When Jonathan Taube was a young boy, his family built an art studio next to their New Orleans home.
The extension became a portal to the imagination. It’s where he spent countless hours bringing his visions to life, creating art across several mediums.
Today, Taube remembers those times with fondness. He links them to a budding architecture career he could never have envisioned.
“That building was a huge early influence on me,” says Taube, now an Architect at Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects. “It represented complete creative freedom. It was the first place I could go and just create whatever I could think up.”
Sculpting a new career
Taube honed his craft through those early years. He later studied art, first at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, then at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from The Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010.
A connection between the arts and architecture began to crystallize a few years later thanks to the help of a mentor, Allen Eskew FAIA, Taube pursued his Masters of Architecture at Tulane University back in New Orleans.
“That’s when I started to see the link between sculpture and architecture,” he says. “I began to understand the drawing as a medium between your vision and then seeing it realized.”
Searching for the story
Murphy & Dittenhafer is a little different, as Architecture firms go. The team approaches projects with ardent attention to both history and context.
Each assignment requires reaching deeper than a set of drawings, instead digging toward the sort of fine detail found only through attentive listening and careful research.
It’s an approach that suits Taube perfectly, says Frank Dittenhafer FAIA, M&D’s founder and President.
“Our projects are always fundamentally about people and about places,” he says. “Jonathan understands that. He’s keenly interested in searching for the story— both what something is and what it could be.”
Thinking deeply about design
For more than a dozen years, Spring Garden Township officials have eyed building a new municipal complex. The idea is to combine police, administrative and recreational facilities in a cost-effective, sustainable way that nonetheless honors area history.
It’s been a perfect first project for Taube. From researching the township’s early years to studying local mills and natural resources, the young architect has quickly immersed himself in the task.
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“Jonathan has a keen design sense and exceptional graphic skills that have contributed significantly to the development of the Spring Garden Township building,” says colleague Todd Grove, lead architect on the project. “His interest in the arts comes through, and so does the passion for his work.”
For Taube, perfecting the Spring Garden design represents all that he enjoys about architecture: an opportunity to think deeply with a client about a subject and then to work with them to bring that vision to life.
“It’s been a great experience so far. To me, it’s what this job is all about,” he says. “You bring in a high level of sensitivity to context and then produce well-considered ideas that find solid form.”