Written by Mitchell Woldt, AIA, AIASD Emerging Professionals Committee Member
Design in the Hills has always been a great event organized by AIA South Dakota, and this year was no exception. The morning began at Rapid City High School, where we checked in and had a brief opportunity to socialize before boarding either the bus or our personal vehicles for our first stop at Security First Bank. This tour was led by the project’s architect, Jerud Pummel, AIA, from UDA Architecture + Design. The bank was truly impressive both inside and out, featuring a large atrium lobby anchored by a grand central staircase. A huge thank you to Security First Bank for allowing us to tour the entire building, including the rooftop patios and also thanks to Jerud for providing an in-depth explanation of the design process and its challenges!
Following the bank tour, we regrouped and set out for Hermosa, where Jeremy Altman, AIA, from Architecture Incorporated, guided us through the Hermosa School Addition. The addition demonstrated a creative approach, involving the closure of a city street to connect the existing facility to the addition, while also addressing a significant grade change across the site. Inside, we had the opportunity to see the new gymnasium, naturally lit learning commons, and finished the tour outside at the new playground and turf play area. Thank you, Jeremy, for a fun and insightful tour!
After leaving Hermosa, we made our way to B&T Industries in Rapid City, where we toured their production floor and were given an in-depth look into the world of modular pre-manufactured construction. The entire facility was impressive; however, I found the customized metal stud cutting and assembly processes to be especially intriguing. Thank you, B&T, for not only providing the tours but also hosting us for lunch.
My favorite part of DITH is the opportunity to connect with others from across the state. Whether it’s catching up with a friend or classmate you haven’t seen in a while or making new connections during the tours, DITH is a fun and social event that not only celebrates each other’s work but also fosters connections throughout the design community in South Dakota.
Photo credits: Cassie Pospishil
The Design in the Hills committee was formed in 2011 by architects, Kris Bjerke and Tanya Davis and interior designer Maggie Job. Over the years, many new faces have trickled through the committee as leadership in the AIA South Dakota organization has evolved, however Kris has been the anchor to an event which has become a much-anticipated gathering of designers in the Black Hills each summer. The current committee includes Ms. Bjerke, architect and AIA SD board members, Jenn Johnson, Brad Burns, and interior designers Jessica Bergeleen, Kelli Trebil, and AIA South Dakota executive director, Angela Lammers.