CLEMSON — Thanks to a gift from the Garvin Design Group, the Clemson University School of Architecture has strengthened the bonds between the four program sites that constitute its “Fluid Campus.”

The architectural firm based in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed $100,000 that created a state-of-the-art technology center in Lee Hall, transforming a classroom into the “Fluid Campus Connector.”

Garvin Design Group Mark Timbes Terry Buchmann Scott Garvin David Sickinger

Garvin Design Group’s Mark Timbes (left), Terry Buchmann, Scott Garvin and David Sickinger are all Clemson alumni.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

In addition to advanced digital conferencing technology, the room in Lee III was outfitted with new shades, lighting, carpeting and acoustical treatment, all to enhance the function and comfort of this crucial communication artery.

“We are grateful to the Garvin Design Group for their generosity and vision in supporting the Clemson School of Architecture,” said Kate Schwennsen, director of the school and one of its professors.

“With the Garvin gift of state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and an improved space, we are able to connect our campuses in Charleston, Clemson, Genoa and Barcelona through live-stream video conferencing,” she said. “The new technology enhances our Fluid Campus learning model and enriches learning opportunities for students here in Clemson and during their study away from Clemson. It is already improving faculty and staff communications, as we can now all be ‘in’ the same room.”

The Garvin Design Group has deep ties to Clemson.

President Scott Garvin and firm principals Mark Timbes and David Sickinger all received their Bachelor of Science in Design and Master of Architecture degrees from Clemson University. Principal Terry Buchmann received a Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson before earning his Master of Architecture at the University of Virginia.

Fluid Campus Connector Garvin Design Group Lee Hall TR

The Fluid Campus Connector is already strengthening communication between School of Architecture sites.

During their studies, all four benefited from Clemson’s Fluid Campus experience, with Buchmann spending a semester in Charleston and the others spending semesters in Genoa, Italy.

Collectively, they have sent four children to study at Clemson so far.

Garvin Design Group has professional links to Clemson, as well, including multiple renovation projects; new entrances to the Brooks Center and Jervey Hall; and multiple feasibility studies that include the new College of Business building across from Bowman Field, the Advanced Materials Research Lab and Soccer Operations Complex.

The Genoa experience “was a life-changing experience and truly helped shape who I am,” Scott Garvin said during the recent unveiling of the renovated Fluid Campus Connector space. “We are honored to give back to a place that impacted us in so many ways, especially the Fluid Campus, which is a transformative experience for every student.”

“This is going to be a huge opportunity for everyone,” Buchmann said. He also said that his wife reminded him to relish the moment. “It’s not every day that you get to give back to a place you love.”