For the past 18 years, David M. Schwarz Architects has maintained a travel fellowship program which offers undergraduate and graduate architecture students an opportunity to travel and intern in our office. Lauren Gilmartin is a 2019 architecture intern from The University of Maryland (UMD) School of Architecture and will be receiving her Master of Architecture and Master of Community Planning degrees from UMD in 2019. Keep reading to learn more about Lauren.
Favorite place to hang out in DC? My favorite place to hang out in DC is actually quite touristy – I love to spend time on the National Mall. The axial relationship of the monuments and the Capitol Building, along with the concentration of important museums along the Mall is extremely significant. I’ve been lucky enough to travel internationally quite a bit, and the National Mall is so unique. The concentration of power, knowledge, and symbolic architecture in this one location is significant and can be felt when you’re standing on the Mall.
Favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee ice cream
Favorite book? All the classics – my favorite is probably The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.
Favorite visual artist? The painter Caravaggio. I spent a semester in Rome and took a class on Renaissance and Italian art. We spent a lot of time going around the city and looking at Caravaggio paintings.
What is the most surprising thing about DC? It’s a vibrant city with interesting neighborhoods, beautiful sites, and a melting pot of many cultures and backgrounds.
What is your favorite building, in DC or elsewhere? The Library of Congress. Every room is fantastic.
Favorite Podcast? I have so many favorite podcasts. The podcasts I listen to weekly are the NYT’s The Daily, This American Life, and Radio Lab.
Do you have any special or fun skills or talents? Is there a special skill you would like to have? I played the violin for eight years before I started college. With such a busy schedule, I haven’t been able to play as much and have lost most of the skill. I am looking forward to re-teaching myself after I graduate in December.
What are you currently working on? I am currently working on the MidCity Amphitheatre in Huntsville, Alabama. I am concentrating mostly on the building form attached to the seating bowl and the backstage program.
What is something you have done during your time at DMSAS that you had never done or tried before? Most of my professional experience has been in multifamily residential architecture and urban design. Both the Vanderbilt and the Huntsville projects have been new building types that I have not worked on before.
What is your favorite DMSAS project? Is there is another project (past or present) that you wish you could have worked on? I have always been interested in master planning. DMSAS has a substantial master planning portfolio and any of those projects would have been awesome to work on!
What about DMSAS has surprised you the most? I really appreciate the attention to detail and design at DMSAS. During my first week, I worked on the DD set for the Vanderbilt Residential College. The project is so intricate and each face of the building is unique and beautiful. It’s easy to see that the design team spent a lot of time looking through precedents and studying the details Gothic architecture.
Why are you interested in architecture? I knew I wanted to be an Architect when I was 10 years old. My mom’s best friend is an Architect and he exposed me to the profession early. Architecture and urban design is so important – it effects so much of our daily lives.
If you weren’t interested in architecture, what would you be doing? It’s hard to imagine doing anything but architecture. If I had to pick, I would likely be working as a planner or policy maker in sustainability. I have always been interested in both architecture and sustainability, and look forward to a career in which I can combine my two greatest interests.
What techniques do you most enjoy using to document architecture—photos, sketches, watercolors, 3D models, etc.? My favorite way to document architecture is through a combination of sketching and photographing.