Ford
Gillen
Architects, Inc.

 

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FIRM PROFILE
        HistorY
        Kathleen E. Ford, AIA
        William V. Gillen, AIA
        Partner Comments

 

 

PARTNER COMMENTS

The firm's approach:

Our goal is to establish an amiable working relationship with the client and the client's consultants. While developing program requirements and reviewing all relevant codes, a complete documentation of the site is made including review of all existing documents, field measuring and photographs of all existing conditions. Computer-generated base drawings are then prepared using AutoCad, becoming the base for all future design and construction drawings. Preliminary design options are prepared for review. The design process is viewed as a collaborative process with the client and all members of the project team. After review and input from the client, a schematic plan and supporting drawings are prepared for approval and presentation as required to town agencies, and upon which a cost estimate can be based. All supporting technical documents are prepared prior to cost estimating. We hire mechanical, electrical, structural and environmental engineers, as subconsultants for preparation of documents, as well as landscape architects, historic preservationists, and cost estimators as required. Currently, our office of six includes two full time architects, three designers and one office manager.

The firm's vision:

We provide symbols of strength and identity to local communities and their institutions through design collaboration and joint intellectual effort. Award winning designs include expansion and renovation of the Hampshire County Courthouse, Northampton, Massachusetts; the Marcus Kiley Junior High School Addition, Springfield, Massachusetts; the Ann Whalen Apartments, Amherst, Massachusetts; and the urban design of downtown Bennington, Vermont. The firm's philosophy: Provide excellent service by addressing the client's goals, time table and budget. Longstanding relationships with many of our clients bear this out.

We are the equivalent of a “country doctor” of architecture:

Our projects are primarily located within the local communities in this part of Massachusetts and we perform a full range of architectural services, rather than specializing in one type of project. However, we think that our special brand of professionalism can be useful to projects located outside our typical service area. We think that our individual interests, combined with our range of experience, state of the art communications systems, and hands on working style would make us a valuable team member in any proposed project.

We are fundamentally problem solvers and believe the needs of our clients come first:

The architecture, whether it is a new roof or a new building, is the product of collaboration between owner, users, consultants, contractor, public agencies, and any other party having input into a project. Therefore, we see our primary role as architect being one of educator and facilitator. The individual inspiration offered by the architect, though significant, is only one small piece of the greater whole of the project. Our architectural vision is intimately connected to the visions of all parties involved. We acknowledge the power of relationships and the time it takes to make final decisions. We believe in adaptability and flexibility while maintaining a clear focus on the desired outcome. Our final design is truly a synthesis of all influences, and it is our hope that the process of getting there is an enjoyable and valuable experience for all involved. We welcome the challenges inherent in every proposed project, and celebrate diversity of design as the hallmark of each individual process.

Partner Profiles


Bill is a farmer:

In addition to his architectural practice of the past 35 years, Bill and his wife Connie have worked their 10 acre market farm, producing a full range of seasonal vegetables and flowers for sale at the local farm market each summer and fall. His passion for agriculture and interests in adaptability, cultural anthropology, choral singing, and handball all contribute to his unique ability to think creatively and flexibly.

Kathy is a healer:

Kathy’s personal journey includes being a mother of two children, one with Down Syndrome, a yoga practice, training in Reiki, Qigong, Shamanic Dreaming, and Energy Medicine. She continues to add to her developed body of work as a quilt artist. Her knowledge of healing practices and her interest in the complex relationships between 'individual' and 'community' give her a unique perspective in the creation of sacred spaces and healing environments.