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Innovative Fragrance Research & Development Facility Designed by CDH Partners Opens in Marietta

CDH Partners, an Atlanta-based architecture and interior design firm, announced the opening of a recently completed research and development lab. The facility was designed for Arylessence, a fragrance and flavor company, in order to increase its capacity to service personal care, home fragrance, industrial and institutional, household, and automotive industries around the world. This project marks one of the largest laboratory developments in CDH’s portfolio. Additionally, Arylessence has experienced nine straight months of significant growth since development plans were announced.

Founded in 1977, CDH partners specialize in architectural and interior design for a variety of market sectors. The company leveraged their experience in designing research and laboratory facilities to help Arylessence support and manage its testing labs, monitor trends, and enhance inspiration for their highly creative work. The firm created a new two-story, 35,000 square foot facility, which is triple the size of Arylessence’s creative center. This building on their campus includes custom office spaces, themed conference rooms, a GC/analytical lab, a technology and innovation lab, applications lab, fragrance R&D lab, sensory evaluation booths, laundry fabric care test center, and an evaluation consumer/professional panel center.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this step forward for Arylessence,” said CDH principal and lead architect Melissa Cantrell. “I am glad that our designers were able to further demonstrate their creative abilities in a technological R&D environment and that visitors will be able to step into a space that is as unique as it is functional.”

After over 40 years in business, Arylessence required more space than their existing research and development center could provide. This new building allows the corporation to increase their capacity for innovation and evaluation, as well as providing a modern, contemporary venue to present to clients and showcase their work. CDH Partners designed the new lab with high-tech, efficient, and sustainable elements to meet these goals.

“With our dynamic growth, we needed to enhance our facilities and expand our capacity,” said Arylessence’s executive vice president Cynthia Reichard. “We wanted our new facilities to meet the growing priorities of the work we perform for our clients and to reflect our commitment to excellence, creativity, and innovation. Our team worked collaboratively to envision a cutting-edge facility and CDH brought their dreams to life.”

The new space required intensely controlled environments in order for Arylessence’s perfumers to make objective and strategic olfactory assessments. In addition, their stability research often involves testing a fragrance’s substantivity, color, and its reaction to UV exposure and extreme temperatures, among other factors. To create a sterile, clean room environment, CDH integrated sealed glass doors, non-absorbent finishes, and extensive humidity control. Air scrubbers purify the outside air for distribution throughout the building and integrated exhaust systems can immediately express it out again with the push of a button. CDH also provided their staff with an outdoor terrace to rejuvenate and recondition their olfactory palates.

In order to tell the Arylessence story through design, CDH also incorporated features that would reflect the artistic side of the company’s craft. The facility was built using natural, local materials, such as the exterior brick and interior marble. In the lobby, CDH used smart electrochromic glass in lieu of sun shades for energy efficiency, cost savings, and privacy. The outside garden has several scent sources from nature, including lavender, rose, eucalyptus and mint. Finally, expressing the artistic inspiration in fragrance development, the firm added an art gallery featuring Georgia artisan’s work, as well as an employee artwork installation.

CDH Partners utilizes a collaborative design process for each of their projects. Cantrell and Reichard’s internal team met often, along with vice president of operations Bret Tanner, in order to understand the company’s goals for the new facility and develop the creative solutions to meet them. When the Arylessence team wanted to understand more about the design plans, CDH even created full-size cardboard models of workstations so that they could see how their space would look and feel.

“CDH Partners was so different from the other firms we met with,” said Tanner. “We kept being told ‘this is what you need to do.’ CDH never did that. They took the time to inquire and deeply understand our personal processes as well as our technical needs. We really appreciated this approach, and the result is a beautiful facility that has everything we envisioned and more.”

About Arylessence

We are a leading creatively driven U.S.-based fragrance and flavor company. Our mission is to understand our client’s brands (and the people who use them) to create opportunities with winning fragrances and flavors to help those brands achieve success. We work in close partnership with our clients to develop inspired fragrances and flavors that turn products into brands and consumers into passionate, loyal fans.

Dallas Memory Care — Ahead of Schedule

Dallas Memory Care is the newest phase of The Westminster of Dallas in Dallas, Georgia and is ahead of schedule at 50% of completion. Final roofing should be complete by middle of June.



The Westminster of Dallas was designed with resident’s wellness, security, dignity and quality of life in mind. The design is focused on the residents of today, and the future, providing personalized service and experiences.

The design provides a community house paired with four memory care neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has 12 resident studios, life group and parlor spaces, and resort-style dining rooms.

Resident amenities include public and private dining spaces, a casual dining café, salon, living rooms, life groups, wellness center, and varied activity spaces.  Also included is a solace space, which provides a quiet retreat from activities that may have caused some brief resident agitations.

The community house provides administrative and clinical support to each neighborhood, including the resort-style Wellness Center, Chapel. Salons, central kitchen and laundry, and administrative functions.

The overall community design provides many activity choices, maximizing independence and safety, and encouraging movement. Each neighborhood is inter-connected to the community spaces, and free circulation is encouraged.

The shingle-style aesthetic with warm colors, transitional finishes and furnishing, and vibrant artwork permeates the interiors.

The Great Room includes cathedral ceilings, and is organized to allow daylight to enter the space. Resident dining spaces allow light to access the space from two sides. This encourages residents to access the interior gardens through shaded porches and helps alleviate sundowning issues with living spaces that remain bright all day.  Parlors in each neighborhood provide flexible space that serves as a quiet den or a vibrant activity space.

Families, residents, and staff flourish at Westminster of Dallas and enjoy everyday living, with abundant choice, concierge-style living, personalized services and experiential living.

Foundations! First Baptist Church of Jonesboro


Editor’s note: The following article appears in the May 2016 issue of Religious Product News.

First Baptist Church of Jonesboro has enjoyed much success at its greater Atlanta-area campus. In 2001, the church began upgrading its facilities, starting by adding a Recreation Outreach Center, called The ROC, as a ministry for youth.

In 2010, the church took on a major renovation of its 57,500-square-foot worship center. The next step was to renovate and expand its existing three-story children’s building.

Corner of Balcony w Graphics

Church leadership called on CDH Partners from Marietta, Georgia, the architects they had used for its previous projects, to help streamline their plans.

During previous renovations, the church had moved its fellowship hall from the first floor of the 30,000-square-foot children’s building to its old gymnasium, which opened a large amount of space. The building also had a drive-under portion that architects posed closing to add even more space.


The renovated first floor would provide a secure entrance to the Children’s Center, as well as lead to the sanctuary. This floor would include classrooms and playrooms for toddlers and pre-K students. The second floor would have classrooms for younger elementary students. And the third floor would have classrooms for older elementary students. Please continue reading.

New construction at John’s Creek Presbyterian provides much needed space


CDH was asked by Johns Creek Presbyterian leaders to design a new multi-purpose facility, which will be called the Great Hall. It will serve members and the community, while addressing a number of opportunities and challenges within the growing Johns Creek area. Building features include: an atrium-type lobby, gathering spaces, a visitor’s greeting area, and a warming kitchen.

The 11,000 square foot facility has a large stage for contemporary worship and performances along with the latest audio, video, and theatrical technology.  The large gathering atrium space was designed for good flow and easy way finding. It’s scheduled to be completed by August 2016.


The Great Hall includes a large, “scalable” kitchen designed to support a variety food service needs through plug-in equipment options and flexible (and portable) serving configurations. The contemporary design includes a “coffee house” area for serving light meals and refreshments as well as configurable areas that can be used for small group discussions, games, and group projects.


Sheet rock is going up! The “Great Hall” provides the much needed extra space for Johns Creek Presbyterian to have banquets, concerts, theater performances, and lite recreation within a state-of-the-art facility. The current chapel will be used for worship services and sacred events, but this new facility will serve as a “bridge” space and accommodate up to 400 for worship.


The next phase of construction will include a new sanctuary, a music center to support choirs and the church’s Academy of Fine Arts, as well as space for administrative offices, additional storage, classrooms for Adult Education and a counseling center.

CHOA Exceeds Fundraising Goal!



CDH Partners recently took part in helping to raise funds for the Kauffman Tire Spring Classic Baseball Game, which benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). The University of Georgia and the Georgia Tech have played in the classic since 2004. Thanks to the effort of everyone who participated in the 2016 fundraiser, CHOA raised an amazing $220,621.

Officials for the event said this year was the best with more money than ever being pledged to help some of the youngest and more critically in-need patients in Georgia. All proceeds from the event benefit the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Dave Winokur Development Officer/Sports Network for CHOA explains, “The annual Kauffman Tire Spring Classic for Kids is one of Children’s largest fundraising events featuring two of college baseball’s top programs and state rivals. More than 20,000 tickets are sold annually to this game at Turner Field making it one of the largest college baseball games each year.”

“It is all about the children,” says Paulla Shetterly, “and how we can help this extremely important healthcare organization continue to treat some of our most “in-need” patients in Georgia and the southeast.”

Winokur said, “Every dollar counts and over the 14 years these two schools have been participating more than $2 million has been raised to help our patients. Time commitment is minimal, but involvement will help innumerable kids being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!”


Why the Church and Consultant Relationship is Key to a Successful Facility

Editor’s note: This article recently appeared in the April/May 2016 of Worship Facilities and describes the importance of maintaining strong relationships during every phase of the planning process.

Last year, Worship Facilities conducted a survey of church leaders who’d completed a construction project within the prior three years. Here is an in-depth look at one crucial finding — the importance of consultant selection.

Last year, Worship Facilities conducted a survey of church leaders who’d completed a construction project within the prior three years. One of the points we learned from their responses was how important it is to select a consultant (architect, design build firm, etc.), who’ll be a great fit.

One respondent stated they would do “better research and vet a design-build firm and insist on 3D computer modeling to check for plan fit.”

Another participant recommended churches, “select designers with a passion for the project and that will listen to the church. The lowest fee is not saving money in this case.”

When you embark on a new building or extensive remodeling project, you’ll spend a lot of time with the architectural and/or building firms you hire. This is the team of experts you’ll rely on to turn your vision into reality.

Since this relationship needs to be collaborative, we interviewed architects who’ve worked with churches to hear their perspective. We wanted to hear their recommendations for selecting a vendor and establishing a great relationship between church leadership and architect.

Here’s what we learned:

Tip #1: Look for a firm with experience working with church leaders

One church leader who responded to our survey recommended “Be patient and don’t rush into any one firm until you’ve been able to evaluate several contractors and visit sites they’ve completed and talk with staff to verify how their project went.”

David Strickland, Principal with CDH Partners recommends church leaders, “Select a good, experienced team who has worked with churches. If an architect or builder isn’t familiar with churches, you’ll have to spend time educating them on requirements and logistics that are specific to a church. If they have experience working with churches, it’ll make the project run much smoother and will establish a high level of confidence between groups (builder, architect and church).”
Please click here to continuing reading.

7 Trends in Church Design

By Paulla Shetterly and David Strickland

(This article recently appeared in the April 2016 issue of Religious Product News.)

When clothing doesn’t fit well, you know it. It is uncomfortable and just feels wrong.  When a family grows or shrinks as children move away from home, it becomes clear the house no longer suits the needs of only two people.

For churches, it can be more difficult to articulate just why the building no longer seems right. As a church struggles to fit new or growing ministries into old spaces, the problem is essentially the same. For clothing, a good tailor or new wardrobe can solve the problem. Relocating to a home better suited for the needs of a family will address their needs.  For the church, space problems can be solved through a comprehensive review of programmatic needs and facility assessment.


Some patterns have emerged for us in our experiences in working with churches over recent years. Many churches are feeling the discomfort of spaces that don’t work and fall short of serving their ministry goals. We are seeing repeatedly some of the same concerns and issues. This list isn’t exhaustive or in any particular order.

Nocatee Exterior

We have identified seven issues we believe are “trending” as churches seek to build, relocate, remodel, and address the needs of their changing congregations. Click here to continue reading.




Getting Ready to Lay the Foundation at Friendship!


Work is well underway at the construction site for historic Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. This new location on Walnut Street is adjacent to Morris Brown College and about four blocks from the church’s original location.


CDH Partners Project Manager Carine Kroko and firm Principal David Strickland were on site for a meeting and site tour with the Van Winkle construction team.


The site will take shape quickly once the drainage is in. Plans call for this new campus to be completed in the spring of 2017.

CDH: Giving back to the community.


How much is a life worth? For those at Wellspring Living, an organization that serves survivors of sexual exploitation, the value is innumerable. This is one of the reasons CDH Partners decided to offer design services for the renovation and facelift of a Wellspring’s new upscale thrift store in Marietta. This store and others like it provide financial help for girls, who were caught up in sex trafficking.

Leaders for Wellspring say their mission is very straight forward: help as many victims as possible to develop the courage to move forward to a point where they realize their full potential and create a plan to fulfill their dreams for the future.

Girls come to Wellspring with emotional, mental, and physical brokenness etched throughout their lives. Their self-esteem is shattered and in many cases they don’t believe there is a future or any hope. Wellspring offers both of these and much more. This is the second reason the Marietta design firm was attracted to Wellspring. There was an opportunity to step in and give what they could so girls from all ages could live fully and freely.


One example of a fresh start at life is Ashley, who is 17-years old and whose story is briefly outlined on the flyleaf of one of the organization’s brochures. “My mom never understood,” she said. “So I left . . . . As I stood at the bus stop crying, a guy walked up to me and asked what was wrong.

“I thought, Finally! Someone cares!” Ashley quickly discovered just how wrong that thought was! She was taken to a place to live with a man she evidently called “Daddy.” He locked her and five other girls in a closet and each night they emerged and were forced to meet their quota of $2,000.

“Man after man after man came in,” said Ashley. Weeks later, she was arrested and ended up in a detention center. Shortly after that, she was given the opportunity to go to Wellspring Living. “They looked at me differently there. Even when I was at my worst, they pointed out my strengths. They cared.”


Wellspring Living is an Atlanta-based, non-profit organization that rescues girls from the sex trafficking industry. CDH architect, Andrew Savage was introduced to the organization through volunteer work at his church. “A few years ago, the people at Wellspring learned that by operating higher-end thrift stores, they could use the proceeds to make a bigger impact and help more girls.

“When I heard they needed architectural services for a new store in Marietta, I presented the need to the leadership at CDH Partners, and they were eager to help. We developed a tenant ‘build-out’ plan so Wellspring Living could obtain the needed permits for their new Marietta store.”

With the combined efforts of many volunteers and local churches the store opened and has been a great success. “I’m honored,” says Andrew, “to have played a small part in the great work that Wellspring Living is doing. It is a way for us to give back to the community but in a far greater way, it gives us an opportunity to help these girls have a new start in life.”


Construction at Historic Friendship Baptist Ramps Up!

CDH Partners is the architectural design firm for the new historical Friendship Baptist Church. This drone footage was recently shot as construction at the new campus ramps up. Plans call for construction be completed in April 2017 in time for the church to celebrate it 155th year anniversary. Friendship is one of the oldest African-American churches in the city of Atlanta. The new 44,000 square foot church will contain state-of-the-art technology and a sanctuary that seats 500. The design for the Fellowship Hall will be flexible and contain a stage and room for over 450 people, while a smaller chapel will seat 200. The church will also contain educational and choir rehearsal space.

Bird’s eye view of WellStar’s Vinings Health Park

Five amazing minutes of how we begin a health park project Work is well underway on the WellStar Vinings Health Park. This $77 million facility will be completed by the fall of 2017. CDH Partners is the Architectural Design firm for the this 162,000-square-foot facility located near the intersection of Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway.

Work Underway on WellStar Vining Health Park



Work on the WellStar Vinings Health Park is  underway! The facility is expected to be completed by fall of 2017 and cost an estimated $77 million. CDH Partners is the Architectural Design firm for the this new medical facility.



The 162,000-square-foot facility is located near the intersection of Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway, in the former Vinings/Perimeter Business Park.



Dallas Memory Care takes shape

Construction 1

Construction is underway on Dallas Memory Care located in Dallas, Georgia. CDH Partners is the Architectural Design firm for the this new state-of-the-art memory care facility, which is slated to open the first quarter in 2017.


The assisted-living memory care community will offer a caring, safe, secure, and home-like environment for its residents.


Architects for CDH Partners created a master plan that preserved much of the natural setting. This single-story 43,674 square foot facility is expected to cost an estimated $6.1 million.


Expansion Underway at Paulding Hospital

Almost from the moment hospital officials were handed the keys to the new Paulding Hospital, hospital officials knew this facility was going to be a success, and they were right. Soon after Paulding opened, patient rooms filled to capacity and it was obvious that the hospital would have to expand. The following article explains this expansion, which is being designed by CDH Partners.


“WellStar Paulding Hospital began construction recently to complete two previously unfinished floors and double the number of patient beds available in the two-year-old facility.

The work to finish the two floors will lead to 180 new jobs by mid-October, said Paulding County Commission Chairman David Austin, a member of the hospital’s regional board and the Paulding County Hospital Authority.

The nearly 50,000-square-foot buildout of the sixth and seventh floors will increase the facility’s beds from 56 to 112, said Mark Haney, president of WellStar Paulding Hospital.

“‘This expansion will allow us to better serve the community,’ Haney said in a news release. ‘Paulding County continues to grow and there is an immediate need for more space.'”

Read more: Neighbor Newspapers – Work under way to complete top two floors of WellStar Paulding

Vinings Health Park Underway

WellStar Health System recently broke ground on its three-story outpatient facility in Vinings, GA, which is expected to cost an estimated $77 million and be completed by fall of 2017. CDH Partners is the Architectural Design company for the this new medical facility, which is slated to open in the fall of 2017.

The 162,000-square-foot facility is located near the intersection of Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway, in the former Vinings/Perimeter Business Park.Kem Mullins serves as executive vice president of WellStar’s ambulatory division and business development and said he was excited to see the project take shape.


“WellStar has really pioneered the health park idea in Georgia. There’s really nothing that compares to it,” Mullins said. “The health park we’ll build will build upon the history of WellStar.”

Joe Brywczynski is senior vice president of WellStar Health Park development and said the new facility is WellStar’s third health park behind Acworth and East Cobb, and will predominately serve residents in the south Cobb County area including Vinings, Smyrna, and northwest Fulton County.

“Residents in this area will no longer have to endure long drive times, congested traffic or traveling to multiple health facilities,” Brywczynski said. “We are very excited to get going with this project.”

Services ofered at the new health park include diagnostic testing, such as medical imaging, a cardiac lab and sleep studies. It will also be home to urgent care, physical therapy, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, a pharmacy, community education, health screening and wellness services as well as a cafe. Future plance include an outpatient surgery center.

(Information taken for this article recently appeared in the Marietta Daily Journal.)

Libby Laguta elected to AAHID Board


Libby Laguta was recently elected to American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers (AAHID) Board of Directors. She joins an outstanding group of interior design professionals, who are passionate about the field of healthcare interior design and its dynamic environment.

“The appointment to the AAHID Board of Directors,” says Laguta, “provides a very important opportunity to advance the practice of healthcare interior design. The leadership of AAHID is committed to fostering a positive change for the association while creating the best environments for healing in healthcare.”

Laguta has over 30 years of healthcare sector experience and is a principal at CDH Partners, a Marietta, Georgia, based architectural design firm. Her experience includes interior design with hospitals, HMO’s, senior living communities, cancer treatment centers, and women and children’s specialty clinics. She also works with organizations to implement long-range interior design master plans.

As a principal and interior designer at CDH Partners, she uses her strong knowledge of materials and best practices to create healthcare spaces that promote wellness, enhance the patient experience, and enable excellent healthcare outcomes. She focuses on building long term relationships with her clients, which includes some of the Southeast’s largest healthcare providers.

She is a published author in interior design trade magazines and has written several articles for Atlanta Hospital News. She is also a nationally qualified interior designer and has completed projects in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast United States.

Laguta has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.

CDH Partners is consistently one of the top 25 architectural firms in Georgia. It was founded in 1977; and over the years, CDH has repeatedly been recognized as one of the most progressive architectural firms in the state and the southeast.