Join us for Best Practice, a virtual fireside chat series dedicated to practice operations at architecture firms and beyond. From pain points to potential, hear how leaders in the architecture and engineering industry are innovating through new business models and managerial techniques. We’re chatting with Molly McGowan, Thomas Wong of Ennead Architects LLP about how civic architecture can inspire change.
As a Partner in Ennead Architects, Molly McGowan finds the problem-solving in pursuit of two goals most intriguing in her work; Seeking clients who understand the built environment's potential to impact institutional mission positively and assessing sites to envision an outcome rooted in place. She likes constraints and navigating the complexities of a project. She loves working with clients to understand and resolve all the pieces of a problem, so there is clarity at the end of efforts. During the programming and planning phases, one can think big: it is an opportunity to dream, initially without a budget, without a schedule, and without fear of constraints. Molly finds the most engaging part of a process is taking a conversation that is very aspirational and helping to guide it to a place that ultimately does fit a budget, schedule, and the project parameters.
Thomas Wong is a Partner in Ennead Architects. From the outset of the design process, Thomas's goal is first and foremost to make buildings that work well. Good design means the building achieves a very important functional goal – clear planning, the expression of institutional identity, technical virtuosity, environmental responsibility – and if it fails at that role, it fails as architecture. But beyond that very important role is the capacity of architecture to be a poetic medium that, at its height, can embody deep cultural meaning and shape civilization.