Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 75

foot facility will be completed at the end of this year and will include two theaters, rehearsal space, an expansive lobby, full-service café, living roof and rooftop deck. Since founding VGA in 1995, Vrilakas has enjoyed re- gional success — while encountering his share of frustration with some notable commissions going to firms outside the region. He uses the recent flurry of mid-rise housing proj- ects done by outside firms as an example. “There are a whole lot of these projects that some are going out of town for, and I think that is unfortunate and disappointing. Local firms, including ourselves, can do them and do them better than outside firms, because we understand our neighborhoods and our climate and our city,” he says. “The building of the urban city is underway. And we really need local talent to develop that and make Sacramento its own place.” Nick Docous, principal with long-standing Sacramento firm Lionakis, believes clients will get architects from out- side the region for a number of reasons. “First and foremost, as a client, you have lots of risk, so you want to find the best team that’s done this before,” he says. “So experience has a lot to do with it.” In Docous’ estimation, large projects like the Golden 1 Center are so specialized, only three or four firms in the nation are qualified to take them on. The Golden 1 Center’s architect AECOM has designed some of the top sports arenas in the world. But Docous sees a solution for projects that fall within this category. “On these big projects — the ones that the local firms can’t do or somebody has really specialized experience — Sacramento architects can bring a lot of per- spective regarding politics, community, social sensibility, emerging trends, community input and outreach,” he says. Docous gives an example: The Sacramento International Airport’s modern Terminal B wing was designed by Denver architect Fentress and Dallas architect Corgan, who both have extensive airport experience. Corgan brought Lionakis on as a consultant to weigh in on the design and provide green-building expertise in pursuit of LEED Silver certifi- cation. Corgan also contracted with local firm Dreyfuss + Blackford to assist with some technical and ancillary work. “One of the things the airport challenged us with was how to create a sense of place that is Sacramento,” says Brent Kellye, Corgan principal. “While we always do our research, interviews and analysis, there is something you can’t cap- ture in asking people a question, versus somebody who has lived it and has an understanding of what the community is about. That’s the benefit we saw in working with Lionakis.” Lionakis was part of a co-located team with Corgan staff that regularly met to address design decisions and technical November 2017 | comstocksmag.com 75