News

Larry Banks Stepping Away from PIVOT

After 30 years of guiding some of the firm’s notable projects and leading us with talent, laughter, and humility, Principal Larry Banks has decided to step away from PIVOT Architecture.

His departure comes on the heels of a four-month sabbatical that allowed him to step back from work in order to rest, recharge, and reflect. An outdoor enthusiast, he also spent more than a month hiking and backpacking all over the wildernesses of the West with his dog Rainier. During his time off, he came to many realizations, among which is he needed more time to reflect on what should come next.

He insists he is not retiring but has no immediate plans. So, we expect to see him roaming the wilderness, working on his house, and baking treats!

“I am sincerely grateful to everyone at PIVOT for the opportunity to craft a career practicing architecture as well as building relationships with clients, contractors, consultants, and the broader community,” Larry said. “I feel called to forge a new path, but have not yet discovered where that will lead.”

Soon after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s in Architecture, Larry joined PIVOT in 1993, becoming a principal in 2008. His resume is thick with notable projects including fire stations, public utility campuses, nonprofit renovations, higher ed facilities, and so many more we can’t possibly do his resume justice. For every project, Larry executed the clients’ goals with humility, grace, and quiet confidence.

While he was on sabbatical, the five other PIVOT principals collaborated on Larry’s projects assuring clients their projects were covered. Moving forward, the firm’s 30 architects, designers, and professionals will pick up where Larry left off and ensure continued project success.

“Larry has been a fabulous mentor to so many of us over the years,” said Principal Kari Turner. “His willingness to help and ability to teach the importance of the details have benefited our projects, our clients, and staff alike.”

Larry hasn’t just been a fixture at PIVOT, he has been heavily involved in the Eugene-Springfield community, serving on boards and committees including the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce’s Local Government Affairs Council, Eugene Rotary, the Eugene Education Foundation, Envision Eugene, and more.

“Larry taught me the power of maintaining strong working relationships,” said Principal Toby Barwood. “His good-natured demeanor, and easy, approachable style helped him build trust with clients over the years.”

Larry subscribes to the “don’t sweat the small stuff” philosophy and makes an effort to bring enjoyment on all levels into his projects. He brings design excellence to architecture while also incorporating the appropriate level of empathy, compassion, and laughter—often embracing his inner “Cookie Monster” silly side—into his leadership style.

“We will miss Larry like a child learning to ride a bike misses their training wheels,” Kari said. “We’ll know he’s not there but we’ll ride-on without him, aware of how much we learned with his steady presence.”

Larry doesn’t know what his next steps will be but all of us at PIVOT wish him nothing but the very best and will sorely miss working with, learning from, and being inspired by him. Cheers to the next adventure!

News

It’s Been a Great 28 – Kari G. Turner Retiring from PIVOT Architecture

Kari G. Turner, who has infused PIVOT Architecture with true collaboration, creative design, caring mentorship, and deep thoughtfulness for 28 years, will “sparkle” in retirement.

Nicknamed “Sparkles” for her enthusiasm, sense of humor, and ability to connect with others, Kari has inspired her PIVOT colleagues and clients for nearly 30 years. Now she’s ready to find a new spark.

“Over the last three decades of working with Kari I have learned that she loves working with people almost as much as she loves 80’s pop music,” said Principal Toby Barwood. “Her ability to connect with people has allowed her to build strong teams that function well. Her work has earned the trust of one agency after another, leading to an expansion of PIVOT’s involvement in communities across the West.

“She taught me the value of focusing on the people in every project… and to sing along with Madonna,” Toby said.

Kari has spent her entire 28-year career at PIVOT Architecture. She began as an administrative assistant in 1995 while attending architecture school at the University of Oregon and was hired as a full-time designer in 1997. She received her license to practice architecture in Oregon in 2002 and became an associate at PIVOT in 2007. In 2015, Kari became a principal, leading many of PIVOT’s projects with transit agencies.

A succession plan has been developed over the last six months and Kari’s tasks have been transitioned to the other principals and PIVOT’s robust staff, ensuring that all our clients’ needs are being met. Her last day at PIVOT is April 12.

“Just like no piece of glitter is the same, Kari is a one-of-a-kind,” said Principal John Stapleton. “From her architectural chops to her sense of humor, she has mentored so many people in our firm and taught us all well – we’ll be able to ‘carry’ on,” he said.

“OK, maybe I could use a few more lessons on humor,” he said laughing. “But she’s done a great job of bringing up our staff to fill her role.”

Kari’s projects have been endowed with a sense of purpose and fun and reflect her thoughtfulness, compassion, and competence. Some of the most notable projects that she’s been involved with are Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and transit center projects throughout the west including multiple projects in Utah and Washington, TriMet’s FX—the first BRT in Portland, Keizer Transit Center, Springfield Station, and the iconic EmX—one of the nation’s first BRT systems. Additional community projects include The Eugene Family YMCA, Roseburg Public Safety Center, and multiple facilities for the City of Eugene.

“When I started my career, I had no idea how big of a role transit would play in my life and career,” Kari said. “I love the connections that transit provides for communities. I love the collaboration with other talented designers, and I love the passion of the people who work every day to make our communities welcoming places for everyone.”

Transportation has always been something close to Kari’s heart. She is a frequent bus ride, a former board member for Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation, and a regular attendee and occasional presenter at MPact Transit + Community Conference (formerly Rail~Volution).

Kari believes establishing connections with people is critical in making projects a success. She’s been an advocate for universal design, the practice of creating facilities that are accessible to all users no matter their ability.

“Kari has been a strident advocate for public transportation and accessible design and she used that passion to make gorgeous architecture that worked for everyone,” Toby said. “She’s been a joyful mentor of young designers, always willing to pass on the lessons her career has taught her.”

Kari’s not quite sure what her next steps will be, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll lead to a fair amount of backpacking trips in the wilds of Oregon with her husband Garrett. Happy hiking, Kari!

 

Project

The New Eugene Family YMCA

Thousands of people rely on the Eugene Family YMCA each day. Whether it’s for fitness, healthy living, child care, youth development, or a social meeting place, the Y really is a center of the community. Inside and out, the contemporary, 75,000-SF multi-purpose facility enables the nonprofit to grow and diversify how it serves the community in creating a brighter future.

Read more about the project.

Project

OGX BRT Makes Its Debut

The 22 platforms at 14 stations are inspired by the community’s strong historic architecture, Weber State’s cohesive campus, and the area’s unique geology. PIVOT engaged with stakeholder groups to develop three shelter concepts in a series of workshops. The “Strata” concept was selected and includes precast concrete columns that reflect the area’s stratified geology and its upheaval resulting from collision of the Great Basin and the dramatic mountains to the east.

Read more about the project.