November 10 2017

Ziger/Snead Architects on ARCHITECT Top 50 List Again

Today, ARCHITECT Magazine released its list of the top 50 firms based on rankings in business, sustainability, and design. Ziger/Snead Architects is honored to be included in this prestigious group, ranking #25 in Sustainability, #46 in Design, and #119 in Business. 

The program submission includes firm metrics, a design portfolio, and a conclusion essay about why we believe our firm deserves to be included on this list. Here's our response:

We believe in the power of design to make peoples’ lives and the places they inhabit better. Architects are morally obliged to leave the world better than they found it, and we consider the impact of our work an explicit and intentional part of our job. We define "impact" as buildings, spaces, plans, products, research, and interventions that have a measurable effect on both the art and the advancement of architecture, as well as the positive transformation for the clients and community that we serve. Even as a small studio, our process and practice impacts at all scales.

Our studio is growing both in size and reach at the same time the founding generation is transitioning leadership to the next.. These challenges make or break architecture firms. So in 2016, we took time away from our work to look inward and outward to define our core values. Here are a few that we believe elevate our practice and make us deserving of being listed on the Architect 50:

- We are a firm rooted in Baltimore. We endeavor to support and improve our city through our work.

- We seek to actively grow the community for architecture by building our client base here, striving to bring design to people and communities who don't always have access to our services.

- We seek clients who value what we offer – Curious people who are interested in creating a positive impact and have a faith in architecture's capacity to improve our environment.

- We believe that a diversity of perspectives is paramount to successful architecture, and we recognize the historic gender and racial gap within our field. We endeavor to support diversity both within our firm and the profession as a whole.

- We seek to be a part of the larger dialogue in our field, and we support our studio to participate in professional memberships, conferences, lectures, writing, research, and teaching.

- Our mission-driven, human-centered ethos is reflected in the way we support pro-bono projects, community outreach, and research.

- We recognize the built environment contributes to environmental degradation and we believe architects must play a role in addressing climate change.

Through a dedication to a distilled design approach, active community engagement, and a focus on genuine relationships, the firm's mission that great design can have a positive impact has been realized in many transformative projects for non-profits and institutions in the City of Baltimore and beyond. Project highlights for 2016 include:

- Supporting multiple historic tax credit projects get off the ground including the Baltimore Food Hub, a collective of incubator, local food production, and workforce development in a complex of abandoned historic pumping station buildings on the challenged East side of Baltimore.

- Restoration of the Parkway Theatre at the intersection of Baltimore's two primary thoroughfares in the heart of an emerging Arts District. The design approach challenges the common approach to historic preservation by stabilizing and celebrating many eras of the building's history instead of identifying one period of significance to "recreate."

- Design of a new world class museum, education, and conference facility for the National Cryptologic Foundation. The new facility communicates through its design the important role of cryptology in our society.

- Completion of a 10 year effort to redevelop an abandoned 9-acre parcel of a Baltimore City park to create a LEED Platinum home for the non profit, Parks & People Foundation

Our approach and commitment to community has allowed the firm to maintain a competitive edge in a marketplace where mega firms are becoming the norm. We strive to engage our communities as leaders and to facilitate collaboration on the important work of improving our built environment. We do not believe in growth for growth sake, rather, we believe our growth is tied to doing good work so that our communities may thrive.


Published monthly, ARCHITECT magazine contains inspirational and informational editorial focused on industry trends, design, technology, local markets, products, culture and business of architecture.


Click Here for the complete list of Top 50 firms

Ziger/Snead Architects on ARCHITECT Top 50 List Again