“Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates was founded by two women, Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel, in 1982, later joined by a next generation of partners, Josiah Stevenson, and Tom Chung. The majority of their work is done on university campuses across America, but this can hardly be identified as the firm’s focus, as campuses are actually cities in miniature, containing nearly every building type imaginable. The point of difference, however, is that campus buildings are generally designed with more idealism than projects in our chaotic cities and mundane suburbs.
The firm now numbers 30 architects—just enough staff to do the kind of work they like doing, but not exceeding the size of a familial creative studio where everyone knows each other well. It received the 2007 AIA Architecture Firm Award for their numerous complex projects, distinguished by memorable forms and expressive detailing. The following conversation with the firm’s four principals took place in their office in Boston. We discussed their aspirations, values, dreams, and why architects must be optimistic…all the time.”
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