Articles Tagged with: William R. Gustafson

William R. Gustafson, FAIA, Retires from Ballinger

For over forty years, Bill Gustafson dedicated his exceptional talent and collaborative leadership style to Ballinger. In July 2019, after a career of great accomplishments, Bill retired from the firm. We are grateful for the many early years that Bill diligently guided Ballinger to a strong collaborative foundation that has led to our current national stature and culture of excellence. We have valued his friendship, mentorship, and partnership and look forward to building upon his legacy.

Bill’s first day at Ballinger was in the summer of 1976 and after the July 4th fireworks, Bill settled in and worked tirelessly to build up Ballinger’s client base, its people, and its reputation for quality design. Now in the firm’s 141st year of practice, up until 1986, Ballinger was led by just two families: the Ballingers (three generations with the last Ballinger retiring in 1973) and the DeMolls (two generations). The DeMolls decided to retire in the mid-1980s, turning the practice over to a group of investors led by Bill. At the time, the firm’s roots were deeply anchored in corporate America with such mainstay clients as IBM, Campbell’s Soup, Sperry-Univac, and Smith Kline.

Under Bill’s leadership, new partners were brought on board, leading to an expansion of market direction and quality design work – in addition to corporate clients, Ballinger’s higher education and healthcare projects flourished. Today, Ballinger’s practice thrives on designing complex technical buildings with sophisticated engineering systems.

Bill was a proponent of well-organized design workshops and a key to his and Ballinger’s success has been the continuation of the Quaker style (consensus) decision-making inherited from the firm’s founding families. He spent an extraordinary amount of timing getting to know people in the office and among clients, for as he says, “if you understand them, you can lead them.”

Bill has received numerous awards, has been widely published, and has been a frequent presenter at forums nationwide. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Michigan and his Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

A teacher at heart, Bill is developing a series of lectures on Cope and Stewardson, the Philadelphia architecture firm (1885-1912) best known for its Collegiate Gothic buildings.

University of Maryland A. James Clark Hall Dedication

Ballinger attended the dedication for  A. James Clark Hall, a transformative bioengineering hub at the University of Maryland, College Park. The 184,000 SF building was designed by Ballinger to facilitate world class research and support Maryland’s growing population of engineering students. It will serve as a home for the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices and shared instructional space for the A. James Clark School of Engineering. This unique integration of education, discovery and entrepreneurship enhances the student experience and facilitates the translation of research from the lab to the marketplace.

In addition to a tour for media, the dedication program included remarks from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; Wallace D. Loh, President of the University of Maryland;  Robert L. Caret, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland; Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., Maryland Senate President;  Maggie McIntosh, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Maryland House of Delegates; Courtney Clark Pastrick, Board Chair of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; and Darryll Pines, Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

The Ballinger architects, engineers and designers who led the project and were in attendance at the ceremony included: Principal-in-Charge William R. Gustafson, FAIA; Design Principal Craig S. Spangler, AIA; Engineering Principal Jonathan Friedan, PE; Project Manager Steve Wittry, AIA; Ben Patane, AIA and Nicholas Hollot, AIA.  “The building is a very unique campus place that we hope will inspire excellence in engineering learning, discovery and entrepreneurship for many generations to come,” said Spangler.

Left to right: Steve Wittry, AIA; Nicholas Hollot, AIA; Ben Patane, AIA; William R. Gustafson, FAIA; Arshad Mughal, University of Maryland Associate Director of Capital Budgeting; Daniel Pierce, Assistant Director, University of Maryland Design and Construction; Craig S. Spangler, AIA

Left to right: Steve Wittry, AIA; Nicholas Hollot, AIA; Ben Patane, AIA; William R. Gustafson, FAIA; Arshad Mughal, University of Maryland Associate Director of Capital Budgeting; Daniel Pierce, Assistant Director, University of Maryland Design and Construction; Craig S. Spangler, AIA

Johns Hopkins University’s Undergraduate Teaching Labs wins 2016 SCUP Award


The Ballinger-designed Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories is a 2016 Honor Award Recipient for SCUP/AIA/CAE Excellence in the category of Architecture-Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse. The jury selected ten Honor, fourteen Merit, and eleven Honorable Mention Awards this year.



On July 12th at SCUP-51, the Annual International Conference to be held in Vancouver, members of the jury will present a 90-minute session on observations from this year’s submittals, what was “excellent,” best practices and the challenges that lie ahead for higher education.

Established in 1965, The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) is a community of higher education leaders who are responsible for, or are involved in, the integration of planning on their campuses and for the professionals who support them. 

For the full list of SCUP winners, click here.


Ballinger’s Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Teaching Labs wins AIA PA Award

Ballinger’s addition and renovation of the Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Teaching Labs received an Honor Award at Thursday’s AIA Pennsylvania Design Awards Gala. The 2015 Architectural Excellence Design Awards celebrate exceptional architecture and design.

Light-filled and open, the Undergraduate Teaching Labs put interdisciplinary learning on display. Ballinger designed the active learning and research facility for Johns Hopkins University’s biology, chemistry, neuroscience and biophysics departments.


Ballinger wins the 2015 IIDA “Best of Year” Award

From a pool of 38 projects submitted by 18 firms, Ballinger won the 2015 IIDA “Best of Year” Award for its interior design work on the George Washington University Science & Engineering Hall.  The award recognizes outstanding built work designed by IIDA members in PA, NJ and DE.

The new 500,000 sf, eight-story Science & Engineering Hall (SEH) is the focal point of George Washington University’s expanding research emphasis, and transforms the institution’s capabilities in the sciences.

The IIDA award judges highlighted the dynamic, integrated experiences of SEH’s architecture and interiors topped off by great accents of color and moments of surprise.

Transparency is a pervasive theme – a glass façade on the building exterior, glass fronts on all labs and offices, a double-height atrium space to open vertical sightlines, and a floating tower of teaching spaces that extends six floors up.  The abundance of glass allows natural light to penetrate the large floorplate while putting science on display both internally and externally.

To encourage interdisciplinary partnerships, departments are arranged in “research neighborhoods” that place lab and office space for different disciplines next to each other around a collaboration space, pantry, and spiral stair.  Gathering spaces can be found throughout the building: internal garden spaces highlighted by green walls, informal group spaces, a large commons area, meeting and study rooms.

The building’s neutral palette is accented with pops of color to energize the space and assist in wayfinding.  The maple underside of the teaching tower brings warmth to the scale of the atrium.  The continuous flow of materials – terrazzo, granite, concrete and maple – from the common spaces into the teaching and research spaces provides a gradual transition and allows the science happening in the building to play the central role.

The New Research Facility Value Metrics: Interaction, Sustainability, Project Quality

At the 2013 Tradeline International Conference on Research Facilities, Principals Bill Gustafson, FAIA, Jonathan, PE, LEED AP, and Associate Principal Steve Bartlett, AIA, presented on emerging performance metrics for science and engineering research. An overview of the presentation is as follows:

Building performance measures have been slowly evolving. Efforts to modify these metrics have largely been hidden from view. This talk seeks to fill this intellectual void by exploring three different aspects of building performance:

  • How far can the traditional metrics take us?
  • What should a human factor model of performance be?
  • What are the potentials to go beyond LEED in terms of technology performance.

The premise of this talk is a building performance dashboard that combines these three elements to create a more balanced view of a building. Underlying this model must be post occupancy evaluations that go back to validate the original premises. The 2012 lab of the Year will provide just such a test case.

Link to Presentation

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery named 2012 Lab of the Year

R&D Magazine has bestowed this year’s annual Lab of the Year award upon the Ballinger-designed Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. This prestigious awards program is an international competition recognizing excellence in laboratory design. Situated at the heart of the University of Wisonsin-Madison campus, this unique 330,000 SF biomedical research facility is home to twin institutes, the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and the public Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. To engage both the local and campus community with the science happening in the building, an unusually large part of the program is dedicated to public activity. A ground floor Town Center serves as a civic science place and a living room for the surrounding science and engineering campus quadrant. The secure research floors located above the public realm embrace the concepts of transparency and openness to promote interaction, collaboration and discovery within the lab environment.

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Ballinger Senior Principals Present Successful Models for Co-Locating Science + Engineering Programs

At Tradeline’s 23rd Annual College and University Science Facilities Conference, Senior Principals Bill Gustafson, FAIA, Craig S. Spangler, AIA, and Jeffrey French, FAIA presented recent trends in science and engineering facilities. They reviewed a series of recent projects that reflect three planning trends: the research / teaching neighborhood, the emphasis on collaborative spaces, and the disappearance of boundaries both physical and psychological. The underlying principles that drive these trends are measurable: higher utilization of space, higher research productivity, and greater emphasis on shared resources, both space and equipment. Ballinger provided university leaders with measurable benchmarks for these complex phenomena.

Tradeline is an industry resource that presents high level conferences focused on the latest planning, design, operations and financial thinking for the built environment. This year’s College and University Science Facilities conference was held in Scottsdale, AZ.

Link to Presentation