Robert Peirce

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Creating a new building or space, making a new 'place' in this world, is enormously energizing and satisfying. As an architect, I will have the opportunity many times over. But each time, I am keenly aware that it is a privilege as well as a responsibility to those who are shaping a space they will live and work within, for whom this may be the only time they will do so.

The spaces we shape together will, in turn, shape all who pass through it. An essential part of my role is one of convener and guide; for a process that brings together the many curious, anxious, hopeful, and eager voices to be heard. It means making sure that each member of the broader community will find an opportunity to imprint the effort even in small ways.

I once told a client, as we looked forward to the enormous resources of both time and money to be invested in a project, that it would be fun. It was a comment he never forgot, and when, three years later, the project opened on time, within budget, and to enthusiastic greeting from its community, he publicly affirmed that it had indeed - for the most part - been fun. It is an outcome produced when architectural vision, client expectation, and user aspirations are aligned.

Built space is a tool. It offers a means to furthering institutional mission. Understanding that the aspiration for what a space can do begins long before there is an architect and can only fully realized long after the architect completes their work, is an essential perspective. It is a reminder that while architecture has a central role in providing form to a vision, it is the life that comes to the place that makes it successful and enduring.


Hayden Library Renovation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rubenstein Library
Duke University

Penn Pavilion
Duke University

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