Beyond Belief!

•February 24, 2007 • 2 Comments


At lunch the other day with friends, at a small Chinese buffet, we passed around the fortune cookies. Mine read the following:

“You will not discover new territories if you are unable to leave sight of land.”

Wow! I thought about this for a moment and began to examine our history as we move from Pine to Stuart.

For 10 years we occupied 126 Pine Street. Prior to that, we were housed in a complex located in Green Bay’s 1-43 business park. We have moved approximately four times over the life of Arketype, and this will be our fifth. Each of the moves resulted from purposeful growth—a calculated expanse of adding additional disciplines and staff, as well as new and exciting clients. This is, after all, business.


But is it more than that? Is business just a series of calculated growth and sales strategies followed by deliverables that upon execution continue the cycle? Or is it an opportunity to move beyond the sight of land, to push our individual selves and our boundaries into new territories and experiences?


As we pack, we must first dig through the 10-year accumulation of “stuff,” all kinds of stuff—work samples, files upon files of data and information, photographs of the times we had here on Pine Street and before. We are purging and cleaning our well-defined “ship,” readying ourselves for another new adventure in a bigger and better equipped vessel that will take us to new shores. And perhaps, if need be, out of sight of the familiar.

But there is something to be said of those who passed through these Pine Street halls, the memories of victories and defeat, and the 10 years of learning that have made us all better people today. It’s more than just business; it’s a lifelong pursuit of new unknowns and new discoveries for each of us.


Paul Meinke

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B4 then After

•February 15, 2007 • 3 Comments

Thought it might be interesting to see pictures from before and after just four months ago. All second shots were taken from similar angle and place as former picture.

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Looking southeast from orginal enterance.

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Same room looking northwest.

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Kitchen lower level.

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Old stoves removed makes new electrical area.

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Tower room turned into library.

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Second level east end looking south.

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Second level looking north west from east end of building.

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Hallway made into open space on second level!

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Main atrium looking northwest.

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Main atrium looking northeast.

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Upper deck looking down hallway to the north.

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Before and after new second floor with walkway added.

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Main atrium looking east.

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Main atrium second floor looking southwest.

Hope you enjoyed this quick tour of before and after shots. Next up Open house for former church members held this Sunday, February 18, from 1PM to 3PM.

Paul Meinke

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Fine Art Greeting!

•February 8, 2007 • 3 Comments


Even though I have spent the last two weekends at 612 Stuart Street working on final touches, and have been amazed at the ever-changing beauty of the stained-glass windows, how they contribute like artwork on walls spilling color across glass and plaster alike…we have other art that needs pointing out.

Indeed, we’ve invented new things out of old, and freshened the old to adhere to modern guidelines and requirements. There are added touches like these scattered here and there, three of which should be mentioned.


There are seven new energy efficient furnaces and seven never-there-before air conditioners supporting all new ductwork throughout the building. With this in mind, two very large air intake areas required new grates. Instead of the traditional prefab approach, Arketype contacted Russ Johnson, welding instructor and artist in Green Bay to design coverings for each area. Russ could not have been more inspired by the gentle gothic arches found throughout the building.


He completed two grates; this one in particular is 30 inches wide by 54 inches high. Its metal arches seem bound together in an organic weld that mirrors an almost bamboo-like stem. Backed with black grating, it appears more like artwork than an item of function.

First impressions are always important and it’s why we spent some time and energy looking for just the right elements to enhance the coatroom and two main level washrooms. Bringing cement and ceramics together seemed to be a perfect choice.


Kevin Smith from CemArt in Green Bay was a great fit. Working with multiple elements—from reclaimed metal, natural quartz, colorized quartz, and recycled silver-coated glass, to mother-of-pearl and regular terrazzo—he made counters to last a lifetime.

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The first part of his work requires making a template of the counter. This is followed by a proper mix and pour of the concrete into a mold that will then cure for up to three days pending thickness. Counters are then extracted from the molds and polished to a finish, bringing out the beautiful elements and components of the mix. When sealed, they are installed and await sinks and faucets.


Enter Brian Shultz master sink maker with his wife Paula from Crystal Falls, Michigan. These beautiful handcrafted sinks come in a variety of colors and patterns. Arketype worked together with Brian and Kevin to make sure the balance between counter and sink would not compete, but complement. Each sink is thrown, kiln dried, and glazed. Each glaze and pattern is applied by hand. The two sinks installed at 612 Stuart used eight different glazes developed by Brian along with his unique clay mixture for designed for strength and performance. Brian’s philosophy is that the sink is like the jewel in the room providing both form and function! He can be reached for more information by calling 906-265-4426.


Outfit each room with a few Kohler accessories and we have an incredible artistic welcome to new and regulars who visit our home office. Color, texture, and beautiful space all rolled into one!

Paul Meinke

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•February 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

View through broken window pane of St. Francis Savior Cathedral


While cutting and installing floor molding on the second floor of the main hall, a piece of timber broke through one of the larger stained glass windows. Luckily, the broken glass was not a piece containing terrific detail as in the face of a person. As I have learned from Kelly Smith, from Cristal Vetro, Stained and Beveled Glass, a detailed piece of glass would have been very difficult to reproduce.

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1. Broken Pane, 2. Pane Removed, 3. Pane Install Complete

Kelly, a glass artist located here in Green Bay, was brought in to repair the broken pane. She explained that the more detail in a given pane, the more time and talent it requires to replace it. A person’s face on a glass pane, for instance, requires painting and firing over five times to reach the level detail needed in the glasswork. That’s “panes” taking effort…pun intended!


In her effort to restore the window back to normal, she had to remove the broken piece from the glass wall. As you can see from the photograph, the accident happened on a window painted to represent a stone wall. Kelly had to match the glass, cut the shape needed, and paint the texture, then fire the glass for a match.


The piece was then installed back into the original window on the building. This was a particular challenge as Kelly could only work from one side of the window; the other side was inaccessible.


Thanks to Kelly’s vast experience and talent, the mishap is now undetectable. With the glass repaired, she offered cleaning advice for the building’s windows. For anyone who has stained-glass windows, here are the steps she recommends for properly cleaning them.

1. Using a light setting on a vacuum cleaner, carefully vacuum the panes of glass to remove any surface dust.

2. Fill a bucket with warm water adding vinegar and a mild dishwashing soap. Mix or whisk thoroughly until suds begin to build.

3. Fill a second bucket with warm water.

4. Working in tandem between the two buckets and using a separate sponge for each, apply the suds/foam to a small area of the window, dabbing it gently. Do not use water directly on the glass as it may loosen the grout that bonds the glass to the lead.

5. Using the second bucket of clear water, wet a new sponge and wipe the suds from window pane. Rinse the sponge in clean water.

6. Repeat process until the sponge used for rinsing extracts clear water when rung out.

7. Move on to a new area until entire window is completed.

Thanks Kelly for your wonderful insights and expertise!

Paul Meinke

Next up, some of the finer points of the building and the artists that helped to make them happen!

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A Little Green

•January 31, 2007 • 3 Comments


“It’s not easy being green,” sings Kermit the Frog. And I suppose for a frog or for that matter anyone who might be different its not. But in business the truth of the matter is that with just little effort, it’s actually not hard at all. What’s more, one can get very creative while staying green.

Green doesn’t require a grand, master plan. It’s merely a conscious effort. It can be a simple mindset that new is not necessarily better; in fact in some cases, new isn’t even practical.


Take for example the coat and hat rack in our lobby. It’s made from using a cut-down church pew and a piece of the railing from the upper deck that was removed when we added onto the existing walkway. Thank you Steve Motl, Project Manager and Creative Guru!


Or another great find by principal Jim Rivett was salvaged underwater pool lights. Through creative thinking, these are now beautiful wall luminaries in our men’s and women’s washrooms, thanks to wiring by our CFO Kurt Anderson.


Of course there’s endless shelving made from the maple pews that found their way into places throughout the building.


Here and there, wood flooring was pulled up, refined, and then moved into different spaces to make like-new floor areas. In fact, most all the floors throughout the building were rescued from 100 years of layer-upon-layer of carpet and tile. They now shine brightly today.


A reconditioned bubbler from 1910 makes a great accent on the upper level, along with a vintage sink—both stood in the existing building.


There are nine existing light fixtures that we rewired, painted, and then reinstalled in areas throughout the building using warm, efficient fluorescent light bulbs.


The deck railing was another great accomplishment. In order to meet modern-day code requirements it needed to be six inches higher and have maximum space between horizontal bars no greater than four inches.


This was done by raising the existing railing up to the required height, and positioning it onto a solid bumper that was then installed with lighting, electrical, and data lines. Additional rails were sanded, painted, and added to meet safety requirements.


This significant change kept the existing railing and woodwork intact, and when completed, it looks as if nothing was changed at all. The craftsmanship is outstanding.


Wood paneling around doorways, along with the doors themselves were carefully removed. Once walls were reconditioned, paneling and doors were put back into their places or moved to new door-opening locations.


Another item in our long reduce-reuse-recycle list was the rescued washroom stall panels from 1910. They were modified for new ADA requirements, sanded and painted, and put into place. And instead of furnishing just the two lower washrooms in which they were found, we were able to furnish all four restrooms with these unique fixtures.

These are just a few of the green examples found throughout 612 Stuart Street. Being “green” in the sense of reducing and reusing material was easy and helped to maintain the authenticity of the building. All it took was a bit of ingenuity, creativity, and good old-fashion craftsmanship.

The cleaning folks come this week as we wind down the major pieces of the project. Next up, the restoration of a broken window.

Paul Meinke

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•January 18, 2007 • 3 Comments


How many people take the time, while moving through life, to see texture as it fills the vast halls and venues of our world? You might not think you “see,” but perhaps you do.

Texture serves as our sight in the tactile world, and it’s everywhere, all around us.


From where you’re sitting right now, look around and identify all the textures you see, from your desktop to your flooring. Look up…what makes your ceiling appear the way it does? Is your pen or pencil simple and smooth, or does it support a little soft comfort wrap for your fingers? What makes up your lampshades and window covers, or your windows themselves? Are they flat, clear, colorless panes that bring the outdoors in, or textured cubes, or louvered, perhaps sporting a horizontal tactile plane?

For the lack of television entertainment, I call our 4’ x 5’ picture window up north our “Yooper” Flat Screen! It’s on 24/7, 365 days a year and is very “green,” requiring no energy. You could say it’s solar powered!

From this window, one can see a multitude of textures at any given time of day or night. In early morning light, the mist and clouds that rise from the lake give way to the texture of leafy, maple wood stands that envelop it. Blue skies that appear in the window are sometimes thick with vaporous black and white storm clouds, flashing endless canyons of light and sparked with electricity. Or they can be filled with light cotton puffs of ever-changing texture, moving effortlessly away from the bright warm glow of a setting sun.

At dusk, hundreds of winged bats pass in front of a twilight ceiling. Their rapid movement provides a visual texture quickly evolving and changing instantly from a velvety black to contrast the crisp evening light. They will yield eventually to an endless night sky dome punctured with pins of light, some small, some large.


Why is texture important? Texture plays a critical role in telling a story. Of helping to make something “stick” in the minds of an observer. It can be a map for one to follow as on a path—deliberately broken to create contrast or allowed to run freely to engage the participant to venture farther.


Texture is not only found in a hands-on world. As illustrated by the flat screen, texture can be implied visually. It is an element used in everyday life as in nature to build structure, to build identity, or in many cases in our business, to build a brand.


Our building is awash in texture. From its terrazzo and wooden floors and stained glass windows, to its halls of sand-like plaster finishes or new glass walls that allow us to see its completeness. This week they are installing carpeting in some areas, painting out the multipurpose rooms on the lower level, building more shelves, installing sinks and bubblers and light fixtures. Soon it will be “punch list time.” What started three months ago is quickly coming to a close in just a few short weeks.

Look for the finishing touches of “green” in the next blog as we look over the reuse of materials throughout 612 Stuart Street.

Paul Meinke

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Contemporary Thinking

•January 5, 2007 • 3 Comments


Business moves at an ever-increasing rate. What drives it, other than good-old conventional competition, are today’s tools, which can be readily accessed.

I recall receiving my first overnight package in 1983. I remember thinking in amazement that in less than 12 hours, it had been somewhere else far, far away. Then along came the fax machine and computers, mobile telephones, copiers, and color printers, the BlackBerry and picture phones, text messaging and the mother lode of them all, the Internet. All these tools help propel business at an amazing speed.


Such tools however are exactly that…tools. They only work as well as the operators behind them. It’s not the computer that has the design or communication degree; it is the person sitting in front of the computer. A hard lesson learned when desktop publishing software was made available and every company president thought that the company secretary could simply begin to effortlessly publish the corporate newsletter. Aha! Not happening!


At Arketype we still require that traditional disciplines be used and practiced. For it is within these skill sets that true problem solving and critical thinking takes place. What drives this is not today’s technologies—they are only a means for fabrication and implementation. What drives critical thinking is knowledge. Being aware of the greater whole, or as we call it around here “Observant Thinking;” observation that includes ongoing education and new life experiences.


At 612 Stewart Street we will dedicate an entire room to support this concept. It’s a traditional space, one that embraces the title, Library. With over 450 linear feet of shelving, books, and information, its contents consist not only the traditional design and marketing manuscripts, but also non-conventional material as well—old and new non-related works of great interest. It’s data to stimulate the senses and remind us both of history and future.

This space will be a conduit to higher ground. A tactile place which will allow one to explore without interruption. As Franklin P. Adams once observed about libraries, “I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking something up and finding something else on the way.” That, too, is what observant thinking is all about.


Housed in the building’s bell tower, the room is graced with two linear stained-glass windows and shelves made from hundreds of feet of the church pews that nobody wanted. With chocolate brown walls that blend into the dark-stained maple shelves, it will have newly refinished hardwood floors and several cozy chairs. It will also support online access and be a showcase for some of the company’s vault of textiles and other treasures housed in storage rooms on the lower level.


Even though business still moves at a quickening pace, at Arketype, we believe one way of catching up is by first slowing down as demonstrated by our new library. It’s also the way to produce solutions that break through today’s mass media clamor with all the wisdom of a world’s experience.

Paul Meinke

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