The designers at GWWO Architects are story-tellers before they’re place-makers.
They’ve been practicing architecture that way for 30 years – with a focus on lifelong learning projects, a specialty in their cultural and education practice.
Theirs is more than just a practical approach.
“We’ve expanded the traditional concept of connecting to the cultural and historical aspects of the site and the client – to the origins and the reasons why we’re doing this project to begin with,” says principal Terry Squyres “It’s generated from the mission of the place itself.”
In a nutshell, their work is story-based design about the client, its culture and the physical components involved. “Our question is: ‘How do they come together to manifest the design? she says.’”
The result submerses the visitor in subliminal and obvious experiences, with a stronger connection to the space and its architecture. “It’s resource interpretation – architecture in service of the client’s mission,” she says.
At the Dolphin Design Center for the Maryland Institute College of Art, that meant taking cues from existing materials – and complementing them with something new and different.
“We were thinking about the historical context, like the wonderful brick bones, and then using Corten steel compatible with the brick,” she says. “There’s no brick on our building, but metal and Corten, and a shed painted the same color as the building across the street.”
Their work embraces a changing pedagogy affected by changing technology. “The culture has shifted from palaces on a hill for a select few to really engaging community institutions,” she says.
To achieve that end, architects at GWWO are changing those institutions – with a strong capability to tell a story.
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