We believe that design should enrich the human spirit and improve the quality of life for everyone it touches. We are dedicated to combining practice, mentorship, and teaching to have maximum impact on the built world. Our goal is to create architecture and an environment of critical thinking to inspire learning in others.
We believe in making performance-driven architecture. For the U.S. General Services Administration, this means incorporating security, sustainable design principles, innovative technologies, and contemporary design to create new, and transform existing, building envelopes that are responsive to their cultural and physical contexts.
We believe in using technical innovation and construction craft to design architecture of our time. While conveying a sense of permanence, this reflects the hopes and aspirations of our generation. Architecture should feel as if it has always been there.
We believe in architecture that creates a memorable first impression for visitors and lasting experiences for those who work there every day. Buildings should uniquely fit their sites, respect their surroundings, and use durable materials to delight and inspire.
We believe in connecting to a building’s surroundings, site, and context. I consider every element for its impact on occupants, as well as outside viewers. In turn, buildings perform better for both, have greater presence and responsiveness to their settings, and anticipate future change.
We believe in the architect’s responsibility to lead a team to deliver sustainable buildings that function perfectly, remain within budget, and are delivered on schedule.
Operational Effectiveness: A Building’s Purpose
A building must serve the needs of the people who use it. A building inspires. A building gains legitimacy and power by combining function with a clear design concept, efficient structure, durable materials, and sensitive site development.
Design for Change: Planning for the Future
Buildings should be designed to satisfy our current needs, based upon our past experience, and to accommodate future change. Change is constant, whether the result of evolving public policy, revised agency missions, shifting commercial market forces, new lifestyle trends, or growing local community needs. While we cannot accurately predict future demands or the consequential changes that result, we can design our buildings and sites to be flexible.
Approach to Integrated Sustainable Design
We believe that good design is sustainable design. The goal in every project is to balance human needs, budget requirements, and environmental responsibility with functional and operational objectives. This approach is grounded in four key principles:
Strive for integrated, whole-building design
Achieve innovation in products and technology
Maximize natural features, siting, and climatic conditions
Leverage our professional, academic, and industry networks to learn about new ideas and implement best practices.
The Challenge of Public Architecture
“We do not imitate, for we are a model to others.”
Pericles of Athens, c. 450 BC.
A cornerstone of the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, this statement resonates with our deep belief in the powerful relationship between architecture and democracy. It has been an inspiration to us while working with various public agencies, and serves as a potent reminder that innovation and leadership are always connected.
Image: Individual Respect and Democracy
Public buildings have symbolic content that sets them apart from private and institutional structures. They represent our society’s enduring values and reflect the importance of civic institutions while communicating respect for the individuals and communities they serve. Using dramatic means and subtle distinction, we convey this symbolism through a building’s visual strength and its respect for the scale, comfort, and orientation of the individual.
Public Buildings: Welcoming and Secure
Public buildings that represent our democracy are required to embrace the increasingly contradictory demands of being both welcoming and secure. This contradiction has been one of the greatest sources of architectural invention, as we work closely with key stakeholders to integrate constantly evolving security requirements and technologies into the building and site design.