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Posts tagged ‘Firm Profile’

Studio Bergtraun, AIA, Architects: Firm Profile

Established in 1988, Studio Bergtraun, AIA, Architects, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer!

Palo Alto Lutheran Church Narthex addition to 1960’s Mid-Century Modern church creating a community “glue” to encourage its members to socialize and draw closer to each other in the new space.

Based in Emeryville, this six person office has designed over the years an array of projects varying from single family residences and multi-family residential complexes to neighborhood commercial, religious architecture, an urban farm and  a few Boy Scout Camps.
Alex Bergtraun, principal of the firm, a graduate of Cal Poly, SLO, completed his 5th year of the school with a Rotarian Scholarship in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Upon his return to the US, Alex worked the next four years for noted Peninsula architect Goody Steinberg, FAIA.  This important phase of Alex’s career transitioned when he then returned to Europe and worked for the next three years in an architectural studio in Milan, Italy.  This extensive work experience and study in Italy and Denmark along with travel through Asia and Europe have provided a rich design background for the studio.

The studio is located in a vibrant hub of activity in Emeryville  which has helped to continue the studio’s goal of inclusively working together with local artists and artisans on all projects integrally as they are designed. After having rented the Doyle Street studio space for over two decades, the firm bought the building complex and has incorporated a gallery space as part of its overall studio so that it can further promote the arts showing art by the firm’s members as well as hosting gallery openings of local community artists and artisans.

Each environment designed by the studio, residential, commercial and institutional, is responsive to the client’s program and budget, respectful of the surrounds in which they are sited, and attentive to the creative, functional and eco-friendly use of materials.  Every project attempts to create in various California climate zones, from Sea Ranch and Eureka to Tahoe  and both sides of the Bay Area, indoor-outdoor flow as an integral part of each design.

The firm has also done a series of pro bono projects giving back to the community including:

-Design and construction of the Solano Avenue Parklet

-Design and construction of a 60 foot long grape arbor and seating area at Urban Adamah farm in West Berkeley, where the firm is also designing all of the other buildings for this Urban Farming community campus, including a communal kitchen and an EcoLodge.

-Design workshops for the local Boy Scout Council High Sierra and local camps

It is the studio’s belief that architecture can be a beautiful framework enhancing the lives of those who live and work within and around it and the studio is committed to being a part of the rich exploration of Bay Area architecture.

Alpine Meadows new home perched on 23 degree granite ledge above community creek using materials reminiscent of old nearby Truckee train barns.

HKIT: 70 Years And Counting

As part of their 70th anniversary celebration, HKIT agreed to answer questions about their history and what’s next for the firm. Be sure to see their commemorative exhibit at the chapter office the next time you’re in downtown Oakland. HKIT’s exhibit will be on display through the end of August.

  1. How did your firm get its name?
    The firm began in 1948 as “Donald L. Hardison, Architect”, the name of its founding partner, it changed several times over the years as Principals joined the firm becoming Hardison Komatsu Ivelich & Tucker in 1974. The name was later simplified to HKIT Architects in 2008.
  2. How large is the firm?
    47 employees

  1. Where are you located?
  1. How did the firm get its start?
    Founding Principal Donald L. Hardison started the firm in 1948 with a variety of post-war housing and community projects.
  1. What is the firm personality?
    Socially conscious and community-based architecture, largely for non-profits
  1. What’s the firm’s focus?
    Affordable Housing, Senior Living, and Learning Environments (K-12 Schools)
  1. How might the focus of your practice change?
    The diversity of our portfolio has sustained us through the changes in the economy over time, so for the present our direction is solid moving forward.
  1. What’s the most unusual project your firm has done?
    The Peace Garden at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose and Buena Vista Terrace, the conversion of a church to affordable senior housing, in San Francisco
  1. When was the firm established?
  1. What’s your favorite local building?
    U.C. Berkeley Student Center (designed by Hardison DeMars)
  1. What is the makeup of your firm and do you have other disciplines?
    HKIT offers Architectural, Planning and Interior Design services
  1. How is your firm structured?
    6 Principals, 2 Senior Associates, 8 Associates
  1. Do you have any office pets?
  1. Which method of marketing has been the most successful for the firm?
    All of the above … no rest for the weary here … but we rely heavily on existing clients, and repeat work as a result of the value we place on client service and doing good work
  1. How would you describe your firm’s culture?
  1. What team-building activities happen within your firm?
    Happy Hour Fridays, summer picnic, regular staff lunches, volunteer opportunities etc.
  2. What’s your firm’s favorite lunch spot?
    There are so many great places in Old Oakland!
  1. What does the future hold for the firm?
    It looks bright!!

    Lion Creek Crossing

    Visit HKIT at to learn more.

Firm Profile:  A2R Architects

A2R Architects, Inc. was formed in April 2014 with Rob Henley, AIA (UC Berkeley & SFIA) and Rob Sesar, RA (U of Oregon) as principals of the firm.  Combined, the principals have 75 years of experience practicing in the Northern California.  Rob Henley is a Northern California native while Rob Sesar was raised in Oregon.

A2R Architects is located in Vacaville and provides architectural design expertise for a wide range of project types along with a full spectrum of professional design services.  Services to our clients include: programming, master planning, design, construction documents, bidding, construction administration and post construction evaluations.  Project types include:  assisted living/memory care, commercial/retail, auto dealerships, institutional, industrial and educational.

Our firm’s culture values integrity, trust & commitment and is dedicated to achieving our clients’ vision and our design solutions reflect a clear understanding of their goals and objectives.  In collaborating with our clients and consultants, we create buildings and spaces that promote social interaction, comfort and productivity with outcomes that respect our environment. Two recently completed projects exemplify this:  Sheet Metal Workers Training Center – Local 104:  LEED Gold and the Building 600 and Administration Expansion and Remodel – Solano CC:  LEED Silver.

A2R Architects is dedicated to maintaining a high degree of responsiveness to our clients.  Achieving excellent architecture for them within reasonable and predictable budget and schedule expectations is more than a goal – it is the cornerstone of our business and the key to success.

Educating our clients is critical to what to do – as both a learning organization and as client educators.  Both of these values help expand the design possibilities for our clients in an age when complex and changing technology and demographics — along with a variety of sociological factors — affect the way people work, study and interact.  These elements are studied in advance to understand how a building should function as well as so that it will continue to be relevant and stand the test of time.

The firm encourages all members to be involved with the community and giving back in the form they choose.  The principals are active members of the Vacaville and Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Clubs and local chambers of commerce.

Alexander Jermyn Architecture: Firm Profile

Alexander Jermyn Architecture has developed a diverse body of work including residential, cultural and commercial projects. The approach to each design problem is with an artistic and technical rigor guided by a commitment to craft in architecture. The work addresses the fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials, and their intrinsic properties within architecture. The intensive research for each project guides the design process in lieu of following a stylistic agenda, striving for an architecture from which multiple readings emerge, exploring the associations of program and space, material and detail, complexity and simplicity.

Mendocino Residence (rendering by architect).

The small size and diverse skills of the design team allow the practice to work closely and intensively with clients to provide thoughtful, economical and lasting solutions. The collaborative dialogue between architect, client, and contractor is a core tenet from inception to completion for all work. The meticulous attention to concept and detail guides and refines the design process towards a solution which is architecturally, socially, and contextually coherent. The practice oversees all projects from their conception through construction and collaborates closely with the contractors and artisans who build them. The practice provides full architectural design, construction administration, planning and zoning analysis, as well as interior design services.

The firm was chosen as a Design Vanguard by Architectural Record in 2016, an award for the best emerging architects from around the world. It has also received awards from the AIA and Architecture Magazine.

KT Residence.  Photograph by Robert Vente.

Forward. Photographs by Jeremy Bitterman.


Gyroscope: Firm Profile

Gyroscope is a multi-disciplinary design studio founded on the simple idea that design matters. Led by four owners, our work across the country ranges from planning and designing a new start-up museum in Pennsylvania to expanding a children’s art museum in Arizona. We approach every project as a learning environment to support, promote, and encourage meaningful learning behaviors through good design.Most of our projects are for museums, yet this year we opened a Center for Excellence for Morgan Advanced Materials in Hayward, a new maker space for Woodland Public Library, completed a comprehensive master plan for San Mateo County Libraries, and designed an interactive literacy based children’s museum for Rancho Cucamonga Public Library. This May, the Oakland Public Library will reveal an electric mobile library we designed. Stay tuned for the big reveal. Click here for details.

If you haven’t noticed in your own work, maker spaces are the all rage in ours. Similar to high school home economics and wood shop of years past, maker spaces include desktop CNC routers, laser cutters, 3D printers, computerized sewing machines with technology throughout. What is different are the diverse uses such as drop-in activities, informal programs, classes, demonstrations and/or corporate rental space for participants ranging in age from early childhood to seniors. Gyroscope was architect of record for building renovations as well as for interior fit-out, custom furniture and graphic design for Woodland’s Square One Maker Space.

Three blocks from our studio is the Jack London Square Amtrak station so taking the train back and forth to Santa Barbara while working on MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation was great fun.  Fodors ranked it number six of the top ten new museums in the country for 2017. Although not an architectural award, it recognizes the high level of visitor satisfaction for which we are incredibly proud. Our work focused on visitor experience planning, exhibition design and graphics. Click here for details.

One of the most photographed exhibits there is our White Water interactive installation featured on the roof with views to the ocean and mountains. It is a spectacular setting and lots of fun for all ages, although a very challenging design. For projects like these, we are lucky to get private tours of amazing companies such as FLIR, a local Santa Barbara company that makes high-end infrared equipment for both military and civilian uses. We incorporated their equipment on the roof for families to view heat prints of the buildings along State Street. Other incredible field trips took us to a maglev engineering research group, a tele-medicine robot manufacturer, a renewable energy start-up harvesting ocean waves, and a working Foley Studio at Fox Studios.

People always ask us what we do. It’s hard to describe, but we definitely have fun. Staff loves that it is different every day. Tim Phillips, one of the owners, is shown washing out 96 cans of chopped tomatoes for a prototype. The final installation is slated for a new building in Jack London Square. Check it out!

For more information, contact Maeryta A. Medrano, AIA, LEED AP at
Gyroscope Founder & President, 283 4th Street; Suite 201; Oakland, CA 94607

Harriman Kinyon Architects: Firm Profile

Harriman Kinyon Architects, Inc. is an architecture firm based in Walnut Creek that was established over 40 years ago which offers our services primarily in healthcare and affordable housing markets throughout the Western region of California and Nevada.  The firm’s philosophy has been to work on projects that have a true impact and vital service to our community as well as to deliver projects that will allow for the best possible level of care and contribute to better experiences for the patients that are served by these facilities.

Oakland Broadway – Photographer: Mike Polk

The Oakland Broadway project was on a very tight narrow site, originally on four separate parcels.  The existing three buildings on the site were removed to make way for a new two story medical office building along the very busy and highly visible corridor of Broadway.  Multiple factors had to be coordinated for this development of the project which included keeping the existing 25 foot high retaining wall at one side of the property as well as cooperating with the residential neighbors so that the building blended into this community.

Castro Valley – Photographer: Mike Polk

In Castro Valley, we were able to take an oddly shaped property at a great location near the medical corridor of the community.  Though this challenging sloped site was small, we were still able to design the layout of the site with the needed building footprint, parking and landscape areas.   This project also had multiple governing agencies and departments to coordinate and communicate with this development.

We are also working currently on an existing multi-family housing property in Napa, CA.  The remodel of this project includes a new community room, leasing office as well as rehabilitating of the property with new accessible rental units and upgrading the existing kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, heating & cooling, plumbing, painting and new site work with updated drainage, parking striping, landscaping and site lighting.

Napa – Renderings

Firm Profile: Barry & Wynn Architects, Inc.

Barry and Wynn Architects, Inc. is a design studio offering residential, commercial, historic renovation, recreational and civic architectural services throughout Northern California. We value the diversity of our clientele and project types, delivering timeless and unique solutions with attention to detail, effective use of materials, and a passion for design.

Based in Danville, we are committed to contributing a positive and lasting impact on the fabric of our community, where Blair Barry’s family roots date to 1954. He has served on Danville’s Heritage Resource Commission, Planning Commission, and Design Review Board. Early in his career, he saw the value in building what he designed, and obtained his contractor’s license. Blair’s nearly three decades of construction experience helps guide each architectural project with an eye toward constructability. Blair and partner Steven Wynn, a Santa Barbara native, have collaborated for over fifteen years. Together, they have completed a deep portfolio of award-winning work.

Our custom residential work includes new homes, remodels and additions of all sizes. The Diablo Residence pictured here displays a classic California cottage style of shingle and gable roofs. Window walls capture views of the 18th green, while expansive verandahs embrace warm summer nights.

The contemporary Alamo cabana pictured here offers a change of pace, introducing a modern element to a traditional California ranch home. The large shed roof and clerestory windows define this glass pavilion. A clean, flat roof ties the house and BBQ seating to the cabana. Shade and shadow are a must during our hot Contra Costa summers.

Mountain architecture serves as a satisfying counterpoint to our urban and suburban work, with custom home and ranch projects in the Tahoe-Truckee region, and even a full log home overlooking Priest Lake in Idaho. The exchange of ideas, materials and detailing between our urban and mountain projects strengthens both areas of work.

Our commercial work includes office, retail, restaurant, civic, and mixed use development. Commercial and mixed use projects underway include a major addition for Danville’s Town Offices, a new downtown Pleasant Hill restaurant, and the redevelopment of the 1930’s era Xavier Building in downtown Danville. The existing ground floor of the Xavier Building will remain retail, with its historic façade on Hartz Avenue. At the rear, as seen in the rendering pictured here, a contemporary glass façade will extend to the new butterfly roof of our 1,700 square foot second story addition – Barry and Wynn’s new home, anticipated for late 2018 – an exciting time for our firm.

Giving back to our community, we proudly support the work of Operation Dignity, which provides housing services for homeless veterans. We are also engaged with the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, spearheading a new archives storage facility.

Firm Profile: M I Architects, Inc.

M I Architects, Inc. is focused on gas station development projects.  The firm is committed to improve the look and functionality and change the perception of today’s gas stations. We develop the new, sustainable and environmentally friendly gas stations of tomorrow.  We engage clients that share our values and commitments.  M I Architects, Inc. is a seven employee firm that consists of two architects, a senior designer, a job captain and designers. We’ve provided architectural and engineering services since the firm was established in June 2005. We are located in Walnut Creek, California.

Below are some of our most notable gas station development projects:

Chevron Coleman Landings, San Jose

Shell Novato Boulevard, Novato

Shell East El Camino Real, Mountain View

Knapp Architects: Firm Profile

Knapp Architects focuses on protecting and enhancing the value of historic resources—improving the “built environment” by protecting the best of what is already built. The value of historic places is based on the contemporary social view of history and the buildings and places created over time. We work to help other design professionals, owners and users of buildings, and outside stakeholders and regulatory agencies to articulate the significance of existing buildings, weigh realistically the treatment options for them, and complete successful construction projects which will stand the test of time.

Our role is to clarify the status and intrinsic qualities of a building or place; discern how a project would affect it; communicate options and their implications clearly to all participants in the design process; and produce documents which foster a constructive decision-making process and successful construction. On most projects, our role is not to tell others what to do with a building (except through construction drawings and specifications), but rather to explain how the community sees the building or where it ranks under objective historical standards, and to explain the ramifications of treatment options. We bring creativity and insight to the search for options for preserving historic buildings while maximizing their programmatic performance.

In the world of historic preservation, where some professionals deal only in a single specialty, we are generalists. Our scope of experience and skills ranges from architectural services, including conditions assessments, construction drawings and specifications, and construction-phase services; to research and documentation, including National Register nominations and Historic American Building Survey (HABS) documentation; environmental review and regulatory work, including federal 20% historic tax credits and compliance with CEQA, local preservation ordinances, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; to assessments and studies, including Historic Structure Reports and feasibility studies. Our projects range from repairing one component of a small building to overall rehabilitation of a large building. We work both as prime and as a consultant.

Our staff is comprised of licensed architects with more than 40 years’ combined experience in historic preservation; additionally, our firm has longstanding relationships with specialty professionals in sub-disciplines of architecture and preservation as well as professionals in other disciplines, such as structural engineering and landscape architecture, who have deep experience with historic properties.

Recent projects include California Memorial Stadium and Blum Hall/Naval Architecture Building at UC Berkeley, the Kelly Cullen Community (former Central YMCA) in San Francisco, the Hay Barn at UC Santa Cruz, and 50 United Nations Plaza and the Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. Current projects include two each at Stanford and Berkeley, two hotels in San Francisco, historic rental housing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio Theatre, and several projects at Mare Island.

Property and building owners we have worked for include UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, the East Bay Regional Park District, the National Park Service, Lennar Mare Island, BRIDGE Housing, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, JMA Ventures, and Embarcadero Capital Partners.

We have worked as consultants on teams led by Mark Cavagnero Associates,  Fernau + Hartman, Gelfand Partners Architects, Gensler, HNTB, Hornberger + Worstell, Noll & Tam, Olson Kundig Architects, PGAdesign, PlaceWorks, Ratcliff Architects, and Van Meter Williams Pollack.

Goring & Straja: Firm Profile

Goring & Straja principals, Jim Goring, AIA and André Straja, AIA met while working in San Francisco at William Turnbull Associates in the 1980s. There they refined their core values about place, attended occasional ‘bad attitude’ lunches, and learned much as they could from Bill and their colleagues.After separately being invited to ‘graduate’ William Turnbull Associates in the 90’s, Jim and André ventured out to form independent practices.  Goring received the call one day from Straja in Milan suggesting the transnational alliance and it seemed natural to say yes.  The two branches maintain their alliance by leveraging the near 24-hour active office – sharing staff, collaborating on marketing and design efforts, and staying close to their mission statement: have fun, do good work, and stay in business.

Over the past two decades, Goring & Straja have helmed a wide range of projects. In Milan, André has grown his side of the practice by focusing on mixed-use commercial work in Italy and retail development across Europe, bringing an American model of service and a professionally driven business practice with him. In the Bay Area and across California, the firm has been involved in a variety of institutional, residential, and commercial projects, particularly finding success in the ‘wicked problem’ challenges of complex institutional clients.

In the firm’s California work, GaS embraces the eclecticism of the region’s traditions, finding that each client and community inspires a unique approach. Working with Nespresso’s Milanese concept architect in Beverly Hills to develop a flagship retail café, the team drew on the particular tradition of LA modernist architecture to support an international brand with an international style of Southern California spirit. The result is an inviting light-filled boutique and café open to the sidewalk that celebrates both the lively local promenade and the client’s quality driven brand identity.

At the Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley, Goring & Straja is in the construction phase of a science and technology wing, merging a sustainable steam punk attitude with the bucolic hillside campus. At the same campus GaS recently completed a high school classroom building which was awarded Sustainable San Mateo’s Green Building Award, and PG&E’s Savings by design recognition. Targeting net zero performance, the first year’s metrics placed the building’s energy production very well above its consumption.

Most recently, Goring & Straja was invited to create a proposal for an updated master plan for the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church campus in Orinda. Our faith community work currently includes worship space improvements at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Daly City, master planning at Sequoia Community Church in Oakland, as well as ongoing work with Valley Christian Church and Schools in Dublin.

Whether for churches or schools, retail brands or private individuals, Goring & Straja Architects approaches every project as an opportunity to enhance the spirit of a particular place, while providing clients and communities with spaces that serve, engage and delight.