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Published Nov. 8, 2018

Sparks Reed enters PAWsh Palaces contest

The American Institute of Architects Eastern Oklahoma Chapter has partnered with the Tulsa SPCA in a contest to raise funds for the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.


"It's called PAWsh Palaces," said AIA chapter President David Reed. "It's a competition to build fun houses for pets."


The campaign began in July with the formation of seven teams, each made up of a local architectural firm, a general contractor, and a Tulsa school specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training. The construction professionals helped these students design homes for their dogs and cats. As those tabletop models progressed, the architects crafted their own life-size pet palaces, which their contractor teammates built. 

"We have such great architects in Tulsa, and such great architecture, we just thought it would be great to bring this type of event to our city," said Mindy Tiner, executive director of the Tulsa SPCA. "We thought this would be a great way to bring kids into the equation as well. Education is a big part of what we do at the Tulsa SPCA."

Tulsa SPCA executives will display these prototypes, along with the top school designs, at Woodland Hills Mall through Nov. 18. For $5, observers may vote on which PAWsh Palaces team presentation they like most. That vote also places participants in a raffle to win their chosen prototype. The teams receiving the most votes will win prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 for their schools.

"So this is also a great fundraiser for the schools," said Tiner. "For $5, voters not only get a chance to win their favorite PAWsh Palace, they get the opportunity to support our schools."


The teams include:


Team 1 — W Design, Miller-Tippens Construction, Ellen Ochoa Elementary.


Team 2 — TriArch Architecture, Builder's Unlimited, George F. Boevers Elementary.


Team 3 — SGA Design Group, Stava Building Corp., Christa McAuliffe Elementary.


Team 4 — Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors, Nabholz, Mark Twain Elementary.


Team 5 — KKT Architects, Crossland Construction, Roy Clark Elementary.


Team 6 — Ambler Architects, John Hallaway Construction, Jarman Elementary.


Team 7 — Freese Architecture, Rupe Helmer Group, Thomas Jefferson Elementary.


"We were thrilled with the level of participation from our architecture community,” said Lindsey Ellerbach, executive director of the AIA Eastern Oklahoma chapter. “The houses are all so creative and different from one another.”


Reed worked with his daughter Makayla, a cat owner, to design the purr-fect penthouse. It ended up as the competition's only prototype focused on felines.


"We tried to make it a sculptural piece of furniture that cats could climb on," said Reed, a principal in Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors. "It kind of looks like something you might see at Ikea."


Participants may cast their votes at Woodland Hills or Online voters should check the "Add Additional Information" box and submit a phone number for notification should they win.


"We're really, really grateful for the participation of all the architects and builders," said Tiner. "I know it took a lot of time and effort."


“It's really exciting when we can develop these kinds of partnerships that allow us to work with kids and use our skills to raise money for such a worthy cause,” said Ellerbach.

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