Davis Butner

Davis Butner

Atlanta, GA, US

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An aspiring architect and practicing musician with experience in a range of fields from symphony administration to architectural design, acoustical consulting, and theater planning, I’m passionate about design as a tool for interdisciplinary collaboration, inspiration, and intercultural understanding. Currently seeking opportunities in adaptive reuse design, historic preservation, and civic planning.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Music and Architectural Design, I likewise completed a certificate of design at the Architectural Association in London, and my masters in architecture at Yale University.

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Summerour Architects, Atlanta, GA, US, Project Architect

Summerour Architects is a team of experienced design professionals led by Principal Keith Summerour. The projects range from coast to coast, although the heart of their work is nestled in the Southeastern United States.

Nov 2020 - current

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai, CN, Design Research Fellow

- Assisted in Zhangyuan District Masterplan competition, developing animation
- Tuwaiq Palace competition in Riyadh, SA, leading development of animation
- Assisted in the design of acoustic diffusion for a 2500 seat concert hall in Qiantan
- Assisted in curation of firm’s second monograph, archiving last decade of projects
- Design of 2021 Alcantara Exhibition for the MAXXI Museum in Rome

Sep 2019 - Jul 2020

Henry Luce Foundation, Shanghai, CN, Henry Luce Scholar

Luce Scholar Class of 2019-2020

Feb 2019 - Jul 2020

William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc., Boston, MA, US, Intern Architect

- Commissioning of Harvard Business School’s Klarman Hall, having previously worked on elements of the project during tenures at Threshold Acoustics and Theatre Projects
- Concept Design for multi-phased reconstruction of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution

Jul 2018 - Aug 2018

Theatre Projects Consultants, Norwalk, CT, US, Intern Consultant

Initial design and digital modeling of a multiform theater proposal to be incorporated within a new multipurpose mall and cultural center in the US

Jul 2017 - Aug 2017

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Chicago, IL, US, Intern Architect

Developer: Hines Interests Limited Partnership
Atlantic Yards at Atlantic Station_ Atlanta, GA - Collaborated with partners Jim Plunkard, Ray Hartshorne, and the HPA development team in pioneering a winning proposal to Hines for a mixed-use addition to Midtown's Atlantic Station, evoking the infrastructural history of the site's former steel yard within the project by incorporating pre-existing railroad beds on site into the massing and landscaping of the complex
- Provided historical analysis of the site and its impact on Atlanta's modern urban plan
- Developed four potential schemes which foster an industrial aesthetic with reference to historic industrial infrastructure iconic to Atlanta
- Participated and presented work in various meetings with Hines Southeast & Midwest CEO and Atlanta representatives

Developer: CORE Campus LLC
Hub on Campus _ Minneapolis, MN - Worked with a team of 4 within a record-breaking four month time frame to complete full schematic design of a 26 story luxury student housing high rise
- Developed and coordinated plans
- Designed surrounding landscape, exterior retail facade, and amenity spaces
- Developed and coordinated unit layouts for market rate and student options

Jan 2016 - Jun 2016

Threshold Acoustics LLC, Chicago, IL, Intern Consultant

As an intern, my work focused on architectural acoustics, room acoustics, mechanical noise control, and acoustical/vibration testing engaging in several large scale cultural and education projects including:

John F. Kennedy Center, Washington DC
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, UK
Harvard University Klarman Hall, Boston MA
National Arts Center, Ottawa
The Flea Theater, NYC
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis MN
Omaha Conservatory of Music, Omaha NE
Riverdale County Day School, NYC
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, NYC

- Created digital models of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Harvard Klarman Hall using Rhino3D and Odeon acoustical modeling software to accurately predict the behavior of key architectural elements, as well as overall Reverberation Time and Lateral Fraction. Presented overall results to design team to receive feedback and improve the overall design and function of the space

- Assisted in sound absorption, diffusion, and transmission loss testing at historic Riverbank Laboratories of new LEYARD large scale LED Modular Display for Harvard's Klarman Hall

- Conducted sound absorption testing to determine new material for seat bottoms of Jean Nouvel's Guthrie Theater seating

- Specified door, window, and partition types for Riverdale County School, Flea Theater, and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah to meet LEED standard for acoustical performance.

- Tested and analyzed acoustical issues pertaining to acoustical isolation and the HVAC system at UChicago Laboratory Schools

Jan 2015 - Jun 2015

Appareil Office for Architecture, Barcelona, ES, Intern Architect

- Assisted firm competition project in Yaroslavl, Russia to design large scale pavilion using form finding techniques of Antoni Gaudi o Project shortlisted in top ten out of over 50 worldwide entries and reviewed by competition jury

- Led management and design of ‘Airwells’ dew collection design project, financed by the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris
* Aimed to capture dew in warm climates to provide drinking water for living units through geometrical surface design
* Collaborated with representatives of OPUR Research Labortory and Universitat de Barcelona Department of Physics
* Attended lectures by Peter Cook of Archigram and Enric Ruiz Geli of Cloud 9 curated by London’s Architectural Association

Jun 2013 - Aug 2013

Perkins&Will, Atlanta, GA, US, Shadow Intern

- Participated in meetings and on site consultations for current design projects led by the Perkins+Will Atlanta office

Jul 2012 - Aug 2012

Collins Cooper Carusi Architects inc., Atlanta, GA, US, Shadow Intern

- Assisted in site specifications and on site consultations for current projects within Collins, Cooper, Carusi firm, including construction of The University of Georgia's redesigned Rutherford Hall

Jul 2012 - Aug 2012


Yale University, New Haven, CT, US, MArch, MArch I

H. I. Feldman Award Nomination
2018-2020 Franke Fellow
Beinecke Plaza Competition Winner

Aug 2016 - May 2019

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, US, Bachelors, Architecture, Music

[summa cum laude]
[Phi Beta Kappa, delta chapter]
[Dean's List 2010-14]

Degrees Earned:

-School of Design
one year M.Arch sub-matriculation

-College of Arts & Sciences, Bachelor of Arts
Major: Music [with distinction]
Minor: Architectural History

Relevant Coursework:

- Architecture 201 (Visualization I); Hand drafting, Adobe CS
- Architecture 202 (Visualization II); Wood work and fabrication, Rhino
- Architecture 301 (Fundamentals in Architecture); Product design
- Architecture 401, 402 (Architecture and Landscape Design I, II); Ecotec
- Architecture 411, 412 (Theory I, II)
- Architecture 431, 432 (Construction I, II); Revit 2014
- Architecture 433, 434 (Environmental Systems I, II)
- Architecture 435, 436 (Structures I, II)
- Art History 106 (Architect History)
- Art History 282 (History of Modern Architecture)
- Physics 008, 009 (Physics for Architects)

Aug 2010 - May 2014

Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA), London, GB, BArch, Spring Semester Program

Research & Awards:

-Third-Year History and Theory
Symphonic Spaces: A Coupling of the Senses
Access online:

-Featured Final Exhibition Project
Access online:

Relevant Coursework:

-Studio: Benidorm. Terralife (Renovation of Terra Mítica Theme Park); 3ds Max
- Pending Structures; Wood Work and Digital Fabrication, CNC milling
-Media Studies: Terra_Incognita; Digital Media Design
-Architectural History and Theory (3rd year seminar)

Jan 2013 - Aug 2013

The Westminster School, Atlanta, GA, US, High School, Independent Day School

Aug 1997 - May 2010


Franke Fellowship in Sciences & Humanities, Grant

The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is a Yale University initiative that both bridges the isolation of academic specialization and encourages boundary-breaking projects. Through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke, fellowships of $2,000 are awarded to support essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities. Interdisciplinary research or art projects should explicitly engage both scientific and humanistic issues or content.

In support of research for 'Sounding Sacred'


The H.I. Feldman Prize, Nomination

Established by Hyman I. Feldman (B.F.A. 1920). The Prize is awarded each year to the student who demonstrates the best solution to an architectural problem in an advanced studio, taking into consideration the practical, functional, and aesthetic requirements of that problem.


Henry Luce Scholar, Scholarship

The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program launched by the Henry Luce Foundation to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia.


Michael Yaron Prize in Architecture, Award

Awarded to graduates of the PennDesign for exceptional performance in the undergraduate architecture studio curriculum


Penn Design Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Award, Award

Awarded to Penn Design undergraduates pursuing academic research and coursework relating architecture to an additional field of study


Allison Lazo Hallingby and Kelson Family College Alumni Research Grants, Grant

"Parabolic Perception: Acoustical Form-Finding Techniques of Iannis Xenakis and Antoni Gaudi"
Access online:


Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Humanities Fellow, Grant

- Cultivate weekly cross-disciplinary humanistic discussion surrounding 2013-14 annual forum theme on violence
- Organize and present ongoing cross disciplinary research on the works of architect/composer Iannis Xenakis in Spring forum conference
* Presentation paper:
"Mollifying the Muses: An Exploration of Conflict in the Life and Works of Iannis Xenakis"
* Access online:


Seltzer Family Digital Media Award, Grant

"Seeking Stretto: A Visuo-Acoustical Study of Iannis Xenakis’ ‘Cité de la Musique’"
Access online:


Areas of Specialization