Christine Ussler’s teaching centers on introducing students to all aspects of architectural design, from the practical to the poetic, with a special focus on architectural drawing using a wide range of media—from pencil drafting to watercolor rendering to digital modeling. She sees her practice in architecture as another dimension of her teaching, and informally introduces her students to issues of contemporary professional practice.
Prof. Ussler’s principal areas of interest are the preservation of historic buildings and structures and architectural representation. She is actively involved in the preservation community; she serves as a consultant to various state and local preservation boards, has been a consultant to historic review boards in eastern Pennsylvania for over thirty years, and is currently a member of the State Historic Preservation Board. She has a long-standing interest in green building and sees saving older buildings as an environmentally sensitive endeavor. She designed one of the first buildings in the Lehigh Valley to have a green roof (Wildlands Conservancy Educational Center) in the early 1990s, well ahead of LEED and the profession’s embrace of environmentally sensitive design.
Her professional work ranges in scale from less than 300 square feet to over 300,000 square feet, and from finely detailed residences to larger schools, educational centers, theaters, churches, and commercial projects. In 2015, her firm completed the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts—a 90,000-square-foot, modern building located in the South Bethlehem National Register Historic District. She has a particular expertise in working within urban settings and regulated historic districts, and her recent work includes the redevelopment of abandoned buildings in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Prof. Ussler and her practice have received many local American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards and state preservation awards. In 2013 she received the Downtown Visionary Award from the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and was named one of the first Women of Influence by the Lehigh Valley Business Journal.