Three ideals inform WRNS Studio’s approach to each project: beauty, sustainability, and a positive contribution to the public realm. It is the relentless pursuit of these ideals, carried out over a diversity of project types, scales, and contexts, that accounts in large part for our success.
Beauty, for us, is about bringing pleasure to the senses and conjuring emotion as one inhabits or moves through a space. With a bias for human-scale modernism, we approach design through the fundamentals of functionality, proportion, quality of light and space, and raw, honest materials.
As long-time advocates for sustainable design—which we believe to be inextricably linked with beauty—we seek to advance the symbiotic relationship between the health of people and that of our natural environment. To develop a resonant sustainable design response, we uncover and make evident an organization’s core values, while helping our clients make informed decisions that will result in little to no increased financial burden on a project. We believe that good design should not come at a premium.
As urban designers and architects who have spent our careers working with public agencies, schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and developers, we think a lot about the public realm, and how it might be enriched. For us, place is at once built reality, cultural undertaking, layered history, and crucible for the future.
While our ideals guide us, it is our people that truly make WRNS Studio excellent. We’ve learned from working with some of the world’s most transformative organizations that the most important thing we can do, as a business whose process and product is about innovation and creativity, is to attract, cultivate, and nurture talented people who share our values. The culture at WRNS is strong and distinct, with interests focused on craft, technology, education, and pro-bono work. We have a thriving scholarship program that promotes inspiration and critical thinking in design and architecture, with topics ranging from rammed earth construction to Robert Irwin’s explorations of light and space. An informal mentorship program complements our scholarship program. With several career-long educators at the helm, our work is bracketed by a vigorous culture of education, linking academia with practice to advance architectural excellence.
WRNS Studio was the first architecture firm with headquarters in California, and is one of 45 architecture firms nationwide, to achieve the International Living Futures Institute’s JUST Label. This “nutrition label” encourages companies to disclose their commitments to a range of equity indicators including diversity, equity, safety, worker benefit, local benefit, and stewardship.
You can find our JUST Profile here.