SHoP Architects FS

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SHoP Architects

SHoP is an architecture firm based in New York City, founded in 1996, with partners Christopher Sharples, Coren Sharples, Gregg Pasquarelli , Kimberly Holden,William Sharples (all Columbia graduates)and Vishaan Chakrabarti (Berkeley, MIT, Cornell).
The firm was founded on the ideology of questioning accepted methods of practice and altering, expanding the role of an architect. Questions 1 such as "How can architects solve a construction problem, revitalize a neighborhood, build in a sustainable way, or give a superscraper a human sense of scale?" are the guiding principles of the firm. The think tank setting of "no idea is too outrageous" provides platform for innovation within the firm. Another key element of their work ethic is the early engagement with material manufacturers and trade contractors.

Within the past year, the firm has grown from 100 to almost 200 people, with backgrounds in fine arts, banking, history, real estate, political science, and business as well as architecture,who bring a wide range of abilities, experiences, and perspectives. In their work, they have found that greater engagement with a project’s specific constraints—budgetary or structural, cultural or contextual—results in greater design integrity.

SHoP Construction: In 2007, SHoP had formalized its preference for being involved with the whole process by creating SHoP Construction, a separate firm headed by SHoP's sixth principal, Jonathan Mallie, to "facilitate the delivery of the design all the way through"2 until a project is built. In early 2015 the firm decided to close SHoP Construction.

Although the firm had been working in New York City for a many years already, it became known in the city for its design of the Barclay's center. ShoP, stepping in after Frank Gehry's initial design for the arena was dropped, worked within the constraints of the already-ordered steel, and the results impressed observers (though the arena still has plenty of detractors among design critics and community members).

In 2012, the firm added a seventh partner, Vishaan Chakrabarti, director of Columbia University's Center for Urban Real Estate. His formal addition to the firm was seen as a driving force behind SHoP's recent wave of mega project commissions, particularly Domino and Essex Crossing. In his 2013 book, A Country of Cities, subtitled "A Manifesto for an Urban America," he calls himself an "accelerant" for SHoP's prior urban planning work. "It's like taking an amazingly well-designed engine and putting a turbo-charger on it."

Family business model: The fact that most of the principles are family members, to some extend defines the intimacy and support system of the atmosphere within the firm. Collaboration is the key in the office’s success and the actual office space provides that through various types of spaces for group work, casual critiques, pin ups. The principles are accessible to everyone, including interns, who are encouraged to participate in the design process and propose ideas.