Lili Milani Baehr, Architect
Camarillo, California – Boxes are being packed and desks are being moved as the non-profit MOVIEGUIDE® relocates into their new office building. But this isn’t just a standard office relocation. This new building holds a special place in everyone’s heart, especially the designer’s, Lili Milani Baehr. Lili has been battling an autoimmune disease for over 20 years that’s destroying her vision. In the process, she’s lost a lot of her vision and one of her eyes, and had several outbreaks of cancer.
However, her eye for design and architecture is anything but blurry. Lili worked as an architect before starting the nonprofit MOVIEGUIDE® with her husband Dr. Ted Baehr in 1985. When they needed to expand into a larger building it was a no brainer on who would be the designer.
From the age of 12 Lili knew she wanted to be an architect and she followed that dream by getting a degree in architecture from Rice University and graduating in ‘71. She was one of the first women to graduate with a degree in architecture from Rice University and the only woman in her class to finish the five-year degree graduating alongside 25 men.
After college she worked in New York for Joseph Pell Lombardi, interned in Paris and spent a summer working in Barcelona.
“I’ve always loved architecture and I think my experience working in New York with Lombardi inspired some of the design for my new building.” Lili said. “Loft buildings were just becoming popular when I started working in New York and we would take these old cast iron buildings and turn them into these grand loft spaces. I think that brought some of the sensibility to my design.” Lili remarked.
Everyone can see the excitement Lili holds for this project. For the past 25 years, she has given up her architectural aspirations to completely focus all of her time on her and her husband’s nonprofit. Now, she able to combine her love of MOVIEGUIDE® and architecture and has created something people are loving and it is certainly turning heads.
“We recently expanded into our new office building that is such an exciting space. It is high tech but low cost, following an industrial look with concrete floors and exposed ducts. Large windows wrap the perimeter of the building granting much natural light to the open floor plan style. I created open flex space, a collaboration pit and communal work spaces to generate synergy between employees.” Lili said.
Along with open space there is a large television studio, radio booth, screening room, classroom space and quiet spaces for individual work. Classes are held in the multi-use space and there is a full kitchen. Since it is located next to the park showers were installed into the bathrooms so people can run or bike around the park. A cool unique feature about this new building is the space called the collaboration pit, it’s a red carpet lined cube where people can get away and take a break and play chess or games.
MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 on a typewriter in a basement by Lili and Dr. Ted Baehr in Atlanta, GA. What started as a bi-weekly magazine greatly expanded from the basement beginnings and now MOVIEGUIDE® has TV and radio shows that are broadcasted all over the world, and a website filled with resources including movie reviews and articles. MOVIEGUIDE® reviews all movies for the family audience from a Christian perspective and how movies affect children at different stages of cognitive development.
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