Firm Makes Room for the Next Generation
by B.J. Novitski
An established, award-winning firm with a heavy workload but a shortage of qualified talent to hire. A newly formed firm with architectural expertise but little experience in the business world. Put the two together, and it's a formula for success.
This is what's happened with Design Collaborative Southwest Architects, Inc. (DCSW) and Environmental Dynamics, Inc. (EDI) Both Albuquerque, New Mexico firms claim a win-win result of their unusual collaboration.
The older firm, DCSW, which provides an array of services to private, government, and corporate clients, brings mentoring and financial support to this unique collaboration. The younger firm offers its expertise in computers and residential production drawings.
Four years ago, EDI founder Stace McGee was a DCSW employee. He was able to gain the principals' confidence by introducing DCSW to a major contract with Mills Corporation, a national retail developer. The resulting work on retail malls continues to be a mainstay of DCSW's practice.
Then two years ago, McGee founded a new firm with partners Kent Beierle, Michael Ryan and architect Kris Callori. The four wanted to practice sustainable, climate-driven, site-specific architecture.
Like many new firms, they worked out of their homes on small, mainly residential, projects and often worked for low or no fees to prove their worth. When they finally had enough work to warrant renting an office, they asked whether DCSW had extra space to rent in their historic building.
DCSW provided interior architecture services for the Katy Mills Retail Mall in Houston Texas.
The Katy Mills Mall has 1,200,000 square feet (111,500 square meters) of enclosed retail space.
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