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Employee Spotlight: Chris Worton

If you have been lucky enough to work with Chris, you know that his passion for design and amazing knowledge of architectural history is second to none.  He brings this passion to all of his projects and encourages those around him to research and dive into their design to find great solutions for our clients.  And if you know him, you know his passion for all things well designed extends to his wardrobe.  He has definitely won the “snappiest dresser” award at MKSD on more than one occasion.  When he’s not at work, you can likely catch him on a long outdoor run or hunkering down with a good novel on the history of Rome and a cup of coffee around one of the coffeeshops or booksellers in the LV. 

What is your experience in architecture?

I didn’t start my career in architecture until about 6 months after graduating school in 2009 due to the 2008 economic recession.  I first worked a short stint at an office in Columbus, Ohio surveying an 11-story office building in downtown.  I then moved to New York City in the Summer of 2010 and was an Assistant Project Manager at a Residential General Contractor before landing a Junior Designer position at an architecture office near Tribeca. I had a number of roles and responsibilities at this office that really helped me develop my knowledge and skills on design and construction documentation.  I was in the city on and off working at various firms, big and small, for nearly 8 years before joining MKSD (for a second time) in 2018.  

What brought you to the Lehigh Valley?

Fatigue from city life and the growing expense of living in a metropolis drove me back to the Lehigh Valley.

Where did you go to college and what was your favorite class?

I went to Lehigh University for undergrad and The Ohio State University for grad school, but it was really my experience at Ohio State that shaped my architectural education.  My favorite class was Architectural Theory by Doug Graf where we did ‘close’ readings and diagrammatic analysis of buildings and gardens from Antiquity to Modernity.

Who is your favorite architect/designer and why?

Louis Kahn. His ability to create monumental, but modern, buildings that drew heavily on Late Roman Architecture.  He was an Architect that demonstrated ancient concepts of spatial order and volume could be employed successfully to modern building typologies while looking contemporary and timeless all at the same time.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Reading about: Architectural History/ Theory, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Byzantium; Writing about Architecture; Sketching buildings; Running; Exploring Easton.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it that influences the way you work today? Construction Laborer.  It wasn’t my first job, but it influenced me in that I got to see buildings, mostly summer camps in the Poconos, being built from the ground up.  I got to see how walls were constructed by carpenters, how plumbers installed pipes and fixtures, how electricians wired and controlled electrical devices, et cetera, and it really helped me see design as a process and integration of many trades, not just some high, ideal concept many of us are taught in Architecture schools.  It helped me realize that as Architects we are responsible for detailing, or coordinating the detailing, of all things in a building, both large and small.

What is one unique thing that others may not know about you?

I love Landscape Architecture and Gardens, from the famous gardens in Europe to the lesser-known gardens in the United States.  I love the shared affinities between gardens and architecture, particularly in terms of spatial and volumetric experience.

How are you involved in the community?

I am a member of the Historic Architecture Review Board of the Borough of Stroudsburg where we review the design appropriateness of renovations of existing structures and new buildings that are proposed in the Historic District of the Borough.

Where is your favorite place to eat/visit/hang out in the Lehigh Valley?

So many, but all start off with the coffee places, such as Tucker Silk Mill and ThreeBirds Coffee in Easton, Lit in Bethlehem, and Baked in Emmaus.  I also like a number of wine bars and breweries in the area, such as Easton Wine Project, The Separatist Project in Easton, and Lost Tavern in Hellertown.

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