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!


A PIVOT Tour of the YMCA Construction Site

Project Manager Karen Williams and Interior Designer Martha Wassweiler took the PIVOT team on a tour of the Eugene Family YMCA as construction nears completion. The tour provided our team a chance to see how a large-scale, complex project progresses and how our drawings and specs are translated into physical construction.

The translation between what is designed “on paper” and how it is manifested in construction requires extensive coordination, countless hours of on-site collaboration with the construction team, and much, much more.

Fitting a complete tour of the 75,000-SF facility into an hourlong visit wasn’t feasible, so Karen and Martha hit the highlights, imparting lessons learned and practical advice from their real-time experience.

Some details:

• In the Teen Space, ductwork was arranged around the steel support beams to allow for proper air flow in the space. The positioning of the ductwork was key because it then determined the height of the light fixtures.

• With so many building systems running through the facility, specifying lanes helped the team track the cables and pipes and keep them in an organized fashion.

• With the welcome desk integrated into its surroundings, the design had to be adjusted due to the limitations of the saw-cut concrete grid lines.

The new YMCA remains on schedule and on budget to finish construction in mid-November and open in mid-December.


PIVOT Principal Katie Hall Honored as a 2023 Woman of Vision

PIVOT Architecture is thrilled to congratulate Principal Katie Hall, AIA, WELL AP, IIDA, on being honored as one of the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce’s 2023 Women of Vision.

“Katie is passionate about everything she does. She thrives on collaboration and works to bring out the joy and fun in her projects and practice. I’m so proud to see her honored alongside all of the other Women of Vision,” says fellow PIVOT Principal, Kari Turner.

Katie has a natural ability connect with others and make them feel both seen and heard. As a leader, she empowers and advocates for others.

“We all elevate when we do it together,” says Katie.

Katie joined PIVOT in 2009, becoming a principal in 2021. Her kindness, humility, dedication to inclusion, equity and diversity, and passion for architecture inspires us every day.

According to DJC Oregon, “Women of Vision is the region’s preeminent recognition and educational program that supports the women who are shaping the built environment with their technical skill, leadership, mentoring, community involvement and the creation of opportunities for the future generation of women in the industries.”

This year, 46 incredible women in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries were recognized for their impact on their companies and community through volunteer work and mentorship. We extend our congratulations to the other 2023 Women of Vision, all of whom are so well deserving of this honor!

Photos courtesy of Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon.



Halloween, It’s Kinda a Big Deal at PIVOT

Don’t know if this is true for all architecture firms, but Halloween is kinda a big deal in our office. We brought in Thai food for lunch and celebrated together with costume awards and a “face the cookie” challenge.