highlights building of the south Strip.  We selected locations and provided art direction for the commercial and residential scenes shot by Square Shooting photographers.  Our office selected and designed features including light fixtures, awnings, and building numbers to add to the realistic effect of the photo murals.  Murals were printed and installed by Pictographics.

Commercial & Residential - Mural
Sheep Range & Las Vegas Strip - "Welcome to Vegas" Collage Mural 
Las Vegas Strip - "Welcome to Vegas" Collage Mural
Commercial - Mural

Friday, September 18, 2015

Multifamily Renovation

We're looking forward to the transformation of this multifamily project at Vera Johnson Manor A!  Over 71,700 square feet will be overhauled with a fresh, sophisticated palette for interiors.  The exteriors will be refreshed with a three-part color scheme for variety; and the addition of new patio enclosures, durable paint coatings, and replacement roofing.
Front Perspective at Patios

Interior Materials & Color Palette

Exterior Materials & Color Palette

Friday, August 14, 2015

On the Boards

Las Vegas Strip - "Welcome to Vegas" Collage Mural
© 2015 Anne Johnson AIA

This spring and summer have been busy in the studio!  After months of preparation, the murals at RTC's Mobility Training Center are going up.  These 25-feet high interior murals are original illustrations from our studio, and are being used to orient the RTC's paratransit clients to the cardinal directions of the valley: north, east and west.  Each landmark was simplified and crafted to be easily recognizable from a distance.  For example, the east-facing mural contains a rendering of Frenchman Mountain and south Strip high-profile properties.  We will post construction progress photos as available.  The printing and installation is being completed beautifully by Pictographics.

At the same time, we've been making headway with a 76-unit multifamily housing renovation.  We're very excited to help transform these 30-year-old apartments into attractive, contemporary dwellings.  Check back soon for the "after" photos.
Vera Johnson "Before"


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Work Samples

click to enlarge images





It Becomes Her, Steel (2016)
7"h x 22"w x 8.5"d
My intention for this piece is to evoke a female nature including generative, biological and botanical motifs such as seashells, ribs, branches, kelp, and curves.  Skin and structure create a layering and interplay between transparency and opacity...mystery and discovery…softness over strength.  Different aspects of the form are revealed when it is rotated into three different positions of equilibrium. Skin has primacy over the means of connection to the structure.













Gaze, Wood (2016)
59"h x 24"w x 30"d
Contained within an abstracted camera tripod, this piece toys with viewers' expectations of an objectifying gaze.  Seats are placed at each side of the "camera," and when participants interact with the sculpture they discover that they are also viewed.  Eyes meet for a brief, and potentially dangerous, intimate moment.
















Periscope, Steel, Hotel Zephyr, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA (2016)
30'h x 2.5'w x 5'd
A user-operated video camera mounted near the steel sculpture gives hotel guests 180-degree views of the waterfront and landmarks like Alcatraz. Developed in coordination with Blue Tree Enterprises, Wright Engineers and Blaque Metal Works.  Our studio provided design and fabrication coordination for the 30-foot periscope.






























RTC Mobility Training Center, Las Vegas, NV (2016)
Art and design for over 9,000 SF of 25-feet high interior murals within the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s (RTC) Mobility Training Center.  Art direction and design for photographed and reconfigured building murals.  Original art for desert and "Strip" landscape murals.  The murals recreate a city street effect by simulating views a transit rider would experience across the Las Vegas valley, emphasizing the cardinal directions of the urban grid and the surrounding desert landscapes.















Winchester Cultural Center - Dance Studio Room Addition, Las Vegas, NV (2012)
Design for 1,400 SF dance studio/classroom addition and surrounding landscape at existing facility.  Process included case study research, design charrettes with the performing arts instructors, and outreach with the center’s Friends of Winchester group.  Outcomes included window saddle bags with custom storage and custom millwork with a tree-form relating to the Center’s history of volunteer-led gardening and the metaphor of the young dancers’ reaching ever higher in their art.








Government Center Photovoltaic System Parking Shade Structure, Las Vegas, NV (2011)
Design, documentation, and construction administration for 4,000 SF of unique steel structure for 30kW photovoltaic covered parking funded by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Developed in coordination with Wright Engineers.















Marble Manor Enhancement Project, Las Vegas, NV (2009)
Improvements to existing playground and community center to facilitate use by residents, “Success by Six,” and Leisure Services programs. Multi-agency public housing partnership project prepared in conjunction with Las Vegas Arts Commission mural project.  Artist brokered community partnerships to install garden and hold planting workshop, and participated in mural workshop led by muralists.





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day 2015

Take a tour around the world to see how other global citizens are celebrating Earth Day 2015, then consider how you can--or comment here to share.

Many are getting outside, and away from our desks, to reconnect with mother earth.  International experiences include hiking the Great Wall in China and picking up trash, bicycling in Peru, and planting trees, protecting the Asian elephant in India, or contributing to green-focused campaigns.  Read more here.

Here in the states, you may know a child who's participating in Climate Education Week, with K-12 learning activities meeting Common Core standards.  For all ages, the "A Billion Acts of Green Campaign" is still going strong...approaching 2 Billion, and you can find inspiration on their website.

In our own backyard, Project GREEN is hosting a clean up in the Pittman Wash at 9:00AM Saturday, April 25.  It promises to be a beautiful morning.  If you're lucky, you'll get to spot a roadrunner or cottontail...get the details here.

Even if it's as brief as taking a quick walk during lunch or after work, we wish you a moment of enjoyment to celebrate Earth Day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Forum Feature

Anne was featured as the member spotlight in the April 2015 issue of AIA Las Vegas' Forum newsletter.

Check out the full issue on the AIA Las Vegas website, or read a bit here:


I AM A MEMBER OF AIA BECAUSE….I am a member because it is crucial to be part of an organization that binds together our design community and informs the public about what design professionals do. The AIA’s programs, educational opportunities, and exposure to other professionals in the field have been a benefit. I see AIA Las Vegas as valuable to both developing and established design professionals.

Biography: I am an architect, graphic artist, wife, and mother. The process of juggling these roles contributes to who I am and how our firm approaches architecture. We listen to our clients to learn what is important to them, and strive to balance sustainability, beauty, and function. In-house, mentoring and growing talent is a privilege. On a weekly basis, our office takes time to seek design inspiration.

I am an Arizona native and obtained my first degree at Arizona State University. After working for a time in Phoenix, we relocated to Columbus, Ohio for nine years, and I obtained my professional degree at Ohio State University. I had the experience of working in small, mid-sized and corporate practices and exposure to project types ranging from K-12 education, remodels of historic residential properties, hospital emergency wings, corporate/commercial, and higher education. The intensive working experience, diversity of project types and practice management styles equipped me to start a practice in Las Vegas when our family relocated for a job opportunity at UNLV. Concurrently, as an artistic outlet, I started a greeting card business that caters to state and national parks and retail consumers.

Here in the Las Vegas Valley after over eleven years, the architecture practice has evolved to include government clientele in addition to residential and commercial work. Implementation of sustainable practices and a graphic sensibility are foundational to our projects. Within these arenas, we have carved out a niche of top-notch service combined with artistic sensitivity and a reputation for meeting unique challenges.

See the full article for more…
  1. What is the most important thing you’ve learned? 
  2. What is your favorite piece of architecture? Why? 
  3. Where will you be in 20 years?
  4. What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with?

Friday, February 27, 2015

On the Boards


We have a unique mix of projects on the boards this month.  Two photovoltaic projects have moved into the construction phase, and include an education component with interactive touchscreen and engaging animated characters developed by AEI.  In addition, these projects include a partnership with the non-profit DRI to bring free green box science kits to Clark County School District classrooms.

Other work includes a 76-unit multifamily modernization project, a private residence loft remodel with elevator, and graphic murals for the RTC Mobility Training Center.

Private Residence