Meet the Interns

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 Over the last year we have had the pleasure of hosting four interns. Getting to train and mentor them is an honor that we are thankful to have the opportunity to do. This spring we have welcomed two young men to our team and are excited to introduce you to them.

Connor Jones

IMG_6131Connor Jones is a student studying landscape architecture at Texas Tech University and is graduating in the summer of 2020. He was drawn to study landscape architecure because of his desire to work in the field of environmental preservation and sustainable architecture. When looking at the process of creating a project, the conceptual design phase is Connor’s favorite part. “It’s where I really get to be creative in site design and explore potential ideas and solutions.”  In his free time he enjoys hiking and playing disc golf.

“Connor is a smart kid and very enthusiastic about design. He is very creative and has a strong desire to learn all aspects of how our profession works. Always willing to help without hesitation!” -Landy Orama-

Temo Zaragoza

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Temo Zaragoza is also a student at Texas Tech University studying landscape architecture, graduating in the summer of 2020. He chose to go into the field to create a space that makes people as excited as he gets when visiting a place for the first time. When working on a project, his favorite part is seeing all of the decisions that were made along the way come together to create a space for everyone to enjoy. On his days off, Temo enjoys exploring new places. He loves hopping in his car and finding someplace he hasn’t been before. “I think it is a great way to learn new things and get inspired.”

“Temo has strong design presentation and graphic abilities. He has an impeccable attention to detail on how a design will both function and remain aesthetically pleasing. Great team member and always there to lend a hand.” -Landy Orama-

Connor and Temo’s time with us is coming to an end and we are excited to watch them grow in their last year at school. They have a bright future is ahead of them and it was an honor getting to mentor them this semester.

Intern Program

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The education process landscape architecture students follow is a blend of classroom study, studio design work, historical context interplay with current standards provided by intensive study of past work through slides, photos, and other exhibits, and internships.  At Meeks Design Group, we take pride in working with students in our internship program every year.

Internship involves the student working directly with a professional landscape architect, in an office setting.  Required by most schools, these internships range from 6 month studies abroad, to 3 and 6 month programs with local or regional landscape firms.  The student is introduced to the day to day operations of a real firm by: working with the team leader on current projects, learning to work with understand and interpret city and state codes, participate in design work, and complete details, redlines, and other various and sundry drawing items.  The full scope of the day to day work handled by a full time designer is offered for the student to see, question, and learn from.

For the firm, the internship program provides a range of benefits.  One benefit is having a staff member to produce the final drawing packages. This includes the drawing/compiling of details, completing the redline process all drawings go through, and the other tasks that are the baseline tasks for each project.  While these tasks may seem mundane, they are uniquely valuable in the instructional process for the student.  Teaching how a design goes from a schematic line drawing, through the presentation stage, all the way through detailing to responses to RFI’s and ASI’s. This is an incredibly critical element of the profession that is rarely touched on in the school setting.

Also of importance to the firm is more of a thought process than a real production one. Providing the guidance, teaching new skills and understandings of the depth of the profession, is a responsibility the Landscape Architect and the professional firm should never take lightly.  To guarantee the continued excellence of the future landscape architect, the professional must share the knowledge learned through years of practice.  Without this exposure, the student will come into the profession blind to the realities of the tasks that are to be undertaken, with the potential for the new professional becoming discouraged with what is so totally different than the school setting provides as to lead them to leaving the profession.  It is imperative for the firm to provide this important element schools are not equipped to provided.

Finally, this is a tremendous opportunity to get the firm name out to potential new staff. Introducing the students to who your firm is, what your firm does, what you offer as salary and benefits, thus leading to the best and brightest coming to you for employment opportunities.  New ideas and skill sets are the lifeblood of any firm, especially with the technology improvements being seen in the production of the final product.  Hiring a new graduate often sparks the staff to look at new ideas, new materials, and new ways to solve old problems as they introduce the new staff into the work process.

Internship is a uniquely valuable part of the landscape architecture office.  Students learn the real work while getting paid. They then go back to school with a better understanding of the profession they will soon be a real part of. The firm has young staff to handle many of the more routine tasks, has access to new computer skills, and welcomes new ideas and energy into the firm.  It is a benefit to all involved, helping to maintain the high standards of the profession. Over the last year we have housed four interns and look forward to keeping our doors open for more interns in the future.

Junction Crossing: Completed Project

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We reviewed Junction Crossing Apartments during the preliminary design phase in a recent post, using stills from our Lumion prepared video.  As is quite normal, many aspects of the project changed from that post to the completed project.  This piece will review the final apartment complex.

Junction Crossing, a high-end apartment project north of Ft. Worth in Keller, Texas, is a stunning example of the owner providing funding for a long list of over the top amenities. These include a 12,000 square foot dog park, a half-mile walking/jogging trail and a three level, multi-area mega pool.  There is also a playground, a fire pit, and a beautifully constructed retention pond.

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For a project such as this, a striking pool is a must.  This magnificent feature includes three levels, each with a different designated use. Waterfalls, an infinity edge, raised planters, and a splash pad complete the pool amenity, ensuring there is something fun for everyone.  The adjacent clubhouse has a fire place inside an enclosed tower, a second floor multipurpose room, and a full work out room, all facing the pool.  A nearby fire pit puts the final touch on this cozy gathering place. 

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The massive dog park is unique for a project of this type.  First, it’s size alone sets it apart from other residential dog parks.  On average, an apartment dog park is 500 square feet.  This one is over 12,000 square feet!  It is divided into two separate a sections, one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs.  There is also a full-service dog wash in an adjacent building.  The entry area into each section has a bench, a trash receptacle, and a leash post.  There will ultimately be a series of dog exercise stations in each area.

 A half-mile walking/jogging trail runs through the front section of the site.  Winding through nearly an acre of gently rolling berms, the trail, made of compacted decomposed granite, is a welcome addition to the health-conscious tenant.  The path is well-lit and completely fenced inside the complex, allowing for use at any time.

Finally, the detention pond, normally a second thought area, is quite unique.  With large native limestone boulders forming the walls, a multi-level, heavily planted service ramp, and a multi-tiered fountain, it is not the normal pond.  It is quite an extravagant focal feature.

Junction Crossing, from preliminary design through final construction, was an exciting and challenging project. It’s numerous unique elements forced our landscape architects to think and create outside the box. With all of the pieces that remained in the final project, it is a stunning addition to the portfolio of Meeks Design Group, Inc.

 

 

Junction Crossing: Prospective Rendering

 

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Junction Crossing is a garden style apartment living center in Keller, Texas. We were asked to design the project and create perspective renderings to be used for marketing materials. Landy Orama created the renderings based off the initial design done by Meeks Design Group.

Having renderings created for a project before the completion of a project is very useful to give potential residents a feel for what living there will be like. Being able to present a visual of how the finished complex will look helps show their property to customers.

Below you can see how Landy created a day and night version of the pool. Seeing the pool in different settings creates a more realistic experience for both our clients and potential residents.

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He also designed several different views of the pool area for our client to use.

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This arial view gives a full picture of  the poolscape, including the lounging and the grill areas.

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We are  thrilled to offer these unique renderings to accompany the projects we are design for our clients. We will be sharing the completed project with you soon!

 

Land Development: Highland Meadows

Land development is a key area we focus on at Meeks Design Group, Inc. Our team takes a bare tract of land and designs it into a neighborhood with stunning entry features, enjoyable amenity areas, and beautiful landscaping to create an idllic community.

Today we are sharing one of our projects that was completed in 2006, Highland Meadows in Seagoville, Texas.

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The entry feature for the community center fits into the  elements by using natural stone, keeping a consistent look to the club house design. It also has a combination of sharp and smooth lines with subtle script, allowing it to stand out without taking away from the surroundings.

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One of the amenities created for Highland Meadows is the children’s play area. This structure was created to give space for both younger and older children to play. The color scheme chosen for the playground was natural and warm tones.

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In the younger children’s play area, we created a canopy designed to protect little ones from the heat of Texas. It was also important to make sure the playground’s informative signs were properly placed for maximum visibility.

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For the older children’s play area, we selected play equipment with coverings attached to the main structure instead of a canopy. Choosing the right colors allowed us to keep a harmonious look with two different styles of sun protection.

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Another design feature we implemented into the project was the community pool. The landscaping around the pool was created to withstand heat and blend with the design of the neighborhood. Stone was used in the pool fence design to match the clubhouse and entry sign.

When designing pools, it is important to keep in mind who will be using this amenity. This neighborhood pool would be used by families and would need to have a flow that encompasses all ages. The design we went with was an open  concept, keeping the area between  the children’s splash pad and the main pool visible by all. Creating a pool that is both functional and stylish is always a challenge and we are thrilled with how this one turned out!

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We take pride in our designs and are glad to share them with you. We look forward to sharing more of our projects with you!

Our team has expanded

Meeks Design Group, Inc. has been growing! We have added two new landscape designers to our team. We pride ourselves in the quality employees we find when we expand our team and are excited to announce our two newest members!

Garrett Blackwell

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Garrett Blackwell graduated from Texas Tech University in May of 2017 with a BLA. He started with MDG, Inc. in June of 2017. Garrett discovered his passion for architecture during high school and chose landscape as his route because of his love for outdoors. His favorite part of the design process is when the final design is decided upon after trying out other potential ideas or solutions. “It’s the epiphany of what should be built,” he says.

 

 Matthew Thomas

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 Matthew Thomas graduated from Texas Tech University in May of 2011 with a BLA. He started with MDG, Inc.in February of 2018. Matt began his career in architecture but along the way found that he enjoyed designing the outdoor landscape rather than the actual structure. His favorite part of the design process is the final outcome, being able to see how people interact and use the space that was created. He also takes these finished projects as learning opportunities for ways to do things differently for the future, creating upon what he has seen to be successful.

Welcome to the team Garrett and Matthew.

Perspective Renderings: A great way to step ahead in the Marketing Game Part 1

Our world is ever changing and the world of marketing and advertising is changing along with it. In a place where social media and instant gratification is key, it is imperative that Meeks Design Group incorporates these changes into our business model.

We now have an exciting product that allows your new project to stay ahead of the game by promoting it with a perspective rendering. Imagine being able to show  clients a digital video of how the the job site will look !

A perspective rendering is a 2D and 3D model of what your finished product will look like. This will allow your customers to have a tangible concept in which they can picture themselves.

Landy Orama is our design manager of perspective renderings. He is very talented at taking a subjective image and turning it into a tangible still shot and video.

Today we are showing off the still images of one of our recent perspective renderings designed by Landy.

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The Enclave at Mira Lagos is an apartment complex in Grand Prairie, Texas that was designed by owner Herbert Meeks. The rendering was paired with the project for the client to show how the final outcome will look. The entry sign is stunning with vivid colors making it really stand out.

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Perspective renderings can also include digital “people” to give a real life feel to the project.

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Apartment complexes rely on their amenities to sell their property as the place to be. Allowing customers to get a glimpse at what the features will look like, such as the pool, will help them relate to the property.

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Including an image like this, prospective tenants will have an idea of how their apartment complex will look.

Perspective renderings are a new feature that we can offer  clients. We feel that they are a step ahead for clients marketing  needs.  We are excited to move forward with more renderings in the future.

The Towers Woodland

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 The Towers Woodland is an apartment complex in Conroe, Texas that was designed by the team led by Clayton Turley. The project is a contemporary apartment complex on the outskirts of The Woodlands and is surrounded by walking trails and a breathtaking lake. These aspects are taken into consideration as Clayton and the team planned this concept. The main features of the project are the infinity pool with luxury poolside cabanas and modern landscape design.

576ae34a22a18253As you spend time around the project, you will notice the crisp, clean design of the landscape matches the feel of the buildings interior–modern and functional. It also blends with the adjacent park and lake, allowing the project to coexist with its surroundings.

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The olympic size pool will take your breath away! It has been designed to be an escape from the city-a place to relax and make you feel like you have been whisked away to the beach. There is an infinity edge surrounding the pool with multiple tanning decks. The waterfall that cascades over the infinity edge allows an opportunity for residents to be playful or just enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

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Luxury poolside cabanas are placed around the pool area creating a perfect place to relax and gather with friends. These cabanas emphasize the modern beach feel that the pool creates.

The Towers Woodland is one of many Towers projects that MDG, Inc. has designed. Each project is unique, yet has features that link them together. This project was made unique because of it’s need to blend well with the trails and lake adjacent to the property, while continuing the modern feel that the building design created. We loved watching this design come to life.

 

Watercrest at Kingwood: Independent Living Retirement Community

 

Watercrest at Kingwood is an independent living retirement community in Kingwood, TX. The lead landscape designer for the project was Brandon Booher. The project features outdoor community areas, an outdoor water feature, indoor/outdoor pool design and walking trails.

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Arriving at Watercrest at Kingwood, you see the grand circular driveway that gives class and style to the retirement community. It creates a feel of serenity and comfort.

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The property was also designed to allow for retirees to enjoy the outdoors while staying close to home. It has beautiful walkways around the site and along the way you can take a break at one of the communal outdoor seating areas. Perfect for an afternoon stroll or an evening gathering.

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As you wander the community and enjoy the peaceful environment, you will come upon a spectacular water feature that will take your breath away. It is a perfect place to spend some time reading a book or just enjoying  nature.

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One feature that really stands out is the indoor/outdoor pool jointly designed by the landscape architecture team and the architecture team. This is a perfect amenity to include in adult living properties allowing swimming and aerobics to occur year round, which helps promote independent living.

This project is a sister to other Watercrest properties that we have designed. The tranquility and comfort that you feel at each of these communities. We take pride in designing with residents in mind and love how this design met the needs of the clientele.

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