Firm Biographies

Local Architects:

Billes Architecture

Billes Architecture was established as a vehicle for Gerald W. Billes to carry out his vision of creating innovative built environments that meet and surpass the expectations and needs of his clients. At Billes Architecture we strive to create environments – neighborhoods, communities, and individual buildings – that create a connection with those who are affected by them. The firm provides project development and architectural services to clients who seek innovative design in their projects, while supporting and enhancing the existing neighborhoods and the lifestyles of those that use the completed structures and spaces.

One Client described the selection of our firm for their project with the following statement: "Billes Architecture was chosen because the firm is creative, budget conscious, and client specific". These qualities can be seen in our firm philosophy and in our work.

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Concordia was formed in 1983 to pursue participatory processes and integrative design practices. For more than 23 years our Concordia team has worked to develop a corporate social entrepreneurship dedicated to the principles of public planning and architectural design. Our projects span a wide range of building types, from the Jackson Brewery Festival Marketplace, Contemporary Arts Center and Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, to the nationally acclaimed Henry Ford Learning Academy in Detroit, Michigan.

Concordia's award winning work has appeared in a wide range of national publications, including Architectural Digest, Progressive Architecture, Architecture, Interiors, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Research alliances have included the MIT Media Lab, Harvard University's Project Zero, the University of New Mexico, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Thornburg Institute, Appalachian Education Lab and the West Ed Research Lab.

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Eskew+Dumez+Ripple is a design-driven studio which produces diverse projects in architecture and planning by blending a signature collaborative process with professional talent, creative thinking and emerging technologies. Our commitment to enhance and protect both the cultural and natural environments of the communities we serve is evident in the beauty and technical craftsmanship of our designs and in the long-term sustainability of our projects.

Our firm views the creation of ecologically responsive design as a core value in our studio. We promote a design approach which acknowledges the impact of finite resources as a positive contributor in the creation of an ethical architecture. The tremendous impact that buildings have on the natural environment and future generations compels us to design in a manner that conserves resources and mitigates man's impact on the environment. Our approach to sustainable design goes beyond mere logistics and mechanical elements. We believe that the design itself should be uplifting to its users and inspire delight in the outside observer.

Based in New Orleans, we use the cultural and architectural heritage of our city as a platform for a practice of national range and recognition.

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Trahan Architects

The designs of Trahan Architects often involve a journey of discovery, meditation and action, evoking an almost involuntary emotional response when first encountered. An international award-winning design firm, Trahan dismisses preconceived formulas or designs, approaching each project with special consideration and attention to the unique needs of the client and with a clear focus on the future. The recipient of three national AIA honor awards in five years and numerous national and regional awards, Trahan Architects was one of three U.S. firms honored with The Architectural Review "Emerging Architecture" Award and one of five named to Wallpaper Magazine's "World's 101 Best Emerging Architects" list for 2007. Through the unique use of natural materials and light, Trahan designs provide a unique experience that enhances a building's true purpose and grows richer with time. Tending closely to details of programming, master planning, design development and technology implementation, Trahan projects follow a method that accurately reflects the philosophy of individuality that the firm embodies. Most notable among Trahan designs are two internationally honored church designs and a university learning center that has been published and exhibited extensively as a model for academic design. Trahan Architects also designed master plans that were awarded first prize in international design competitions in Beijing, China for a Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Industry Base and a Medical Research facility.

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National Architects:

BNIM Architects

BNIM Architects is a leader of a new generation of design firms, setting the course for multidisciplined, responsible architecture that is generated through a team of experts rather than focused on an individual. This approach stems from the office's belief in the power of collaborations, where teams of individuals intuitively generate more innovative responses than teams working outside the collaborative process. Through close client participation and in-depth contextual research, we strive to bring to light the commonly overlooked symbolic and regionally significant building practices, materials and planning. Our philosophy toward design and holistic thinking has informed the way we have redefined our approach in the 21st century as a collaborative and innovative design practice. By exploring issues of environment, function, context and community, BNIM fosters a discovery process to facilitate a solution that ultimately furthers the design expectations for both the client and the community. Founded in 1970 as Patty Berkebile Nelson Love Architects, the firm became Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects in 1991. Proud of its 37-year history, BNIM has become a national leader in design, constantly implementing the delivery of strong design driven solutions that are respectful of context and the environment.

We are committed to becoming agents of change in any community we are involved with through close collaboration with all stakeholders, from end users, to local agencies to neighborhood groups. We excel at bringing all "voices" together.

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KieranTimberlake Associates

KieranTimberlake Associates LLP has focused on solving complex design issues innovatively for over twenty years. We develop leading edge architecture that responds to the ideas, needs, and circumstances of its inhabitants. To further our understanding of architecture and develop new ways to see, design and make the products around us, we place research and development at the core of our practice. We employ collective rather than singular intelligence in the making of architecture. Our process is holistic, involving many layers of information and participants at one time. Our art is the discovery of external and internal logics derived from this exploration.

An award-winning and internationally recognized architecture firm, KieranTimberlake Associates is noted for its research, innovation and inventive design. Founded in Philadelphia in 1984 by Stephen Kieran, FAIA, and James Timberlake, FAIA, the firm is comprised of fifty-four professionals. Recent projects include Loblolly House in Taylors Island Maryland, a new Sculpture Building at Yale University, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, the West Campus Residential Initiative at Cornell University and the Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy at the University of Calgary.

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Morphosis was founded in 1972 in Los Angeles as an interdisciplinary and collective practice involved in experimental design and rigorous research. Today, the firm consists of a group of more than 40 professionals, who remain committed to the practice of architecture as a collaborative enterprise. Named after the Greek term, morphosis, meaning to form or be in formation, Morphosis is a dynamic and evolving practice that responds to the shifting and advancing social, cultural, political and technological conditions of modern life. A critical practice where creative output engages contemporary society and culture through architectural design and education, Morphosis is a process driven firm that seeks new and different design challenges and has resisted becoming specialized in any particular building type. With founder Thom Mayne serving as design principal, Morphosis typically generates its ideas through brain-storming sessions, in which designers question all prior assumptions about a project and intensively test and refine different avenues toward a solution.

Collaboration with the client is an essential part of this process. Morphosis works closely with its clients to help them define the ethical and functional goals of the project, then translates those goals into a design that satisfies the unique requirements and aesthetic opportunities of the program, site and context.

The ultimate goal is to produce an architecture that surprises and inspires—a critical architecture that contributes to the conversation about how we live today.

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Pugh + Scarpa Architecture

Lawrence Scarpa, AIA, and Angela Brooks, AIA are recognized leaders in design innovation: formal, social, and sustainable. Under their direction as Lead Designers of Pugh + Scarpa, the firm has received 36 major design awards, notably eleven National AIA Awards, including 2006 and 2003 AIA Committee on the Environment "Top Ten Green Project" awards, 2005 Record Houses, 2003 Record Interiors, and the 2003 Rudy Bruner Prize. In 2004, the Architectural League of New York selected Lawrence Scarpa as an "Emerging Voice" in architecture. His work is currently on exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

They have taught and lectured at the university level at numerous schools including UCLA, University of Florida, Mississippi State University and SCI-arc. Mr. Scarpa is the 2008 Ruth and Norman Moore visiting professor at Washington University, 2007 Eliel Saarinen Visiting Professor at the Alfred Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan, 2005 University of Michigan Max Fisher Visiting Fellow and 2004 Friedman Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Scarpa and Ms. Brooks are also co-founders of Livable Places, a nonprofit development and policy organization dedicated to promoting healthy communities and improving quality of life through policy reform and responsible mixed-use housing developments.

View the Pugh + Scarpa Architecture Website:

International Architects:

Adjaye Associates

David Adjaye is now recognised as the leading architect of his generation in the UK. He formed a partnership in 1994 and quickly developed a reputation as an architect with an artist' s sensibility and vision. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke design and ability to sculpt and showcase light have engendered high regard from both the architectural community and the wider public. He reformed his studio in June 2000 as Adjaye Associates. Projects have been diverse in scale, audience and geography; collaborations with artists including Chris Ofili and Olafur Eliasson, exhibition design, temporary pavilions and private homes both in the UK and New York. More recently, major arts centres and important public buildings across London, Oslo and Denver have demonstrated David's considered approach to understanding the needs of the constituency served by each building and a respect for integration with their existing locale. David understands his status as a role model for young people and lectures frequently.

Currently he is the first Louis Khan visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as teaching at Harvard' s Graduate School of Design.

Previously a unit tutor at the Architectural Association, David was also a lecturer at the Royal College of Art, where he received his MA in architecture in 1993. That same year, he was awarded the RIBA First Prize Bronze Medal. Following this, he trained at David Chipperfield Architects and then Eduardo Souto de Moura Architects in Oporto.

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Constructs LLC

Joe Osae-Addo was born in Ghana, West Africa, and trained at the Architectural Association in London. He worked in Finland, the UK and the USA, setting up his practice in Los Angeles in 1991. His work has been influenced by 'genus-loci', and how architecture can/should respond to this in creating pieces which are both site specific and meet the needs of people who will interact with it.

He is a founding partner in the A + D Museum, Los Angeles, whose mission is to advance knowledge and to enable people to appreciate and understand architecture and design. He moved back to his native country Ghana in 2004 and is currently the CEO of Constructs LLC, an 'inno-native' design firm based in Accra and Tamale in Ghana, West Africa.

Constructs LLC is currently working on several projects as both developer and architect, with a primary focus on developing manufacturing, using and promoting indegenous materials and technology for construction, in a contemporary way. The firm has expanded is mandate to become a think tank of sorts, to engage in the discourse of economic development in Ghana and Africa as a whole. They have become self described 'DESIGN- SOCIO-ECONOMISTS', using architecture as a platform to engage in Projects ranging from re-branding of Towns and Cities, Product design (as an economic empowerment tool) to targetted urban planning initiatives.

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GRAFT is a full service architectural firm located in Los Angeles, California; Berlin, Germany and Beijing, China, with the collective professional experience that encompasses a wide array of building types including Fine Arts, Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Residential facilities. The firm has been awarded numerous awards in Europe as well as in the United States of America.

GRAFT was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Krückeberg and Wolfram Putz. Thomas Willemeit joined the firm in 2001 and opened an office in Berlin, Germany the same year. In 2005, Gregor Hoheisel, who had been partner in Los Angeles in 2000 to 2001, became Partner of GRAFT Beijing, founded in 2001. In 2007, Alejandra Lillo became partner for GRAFT LA.

GRAFT was conceived as a Label for Architecture, Urban Planning, Exhibition Design, Music and the "Pursuit of Happiness". Since the firm was established, it has been commissioned to design and manage a wide range of projects in multiple disciplines and locations. With the core of the firm's enterprises gravitating around the field of architecture and the built environment, GRAFT has always maintained an interest in crossing the boundaries between disciplines and "grafting" the creative potentials and methodologies of different realities. This is reflected in the firm's expansion into the fields of music, car design, art installations, academic projects and "eventings" as well as in the variety of locations throughout the globe.

Graft Design Team

Neiel Norheim
M. Casey Rehm
Francesca "Celi" Freeman
Carsten Gauert
Eddie Hermann

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MVRDV was set up in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1991 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV produces designs and studies in the fields of architecture, urbanism and landscape design.

MVRDV pursues a fascination for radical methodical research: on density and on public realms. Through investigation and use of the complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary design processes, spaces are shaped methodically.

Clients, users and specialists are intensively involved at an early stage of the design process. Reactions to the first designs can be processed quickly, creating a high degree of support for the design and encouraging the sort of new insights that can lead to specific innovative solutions. In this way our generalism and verve is linked with the specialization and thoroughness of the other team members.

The products of this approach can vary therefore completely. They range from buildings of all types and sizes, to urban designs, publications and installations, as well as the development of software programs.

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Shigeru Ban Architects

Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA) was established in 1985 in Tokyo and has 3 offices – Tokyo, Paris and New York - with a total of 30-35 professional staff. Dean Maltz of Dean Maltz Architect is an established partner of Shigeru Ban Architects and manages the New York office. SBA's design experience stems from working in a wide range of project types; from private residences, collective housing, and apartments to offices, hotels, museums, libraries, retail, exhibition design and industrial design. SBA has completed a number of award winning houses, including The Curtain Wall House, The Picture Window House and The Naked House. Some of the firm's institutional projects include Tazawako Station, The Paper Art Museum in Mishima, Japan, and the Atsushi Imai Memorial Gymnasium in Odate, Japan.

SBA continually seeks to develop innovative structural systems and construction methods to reinforce the underlying concepts of each project. Our current projects include the new 130,000 sq/ft satellite Pompidou Centre in Metz, France, The Seikei University Library in Tokyo, Japan, The Swatch Building in Ginza, Japan, The Forest Park Pavillion in St. Louis, MO, a condominum and art gallery in New York, NY, as well as numerous commissions around the world. Additionally, SBA has unique experience with volunteering for disaster relief causes such as providing shelters for victims of earthquakes in Kobe, Japan (1995), Turkey (1999), and India (2001) and working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to develop an appropriate solution for shelters in refugee camps of Rwanda.

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