The Wave, an award-winning artwork, is also a chaise lounge, picnic table, laptop station, and playground. It was commissioned by the City of Chicago’s “Make Way for People” initiative.
“We like projects that enable us to create architecture that changes and enriches people’s lives,” says architect Kevin Toukoumidis ’98, principal of dSpace Studio, which he founded in 2007 and which has won several awards from American Institute of Architects.
Toukoumidis, who works with a staff of seven, cites a residence perched above the Fox River as a recent example. Designed for clients who wanted a home that mixed family interaction with outdoor living, it is integrated into its wooded surroundings and features a firehouse pole between the second and first floors and a zip line to a boathouse.
“Our goal is to exceed our client’s expectations within their budget,” he says. “In this case, we brought in an Italian porcelain product, never before used in the United States, that looks like natural stone, requires zero maintenance, and is half the cost.”
Toukoumidis, an AB engineering graduate with a master’s in architecture from Syracuse University, says connecting with others is a fundamental skill he learned at Lafayette. “The professors taught us how to build relationships with people; it was very intimate and very personal.” He minored in art and was inspired by the historic architecture on campus, particularly Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.
“Lafayette’s goal is providing a balanced liberal arts education. Architecture is about achieving the right balance too. It’s a synthesis of art, science, technology, and creating space,” he says.
“The AB engineering program is unique. Students can structure their studies to target a profession. My preparation qualified me for advanced placement in architecture school.”
—Robert S. Benchley