When it comes to having a successful visionary plan, it isn’t enough to just have the ideas. It is critical to have the expertise to be able to realize and execute these ideas.
And this is exactly what the Fort Wayne-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm MSKTD & Associates does incredibly well.
The 40-year-old firm under the direction of President Gary Voirol has realized the vision for such projects as the redevelopment of The Clyde Theatre, the development of the Sweetwater campus, the expansion and renovation of the main branch of the Allen County Public Library and the Grand Wayne Convention Center and the design for the Ash Skyline building. It is currently working on the design plans for Ruoff’s new downtown headquarters.
“As architects we have to understand the client’s vision and strategy. But we also have to take in to account the project’s scale, mass and materials to ensure the desired structure will work within the vocabulary and vernacular of its surroundings,” said Voirol. “A big part of our job is to listen. We need to be responsive to the client’s desires, but we also need to be able to communicate so that we can provide good and efficient design and engineering for the projects.”
The process to develop the Ash Skyline building is a perfect example of the successful collaboration between the client’s vision, the needs of other invested parties and the architect.
“Tim Ash had a very specific vision and strategy for the downtown building that would serve as his company’s headquarters. The City of Fort Wayne also had very specific ideas of what it wanted to see in the mixed-use development,” said Voirol. “We had to work to balance these ideas and get everyone to the same place. Tim’s vision helped us make decisions in the physical building and some of the city’s ideas were built into the structure’s environment. Ultimately, we must create a structure that accomplishes all its intended goals.”
In addition to its work on such significant projects in Fort Wayne, MSKTD works in four vertical markets: academics and higher education, healthcare and medical, civic work and hygienic food-advanced manufacturing.
It has an international reputation of excellence when it comes designing and constructing facilities, factories and plants. It is one of the few firms in the world that has experience with building hygienic food and clean room environments used for milk and dairy processing, at egg plants and meat and poultry processing facilities.
MSKTD reconfigured the original plant that Hamdi Ulukaya purchased in 2005 in upstate New York to produce his Chobani Greek yogurt. Then, in 2012, it oversaw the design and building of Chobani’s second plant – the world’s largest yogurt facility in the world – in Twin Falls, Idaho. This plant won the 2103 Design-Build Institute of America’s Design-Build Project of the Year award and the 2013 Food Plant of the year award from Food Engineering magazine. It was also featured on 60 Minutes.
And with its place in the background executing its clients’ visions and plan, it is likely for many to know that MSKTD is intimately involved with continued redevelopment and expansion of Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo.
MSKTD even has an on-staff landscape architect, Laura Koolhaun, who specializes in animal habitats and has worked with the zoo to redo its Monkey Island and the North American River Otter exhibit.
“Jim Anderson, the zoo’s director, is very future forward and constantly has ideas about how he wants to change and improve the zoo so that the visitor experience is top notch,” said Voirol. “It is our job to execute Jim’s master plan and help him be able to realize his ideas for the high-quality zoo and visitor experience he wants associated with Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo.”