The Next Wave: Profiles on emerging building & design professionals
b Architecture Studio
For Christopher Brown, architecture is all about communication. In designing homes, Brown relies on communication—both verbal and graphic—to bring his clients’ visions to life and to establish a true collaborative experience. After all, he says, that’s part of the fun of being an architect.
“What’s refreshing for our clients is they know we’re listening and not trying to impose a design will,” says Brown, founder of b Architecture Studio. His team consists of two associate architects, Michael Holmquist and Kurt Stavdal. “Our clients have the comfort of knowing we are serving in their best interest. We want to delve into the best design options for them and create custom designs.”
Brown, 41, who calls himself a “lifelong architect,” grew up in Rhode Island and studied architecture at The University of Notre Dame. Before starting b Architecture in Winchester in 2010, Brown worked for architectural firms in Boston and taught architecture at the Boston Architectural College as well as Wentworth Institute of Technology. He opened a studio in Osterville in the summer of 2016, with the intention of expanding his business throughout the Cape and Islands.
While he enjoys designing clean lines, Brown says he wants his work to be appropriate given the setting and type of house desired—whether that’s modern, traditional or transitional. Understanding the “vernacular” of a project, he says, is important. “When we come to a new place, a new house type, we take the time to make sure we know that language, and then we can play with it,” he says. “We want to be very comfortable with the design we’re working with and meet our clients’ specific needs.”
Looking ahead, Brown plans to expand his firm but not to exceed its current boutique size. Brown says the collegiality he’s found with his employees has allowed for great success. “We can really create a studio dynamic,” he says, “and still be very productive and execute our designs.”
“Being able to sketch and to sketch on the fly in front of clients is still quite important, no matter how much technology exists. If you can sketch a design on paper first, it will be so much easier to model it with the software out there—and you’ll communicate your designs to your clients in an approachable way.” -Christopher Brown
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