Posts Tagged ‘Constantine Vasilios’

Harrington College of Design’s Journal originally began as a conduit for Harrington’s faculty from all programs (Interior Design, Communication Design and Photography) to publish and communicate their ideas, thoughts and scholarship around design analysis within Chicago’s academic community. Today the Journal has grown to include select Harrington student essays and seeks to open up discussion of design ideas.

As catalyst and founder of the Journal, Harrington Interior Design Instructor Constantine Vasilios has worked each year to pull the publication together. As Constantine explains, “The essays from the faculty Journal approach subject matter from various points of view … As in all inquiries, the Journal causes more questions to arise that provoke avenues of subsequent exploration.”

Just a few of the articles within this year’s edition include “Space Thresholds” by Constantine Vasilios, “Space and Infinity” by Jeffrey M. Janes, “Poetic of the Primaries” by Peter Klick, and “The Work itself is Silent” by Duffy O’Connor.

Copies of Harrington’s Journal are sent every year to leading design firms in Chicago, with a special copy sent each year to the Mayor of Chicago.

Interested in getting a copy? The Journal is available at Harrington’s Print Center for just $9.95 per copy. Visit us at 200 West Madison and speak with the receptionist to get your very own.

About Constantine Vasilios:
Constantine D. Vasilios is a full-time faculty instructor of Interior Design at the Harrington College of Design. Constantine received his Bachelor of Architecture in Design degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, then attended a year abroad in the overseas program at Versailles, France. He received his Master of Architecture degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied and traveled with the Charles W. Moore studio. He also participated in the overseas program at Oxford, England. He is a partner in the firm Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates Ltd, and has over twenty five years of experience in the field of Architecture and Interior Design. As a licensed architect in three states and a registered interior designer, Constantine has participated in several exhibitions, has been well published and has been a guest lecturer and visiting studio critic at several schools of Architecture and Interior design.

Photo courtesy Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates Ltd.

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When Hackney’s served its first Hackneyburger back in 1939, Brandon O’Connor’s grandmother wasn’t even born. Now he finds himself competing with 11 other young design students to give the 70-year-old restaurant a fresh new look. It’s all part of the Competition Studio class at Harrington College of Design, a course where seniors in the BFA program experience what it would be like in a real world challenge, complete with clients, deadlines and the ever-present specter of rejection. The student’s work is taken through to presentation boards. On December 15, the 12 students went head-to-head in final presentations, with Hackney’s awarding the winner and runner up a $2,000 and $1,000 cash prize, respectively.

“This competition gives students a taste of life beyond graduation,” said instructor Constantine Vasilios, Chicago architect and interior designer. “Because in the real world, it’s not a professor who’s judging your work, it’s someone who may not have the design vocabulary, but knows what works for them, whether it be the owner of an office building, doctor’s office or a long-standing North Shore institution.”

The owner of this particular North Shore institution is Liz Hebson, who has been a part of Hackney’s since the day she was born.

“We may be seventy years old, but we don’t feel it,” Hebson stated. “The chance to see how we could look for the next seventy years was just too good to pass up.”

But it can’t be just pie-in-the-sky design.

“We have an older client base, who loves us for the way we look and feel,” noted Hebson. “We can’t go from a comfortable, trusted friend to the hippest kid on the block. We can’t lose the identity that made us the success we are.”
That being said, she admits there is plenty of room for improvement. “Our last major design overhaul was in the late 60’s. So yes, we could use a little updating.”

Keep reading more tomorrow to find out who competed, what they designed and who won the competition!

Media Contact:
Momi Jahn

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From November of 2006 to December of 2008, Constantine D. Vasilios and Associates, Ltd and architecture is fun inc. had the opportunity to design a Ronald McDonald House that would provide a home away from home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.

The idea for the house was centered around the concept of two stretched arms welcoming the guests inside, with a dream staircase hugging them upon arrival in the center of the house. Bridging and twisting vertically around a three story fireplace, the stairway quickly became a symbol for the interior of the building. Blown glass lights partially donated by an artist were hung according to positions of planets in the sky and represented the four seasons. Likewise, each of the interiors of the sixteen suites surrounding the staircase were designed with the four seasons in mind.

While working on the project, Constantine commented, “When I was a student in Architecture School I dreamed of working on a project such as this. I wanted to contribute to people and have the contribution matter for others in terms of design. The Ronald McDonald House provided this opportunity.”

The effect of the house became quickly evident from the reactions of those who stayed there. As taken from an excerpt from a Sun Times article published in June 2009 a mother describes her experience of her stay. “The McDonald house in Oak Lawn …is not an antiseptic institution or an impersonal hotel. It is beautiful, well-appointed and inviting. There are two wings of the house facing the street, which the architect designed to look like arms stretching out, I was told…I started to get teary.”

She goes on to say that when her son was released from the hospital and they took him to the house for the first time, he squealed “Oh Beautiful!”, while pointing at the fireplace and the tall spiral staircase that formed the hearth and the heart of the house.

After reading about the reactions that guests had while staying in the Ronald McDonald House, Constantine said, “I felt the three years spent on the project, the meetings, and the turns and twists to stay on the committed course were more than worth it. The emotional roller coaster of getting things ‘just right’ for the guests was communicating. I was touched, moved and inspired like the young man who started the profession 30 years ago committed to making a difference for people through design. Dreams do come true, you know.”

Constantine D. Vasilios serves on the Faculty of Harrington College of Design as an Interior Design instructor, and is Principal of Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates, Ltd.

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Today I am honored to feature the involvement of Harrington College of Design’s Interior Design Instructor Constantine Vasilio’s recent involvement with the Ronald McDonald House program in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

The Ronald McDonald House program began in 1974 based upon a simple idea: provide a home away from home for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.

In November of 2006, two Chicago based firms, Constantine D. Vasilios and Associates, Ltd and architecture is fun inc., were selected to provide Architectural services and Interior Design services for a new building funded by the Ronald McDonald Charities in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The building site for the Ronald McDonald House was adjacent to a grove of trees, and across the street from the Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital. The two firms had just over a year to design and build the Oak Lawn Ronald McDonald House, with the opening scheduled just 13 months later in Christmas of 2008.

From the start, the project presented several challenges. In addition to the short timeline, the project had a moderate budget donated entirely by individuals, the goal to preserve as many trees on the site as possible, and also many site restrictions given the large size of the building. However, work quickly commenced.

The design for the new building took shape to include 16 suites, several living areas, kitchen areas, dining areas, and other spaces for a total area of approximately 24,000 square feet. Inside, collective and individual spaces were created to support families’ physical and emotional needs during their children’s hospital treatments. Features included niches for relaxation, a computer center, a teen space, experiential play spaces, a dream staircase, communal dining room, administrative areas, and a contemplative landscape which seemed to connect the building to the hospital across the street.

Check back in tomorrow to read more about Constantine D. Vasilios and Associates, Ltd and architecture is fun inc.’s concept for the house!

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