Flansburgh Architects is a nationally recognized leader in the planning and design of educational and cultural facilities. Our innovative designs have won over 125 national and regional design awards, from industry peers and educators. Our work continues to be published in professional books and journals. Our architecture is driven by a belief that the quality of our surroundings has a direct influence on the quality of our lives, whether, on campus, in the workplace, at a show, or in the public realm. In that sense, design is all encompassing, ranging from the functional and environmental performance of a building to a concern for its physical and cultural context, not least of which is the 'poetic' dimension, particularly how spaces are sculpted by natural light.
Our design decisions are always informed by detailed analysis. We invest in innovation and have been at the forefront in developing new design tools. We have worked closely with industry to develop the application of new materials and construction techniques in individual projects around the world. We gather statistical information from similar facilities and provide benchmark data that is directly comparable to our client’s projects to draw upon in the early phases of design. Through this extensive research, thorough analyses, and physical models, we explore design ideas in a highly inclusive and collaborative way. We invite open discussion with our client for every design decision. This commitment to research has allowed us to bring our expertise to a range of projects, at a variety of scales, around the world.
We use intensive design workshops in which we spend a set of compressed time periods with our clients throughout the design process. These two-to-three day workshops allow us to become quickly and deeply familiar with our client’s project, its setting and whom it serves. They are particularly helpful during the study, programming and schematic design phases of the project. They open communication, affording strength of collaboration that is valuable to the success of the project. In effect we set up an ancillary office on site. We believe these design workshops jump-start and accelerate the design process by actively involving all stakeholders in the project. We often find that the best ideas come from our clients. In essence we harness the skills, enthusiasm and knowledge of integrated design teams, clients and communities to create inspirational environments.
Although most of our design work tends to be focused in Boston, our on-site design workshops bring us to virtually every time zone. This experience gives us a unique and unparalleled perspective on sustainable design approaches and building programs. The richness of our work reflects this exposure to many cultures and environments.
Drawing and model making is a way of thinking and communicating. We use these tools to manipulate, to cut through buildings, to look at how they fit together three-dimensionally and to explore how spaces relate to each other. We produce everything from hand-made physical models, to computer renderings, virtual animations and video productions. As well as creating still images for use in capital campaigns, publications and the press, we are able to script, storyboard, score and direct short films - all of which can help a client to understand the essence of a project at its earliest stages and participate in its development.
Sustainability has been a central theme of our work for over 15 years. To remain at the forefront of advances in sustainable design, we consider environmental performance holistically: from the embodied energy of materials to lifetime energy performance. In several projects, we have pioneered renewable energy solutions, which have offered significant reductions in pollution and carbon emissions. Our approach is sensitive to location and culture, often combining the latest advances in building technology with techniques drawn from vernacular tradition.
Through our consultant team, we apply Computer Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modeling. This simulation ensures that the building design is based on hard physics (rather than hunches and intuition). Operational data from completed projects is compared to energy, water, daylight, and human comfort goals. This integration of architecture, engineering and computer simulation allows us to accurately and objectively evaluate multiple sustainable design measures.
Staying on Budget
Our thorough understanding of project costs enable us to bring award-winning design to projects with modest budgets. Our experience with public, non-profit, and international clients makes us particularly sensitive to significant budget constraints. At the inception of every project, we develop a line item budget containing both hard and soft project costs, which is monitored throughout the project’s development. We use design workshops, in-house quality assurance reviews, and independent cost estimators to repeatedly test and verify the design at the completion of Concept Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, and Construction Documents to ensure that the scope, quality and cost of the project constantly remain in balance.
We utilize our senior construction administration staff, not involved with the project, to conduct an independent review of the documents. Our in-house list of design, constructibility, and construction-related issues are vetted and reviewed for each project. This approach to quality document coordination minimizes costly surprises.
We have experienced Construction Administrators who are dedicated to the oversight of our projects. With decades of experience in construction administration, they understand the roles and responsibilities of Owner, Architect, and Contractor or Construction Manager. Through direct communication, prompt responses, high expectations, on-site presence, and a thorough knowledge of construction issues, these experienced architects gain the respect and confidence of builders and owners alike. This contributes to a productive construction site, timely project completion, quality workmanship and minimal change orders.
Kent and Bill at St. John's Prep