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Architecture Students See Real-World Applications of their Work

Architecture students tour the renovated Electronic Imaging Materials Inc. facility with Professor Bart Sapeta.
Architecture students tour the renovated Electronic Imaging Materials Inc. facility with Professor Bart Sapeta.

In the spring of 2018, architecture students collaborated with Electronic Imaging Materials Inc., a label manufacturing company based in Keene. The students were asked to create plans for a series of upgrades to EIM’s facility. Now, some of those ideas are being implemented.

“Their task was to understand the needs of the company and translate them into architectural solutions that improve operational efficiency, facilitate building circulation and access, provide communal feeling to the employees, accommodate the ‘babies at work’ program, and improve the main entrance,” said Dr. Bart Sapeta, associate professor of architecture.

Through the experience, students learned how to interact in a professional environment. They met with building construction consultants and were advised by local architect Tim Sampson. Students worked individually on smaller projects and collaborated with others on two options for the expansion of the facility.

EIM recently completed some renovations based on the ideas introduced by the Collaborative Architecture class. Those improvements included updates to the main conference room, new flooring, a window into the reception area, and more. The students were invited back to the facility to see their plans brought to life.

"As an architecture student, my big dream is to design something that will one day come to life,” said Erik Scerbanovsky, a junior from Croton-on-Hudson, NY. “With the EIM project, I was able to see that happen. Having the opportunity to work with real clients on this project made it feel so real. Seeing both my design and my peers’ designs be used and come to life was amazing."

Valentina Pinzon-Mendez, a senior from South Glastonbury, CT, majoring in architecture, expanded the Collaborate Architecture students’ plans throughout the summer and fall through an internship with EIM. While working with Tim Sampson, she performed an in-depth analysis of the existing facility. That information, combined with the outcomes of the Collaborative Architecture class, will serve as a basis for the development of a multi-phase renovation and expansion plan.

This semester, she will complete her degree in architecture while continuing to work closely with Alex Henkel, the president of EIM, and collaborate with building construction professionals on the next phase of the project.

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