Joel Freeson Carico : Architect : AIA: Firm Profile

Joel Freeson Carico : Architect : AIA is a sole proprietor in Concord. Joel moved to the Bay Area in 2009 to be closer to family. Joel has worked in the architectural profession for nearly forty years and his experience includes a broad range of projects.  Joel has worked as a designer, project manager, site planner, renderer, draftsman and model builder. He has been involved in designing custom homes, multi-family housing, office, retail, school, day-care, military and restaurant projects, R&D buildings, planned communities, and a domed observatory. He also has experience in existing site and building recordation, and historic preservation and renovation. He has worked on projects in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, South Dakota, Croatia, and the Bay Area. This experience allows Joel Freeson Carico : Architect : AIA to offer services to a broad range of clients.

Joel comes to architecture from an art background. Throughout his life Joel has enjoyed drawing, painting, sculpting and model building. When taking a seventh grade drafting class at the age of twelve, he knew without doubt he wanted to be an architect. Joel graduated from California Polytechnic State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design in San Luis Obispo in 1980 with a Bachelors of Architecture.

When designing or trying to communicate initial design ideas to clients or colleagues, Joel feels that hand sketching is still the best method. There is an immediacy, an intimacy and a flow of ideas from thought to hand that cannot be achieved on a computer. But when it comes to design development and construction documents, BIM (Building Information Modeling) is tremendously powerful. Joel has been using BIM, in the form of ArchiCAD by Graphisoft, since 1995. Communication is key to any successful project. The use of BIM to virtually walk a client through a project and to work out structural and infrastructural details with consultants and contractors means issues and problems are resolved before construction begins. BIM is an essential architectural tool that leads to better buildings and satisfied clients.

Joel is never happier than when designing a project and modeling that design on the computer, producing construction documents and details that will bring the design to fruition. He says, “when I am sketching ideas and drawing designs, or modeling and detailing a building, I lose all track of time.”

Although Joel considers his design philosophy to be in the modernist tradition, and deeply admires many of the designs of Wright, Neutra, Calatrava and others, he does not strictly adhere to a particular design aesthetic on every project. Joel approaches each project on its own terms. The client, location, context, and desired uses of the building are unique to each project and help guide the design. Architecture is a collaborative process. The best designs result when the client, consultants, contractor and the architect work together.


Photographer credits: Lee Geiger, Architect and Joel Carico, AIA

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