As long as you live, keep learning how to live. (Seneca)
We believe that as architects we have a critical role in helping to create the conditions of a livable world for the next generations. We want to keep carbon in the ground, not to burn it and contribute to an ever warmer world. We want our projects to address the challenges of climate change head on and design them to be net zero or net positive energy.
We're approachable, down-to-earth people. We’ve built strong relationships with our clients over the years. Ultimately, this is what sustains a practice. These relationships take the form of conversations, where needs gradually translate into space and physical form.
Our projects are collaborations between clients, ourselves, our consultants, and builders: a kind of call and response. Client meetings are most fruitful if they are work sessions, followed by a period of our thinking and making. Our work is iterative and evolutionary. We enjoy discussion and debate.
Architecture occupies much of our waking time, but it's not all we think about. We have interests outside of this endeavor. They are important to us and make us better practitioners. We value our time outside of the office.
We have experience in every project phase, many building types and multiple scales of planning, design, and construction. We are also teachers, and the office operates as a learning environment. We have an eye on the past and future, but are grounded in the present.
We do not have a signature. We interpret and respond to a set of conditions, a circumstance. Our understanding of 'context' is broad and consists of client, program, history, codes and regulations, geography, topography, vegetation, climate, to name only a few. We come to this endeavor with interests, but without rhetoric, to borrow a rich phrase.
“All buildings are predictions and all predictions are wrong.” This is perhaps the counterpoint to specificity: allowing for and anticipating change. We seek a loose fit, one that serves a longer term aim, beyond the immediate description of use.
We put trust in the time tested. We believe strength comes from understanding and respecting the nature of materials. We appreciate invention, but not for its own sake. We have a fondness for the everyday.
A plausible description of architecture is an attempt to create order out of entropy, clarity from complexity. A statement of need can appear overwhelming and contradictory. Our strength is in simplifying and communicating opportunities. This translates into the formal resolution of a project, where concise gestures tend to yield the clearest result.
We approach this word as a verb. If we have an underlying preoccupation it is in seeing what's on paper come to fruition in built form. We are a reality based office. We enjoy negotiating the everyday vagaries of getting projects built.
As the wilderness continues to recede from view, and human control, or at least cultivation, of nature is increasingly the norm, stewardship becomes a critical aspect of what we do.
© 2017 Big Bend Studio Architects LLC. All rights reserved.