11.12.2014Architecture, For Fun

World Architecture Day - 5 Firms that Inspire Us

Since today is World Architecture Day, we decided to dedicate a post to 5 current architecture practices that inspire us. They range in size from small studios to firms with hundreds of people. Projects vary in scale from material studies to civic developments. What inspires us is that all of these firms no matter how big or popular share the same desire to experiment with architecture and explore the purpose and function of the built environment. It is our hope that by reading these brief descriptions of some of our favorite architects you will be inspired to learn more about them.

BIG - Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium


Copenhagen, Denmark

BIG (Bjarke Ingles Group) Is an architectural firm based out of Copenhagen and New York. Their approch to architecture is based on form through vigorous research as to how people live, work, and play in their environments. They find the “fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia”. Whether built or existing as an idea, BIG is producing some of the most invigorating projects today and they seem to be having a lot of fun doing it.

Image credit

Herzog & de Meuron - Vitra Haus

Herzog & de Meuron

Basel, Switzerland

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron founded their practice in 1978 and are based out of Switzerland. They have created projects all over the world in almost every typology imaganable. Their projects are the result of investigations in material, texture, and site. Massing, light, and shadow play significant roles in their projects and influence the way in which the inhabitant perceives the space.

Image credit


PLY Architecture - Big Ten Burrito

PLY Architecture

Ann Arbor, Michigan

PLY Architecture founded by Craig Borum is a studio that focuses on responsive architecture based on technologies and practices associated with industrial design. Cost and economy of construction is a major part of every project and PLY believes that low cost design doesnt have to be a boring white box. The studio has completed a number of projects in its 14 years ranging from restaurant interiors, civic, and residential architecture to light fixtures and experimental building materials.

Image credit


Studio Gang - Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Studio Gang Architects

Chicago, Illinois

Founded in 1997 by Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang is a practice concerned with the investigation of ideas and their effects on the environment they inhabit. The firm functions as more of a research labratory than office. Projects are based on material research and experiments with form and scale. A concern for community, culture and sustainability are reflected in their work.

Image credit – Sparc Design

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien - Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

New York

The architect duo of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, based out of New York, have been practicing since 1974. Visiting their buildings, one finds evident their philosophy of optimism and integrity.  Rich materials and engaging space planning create buildings that serve their purpose while allowing the visitor to feel as if they are experiencing something special.

Image credit – Sparc Design


Tell us what you think, visit our Facebook page.

Subscribe to SPARC’s Newsletter

You May Also Like

What if the Biltmore hosted MomaPS2 (southern edition)?


Asheville, Architecture, For Fun

What if Asheville had an Official Gateway?


Asheville, Architecture, Community, For Fun

What if 1% of Asheville’s street parking was transformed into Parklets?


Asheville, Architecture, Community