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An Inside Look at the Studios of Perkins+Will

Established in 1935, Perkins+Will is a renowned architecture firm founded by Lawrence B. Perkins and Philip Will Jr. Their common belief is that design plays a crucial role in society, with the power to positively...

Established in 1935, Perkins+Will is a renowned architecture firm founded by Lawrence B. Perkins and Philip Will Jr. Their common belief is that design plays a crucial role in society, with the power to positively impact people's lives and uplift communities. The firm is dedicated to creating spaces that not only respond to the environment but also prioritize the well-being of individuals.

Ranked as one of the world's top architecture firms, Perkins+Will operates 24 studios across the globe, each focused on local, regional, or global practices. Known for their innovative research, people-centric approach, and commitment to sustainability, they have earned a stellar reputation in the industry.

Natural History Museum, Shanghai Caption: Natural History Museum, Shanghai. Image Source: Perkins+Will

Guiding Principles of Perkins+Will's Practice

At Perkins+Will, the key principles guiding their practice are as follows:

  • Sustainability: With a focus on high-performance systems, energy efficiency, and healthy building materials, Perkins+Will emphasizes designs that symbiotically connect with the environment.

  • Design Excellence: The firm is dedicated to creating healthier and prosperous built environments that prioritize the overall quality of life.

  • Resilience: Perkins+Will designs spaces that not only sustain but also thrive in the face of disruptions.

  • Diversity and Inclusion: They promote diversity in design to create an equitable, just, and inclusive world.

  • Social Purpose: Addressing social needs through various programs and projects, Perkins+Will places humanity above all.

  • Living Design: Exploring the ecological realm where biodiversity flourishes and human life thrives, they create holistic and healthy environments.

  • Well-being: Perkins+Will focuses on comprehensive design that connects users to the physical environment, leading to an enhanced user experience.

Historic Emancipation Park, Houston, Texas Caption: Historic Emancipation Park, Houston, Texas. Image Source: Perkins+Will

With over 1600 professionals from around the world, Perkins+Will is united by their core values and their mission to create a better world to live, work, heal, and learn. Now, let's take a closer look at three of their architectural studios.

1. Chicago Studio - Headquarters

Chicago Office Caption: Chicago Office. Image Source: Perkins+Will

The Chicago studio, located in the top floors of the historic Wrigley Building, is designed to foster creativity and teamwork. The employees' input and needs influenced the design process, resulting in a user-centric workspace.

The multi-floor design offers various workspace options, encouraging movement and interaction among team members. Materiality and active design are integral to their program, aiming for a healthy living environment. Noteworthy is the 18th-floor lounge area, known as "The Cloud," inspired by the iconic clouds painted inside the Wrigley Building’s cupola. It serves as both a vibrant informal space and an open café, promoting social as well as work-related collaboration. This office reflects the firm's legacy and culture, where people are at the heart of the design.

2. New York Studio

New York Studio Caption: New York Studio from street level Broadway. Image Source: Perkins+Will

The New York studio showcases an innovative approach to workspaces, exemplifying imaginative and experimental design that stimulates growth and collaboration. It adapts to the changing needs of its users, fostering a perceptive and active environment.

This studio challenges traditional office functioning, embracing the "new normal" by introducing spaces that retain human connection through permeability while also providing isolated spaces for focused work. Some workspaces are left unassigned to promote interdisciplinary interaction.

State-of-the-art IT/AV infrastructure aids design thinking and improves productivity, with digital screens displaying the design process and bird's-eye view cameras providing new learning experiences. Resilience and flexibility are key design aspects, allowing spaces to adapt to different situations while maintaining the core values of community, work, and life.

3. Austin Studio

Austin Studio Entrance Caption: Austin Studio Entrance. Image Source: Perkins+Will

Situated in the heart of East Austin, the Austin studio draws inspiration from the city's vibrant street art culture. Reflecting the firm's ideologies, this studio places people, context, relationships, and experience at the center of its design.

From the moment you enter, the entire office engages users in the process of exploration and innovation. Vignettes, colors, and textures create a fresh perspective and a distinct aesthetic. Vibrantly painted columns define different work zones, while keeping the color accents low to the floor aids inspiration. The studio successfully integrates the firm's core principles into its design, celebrating warmth, health, life, and culture. It represents a commitment to a people-centered design approach.

Austin Studio Caption: Austin Studio. Image Source: Perkins+Will

Perkins+Will's architectural studios are a testament to their dedication to creating spaces that positively impact society. Their designs prioritize sustainability, resilience, diversity, and well-being. With a focus on innovation and user-centricity, they continue to shape the future of architecture and design.