Divine inspiration helps guide Renaissance’s Allen

Profile: Emphasis on Construction & Design for The Memphis Daily News

Sept. 7, 2013

Brandon Allen, an architect with Renaissance Group, was raised with a pencil and paper in hand, and the blueprint for how to put them to use in a career.

It helped that he came from a family of designers; his father and grandfather own Allen Designers Inc., a supplier of store fixtures and display and specialize in retail layout.

“I grew up helping my dad with that,” Allen said. “They had drawing boards and designing stuff and laying stuff out, and actually fabricating it, it was pretty neat getting to help with that.”

Allen went to the University of Memphis for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in architecture. After graduating in 2002, he went to work for Hord Architects, a firm that specializes in designing churches.

It was work that spoke to Allen, a devout member of First Baptist Church Fisherville. He studied faith in architecture while in school, and as a thesis project he chose to design a seminary and chapel layout.

In his education and career, he has studied and applied the history of church architecture and “how you get that hierarchy of design and order, and the feelings you get from the space and the light when you’re within, and trying to create a mood or emotion that is spiritual, and bridging that gap between man and God.”

After four years with Hord, Allen joined Renaissance and has enjoyed the diversity of some of the high-profile work, from the William Brewster Elementary School in Binghampton to the Collierville Fire Administration Building. One of his proudest accomplishments, however, is the designing of the 20,000-square-foot, three-story Multi-Challenge Center at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center.

“I’ve known (Kroc Center manager) Ty Cobb most of my life; he was my Sunday school teacher when I was in eighth grade,” Allen said. “Back in 1998, I helped him design a prototype. Well, the Salvation Army liked that design and they ended up implementing it into the building.”

Douglas Burris, senior vice president and partner of Renaissance Group, praised Allen’s work with the firm . . . (read more)