Today we publish an interview with one of the New York top architects, the principal of Gensler and AIA awarded Peter Wang.
Photos by: Paul Rivera
Growing up, I loved to draw — but found that I drew hard, straight lines, (buildings and objects) much better than soft, curvy lines (people and animals)! At the risk of sounding like an architect’s cliche, I must admit that I also built a lot of Lego and plastic models. Not only were these creative outlets, but they really helped me develop my three dimensional skills and understanding of how assemblies came together.
I don’t have a signature style. Our design philosophy at Gensler is to allow our client and their goals be our guide. We craft a design concept and story around our client’s project brief, and strive to create not only an appropriate, but compelling and enlightening design solution.
A few years ago we completed twin office buildings on a campus of a pharmaceutical company. These were special because from both the inside and the outside, the buildings exemplified the sea change in the company’s culture. These were the beginnings of an organization’s cultural shift from departmental silos, private offices and high-paneled workstations to a 95% open workplace environment. Our new buildings brought daylight and view into the workplace with floor to ceiling glass — a marked difference from their current buildings with small, punched window facades.
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One exciting current project is the workplace design for Comcast’s new tower in Philadelphia on which Gensler is collaborating with Foster & Partners. In addition to the pleasure of designing with a great firm like F&P, we are re-envisioning the workplace as a user customizable cross functional collaboration space. The workplace will feel bright, open and be a loft-like platform for supporting the work groups today while being flexible enough to accommodate new ways of working as the groups evolve into the future.
Architecture is one of those rare professions that is both art and science — and allows one to exercise both sides of the brain in harmony. I always like to say that “no two days are ever the same.” Architecture is a profession where every day brings new challenges and experiences. Each day brings a new problem to solve; and these are not just design problems, mind you. I just love a good problem!
Art, music, design, culture, travel, colleagues and clients.
With three growing children, any international travel is usually centered on family vacations. I do attend ICFF here in New York, but find web-based sources and the usual publications my “go-to” resources for keeping up to date on what’s happening around the world.
There are really just so many! Just to rattle off a few right now: Tom Phifer, Bjarke Ingels, 3XN, Barkow Leibinger, Mies, Kengo Kuma, Herzog & de Meuron. But I am most inspired by the beautiful work of countless small firms around the world that are featured on sites such as Dezeen and Archdaily…
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A person can always be credited with giving their best effort, even if they trip and fall — whether it’s about being a better architect or simply a better person. Always strive to do your best.
Even-keeled, Curious, Loyal.
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