A² Studios Profile
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Studio Profile in Architecture Leaders Today Magazine May/June 2011

Studio Profile in Architecture Leaders Today Magazine May/June 2011

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  • 1. A2 StudiosGLOBAL COLL ABOR ATIONThree friends from architecture school reunitedto form a bicoastal firm with an emphasis on col-laborative design, eco-friendly building practicesand international outreach.ARCHITECTURE LEADERS TODAYT H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T R Ywww.architectureleaderstoday.com
  • 2. west | hospitality hospitality | west Founded in Friendship For college friends Tony Garcia, Jessie Whitesides and Vince Stroop, opening collaborative design studio A2 Studios has been a dream come true. by Marylyn Simpson2 Architecture Leaders Today May/June 2011 3
  • 3. west | hospitality hospitality | westT ony Garcia, Jessie Whitesides and Vince Stroop were fellow architecture majors at Arizona PREVIOUS SPREAD: Shores House, La Jolla, Calif. Nestled into the La Jolla hillside, this home underwent a complete remodel. State University where they bonded over a shared passion for art and design -- creating a To mitigate coastal requirements, the existing footprint lasting friendship that would eventually lead to their bicoastal design studio collaboration. remained the same, but the interior and exterior spaces wereAfter graduating, each went on to pursue different design opportunities, and it was almost 10 years reconfigured with all new finishes and modern conveniences such as whole-house radiant floor heating. Limestone pavers PHILCO WOODWORKINGlater, in 2004, that the friends found themselves working together again. surrounding the pool and a Meranti wood deck with an adja- Philco Woodworking Inc. specializes in bringing architects visions They opened a design studio with a global presence, a concept that would allow each principal cent cast-in-place fire feature provide an excellent area from and designs to life through the custom fabrication and installation of which to admire the stunning coastal view.to remain in their current location; yet, empower them to work collaboratively with remarkable doors, windows, beams, ceilings, architectural millwork and customopportunities for future growth. ABOVE, LEFT: The kitchen was reconfigured as the core of the cabinets. Philco’s innovative approach to achieving a high level of home with direct access to all lower level spaces. Designed detail allows them to excel at specialty work. They are always finding “We really wanted to grow into a practice rooted in the notion of a globalized environment rather around a central island that functions as the main cookingthan a local environment,” Garcia said. space, it divides the informal beverage station from the rest ways to achieve the toughest designs no matter the challenge. In of the kitchen. The Miele induction cooktop, steam oven and working with clients, they understand the importance of cooperating “During our initial few years, Vince and I were living in San Diego and Jessie was in Santa Rosa. built-in refrigerator add to the sleek and efficient layout. Light as a team to complete quality work on time.Before truly launching our studio, the concept of a global environment made us think, ‘Does it really colored surfaces, dark bluestone tile and the warmth of the Additionally, they have worked with A2 Studios on a variety ofmatter where we are living?’ It expanded from there over the last few years with Vince relocating to walnut cabinets create a unique blend with the perfect amount projects in Southern California, providing custom woodworking pieces of contrast. Seen here, beyond the kitchen, is the family room.open a new location in New York. With projects abroad and on a national level, we began to see the and millwork. Philco’s quality work covers a broad range of eye-expansion of our ‘globalized’ studio.” ABOVE, RIGHT: The view from the entry provides a glimpse of catching pieces that have caught the attention of design authorities what’s beyond while still allowing the spaces to unfold as you Currently, Garcia manages the San Diego studio while Whitesides is in Santa Rosa and Stroop is circulate through the home. The dark bluestone tile provides nationwide. An accredited BBB member with honesty, Philcoin New York City. a high level of contrast and refinement against the rich woods Woodworking stands behind their products and the craftsmanship While establishing A2 Studios as a bicoastal architecture studio, Garcia, Whitesides and Stroop and neutral wall colors. and quality that goes into each piece. For more information, please visit www.philcowoodworking.com. See ad on page 99.4 Architecture Leaders Today May/June 2011 5
  • 4. west | hospitality hospitality | westABOVE: Healdsburg House. This Mid-Century Modern remodel captures the essence of its design era. The footprint of the house createsa courtyard to the interior that elevates the importance of the landscaping and the pool. The original pool was demolished and rebuilt STAN JOHNSON MILGARDby Stan Johnson Pool Construction and Renovation. A deep-blue plaster was selected to bring the water to life. The custom coping is apre-fabricated black concrete tile designed to be flush with the surrounding grass landscape. The automatic cover was installed to be POOL CONSTRUCTION ABOVE: Healdsburg House. As with any Mid-Century modern home, great importance is placed on bringing the outdoors in. Here the interior space is focused on the courtyard through long expanses of sliding doors and fixed glass panels. All door and window systems When the Healdsburg communitycompletely concealed when open, and travels over the integrated hot tub near the entry stair at one end of the pool. Photo by Jack Journey. by Milgard, offered an affordable system with a slim design profile, mimicking the original design intent from the 1950’s. decided to go green for its latest affordable In Windsor, Calif., specialty swimming housing project, the design team led by BAR pool design, construction and maintenance Architects in San Francisco made windowsdeveloped a philosophy that would guide them through the evolution of their future design efforts. isn’t handled by a large corporation or an While architecture is the studio’s main focus, this creative trio decided to incorporate their otherTheir belief in the high quality of service they provide to their clients has been the team’s number and doors a priority—and energy efficiency unqualified opportunist. All aspects are under love into the business -- art. Infusing graphic design and photography into their repertoire gives them was just one reason why.one motivator. They are focused on a principal-led delivery system where each of the three is directly the vision one man, Stan Johnson, and his an added edge not commonly found in other firms. When asked about their decision to incorporate Tasked with developing a total of 64involved in all phases of a project. company, Stan Johnson Pool Construction. photography into the firm, Whitesides said that like architecture, photography is meant to evoke emo- affordable family apartments in one of “Our clients respond very well knowing that a principal of the firm knows their project inside-and- Since the late 1980’s, Johnson has been tion, whether clients realize that or not. In addition, the trio has found that graphic design provides the area’s busier neighborhoods, theout,” Garcia said. “Our work does not represent a dictated style or aesthetic for which we want to be working in the design and construction of challenge became how to make them both complex, custom pool systems in the nearby a creative outlet that has played an important role in the studio’s development.known, but rather a feeling or experience for which we want to be remembered.” Having discovered her passion for prints, textures and design at a young age, Whitesides said that sustainable and peaceful. For this, BAR area. With every single project, each client turned to Milgard’s Montecito and QuietLine Unlike other firms that have established themselves based on a certain aesthetic their clients must works directly with Johnson to achieve their being able to fuse those skills in the practical application of graphic design has not only benefited A2prescribe to, A2 Studios interprets each client’s personality and aesthetic preferences into a cohesive vinyl windows, which provided the perfect dream pool system. Much more than just a Studios but also their fellow contractors to whom they often market these services. complement of style, noise reduction,design concept. passive owner, Johnson is on-site with the “Even though contractors may be able to construct a high level of finish and design, they often do weather protection and energy efficiency. “At the end of the day, we don’t own the project when it’s finished. The client is ultimately the one client every step of the way, helping to see the not have the ability to present and market their services with an identity that matches the quality Javco Windows & Glass Contractors of Napawho has to occupy our creation.” Whitesides said. client’s vision come to fruition and to ensure of their practical skill set.” Garcia said. “Graphic design and photography follow many of the same did the installation, which also included Using a client-friendly approach has proven to be advantageous throughout the recession for this that his top-quality standards of design and design principles as architecture and the three of us are able to integrate all of our skills and strengths Milgard’s efficient and low maintenance Ultraboutique-sized studio. Each principal’s unique skill set allows the team to take on almost any project. construction are met. Their vast range of fiberglass patio doors. For more information design, supplies and services extend into to broaden the type of projects we take on.”This has produced a diverse portfolio, including commercial, mixed-use, custom residential, winery, Continuing to branch out from commercial ventures, A2 Studios also gives back to the community. about Milgard please visit www.milgard.com. the frequent maintenance, renovation and See ad on page 98.hospitality, ecclesiastical and public works, and has created job opportunities that would otherwise remodeling of the client’s pool system. With As students at ASU, Garcia, Stroop and Whitesides worked with Habitat for Humanity. In 2007not exist. a focus on durability and aesthetics, Stan Stroop traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to build homes for Habitat’s Global Village Program. They continue to re-evaluate their business methods, implementing new approaches such as col- Johnson has maintained the experience, the As part of her graduate architecture degree, Whitesides and the University of Washington’s design/laborating with other design firms to take on new sectors, or teaming up with general contractors to portfolio and the dedication to quality service build team built an elementary school and a womens’ clinic for a squatter community in Mexico.form design/build teams. Marketing themselves towards recession-friendly niches like hospitality in order to stand proud as the premier local Most recently, the studio has donated design services to be auctioned off. Both past and currentand small renovation projects has also proven beneficial. pool contractor. See ad on page 98. philanthropic experiences have allowed each partner to form personal connections with people and6 Architecture Leaders Today May/June 2011 7
  • 5. west | hospitality hospitality | west ABOVE: Lasseter Family Winery. Custom detailing to scallop the catwalk around the tanks dismisses the need for guardrails and brings the winemaker closer to their creations. LEFT: Principals Vince Stroop, Jessie Whitesides and Tony Garcia. PORTAL OPPOSITE: The winery’s custom built barn slider doors, by Portal Architectural Openings, are a signature statement for the organizations that have helped them grow. These relationships have led the ARCHITECTURAL Lasseter Family Winery. The barn style doors allow the fermenta- tion and barrel rooms at the winery to be open to the covered studio to places like Moscow, Russia, where Stroop designed the public OPENINGS crushpad without interference of a swinging door leaf. The doors spaces for a 40-story office and high-end retail complex. Since 1996, Portal Openings are designed using fully insulated door panels to maintain the A2 Studios strives to implement eco-friendly design methods with all has provided consulting, sales critical temperatures inside the building. They are clad with projects. Whitesides said she and the team educate clients about the benefits a stained Western Red Cedar on the exterior to express a and installation of exceptional traditional Northern California barn aesthetic, while the interior of eco-friendly products. doors, hardware and windows finish is a custom color metal panel detailed to match the interior “I have completed numerous projects with prefabricated steel structures to the Napa area. Portal’s own building walls. The black iron metal strapping and decorative cla- proprietary designs for oversized vos by Rocky Mountain Hardware, give the door an authentic look. where the structural steel is made from recycled material,” Whitesides said. “The erection time is a lot faster than traditional building methods, and the doors for the wine and high- exterior materials used with these types of buildings is much more energy- end residential industries draw leading architects in Calif. efficient than those with regular batt insulation and siding.” These architects rely on Portal Beginning as a team of architects, designers, collaborators and friends, A2 Openings’ extensive experience Studios continues to stay at the front of the industry. Looking to the future to solve their challenging door and continually developing their brand of client-friendly architecture, A2 projects. For more information, Studios will grow its influence on the very industry that inspired this team visit www.portalopenings.com. to become what they are today- artists, architects and philanthropists. ALT See ad on page 97.8 Architecture Leaders Today May/June 2011 9
  • 6. A2 Studios www.asquaredstudios.com asquared@asquaredstudios.com SAN DIEGO SANTA ROSA NEW YORK3788 PARK BLVD STE 6 642 5TH ST. 106 W. 28TH ST STE 2SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 SANTA ROSA, CA 95404 NEW YORK, NY 10001 619.688.2606 707.569.9358 619.251.4999 Photo by Jack Journey