Celebrating Campus Heritage Through Contemporary Interiors [HSW]

Colleges, universities, and independent schools across the country are stewards of a diverse array of incredible historic buildings. Renovating these facilities to support contemporary use can be challenging when the goal is to create a welcoming, modern experience while still celebrating the heritage represented by their architecture. Furthermore, industry trends indicate institutions are beginning to prioritize renovation over new construction, which will create pressure to bring even the oldest campus buildings up to contemporary standards for function, comfort, accessibility, and sustainability. What are some effective design strategies for integrating new contemporary design elements into existing historic interiors, while respecting the unique sense of place? This presentation will explore the process behind designing projects like the renovation of a student center originally built as a rural dairy barn and the creation of a vibrant student hub inside an Ivy League architectural icon - projects that directly leverage contemporary materials to celebrate the heritage of each campus. By sharing both the architectural and interior design perspectives, attendees will benefit from a holistic overview of this challenging and relevant topic.


Founding Partner & Director of Design

Voith & Mactavish Architects

Daniela Holt Voith, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, ASID, is a founding principal of Voith & Mactavish Architects and our director of design. Holding degrees from Yale University School of Architecture and Bryn Mawr College, Daniela has dedicated her career to promoting the advancement of design for educational environments. Her client-focused practice supports leading edge pedagogical thought and encourages mindful ways of living and learning. Daniela has developed a method of practice that moves fluidly from planning initiatives to building design. Her many long-term relationships with educational institutions result in designs that carefully suit her clients’ missions, reflect their architectural identities, and assist in achieving their strategic goals. She is also consistently looking for ways for her projects to be sustainable in innovative ways. Her work has received numerous national and local accolades.Daniela has also consistently sought out opportunities to make a positive impact in her community. Mayor Michael Nutter appointed her to serve on the city’s award-winning 2008 Zoning Code Commission, which revised the city’s 50-year-old code. Daniela is currently President of the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art – Philadelphia Chapter; Director of the Carpenter’s Company of Philadelphia; and Board Member of the Design Leadership Foundation, whose mission is to ensure a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fields of architecture and design.

Matthew McCarty, Allied ASID

Project Manager

Voith & Mactavish Architects

Matthew McCarty, Allied ASID, joined VMA in 2021 after working at the intersection of interior design and historic preservation, especially adaptive re-use projects. His experience includes high-end residential as well as civic, institutional, and hospitality projects. Matthew graduated from Roger Williams University with a Master of Science in Historic Preservation, and from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design.

Matthew has applied his interests in preservation and interiors on a number of projects at VMA, including the ongoing renovation of a historic campus building that will house high-level administrative offices. He currently services on the Board of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

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