Places We Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, our staff has compiled an addition to our ever-popular Places We Love series. The form and function vary from place to place, but across the board, these destinations occupy a special location in our hearts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and we encourage you to share the … Continue reading

Performance Hall Tuning: Ensuring the Sound is Sound

As thrilling as the design and construction of buildings are for architects, the life their creations take on when they start to be used for their intended purpose is even more interesting. Before occupation, though, there is an important intermediate step, known as commissioning. This is when all of the systems, mechanical and otherwise, are tested, balanced … Continue reading

Designing Contextually in a Place Without Context

Before pursuing the question of what it means to design contextually, we need to make sure we are on the same page about the term context. The dictionary shows it to mean “the circumstances, background or setting where a particular act or event occurs.” As far as architecture is concerned, the context is usually thought … Continue reading

A Toast to the Protector of the Body of Work

Loyal readers, It is with one part personal pride, one part personal joy and many, many parts appreciation that I dedicate this Parchment post to congratulate and celebrate our founder, partner and design leader, David M. Schwarz, the 2015 Richard H. Driehaus Prize Laureate. As most of you know, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at … Continue reading

Alpharetta City Hall Opens as Centerpiece of New Development

We are pleased to announce and celebrate the grand opening of the new Alpharetta City Hall, at the heart of Alpharetta, Georgia’s new Downtown City Center Master Plan. We would like to congratulate Mayor David Belle Isle, the Alpharetta City Council, and the city of Alpharetta on their new landmark. The traditional design of the … Continue reading

Travelogue: Discovering the Iberian Peninsula

A portion of my ancestry can be traced back to the Iberian Peninsula, specifically Spain. Seeing it first hand –  the people, the culture, and, of course, the architecture – is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now.  Spain’s diversity of culture peaked my interest the most, from the northern Basque region to the … Continue reading

Travelogue: Wonders of Natural Stone in Verona

Faithful readers, you will recall in June, at the conclusion of my Chicago travelogue, I had hoped my next travelogue would come from Verona, Italy in the autumn.  Well, I ended up waiting until my return to write it, but indeed, this post will chronicle my Veronese stone experience. With much anticipation, and great appreciation, … Continue reading

Q&A with Architectural Photographer Steve Hall

Architectural photography is an art that mirrors architecture in its meticulous eye for detail, scale & context. The trade’s practitioners are part photographer, part designer and part director. A strong working relationship between designer and photographer is critical to the capture of photos that perfectly convey a building’s character and story. We caught up with … Continue reading

Evolution of Today’s Architect: From Master Builder to Master Team-Builder

What do architects really do? I’ve found that the public perceives architects in a few ways: we’re sometimes the brash genius like Frank Lloyd Wright (or lone genius like Howard Roark) pursuing a singular vision and driving budgets through the roof. Or we’re clients’ lap dogs, designing bland residential buildings that tower over their neighbors … Continue reading

From Bowties to Brushstrokes: Traditional Tools for Contemporary Architects

In the days before computers (ancient history for young architects today) architects wore bowties to avoid smearing their drawings,  smoked pipes to keep drawings safe from falling ash and were exposed to potentially dangerous ammonia to make blueprints on a daily basis. Things have certainly changed in the architectural world. Software has brought about a … Continue reading