A lot has happened since 1978, the year BR&P was founded. Soon we’ll be celebrating our 38th birthday, and that’s a great occasion to take a look back and compare life in the 1970’s to now.
BR&P Then & Now:
In 1978, the world flocked to the theaters to watch Saturday Night Fever, Animal House, and Grease. The Bee Gees topped the record charts. The economy was in a recession, and almost no one was hiring. Geoffrey Butler, at age 25, decided to start his own firm. His office was his father-in-law’s dining room, his desk, the dining room table, and the number of employees, one. Technology was limited to a small drafting table, a Smith-Corona portable typewriter, a T Square, triangle, scales, pencils, sketch roll, tracing paper, and an electric eraser. The other office was Springfield Blueprint, where Geoffrey would take the tracing paper drawings to get blue-lined prints made, which smelled of ammonia, a key component in the copy process.
Today, with a staff of 22, our offices are at 319 North Main Avenue in downtown Springfield. While tracing paper, pencils, and scales are still used, most of the work is done using Revit, AutoDesk’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) application. Much of the work is done collaboratively, and with technology, we are connected anywhere at anytime. Every BR&P BIM allows for 3D viewing and contains a database that can be read by 3D printing software. We still use Springfield Blueprint, but now have the capabilities to print high-res prints in house, and they definitely don’t smell like ammonia!
Architecture Industry Trends Then & Now:
In 1978, the postmodernism movement was in full force. It was a backlash against modernist architecture. Instead of the functional rectangular concrete and glass building, architects wanted to design something unique, warmer, brighter, and more experimental. Famous buildings included the Portland Building in Portland, OR, and the Piazza d’Italia in New Orleans, LA.
Today, sustainability is key, and green design is common. Blending the natural and built environment is also becoming more important. BR&P LEED-certified designs include the Watershed Center, the Jordan Valley Maintenance Facility, and Greenwood Science Scholars’ Lab all in our hometown.
Projects Then & Now:
BR&P’s role in our first few projects was construction manager, and the first to be built was Harbor Village Apartments in Branson, MO. Soon after, we designed and built the Financial Center Office Park in 1980. In 1981, we developed the Galleria Shopping Center, with its unique exposed glue laminated structure with high vaulted spaces inside. This allowed tenants to build mezzanines in the space for their back office functions. A series of health care projects in Southwest Missouri soon followed: the National Avenue Medical Building, the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, St. John’s Fitness Center, and Cox Medical Plaza II to name a few.
Today, with projects in more than 36 states, we have come a long way from our dining room table beginnings. Project types span from hospitality, retail, business, entertainment, civic, and community. Some of our current projects in design and under construction include the Embassy Suites Hotel & Convention Center in Denton, TX, the Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park Addition in Colorado Springs, CO, the Acacia Spa in Springfield, MO, and more!
Here’s to the next 38 years!