Video by ARCHITECT Magazine
Alex Anmahian and Nick Winton founded AW Architects with a commission for an urban health crisis center, challenging them to consider the agency of architecture in the context of an important community resource. The design elevated the project’s program with an interpretive design solution that was both analytical and intuitive. The project synthesized architecture, landscape, and urbanism, won numerous design awards, and set AW on a trajectory of ever complex and compelling projects for individuals, institutions, and communities.
Today, each AW project brings to bear 25 years of project by project expertise and investigation through open collaboration and critical discourse with our network of trusted design and engineering partners. Our work is energized by the specific, complex, and often contradictory conditions of a project, resulting in a broad portfolio of work that often defies easy classification but always seeks to inspire, to educate, and to enhance the experience of everyday life.
AW’s work engages the public realm in ways that shape place and speak to diverse audiences. We believe in the power of design to create a sense of community, and in the power of dialogue to critically shape a project’s trajectory. Our work is based on community engagement, contextual sensitivity, and the satisfaction of collaborating with multiple stakeholders. Our commitment to thoughtful consensus-building is predicated on our confidence that a compelling project emerges out of respect for diverse opinions. A process that elicits ideas and synthesizes perspectives is critical to a successful design that resonates deeply with place. Collaboration here sets the foundation for the design process and informs how we work with both clients and design partners.
SPECIFICITY AND IDENTITY
Our work derives its specificity from the logic and particulars of place: from topography and natural environment; from building fabric and cultural context. Our work evolves through intensive analysis of program and context, and through material and spatial research. We approach design without preconceptions, allowing for a process of interaction and discovery, giving voice to context-driven design solutions that reveal a project’s ethos, and ultimately its identity. This invites us to make places that are visually inspired, that provoke the imagination and foster creativity.
We view resilience as an essential quality of our work, encompassing a capacity for environmental, technological, and cultural durability. Sustainability is a core part of our approach to resilience, and inherent in a design process that seeks relevant spatial, formal, and technical qualities that invite future adaptation without actually demanding it. Resilient architecture is deeply rooted in its physical and cultural context. It is inclusive and has the ability to repeatedly absorb change and transform, remaining meaningful as it evolves and inspiring new uses over time.