Architectural Students Bob ’23 and Joe ’23 Renovate Deerfield Ski Room

Architectural Students Design New Ski Room

Interview with Bob ’23 and Joe ’23

Deerfield architectural students and ski team captains Bob ’23 and Joe ’23, share how they helped renovate their ski team’s old locker room. Learn about how they mapped out their vision, gathered stakeholders, and completed the project below.

(Ski team locker room prior to renovations)

How did this project come about?

Bob: “Despite our stellar record, there was not much of a locker room culture. There was nowhere to sit and the doors on lockers were falling off. Joe and I had both taken architecture with Dr. Payne and realized that we could use the skills we learned in class to help out the Deerfield community.

The first thing we did was send out a survey to gather team input. Based on the responses, these three principles guided our design:

  1. A team meeting space needed to be built into the locker room;
  2. Movable tuning benches;
  3. Seating.

Joe: “We worked for about six months on the new design of the locker room while periodically checking in with Dr. Payne to look over our principles. At the beginning of our junior year, we pitched our project to Athletics and got the green light.”

What was a challenge?

Bob: “The realization that architecture extends beyond the drafted plans and model. During the process, we learned the importance of communication with administrators and finding the right people to lend us support. Additionally, I recognized that there are so many logistical elements that are crucial in design like fire codes and air circulation.”

Joe: “A challenge that arose was creating accuracy in our initial CAD mock-up. There were no blueprints for the old ski room in the archives, so we did not have access to preexisting, accurate, measurements of the room. We had to get in the room with a tape measure and get creative!”

When did your interest in architecture start?

Bob: “When I took architecture in 10th grade, I realized that architecture is a combination of my love for art, building with my hands, and an intellectual interest in STEM.”

Joe: “My father was a carpenter and I started woodworking at a very young age. Carpentry and architecture are close brothers so when I took my first architecture class at Deerfield, I fell in love.”

What about architecture interests you?

Bob: “I love architecture’s ability to change the environment people inhabit. It’s a fine balance between the artistic expression of the creator and meeting the needs of a client. It’s a functional art that is crucial for society and culture. I see it on the same level as literature and art.”

Joe: “The fact that architecture is often an overlooked form of art. People walk in and out of the Hess Center for the Arts or the Main School Building every day without realizing that they are inside a canvas. Architecture is functional beauty.”

How will you use architecture in the future?

Bob: “I want to use architecture to continue making a community impact. Another project I have completed through the Center for Service and Global Citizenship is a public restroom I designed for a Tibetan village in my hometown. I want to use architecture to highlight the beauty of different cultures while improving the lives of people.”

Why Joe and Bob?

Joe: “Bob and I went to Eaglebrook together. We were actually the captains of the ski team there. When we both ended up at Deerfield we only grew closer. We are now captains of the DA team and co-proctors in our dorm. I consider Bob to be my best friend. Working with him has been a huge motivation to finish the project and I think if we weren’t so aligned in our goals the project would have fizzled out a long time ago.”

What is the greater impact of this project?

Bob: “I hope this project will serve as an inspiration for other students on campus who want to speak up about ways to help improve our community. We proved that with dedication and hard work, anyone can make a real impact here.”