Design Matters: Tevis Architects
TK: What is good architectural design?
HEIT: A successful project must first fulfill the owner’s facility needs and advance their mission, all within their project budget and schedule. Good design goes beyond fulfilling needs and elevates the experience of people. It celebrates the purpose of the building and expresses the meaning of the activities taking place in it.
TK: How can good design and architecture help a business stand out?
HEIT: First impressions. We all know first impressions matter. Seeing the building, or walking into an office, is very often an individual’s first interaction with a business, before they ever meet a person. A well-designed and attractive building or office space can set a positive tone for how your business is perceived by prospective clients, prospective employees, and the competition. Investing in an attractive, high quality environment sends a clear message that a business’s leaders value quality and have achieved success. The style, materials, and color palette of a workplace, chosen wisely, can also communicate and reinforce a business’s brand, purpose, and values.
TK: What is topping the “must-have” list?
HEIT: Flexibility is probably the single biggest “must-have.” We are finding that work spaces must be easily adaptable. Businesses are more frequently reorganizing employees in response to particular projects or new strategic initiatives. These moves must be able to be completed quickly with minimal effort and expense. Work spaces also have to be able to incorporate new and emerging technologies which continue to evolve at an ever-faster rate. And the contemporary workplace must support a workforce that is more diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, values, and expectations than ever before.
TK: When is it time for a renovation or redesign?
HEIT: When the finishes and furniture in the office are older than the new employees, it’s probably time for a renovation. But in all seriousness, when employees are “making-do” and improvising to overcome obstacles and discomforts created by the physical workplace, it is time to redesign. The physical space should support and enhance the abilities of employees, enabling them to be as effective as possible.
TK: Are projects incorporating “green”?
HEIT: A few years ago, when energy costs soared, “green” or sustainable design grabbed a lot of attention and became a major topic in design. Building owners became caught up in creating a LEED-certified building. A “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality seemed to prevail. Today we are seeing building owners more interested in incorporating those ideas that really reduce operating and maintenance costs, extend the life of the building, and bring value, but they are less concerned about certifications and labels.
TK: What architecture and architects have inspired you the most?
HEIT: I am one of a small minority of contemporary architects who has been educated in the classical tradition. I work each day to interpret how the long tradition of architecture can be relevant and enrich our contemporary buildings. Thus, I am most inspired by architects of the first part of the twentieth century, who spent their careers balancing history and modernity in response to a society and a profession whose tastes morphed dramatically as they embraced new technologies, materials, and construction processes. I am particularly inspired by Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, and Bertrand Goodhue. More recently, I admire the work of Robert AM Stern for embracing tradition in contemporary buildings today.