In a new series we are calling fresh archop will feature an individual in architecture or allied industry who has just relocated to the San Joaquin Valley, or returned after an extended absence. For the first edition we introduce a fascinating individual named Enoch Sears.I first met Enoch via email. He’d responded to a blog post on Fresno Famous. At the time, he was living in Panama designing a Caribbean resort. An evening this August I discovered his return when we encountered each other the Fulton Mall. Below are his words regarding: growing up, education, travel, returning to the San Joaquin Valley, architecture, influences, design process, notable experiences, and what he is currently working on.
———————————————————————————————————————— Growing Up
I grew up right here in the Central Valley in Lemoore, forty minutes south of Fresno. My parents are originally from the Bay Area and moved to the Valley when my dad got a teaching job in Kettleman City around 1980. Some of my childhood memories include riding my bike around town and the surrounding farmland during the hot, dusty summers, exploring the canals and eucalyptus groves; and driving up the old two-lane Highway 41 with my parents to visit Fresno.
I studied architecture at Cornell University from 1998-2002. While at Cornell I participated in a unique design studio: Imagining Cuba in 2004. Interestingly enough, the studio was led by professor Milton Curry, a Fresno native who graduated from Bullard High School. For the studio, I designed a hotel/condo tower situated over a retail space that also housed an embassy for American Democracy. I have been captivated by the story of Cuba- especially how it relates to the concept of trying to choose an alternate form of lifestyle amidst our modern society. One of the most interesting classes I took at school was a class on Cuba (different from the design studio) that examined Cuba’s history and present situation from a sociological, architectural and historical perspective.
I have traveled throughout the US, Central and South America (throw in a cruise to Nassau in the Bahamas – great salad bar!)- quite limited really. I spent last year (2008) in the Caribbean on an island of Panamabworking on pie-in-the-sky designs for a resort developer. As for architecture one of the buildings I’ve been most impressed with is the Kimbell Art museum in Dallas, TX. I have yet to delve into the architecture of Fresno. I’m awed each time I drive past those huge silos just north of Hwy 180 by the Tower District.
Return to San Joaquin Valley
I moved away from the Valley for school and work, and then came back briefly around 2002. I then moved to Houston, Texas. I lived and worked there for five years primarily with Hawthorne Architects until I couldn’t stand the humidity any more. After a year abroad in the Caribbean my wife and I decided to come back to Fresno because of family ties and the fresh grapes. I love the arid air here! 100 degrees without humidity feels like 80 in Houston.
I admire the idea of “the architect”, the master builder, the creator. Most architects fall into this category more or less. Specifically, Sam Mockbee (1, 2, 3)and Glen Murcutt (1, 2, 3)for their explorations into the “local” and the vernacular, Frank Lloyd Wright (1, 2, 3) for his sheer power of creation, and I can’t leave out Le Corbusier (1, 2), the giant of modern architecture, + many more.
I design primarily in plan. Sketch, modify, sketch, modify, sketch. I admire boats and cars in that every piece has a function and this function is emphasized by design. I try to bring the same logic and beauty found on a boat to design. Beauty is a charged word. Sometimes a design is beautiful because of its sheer creativity or how it stimulates ones mind. The client is key to finding a proper design solution.
Every meeting with a client is a notable experience. I love the human aspect of the business.
Working on Now
I’m currently working on an apartment complex for Hanford, CA with architect Chas Rhoads as well as a residential remodel. I just received my architectural registration in Texas. Next step is to apply for reciprocity in CA and take the California Supplemental Examination (CSE). It is amazing the amount of paperwork and steps involved.
LEED AP, AC
Please join me in welcoming back Enoch
If you are or know someone in the architecture field new to the area contact us.