Alicia Quintans AIA - JQAQ Atelier - Architecture / Interior Design
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Board of Advisors
By Rita Cook
Founding her new company called JQAQ Atelier in 2012, Oak Cliff resident Alicia Quintans AIA is no stranger to architecture and design and no stranger to the eco-friendly concepts that she applies at her company either.
Using a combination of her and her husband Joel’s initials for the “JQAQ” in the new company, as well as adding Atelier, which means “workshop,” Quintans says “It’s a name we’ve used during our 22 years together as a “dba” for artwork and other projects.”
Regularly using re-claimed materials such as wood, metal and hardware in her work, Quintans says this is a trait inherited from her depression-era grandparents and she understands it well. For a recent project, she says she helped a client find re-claimed pine flooring at Orr-Reed that was made from re-milled 2x material from an old demolished factory. (photo: Joel Quintans)
Her husband, Joel has used a circa 1970 refrigerator door handle for a sliding door pull creating a eco-friendly spin on a design and Quintans says too “Our property is filled with collected items, which could make their way into future work. For example, a 1960 Airstream serves as extra space for storage. Finding vintage furniture, lighting and clothing is much more rewarding to me than buying new things. I encourage shopping at Collage 20th Century and other local re-sale shops for unique items.” (photo: Joel Quintans)
At Alicia and Joel’s Oak Cliff property, she says the place is basically a laboratory “acting as a testing ground for concepts and ideas,” she explains. “The studio is a pre-fabricated metal structure, built 10 years ago as a flexible space for a variety of uses. It has served as a guesthouse, workshop, dojo, party venue and keeps evolving to suit our needs.”
Alicia Quintans JQAQ Atelier workshop (photos Joel Quintans)
During a remodel of the existing 1947 house, the couple also installed energy-saving features such as a tank-less hot water heater, ductless mini-split HVAC, insulated windows and spray-foam insulation. See "Local Architect Keeps it Green in Oak Cliff"
Actually, Quintans has been acting responsibly all of her life so it is no wonder that her eco-friendly business just comes natural too. “Responsible living has been part of my daily life since I can remember,” she explains. “My hometown is Graham, Texas - a small community near Possum Kingdom Lake, with culture and strong values. My family lived on a farm and ranch, seven miles from the nearest town, in a late 19th century farmhouse with well-water, no air-conditioning and butane heaters.”
As she forges ahead with her new company this year she is encouraged too, in the fact that she believes more people are beginning to think more eco-friendly every day. “Homeowners are asking more questions about energy efficient building techniques and how these may fit into their own plans,” she explains. “Personal findings have helped me relate ideas and techniques to clients and others. The most enjoyable part of my work is helping people live in a balanced, inspired, and responsible environment.”
Alicia takes an active role in working with community and non-profit organizations while expanding her vision, these new experiences, she says, have given her yet another perspective on the industry of design, new urbanism and preservation.
“Rehabilitation and the re-purposing of structures is an important initiative for me, encouraged through the community of Oak Cliff, as well as my hometown,” she says. “I have been a member of Old Oak Cliff Conservation League for many years, serving as Secretary for the second year, and helped create the annual OOCCL Architecture at Risk List. The list aims for public awareness of significant Oak Cliff structures in danger of demise.”
She works with another non-profit that she says have ties to her heart, the 2000 Roses Foundation. “As a collaborative partner, I’ve been working with them on community development in the Tenth Street Historic District,” she says. The mission of 2000 Roses Foundation is to create neighborhood support and affordable housing, while helping a struggling historic district at the same time. Quintans also serves on a City of Dallas Task Force for Wheatley Place/Tenth Street Historic Districts, which is an advisory committee to the Landmark Commission. “So many historic homes in these districts are boarded and in danger of demolition,” she explains. “This will be an area of change and development as the city expands south.”
Overall, with her new company and her many areas of involvement overall, Quintans concludes “After gaining 25 years of valuable experience as an architect and interior designer, I had an opportunity to explore personal and professional interests. Blending and balancing curiosity, life and our work is a goal with our growing practice.”
As for her husband, he is a photographer, graphic designer and the art director at UT Arlington full-time, spending time alongside his wife developing JQAQ Atelier into the future.
ALICIA C. QUINTANS, AlA
Dallas. TX 75216
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Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org