Melody, FAIA

Appreciation Interview

I have known Melody over 15 years. We served together on the Atlanta Urban Design Commission (AUDC) and have supported each other’s professional goals through accountability lunches, writing and advocacy.

Melody’s perseverance to promote the architecture profession through volunteerism is unparalleled among my peers. She recently applied for and achieved FAIA, fellowship status, due to her service on the AIA (American Institute of Architects), dozens of published articles about architecture design and the implementation of multiple programs to educate students and adults on what an architect does.

Check out the Intown Atlanta newsletter to read Melody’s insight on projects such as the Central Library in Atlanta, The Round House designed by Cecil Alexander and changes undergoing the Summerhill neighborhood.

As an active participant of AIA Atlanta, and past Chapter President, Melody established the Discover Architecture program, an after school class for Atlanta Public School elementary students to learn about architecture and design from volunteer professionals. She has also arranged design and charrette competitions in association with the High Museum of Art for high school students and numerous competitions including a photography scavenger hunt. The goal of the activity encouraged people to explore their community to capture through photographs architecture details on buildings.

Melody’s passion for community engagement led her to the position of Executive Director at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. In that role, she continues to create educational opportunities for the public and students to learn about nature, art and what the built environment is and why it is special.

Thank you Melody for your time today to hear more insight on what motivates you in the architecture profession.

Melody, you attended Notre Dame, what is your biggest take away from that education?

My Notre Dame education gave me extraordinary and diverse experiences in my journey to become an architect. Through our architectural design education, professors helped students to explore and elevate sites ranging from local sites in South Bend, where the university is located, to large commercial sites in nearby Chicago and sites in Rome, Italy for the Study Abroad Program. All of these experiences were layered with a commitment to beauty, scale, and context.

You have written dozens of articles about architecture, buildings and communities, which one is your favorite?

Because I select architecture and architects for the columns that deeply interest me, each of my fifty plus columns feels like a favorite. Some of the most memorable columns include my profile of the late architect Cecil Alexander Jr., FAIA in the Atlanta Intown newspaper. This feature led to my profile of this gifted architect in Architect magazine. I also appreciated the fact that my Atlanta INtown feature on Fountain Hall at Morris Brown College garnered lots of goodwill during a pivotal time for the school. Most recently, I enjoyed writing about the Atlanta Central Library, architects William J. “Bill” Stanley III and Ivenue Love-Stanley, and the Round House, a home designed by Cecil Alexander Jr., FAIA.

What drives you to advocate for the architecture profession?

Atlanta has endured a history of destroying architectural gems and ignoring the contributions of architects for the beauty and vitality of local communities. I’m delighted to be a champion for uplifting architecture, architects, and greenspaces in Atlanta, and beyond. As an AIA Fellow, I also am impassioned to mentor more AIA Fellows from Atlanta and Georgia in the coming years. Society benefits from more architects, who excel within our profession and in their communities.

What is the number one message you want to share?

The architecture profession has space for people of diverse experiences, skills, and interests to contribute to a better society. From designing new projects to revitalizing buildings and communities, architects have a significant role with the quality of life for communities. We must proceed thoughtfully with this responsibility: respectful of the past, responsive to the present, and forward-thinking for the future.

Melody Harclerode, FAIA enjoys uplifting people and places as an award-winning architect, author, and Executive Director of Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta.

Again, thank your Melody for you time and willingness to answer these questions!

Candice, architect and teacher

Meet Candice

A mutual architecture friend introduced Candice to me many years ago and we’ve been friends ever since!

I am grateful that Candice is open to sharing her journey in the architecture profession as she is an example of how diverse the opportunities are for any students considering the field. She currently teaches high school architecture; a field that is highly specialized.

Candice studied architecture at SCAD Savannah and practiced commercial architecture for about a decade before moving into the sustainable design arena. Sustainable design experts emerged from comprehensive national green building programs such as LEED and Earthcraft House, both launched in the 1990s. The 2030 Challenge, established in 2006, challenges architects to significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings. Adopted by the American Institute of Architects, the 2030 Challenge and green building programs raised awareness and interest to design buildings with environmentally sound practices.

Candice left the traditional practice of architecture in the early 2000s to work with building scientists at the non-profit Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta. Southface is a nonprofit formed in the 1970s and is dedicated to promoting sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance.

After six years working on the Commercial Green Building Services team, Candice conducted green building consulting for a few years while she tried out teaching science and STEM in middle and high school so that she could stay closer to home and not travel across the country working on green buildings and conducting sustainability training. Once she decided to teach full-time, she worked to earn her teaching certificate and has been teaching architecture at the high school level for two years – combining her previous careers.

With her architecture students, she not only covers drafting “on the boards” and on the computer, but covers sustainability in the built environment, principles of design and leads students through the design process as they work on design projects.

It has been a privilege to watch Candice’s journey and see the opportunities she’s created through tremendous tenacity for her students such as field trips to architecture landmarks, studio charettes and collecting architecture materials and supplies so they can truly practice industry standards.

The teaching profession, especially, has been impacted by Covid; each teacher deserves our support for helping our children strive toward success!

Candice, what ultimately called you to earn your teacher certification and teach architecture?

I have a lot of leeway in what I teach outside of the state standards. I still get to keep up with green building standards while I am teaching the sustainability unit during Architecture I.

I also get to develop fun projects for the students to sink their teeth into throughout the 3-year program (beginning with Intro, continuing with Architecture I and wrapping up with Architecture II) – and enjoy seeing the creativity that the students exhibit and the growth over their time in the program.

Actually, next year, I have several students who have completed the program and are going to stay with me for a 4th year and complete a capstone-type project. THIS is something that I am really looking forward to – seeing the students’ personal interest flourish.

You’ve arranged many learning opportunities for the students, which one do you believe they enjoyed most?

The Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects puts together very thoughtful competition projects for the students each year. The projects are sited on REAL parcels of land in and around Atlanta / north Georgia. They come with a very thorough Building Program (list of design parameters & building spaces). The students pour into that project for several months going through several steps of the architecture design process.

Last year, students designed a restaurant on the Beltline.

This year, students designed a boathouses on Lake Hartwell and mountain houses in the north Georgia mountains.

What has been your largest challenge teaching and how can we, as parents, help?

Covid has really changed students. During virtual / hybrid – trying to teach such a hands-on course over Zoom was really tough! We do have some catching up to do.

While we have the students in-person now, we still have work in the area of getting them used to being in school again… figuring out how to be in-person students again!

Thank you Candice for your time and talent invested in showing students the joy of the architecture profession!

If you have any general classroom supplies or drafting supplies that you wish to donate, you may reach out to Candice via her school email address:

Jessica, G.C.

Honoring thirty years of appreciation.

I was fortunate to meet Jessica several years ago through a Women’s Networking organization. She was introduced to me as a potential general contractor to partner with on future projects. To connect with a female general contractor interested me, but Jessica’s background in architecture studies strengthened my resolve to partner with her when opportunity allowed.

Not only is she licensed as a residential and commercial contractor; Jessica has great vision for seeing projects finished. She guides clients smoothly through the construction process for a beautiful end product. She enjoys the vendor relationships, making finish product recommendations and is wonderful to work with.

Jessica, after studying architecture, when did you realize being a general contractor was your true inspiration?

I studied Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. None of the traditional engineering degrees resonated with me, but the subject matter of Architectural engineering piqued my interest. Its primary focus was on the engineering and construction of commercial buildings. The curriculum included the structural and mechanical design of a building as well as lighting design and project management. I loved it.

Soon after graduating in 2003, I interviewed at large commercial construction firms. No one was offering an entry-level position; everyone wanted experience. At the suggestion of my mother, I submitted my resume for a second time to a smaller commercial construction company that was building a local high school. Unbeknownst to me they had a newly formed industrial division and hired me! This began my 13 year career in industrial construction.

I discovered that I loved problem solving…most of the time. I loved orchestrating lots of different parts and pieces coming at me from different directions. I loved getting out in the field to figure out solutions with the guys doing the work.

I spent most of my career “on the road” moving from one project to another every 12 to 18 months. When I was finally stationed at our corporate office in Tucker, I found time to flip a house. In that experience I discovered that I love the softer side of residential construction. In residential construction I found both structure and finishes.

You have had several projects published in the Atlanta Journal, does one in particular stand out?

I would say one of the most exciting and rewarding projects would be a project you and I did together in Avondale Estates. Adam & Ben’s Second Story Addition

It was rewarding because it really did improve the quality of life for Ben in particular who is 6 ft-plus in height. Their second level was an attic turned conditioned space with no change to the roof line and consequently no change to ceiling heights.

Ben was constantly bumping his head as he moved around the bed and bathroom. We added huge dormers to eliminate the angles and valleys of the gables that intruded into the space. We unlocked the full potential of usable square footage on the second level. That was fun!

Do you have any advice for young women pursuing a future in construction?

Don’t give up on your dreams! Pretty quickly into my industrial construction career, I began dreaming of owning my own construction company one day. I had no idea how it would happen. I didn’t even have a clear picture of what it would be. I just knew that I wanted my own company.

For 13 years I dreamed of it and sometimes became discouraged and angry that I had these dreams but didn’t see a path to make my dreams materialize into reality. I realize now that I wasn’t ready back then. I didn’t have the experience, the network of subs, vendors and suppliers, the business acumen. I realize now that every new opportunity is presented to me in perfect timing with the development of my abilities.

So work hard! Develop relationships. Make the most of small opportunities and larger opportunities will follow.

Thank you Jessica for your time today. I look forward to continuing our work together in the future!

Learn more about Jessica at:

Meet Angela.

Third Installment of Appreciation Shares

Though Angela and I are close in age, she is the one fellow female architect I consider a mentor.

Angela was the first architect I met upon arriving to Atlanta in 1993 by way of the local AIA chapter’s, Young Architects Exhibit, event. Young architects submitted for space to display their artwork at the newly restored and opened King Plough Center. Angela and I were both participating and met at a planning session.

Not having a job, I inquired to Angela if she had any firm suggestions and she mentioned that her current employer was hiring.

We became co-workers for a year before Angela relocated to Hilton Head for a job, then later, opened her own practice. We remained in touch and have been friends since. I’ve long admired Angela’s strength and perseverance in the architecture profession to meet client’s expectations and engage in sustainable practices.

Angela, what attracted you to become a licensed architect?

Early in my life, I exhibited natural abilities and enjoyment practicing art and understanding mathematical concepts. I found three dimensional visualization of ideas easy to express.

During my fourth grade school year, my parents built a new home with my grandfather acting as the general contractor. I was exposed to the industry watching the site work being performed, helping with painting and designing my bedroom. It was so much fun that I drew up my own floor plan and elevations for a new tree house! This experience sparked my interest in architecture and the construction field.

Do you have any advice for the youth today who are considering the field of architecture?

Be passionate about architecture and your choice to pursue that work. The process to be educated, licensed and practicing is very long and involved. It is a huge commitment and leaves little personal time. You must be very driven.

What are you most proud of?

The work I did at Turner and Associates. I was part of the team handling complicated and important municipal projects such as APS main headquarters, DeKalb Juvenile Courthouse and the Bellsouth Conference Center.

Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share? Would you go through the process again?

As a female who’s experienced practice in corporate architecture, I’d share that consideration should be given to making the profession better equipped to a balanced lifestyle. Not just a balance of personal time versus work but a balance between work and family life. Too many women left the profession or were forced to shift priorities to raise children over being an architect. It should not have to be a choice.

Thank you Angela for your insights!

Introducing Kristen

Second Installment of Appreciation Shares

Kristen and I met at an Atlanta firm around 2007 and connected quickly as co-workers and fellow architects. I enjoyed working on a team with her valuing her insights, design ideas and opinions on how best to execute a project successfully.

Together, Kristen and I experienced the slowing construction market in 2009 that lead us on different work and personal journeys.

I am highlighting Kristen today as an individual I admire and appreciate due to her ability to manage a team to achieve a wonderful end user design and project of quality. While she is driven and direct to the point, Kristen communicates her thoughts and ideas in a professional and respectful manner which is not a skill every professional has.

Architecture is a blend of the artistic with science driven facts leading to a community of thinkers with strong opinions. Not everyone balances an opinion with supportive or constructive sharing of ideas but Kristen finds this balance. Her talent and ability to work with a diverse community of thinkers brought her to a leadership position in a firm and a strong support network of clients, colleagues and friends.

Kristen, what drew you to study architecture and ultimately the practice as a licensed professional?

My professional work experience started with a firm in San Francisco working on construction projects as an administrator/cost controller. I loved seeing work built and I enjoyed the construction practices, however my artistic side needed to be satisfied. As you mentioned there is a technical and artistic aspect to the profession which suited me well.

When my husband at the time, and I relocated to Chicago I had the opportunity to go back to school and pursue a degree in Architecture and realize my dream. My goal was always to become a licensed Architect. Licensure opens the door to many opportunities in the profession. Also, I did not feel comfortable referring to myself and as an Architect until I had the license as that was the climate I grew up in as an Architect.

Is there a style of architecture or project type that you prefer?

To design a successful project it is key to become intimately involved with the end user and understand their daily needs. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many different professionals in different fields.

Working on projects in higher education I met professors of philosophy, film production, physics and many other specialties. It was a range of personalities. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to design a makerspace, physic labs, offices, and classrooms for them.

In Healthcare, early in my career, I met with surgeons and nurses for guidance in designing operating rooms, efficient nursing stations, support spaces, and patient rooms.

I have also worked with developers in the Hospitality industry, both in new construction and renovation projects. Collaborating with Designers to create high level guest experience hotel rooms and lobbies was always exciting. Smartly designing support spaces, conference space, restaurant space and back of house areas was a challenge in hospitality projects, but I loved it and always strived to create the most functional space for the operations team.

A couple unique design opportunities I had exposure to was working with the Atlanta Police Department on the design for a drug lab and forensic firing range. and working on design and renovation of military barracks and massive military storage facilities. Getting a to peek into the lifestyle was a fascinating experience.

Finally, and most recently I have enjoyed residential work. It is a privilege to work with individuals to help build their dream home.

I can’t say I prefer one project type over another. It is the opportunity to collaborate with and get to know some many great people from different walks of life over the years that is most satisfying.

Can you advise young architects on how to manage working on a team of professionals and best communication practices?

Yes, I love to mentor younger Architects!

My first piece of advice is learn to write well and be thorough!! Every email you send should be able to be read by anyone and the subject matter clearly understood. Always CYA conversations in person, on the phone, and text messages with an email; it will create a paper trail for yourself.

Better to over-communicate than under communicate. Sometimes it is better to pick up the phone and talk it out as text messages can go awry quickly. Nothing will get resolved without confrontation. Do not be afraid to challenge an opinion but do so tactfully and at the appropriate time.

Never be afraid to admit you made a mistake, I promise you will, we all do! The old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know” is very relevant in this profession.

Thank you Kristen for your time, talent and leadership in the architecture profession!

Meet Wynn and James.

First Installment of Appreciation shares.

Wynn and James were my first clients after I started my own practice in 2009. They were friends and neighbors living on my street who initially approached me about designing a new single-family residence in north Atlanta. Then, I was hired to sketch concepts for a new front porch for the house they currently lived in and planned to sell.

I admired Wynn and James for their decisive decision making and a DIY (do it yourself) attitude. Unlike most clients, Wynn and James are comfortable sourcing less costly lumber with GC’s open to that process and at times, doing the renovation work themselves.

Wynn and James, what draws you to the DIY process?

Wynn: James is the big DIY guy; I was pulled into it only after James and I were engaged. I don’t actually enjoy the “process” per se … it’s dirty, messy, and can be (and usually is) painfully protracted when you’re doing your own renovation work. It’s also usually a huge time commitment – nights and weekends for months upon months upon months – and there’s always a moment in every project where I just lose it. With that said, the reason I keep doing these projects is the job satisfaction at the end. There is almost nothing like the thrill of watching your design come to life, seeing it all mesh together, watching the transformation occur, and being able to tell yourself: “I did that.” I get a lot of joy from transforming our homes and making them into beautiful places for the next owners to live and love.

In all seriousness, tho, you don’t need to be an extreme DIY’er to make a difference. I find that just updating the paint in a room can give you a fresh, new look and feel … and that’s a project you can complete in a weekend (and on the cheap)!

James: Having been a small business owner for most of my life, I was always having to count pennies. I was amazed at the cost of simple projects. From this point, I began doing simple fixes. Also, I like to buy toys (tools). From small successes, I would try bigger and different projects. I always had an escape hatch for each project. I used (relied) on many a friend who were more skilled at certain projects. It is fun and gives me a nice workout.

Any thoughts or recommendations to other couples planning to build?

Wynn: We have been married for 25 years, and we’re on our 5th house – we’ve renovated 4 (big and small renovations) and straight-up built one home on an empty lot. Building is far easier – you usually have an architect (like Allyson) and a builder to hold your hand, and things go much more smoothly because they can be project managers. Renovation is another beast entirely; I don’t care how small a renovation is, it’s going to involve an unpleasant surprise. No matter what you’re doing, however, the keys are: (1) plan ahead, (2) be flexible, (3) always budget about 30% more than you think you’ll need, and (4) know your limits and don’t be afraid to call in a professional. Make sure you know the time lag for ordering your materials (everything from drywall to cabinets to appliances), and get that done before you think you’ll need them. Also, when you encounter a curve-ball (and you will) be flexible enough to either change plans or find a work-around; this is where that extra money comes in handy, too. Finally, you should know your limits and, for the love of all that is holy, call a professional for critical items. We never (and I mean never!) try to do the key systems ourselves – major electrical, major plumbing, and structural framing are things we just won’t do because a mistake on those will kill the house (and maybe you). I find that if we just do those 4 things, we argue far less during renovations, and things are much smoother.

James: Never do a mission critical project on your own. Electrical circuits loads and proper wires, HVAC, waste plumbing (hate to see things mysteriously roll uphill). If it is a major project, make sure you have an expert in your corner. As for the timeline, always add a bit of cushion. Also, MAKE sure that you have the material already purchased and delivered. There is nothing as mean as a wife after you demo the kitchen cabinets only to find that the new ones are seriously delayed. Know your limits, I am terrible at drywall and getting that perfect invisible seam.

What has been your favorite project to tackle?

Wynn: Honestly, I’m not sure I would be willing to do it again, but the project that I ended up loving the most at the end was our renovation at our last house. It was a complete transformation. We stripped it down to the studs, completely replaced all of the electrical (yes, hired someone for that), reworked the HVAC and added another system (hired a company for that too), knocked out walls to create an open floor plan and reconfigured the living spaces (which involved structural framing work, so another crew there), replaced every window and door in the house, completely gutted the interior, and installed a new kitchen, new bathrooms … new everything. James acted as the GC, and he and I did a ton of work ourselves. We did all of the tiling (kitchen backsplash, bathrooms, and floors), refinished and stained wood floors, installed cabinets, added interior trim, painted the entire exterior and interior of the house, etc. etc. etc. Every room in the house got updated. As we opened up walls and worked on the house, we kept finding “surprises” that the last owners had left us (they had done some DIY work that was sub-standard, to say the least). We tackled everything in phases and tried to do one room at a time, but some of the projects were just too large and took over the whole house. It took us nearly 4 years from start to finish. The worst part was we lived in the house when we were doing all of that, so it was years of chaos – we were *those* neighbors that had piles of debris (and an appliance or 2) at the curb for garbage pick-up on a weekly basis; luckily, we had great neighbors who loved what we were doing so they put up with our messes. But when the house was done, it was incredible. That project tested all of our DIY skills and stretched us, but taking it on and accomplishing it has been our biggest achievement so far.

Here are some during and after shots:

For some perspective, the door in the center of the left photo is the same door in the right photo behind the kitchen island (the two pictures on the wall are in the same place and you can see the skylight, which we didn’t move). We closed off the old front door (which was one of 3 – yes, 3!), and pushed the exterior wall out 4 feet to put in a pantry and a kitchen built-in banquette (which James built, and I made the seat cushion for. It isn’t shown on the photo, unfortunately)

The opening in the picture in the left, below (where you can see the living room fireplace), became the wall where the ovens are located in the picture on the right, below. Again, James and I assembled and installed all of the cabinets ourselves, tiled the backsplash, sanded and stained all of the floors, and painted everything that didn’t move.

James: If Wynn says that’s the best, I agree. I do like my new patio with natural stone and a firepit at our current house. Maybe it’s that fact that I am writing this while I have a fire and a glass of wine on said patio. Or maybe it’s the next project, though I am not really looking forward to remodeling the laundry room.

Wynn and James – thank you for your trust long ago and participating in my blog this month!

Valentine’s Day Appreciation

This spring marks my 30th anniversary graduating from architecture school. How does that relate to Saint Valentine’s Day?

Well, I recall architecture school being a 30/60 mix of women/men, and maybe my mind is fuzzy on that detail, but it is not fuzzy that I graduated in a hiring slump. The job I’d been promised before graduation fell through a month before I planned to return home.

While I did manage a couple of new interviews, the job I was offered and took required that I agree to answer the offices phones and handle typing, because “these are tasks women are especially good at and who wants to hear a man’s voice answering the phone?” Never mind the seven other men who worked in the office were willing to answer the phone, this was the belief of my new 80 something year old boss.

Oddly, the positive in accepting this position, was I then had opportunities to learn about building codes, specifications and putting together proposals and presentations which many interns did not have exposure to initially out of school. The other four male interns drew stairs and door details day in and day out. Not very exciting work.

After a year I did resign and headed south to Atlanta in my car, with my cat, for new experiences. At times I found myself the only female in the room at a table of engineers, owners and contractors coordinating a project. At one firm, I was the only female architecture associate. But as time passed, the ratio of women to men grew. I had the opportunity to team with other female architects, engineers and general contractors.

Today, as the owner of my own architecture and design company, I look back on the journey and the people I’ve met along the way. I thank the men who supported and encouraged my involvement and leadership at companies and the women sharing the journey with me, to become leaders and strong voices in the design and construction industry I know now.

So, on Valentine’s Day 2022, I intend to show my love and appreciation by beginning a blog interviewing those amazing individuals, to share their stories.

Please check back each month for a new chapter!

Graduation May 1992
Five Year First Professional Bachelor of Architecture

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the air inspiring new design ideas!

On my walk today, I was reminded of playing outside in my youth creating tree forts near trunks, house caves in snow banks and collecting twigs, flowers and such to decorate these outdoor havens!

The natural colors of nature are welcome indoors to brighten our spaces and lives. Color and lighting impacts our experiences and moods.

As an architect, I want my clients to have these experiences indoors by capturing views, daylight and using color accents.

Enjoy exploring outside this week with spring on the horizon and observe how the sun’s light creates shadows and contrast. Consider how you might bring any inspirations inside to your living space!

Let’s End 2020!

2020…What a year! While covid has been a huge challenge and strain on our lives, it brought a new type of living.

Work from home…school from home…in law and family suites…outdoor living! In Georgia, we are fortunate for the warmer climate that brings the ability to visit outdoors with others.

This said, 2020 brought many new residential clients to me. Amazing families looking to create more living space for children in virtual school with working parents and a need for more space; inside and outside.

Many project scopes in 2020 were interior remodels to create the real master suite and / or expand the kitchen and living area. Most included a new rear deck with covered areas or screen porch.

In fact, 2020 was the first year in eleven where I did not receive a request to provide commercial services. Every new project proposal involved single family residence design in the form of new construction or an addition with a renovation component.

As 2021 approaches, consider how 2020 may have changed how you live as an individual, couple, family or community. Let Turco McCarthy aid in the transformation of your home or design a new home for the new life style needs this past year presented.

Celebrating a Decade!

Happy New Year 2020!

Turco McCarthy LLC has been open since 2009 providing design and architecture services for residential and small commercial projects.

We are privileged to work with many great clients receiving wonderful referrals from a network of generous individuals.

Thank you so very much!

Above is a recent article of an Avondale Estates project featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

We look forward to working with you in 2020. It is never too early to begin planning that dream home or new business adventure!

Accessory Building Fun Space

My clients have an accessory structure for a two car garage then open shell above.  We finished out the shell for guest space and hang out for parties.  Design included lofts, exposed beams, mini bar and full bath.

Attached are the progress photos still under construction for the finishing touches.













Summer travels and article nomination!

My family traveled last week to Oregon and circled the National Parks.  I love witnessing architect in nature.

We started in Crater Lake; absolutely gorgeous and a natural cistern.  Here was a mountain volcano that erupted and collapsed upon itself.  The walls became a natural filtering system; there is no source in or out so the water is pure and not contaminated.  Again, a natural cistern.

Moving to Mount Shasta we have the opposite effect; plates moving and pushing together to create a mountain and gorgeous vista.  Snow covered, Mt. Shasta creates its own weather and impact on the surroundings.

Last stop, the Redwood forest with 200 – 300 foot tall trees.  They are natural skyscrapers with circumferences allowing the height and creating a tree canopy and eco system that protects and encourages life.

While traveling and taking in the wonder of nature’s architecture, I was nominated by a client for an article in voyageATL.  Here is my story on becoming an architect and practicing the last 25 years.

I’d be honored if you read it.

On the Boards!

We are so thankful for our Clients and the referrals we receive!  This has been a busy year and we want to share the projects currently wrapping up pre-design and design.  Our philosophy is that each project is unique with its own variables setting the design approach:  project scope, best floor plan design for that scope, Clients’ sense of style and personality, and compatibility with environment.

While the majority of our projects tend to be renovation and additions to existing commercial and single family residences, the three featured projects below are all new construction.

Single Family Retirement Residence in GA Mountains

jasper elevation front

jasper elevation front



jasper elevation rear

jasper elevation rear


Street Elevation for City Block Face

Street Elevation

Street Elevation


Live Work Retail Commercial Space, City of Atlanta

fair trade store

fair trade store

Happy Spring!

As winter leaves us and March approaches with warm weather, rain and pollen, that means Spring is fast approaching!

Spring means trees blossoming, flowers popping back out of the ground and birds coming out into the sunlight.  Do you sit on the porch watching and enjoying nature?  Or, is there a room or space with that great window capturing the yard?

If not and you desire this opportunity we would be happy to work with you to “re-envision” your space.  It does not have to relate to spring and watching nature but maybe your kids are now teens and need more space.  Maybe you’ve started cooking again and want to expand the kitchen.

Turco McCarthy Design and Architecture is able to work with Clients to design and see those ideas and spatial needs come to life.  Contact us at:  We’d love to hear about your next residential project.