Monday, October 11, 2010

Membership Spotlight: John Kirtley, AIA

John Kirtley, AIA, Abilene

Who or what inspired you to become an architect?

I was inspired to become an architect after spending time in Italy, along with holiday travels throughout Western Europe. I was in the army and stationed in Verona, Italy, for 8-1/2 years. I truly enjoyed the weekends of sightseeing and viewing all the interesting architecture.

What single work of Texas architecture inspires you?

There is no single work of Texas architecture that inspires me. I enjoy numerous to many designs. I travel a lot in my work of inspecting nursing homes, and I am impressed with the early Texas court houses.

What project have you most enjoyed working on?

I've enjoyed working on all of my projects, but I can honestly say I most enjoy working on my own creative pursuits of painting, writing, and design.

What is your dream project?

It changes over time…but for now, I would like to design a residence for the elderly. There is a fairly new concept called the “Green House” model, which is intended to de-institutionalize long-term care by eliminating large nursing facilities and creating habilitative, social settings. I envision a Green House with a kitchen and large living room with an electric fireplace, and a dining area surrounded with 8-12 resident sleeping rooms; sort of an oval shape of resident rooms with the kitchen-dining-living areas in the center. I would also place a garden area outside with French doors and large windows to view the garden area with a reflecting pool.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing an architecture career?”

Just begin and do it. Whatever time is spent in the learning process, it will have a positive and profound affect on you and life! Study the masters of architecture and also art masters. Be patient, sooner or later you will have the chance to display your very own art and style.

What is the best place you’ve ever visited and why?

I have been fortunate and have traveled quite a bit. Some of my favorite places are Hawaii, Italy, Russia, and Peru. 

What new skills do you want to learn?

New? I wish to improve my painting, writing, and design skills…and any beneficial and necessary skill!

What product or service can you not live without?

I can live without most modern conveniences, but it is very nice to have a cell phone and computer. 

Images below by John Kirtley, 2010

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