A successful institutional project is not conceived by the architect alone. The primary generative forces are the institution’s mission, a clear set of goals and requirements, and the physical context. Black River Architects has found that the best method for identifying and validating these factors is through consensus-building meetings with all of the stakeholders. Successful design solutions grow directly out of these deliberations.


A completed project becomes a physical expression of its owner’s values. Users and non-users, affected by its interior and exterior appearance, will form an opinion of the institution based on their impression of the project. Therefore, we believe it is critical that the building’s appearance be given the same thoughtful attention as its functional needs and life cycle cost.