Architecture has the capacity to enrich our lives and embody our aspirations. We design environments that become collaborators in life: encouraging inhabitants to live more fully, work more authentically, and play more freely.
We are attracted to stories: stories of human being. Stories of why people, enterprises, and communities do what they do, what they value, and how they live. We listen deeply to stories because through tone and nuance, stories reveal aspirations. Like good biographers, we shapeshift our awareness to grasp the details which allow us to design environments for our clients - not for us.
At Pirie Associates, we use human health and wellbeing as the ultimate metric for a successful design. Health is a comprehensive lens through which to understand design quality, including sustainability. We are all part of an interconnected living system, and human health is dependent upon environmental health. At a basic level we, as a species, depend on healthy ecosystems to supply clean air, clean water, nutrition and medicine. We also depend on nature for our physiological, psychological, and cognitive wellbeing.
We are innovators. Innovation most often comes from expanding outside of one’s discipline to explore challenges from a new perspective. We specialize in working with clients who are ready to take their business, organization, or community to the next level by purposefully engaging their built environment. Our work is not driven by project type or style, but by a clients’ willingness to see their environment as an active collaborator in their day to day life, organization or community.
Within this focus, we have developed expertise with residential, commercial, institutional, historical and urban design work, and have particular depth in using broad, integrated strategies for business and organizational development and community engagement.
Good design starts with listening - on our end. Good Design starts with dreaming – on your end. It’s our job to draw out, find the form, and express the intent of your dream, in as full dimension as possible, in the environments we create. Together.
We engage a wide array of tools, many of which reside outside of the traditional discipline of architecture. We listen like psychologists. We evaluate like strategic consultants. We interpret like marketers. We design like architects. We detail like craftsmen. The outcomes? Sometimes it means a new building, sometimes a renovation, and sometimes new branding or graphic design. We meet each client where they are, to forward their mission, even if that leads to something other than a traditional architectural solution (which often it does). See how we use storytelling as a powerful tool in our process.
We are detail oriented at every level. Attention to detail allows us to take in thoughts shared by our clients, enabling fertile ground for collaboration. Attention to detail manifests itself through our intimate working relationship with materials - how materials interact with one another and how they are shaped by environmental and human forces. Last, attention to detail is an expression of craft, of care, and of making places that are meaningful, well-performing and deeply-satisfying.
Our multi-disciplinary leadership team brings ingenuity and practical skill to every project. Environments must be inspired and technically competent, and must fall within the practical realities of budget and schedule. Pirie Associates thrives within these constraints, and navigates the inevitable trade-offs with focused adeptness. Our approach draws on decades of experience, clear communication, and level-headed project organization and management. We strive to assure that the resources consumed in making and operating environments are balanced and restored by the resources they give back: physically, intellectually, and in service.
Pirie Associates was founded in 2002 by Laura Pirie. The New Haven, Connecticut firm is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) with professional registrations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, and is NCARB certified to practice nationwide.