We work with developers, local governments, community groups and consultants on the critical issues that are reshaping our world. Sustainable design, the regeneration of urban centers, the balance between public places and private space, the exploration of new technologies; we are fully engaged in creating better environments for living, working and playing. A sustained commitment to create contemporary architecture that responds to specifics of context and culture builds and nurtures a vital sense of community.
At the heart of our design-led practice is an architecture where communities of spaces and buildings are created in and of our time. We seek and discover critical aspects of context, culture, and a magic that informs and inspires action. Our approach yields inevitability to our work with architectural solutions that express conceptual clarity, structural order, respect for the nature of materials and attention to detail. For us collaboration and creativity are design tools we use to give voice to institutions, cultures, and communities wherever we practice globally—for an enduring architecture adaptable to change over time.
Context, in its largest sense, informs master planning. Beyond the physical constraints of geography, circulation, and infrastructure, master planning considers both the natural environment at the macro-scale and programmatic development at a micro-scale. This balanced approach at the project outset yields decisions that optimize outcomes throughout the entire development process.
Public life is experienced most visibly on the streets that serve and connect our institutions and commercial buildings. Sensitive design of streetscape itself and the development of sensible guidelines that will engage these streets result from the careful application of a design language in the service of a holistic vision of the urban fabric.
Interior space provides our most intimate experience of architecture. The challenge, especially for commercial buildings that must adapt to a variety of changing uses, is to create interior architecture that endures while remaining fresh and functional. Our multi-decade experience designing public spaces for commercial and institutional clients gives us a special perspective.
Beyond the universal principles of architecture that create buildings of international stature, we recognize the need to provide a cultural overlay that singularizes the project. The culture and the values of the local community and sense of place are reflected in the design through environmental graphics, art programs, use of color, indigenous plant material, wayfinding systems, and other visual clues.
We have long recognized that serving the client’s best interests often requires far more than traditional architectural services. The firm constantly seeks ways to enhance the understanding of a project’s potential, the improvement of the delivery process and the enhancement of the final outcome.
Years of collaboration with many of the most successful developers and consultants globally has given our team an exceptional grasp of what it takes to create a successful project. Because of our experience we are increasingly asked to help client envision the optimum outcome and to strategize the most efficient means to achieve it. From this perspective we address issues ranging from land use to merchandising plans.
Market pressures create the need for a high speed, high results approach to project development. Workshop charettes give clients a fast track to high quality information for informed decision-making. The month-long, interactive process yields a package of concepts and materials that can be presented to investors, community groups, city officials, boards of directors, or contractors to establish credibility and secure buy in for complex projects.
Retail developers’ investment in the building shell structure, materials, and finishes is enormous. The design of tenant storefronts and signage supports the overall design and enriches the shopping experience. Insurance on the development vision takes the form of carefully crafted design criteria and the on-going review of tenant fit-out submittals by the architectural design team.
The building process can take years; there are dozens of consultants, contractors and subcontractors, and thousands of decisions that affect the successful outcome of the project. We often represent our client interests by assuming the role of owner’s representative on projects that require special attention.
On projects from the desert to the tropics we begin with an analysis of the natural environment — sun, wind temperature, geography and landscape. We research local materials and construction methods to minimize community impact, be it noise, dust, dirt or consumption of fossil fuels on community. The firm has pioneered the use of tensile structure, trellises, indigenous landscape, and water systems in retail design.