Welcome 2018

Welcome year 2018!  Planning on any project this year?  Do any have a time crunch or maybe hoping to be constructed by summer or fall?  Well, if that is the plan, now is the time to enlist an architect to plan that design.

Many jurisdictions are very busy and permitting can be backup over two months, not including holidays or response time for questions asked during permit.  Contractors are also busy and getting solid budget numbers from subs can take six weeks.

So, the simple math is, if you want to have a project breaking ground by summer, count back four months from June and well, we should already be in the design and permitting phase for that amazing project.

Call for a free consult and we can get you designing and planning for that dream project.

Take “Time” to plan for that project!

Our newest client approached us about adding a screened porch with some living space expansion because he enjoys hosting Thankgiving dinner.  To be complete by Thanksgiving, we are now designing!

It takes time to design, make thoughtful decisions and interview contractors for the best fit.  Then, there is a period for pricing the project and submitting for permit before construction can even start.  Plus, if the project is located in a Landmark or Historic district, that adds additional time for review and possibly, Board presentation approval.

It is never too early to discuss project plans with a qualified architect and designer.

Georgia’s 10 most beautiful libraries

Early this year, I was honored to participate in selecting the 10 most beautiful libraries in Georgia from a long list of submissions.  Working with several members of the Georgia Public Library Services’ staff and another architect, we reviewed and discussed the submissions and created the list of 10 finalists and 7 honorable mentions.

I really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful buildings and locations housing Georgia’s public libraries and learning about the history many have.  Several exist due to Carnegie funds at the turn of the century as well as several newly built facilities of many shapes, sizes and styles.

The GPLS staff printed a cute passport booklet listing these 17 treasures with the name, location, architect and brief history.  If you love libraries or enjoy architecture or history and want a reason to take a road trip, here is a wonderful opportunity.  Read more and see the list here: http://www.georgialibraries.org/

On the Boards

As we ease into spring and leave winter, Turco McCarthy Architecture and Design has brought several projects from design concept into the permitting or construction phases.

2016 into 2017 brought the following:

  • Two accessory structures 
  • A complete renovation and second floor addition to a SFR
  • An attic expansion in Historic Decatur
  • Exploration of a SFR street front redesign to increase curb appeal
  • Exploration of a SFR expansion and interior remodel
  • Commercial Three Story Mixed Use building in Florida

Soon these projects will have before and after shots.  See our website for completed projects!

Here is a sampling from above.

Existing SFR street frontage….


Proposed redesign…..

new elevations-1 -7-15-161024_1

New three story mixed use commercial property in Florida….

Delray Beach Site Plan 3-9-171024_1

and SFR expansion and interior remodel…..

Existing plan:


Proposed plan:



In reflection…..

This spring marks 25 years in the field of architecture for Ms. McCarthy, owner.  As we move through 2017 please note that our company name is now Turco McCarthy Architecture and Design and no longer TME Designs.  We celebrate 7+ years as an independent company serving clients in the multi family industry, tenant spaces, mixed use properties and single family residence owners and developers.  We even worked on the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy!

Last week on a consult, we were pleased to hear the following praise: “Thank you – you just help me fall back in love with my home!”  That is wonderful to hear and extremely rewarding.  Our philosophy is, “design is personal”; we are excited to explore those design ideas with you.


The beauty of scuppers!

When a person thinks about water drainage and controlling water flow, a very important element in architecture design, it is not usually stimulating conversation.

Residences typically pitch a roof to a gutter which then deposits rain water into a downspout.  Whether aluminum or copper, the downspout is a functional rather than decorative element.

Commercial structures with flat roofs drain to internal roof drains with the hidden drains running to the rainwater piping.  However, these systems also require overflow scuppers, which are visible to the exterior of the building.  Again, a functional element but, one that can become a visual element on the façade.

In Saint Augustine, two high profile structures have decorative scuppers. Whether constructed in the 1690’s or the 1960’s, draining water off the roof of a structure is important.  Both these examples did so in an elegant way without losing the functional purpose of the scupper.

The Castillo de San Marcos, constructed 1695 and Flagler College, constructed in 1968 use scuppers to drain water and made them decorative.  Well, the Castillo de San Marcos is a fort which was not constructed with beauty in mind but over time, the grandeur and engineering brilliance makes it a work in art.  The stone scuppers are functional but look elegant with the stonework and simplicity of the site.

Flagler College on the other hand, has custom designed dragon faced scuppers.  Their beauty adds a layer of interest and detail to the ornate exterior design.  A visitor can sit and study the building and details such as these for hours.  So, even an element as simple as a scupper is important to the structural integrity of the building but it can also be elegant and visually interesting in appearance.


We hope this post finds everyone happy, healthy and able to enjoy at least one summer adventure!

Because this is an architectural blog, here are a few places I did not expect to find while vacationing but share as great finds!  Biloxi, Mississippi – what heartache, still.  I was very surprised to find so many empty lots along such pristine beach.  All the homes and business’ lost in Katrina have not been rebuilt.  Being on the beach is like exploring the moon alone.  Slight exaggeration but not too off base.

What we did find along the beach front is the Ohr-O’Keefe museum.  Ohr is lovingly known as the “Mad Potter”; O’Keefe is the family behind his discovery fifty years after Ohr’s death.  What is the architectural connection?  Well, Mr. Frank Gehry collects (or owns) a few pieces of Ohr’s pottery and took the job to plan and design the museum that houses Ohr’s collection.  It is the smallest museum campus that Mr. Gehry has worked on.

Orh-O'Keefe Museum by Gehry

Orh-O’Keefe Museum by Gehry

Another great find, a town over in Ocean Springs, is the Walter Anderson museum.  Mr. Anderson was a painter who intentionally lived in harsh terrain to seek inspiration from his subject matter.  He had a tremendous interest in ancient art and patterns and developed that form over time with organic subject matter.  The architectural connection – part of the museum is Ocean Springs’ original City Hall assembly room.  Mr. Anderson was commissioned to paint floor to ceiling height wall murals.  Truly incredible and mesmerizing to look at!

Walter Anderson City Hall Mural

Walter Anderson City Hall Mural

Both places are worth a visit should you be near the Gulf Coast of Mississippi!

Graduations and Scholarships

As a new Board member of the Architecture Foundation of Georgia (AFGA), Ms. McCarthy had the privilege to present scholarships to students at Southern Polytechnic University last week during a luncheon awards presentation.

Ms. McCarthy joined AFGA in March and Chairs the Scholarship committee.  She looks forward to strengthening the relationship between students and the architecture profession beyond annual scholarships.  Suggestions and thoughts are appreciated!

Congratulations and good luck to all 2013 graduates!

Spring Cleaning

Porch of new home under construction

Porch of new home under construction

With Spring on the horizon comes fresh air, open windows and porch visits with neighbors!  It is also the season to clean out the basement, attic, closets and cupboards for a good old yard sale.

What will you do with all the extra space?  Think it is time to refresh?  Consider TME Designs and Architecture to guide you through the next home or office renovation, addition or remodeling project.

We are happy to visit for a free consultation and discuss your Spring ideas!

Check out our latest project under construction and other work on the website.


Happy New Year!

TME Designs is proud to celebrate 20 years in architecture.   Allyson T. McCarthy has been practicing since 1992 and is excited by the future and new challenges.

Thank you to all clients, colleagues, friends and family who have supported and guided her over the years.


TME Designs Updates

The last few months have been a roller coaster of work and community endeavors.  First, TME Designs congratulates our Gwinnett County client who’s new sunroom addition was completed this summer, just in time for fall weather!  It is truly stunning.

TME Designs also picked up two new residential projects and submitted its first government proposal for work this summer.  We are excited by the momentum and hope it keeps moving forward!  See the following images sketched for the 7500 sf new residence to discuss architecture tone and scope.

TME Designs is also proud that its founding member, Allyson T. McCarthy, who was appointed to the Board of Directors of Caring Works, Inc., in the Oakhurst community of Decatur.  Caring Works is a non profit social service agency working to improve the quality of life for low-income individuals and families by helping to increase their ability to be personally and economically self sufficient.

Alexandr Rodchenko

Alexandr Rodchenko was a painter.  His painting techniques could be considered a basis for architecutural thought and design development.  By using a compass and a straight edge to geometric figures, Rodchenko created space within a two dimensional plane.  To Rochenko, painting did not exist as a simple color representation of reality, but rather an element of spatial structure.  The line and the plane formed these spaces.

My own sketch progression to test the theory: 

The line links what goes before to what follows into a single organism.  It functions as a boundary, an edge or a skeleton forming the frame.  A line signifies passage, movement, collision, connection and intersection.  When a designer takes a line and places it within the three dimensional, that line becomes as least one of the above depending on the nature of its task.

The plane represents construction.  It is the projection of a feasible real structure.  Either planes derive forms by acting independently or by merging together.  If a plan moves forward or backward, its projection may be left behind.  This is a decision to be made by the designer.

This excerpt comes from a study and written document presented for a Russian Constructivism Class by Allyson T. McCarthy


The Everglades and the Evolution of Programmatic Space

I had the wonderful opportunity to explore the Florida everglades for an afternoon last month.  Of course, while being in touch with nature invigorated me; I could have done with more distance between myself and the alligators which turned out by the dozens!

Gorgeous birds, turtles and lush greenery exist in harmony.  The low lying brush and marsh provide water for the creatures living here but the occasional green mound is the true treasure trove.  Unfortunately, those areas are nearly impossible for human beings to even navigate with the extent of underbrush.  This is a good thing!

The natives who once lived in the Everglades made multiple camps in the periodic hardwood forests.  The white trunked trees are several hundred years old, according to our guide.  They provided a home for humans by way of shelter and high land.  Back then, your sleeping camp and eating camp were in separate forest spaces; similar to our home today.  When was the last time you slept in the kitchen?  Of course, the reasons the native Floridians kept the two activities separate was a safety issue rather than for comfort however, it is interesting to observe how design evolves.

The tower photographed is owned by the National Park Service.  It is a wonderful example of sculptural architecture but evidences how we humans desire and need the higher ground.  We constructed the soaring tower to watch over the lands at the best vantage point and to feel safe while doing it.  However, while the structure is clearly manmade, standing out like a sore thumb, the wildlife is not discouraged to stay away.  The tower’s ramp sits wide open and the human visitor must look out for the interested alligator.  About a dozen were camped out at the base on this gorgeous winter day.

If you have a chance to visit the Everglades in Florida, I highly recommend the trip!