Prevot Design’s unique work improves community
Since 1992, Prevot Design Services APAC has been pushing Shreveport-Bossier commercial and community buildings forward through innovative designs. President Mark Prevot said the community’s resources, and architectural history allowed him to start his own firm and help make other business owners’ dreams come true.
It’s all visible in their headquarters at 601 N. Spring St. in downtown Shreveport, as it is the genesis of their design style.
“It’s a combination of historical and rustic elements with modern, contemporary elements. We used woods, steel, concrete, metals, glass in a historic restoration project,” Mark said. “It has been the catalyst for our team. We honed our style and skill on this. We’re in it every day, immersed in it. It’s easy to be inspired when you live in your creation.”
It’s a style they try to incorporate into their projects while suiting clients’ needs. Mark described their job as helping a business owner make the best decision at each juncture of the “million little decisions that go into every building.”
Prevot Design Architect Geoffrey Perego explained, “We try to push the owner to think a little bit outside what they would normally expect of an architect. We’re very pragmatic of what they can do, we try to give them the most bang for their buck.”
While Associate Interior Designer Melanie Hanna said it’s about focusing their excitement and passion to suit the client. “We’re very passionate about what we do but we also want to make sure we design to the client’s needs. It’s not about us, it’s about them.”
Mark is quick to note that building a structure is “painful” and that leads to hard decisions. For example, he said an owner could decide on spending an extra $1 per square foot on flooring that would serve as an investment that pays off on lower maintenance. It gets back to helping the client make those little decisions that suits them.
“Sometimes the first cost trumps the long term cost. You have the building in a perfect world, but then you have to cut out $100,000 and we try to make the least painful cuts that will still maintain the integrity of that project.”
“I’m an owner now, so it gives me that perspective,” Mark added. “Doing (our headquarters), I had to adjust some things because I just couldn’t afford it.”
But the end result is a literal mark on the world — something that improves that business’ image and can even improve the overall appearance of the community surrounding it. Laura Beth Whitehead, who handles public relations and marketing for Prevot and directs their event space 601 Spring, personally experienced this through the rehabilitation of the old Doctor’s Hospital into the new Willis Knighton Rehabilitation Institute in Shreveport.
“That was the first building I saw when I moved to Shreveport. Back then it was (dilapidated). Now, I drove by the other night and it’s just beautiful,” she said.
It’s those types of reactions and moments that helps the firm push through any struggles they encounter during the process.
“I might be fatigued on a certain project, but as I move away from it the painful memories go away. I will drive around town and see projects I worked on 15 years ago and it gives me a sense of pride,” Mark said.
“It’s humbling. Like, the YMCA [Ed.’s note: a Prevot project] — my daughter is going to play in there” Melanie added.
“I drive down the (Clyde Fant) Parkway every day (and see the new YMCA),” Geoffrey said, “and I think, ‘That’s a cool building.’”