Cooley Architectural Corporation (CArch) is a budding new architecture firm that was founded on May 29, 2015 and consists of three employees. They are its CEO and founder Robert Cooley, Project Manager Ema Shahinian, and Production Manager Alexandre Silveira. It is on a path to grow, but plans to remain a small to medium size firm with 10-30 employees.
Robert earned his Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; his Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon; and is a California licensed architect with over thirteen years of design experience. In 2012, he was the project manager for the barrier removal of over 35 Whole Foods Market grocery stores in Northern California to ensure the company was providing equal access to all of their customers and meeting the requirements of the ADA. As a result of that experience, Robert became a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) and founded CArch to provide accessibility inspections and full architectural services to commercial clients. The CASp program was created by California Senate Bill 262 (Chapter 872, 2003) and is designed to meet the public’s need for experienced, trained, and tested individuals who can inspect buildings and sites for compliance with applicable state and federal construction-related accessibility standards.
The firm utilizes their experience on multiple types of commercial and mixed-use residential projects to specialize in universally accessible design across a broad spectrum of project types, but mainly focuses on retail, fitness, grocery, restaurant, and office spaces. Their aim is to push the envelope of regenerative design, or architecture that regenerates our ecological, economical, and sociological environments. They are well positioned to aid small businesses in becoming access compliant and place their clients in a position to better defend themselves against serial ADA litigation. In addition to taking on this creed, they also have some larger projects in various phases of design and construction, and Robert has been instrumental in several LEED Gold projects in his career.
As a small practice, they are able to tailor every phase of the project to best meet their client’s needs and expectations. The creative process of fitting architecture into existing conditions is their greatest passion, but their expertise is often called upon by other architects to ensure their plans meet the accessibility provisions in the code. The majority of their referrals come from contractors who rely on them for their expertise in the challenging area of accessibility, along with their ability to provide clear and complete sets of plans that minimize time overruns and change orders to the client, which maximizes efficiency.