Design Philosophy

We believe that architecture is storytelling using the language of landscape and built form. It tells the story of the values of a particular people or institution in its place and time. Like poetry and prose, architecture relies on metaphor to convey an expression that is lasting and timeless. Our architectural solutions reflect the regional traditions of the areas in which we build and seeks a timeless expression that eloquently tells our client's stories. In this way, our work is a-stylistic, with no preordained aesthetic expression, and inspired by thoughtful, economic and efficient solutions that are meaningful to the public who inhabit and enjoy our buildings.

The diversity of our work results from a consistency of approach and ideation, which when tempered by setting and client needs produces a rich variation of response. We look beyond the boundaries of architecture, often to other art forms, like painting, sculpture, literature, music for inspirations and solutions. Our work is at once situational, inextricably bound to the specifics of place and program, and universal in its broader aspirations to locate itself within the canon of modern architecture.

Landscape is the ground from which all built work is generated. It is the canvas or framework for all buildings. Landscape or Landschaft - is the shaping of land to convey a personal, political, or place identity. Thus landscape and built form are inseparably related and must be integrated into a cohesive composition or architectural statement that expresses the values of a particular institution at a particular place and time. The careful selection of a building site and a building's relationship to the existing urban fabric or site context is paramount to achieving an efficient, sustainable and inspirational facility. When designing in the context of significant historic structures and landscapes, our sensibility is to preserve the story (history) that is being told by an existing building and landscape, while advancing the storyline for the next generation. We do not believe in creating "frozen in time" museum pieces. Instead we advocate for preserving the key components in part or in total with integrity and honesty so the past is understood while also expressing the contemporary cultural conditions of the modern life. In this way buildings are not “moth-balled” but continue to be living documents for centuries reflecting each new generation. Often times, a quiet and reserved modernism is an appropriate and meaningful intervention to a stalwart robust classic, thus preserving the past while advancing the future.

We believe there is an opportunity for design excellence in all projects, irrespective of size and budget. Our design process inventively integrates sustainable approaches to advance the architectural metaphor and theme of a project. Green design elements are not added to a building solution. They are integrated in the design to advance and support the architectural experience and composition and to create a healthy environment that is operationally sustainable.

Our strong pursuit for design excellence coupled with our strong belief in engaging the observations and input from a broad constituency of stakeholders will evolve a meaningful and dynamic architectural response that will engage the community that the project is built for. Distilled from that process will form a strong singular response that is rooted in the ethos and heritage of the place.