Archives: July 2011


While digging into the Hayden archives, we stumbled upon this famous portrait of HH Richardson wearing a robe in his studio.  The image has been both a source of humor and inspiration for us these past few months.  We couldn’t help but wonder the story behind the photo.  We’ve determined that the architect used the robe to mystify the architect/client relationship.

According to lore, Richardson’s clients would make the trek from Boston to his Brookline studio to meet with him.  When they arrived, Richardson’s assistant would sound a gong and the architect would appear from the back wearing his monk’s getup.  In her book H.H. Richardson: the Architect, His Peers, and Their Era, Maureen Meister claims that Richardson wore the robes (and regularly disseminated the portrait to his potential clients) to reinforce his medieval and gothic design roots.

Richardson was prolific and successful early in his life, unlike the typical trajectory of an architect.  Although unusual, one must assume that this unique marketing tactic actually worked.  To Richardson, the architectural experience extended beyond that of buildings: He wanted your experience to begin when he entered the room.

Architecture and the architect

Architecture is a profession of practice. So what does an architect do? A typical project involves working with:
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For the Hayden project we studied the building’s functional evolution and overlaid the significant regional and architectural history.  Our initial strategy was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the building and its architect so that we could reinterpret the project in a contemporary manner while sustaining its original qualities.







This article discusses one of our arguments for more creative and challenging play structures.  They should be safe, but they don’t have to be boring.  Any design problem includes the tug-of-war between aesthetics and function. The design of play structures is no different.  They should be both visually stimulating and cognitively challenging.  This article discusses how ‘modern’ play structures have been adversely affected by legal and safety standards throughout the years to the point where they are becoming obsolete.


The Blues transcended from a secluded rural environment to a dense urban one, and eventually to an international arena, without losing its roots.  This project utilizes contemporary “traces” to tell the story.  By no means complete, the Blues Histogram weaves cultural, genealogical, technological and migrational lineages into a unified and tangible format.