WRNS Studio named Top Firm in Architect Magazine’s 2018 Architect 50!
Since our founding in 2005, WRNS Studio has cultivated a design-forward practice amidst continued, sometimes rapid growth—and 2017 was no different. Last year, our staff grew from 132 to 172, our net revenue went up 19%, and we opened a fourth office, expanding from San Francisco, New York, and Honolulu to Seattle. To guide us through this growth, we identified three ideals to which WRNS Studio strives in every 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.
As we consider our performance in the calendar year 2017, we look to the five stand-out projects included in our Design Portfolio: 1) A workplace campus inspired by the beauty and honesty drawn from a focus on functionality, proportion, quality of light and space, and raw, honest materials. 2) One of the nation's handful of collegiate recreation/aquatic centers tracking for LEED Platinum in a project type that historically consumes large amounts of energy and water. 3) A high school "guild and commons" that celebrates the symbiotic nature of human, environmental, and economic health. This project, a 2018 AIA COTE Top Ten Award winner and model of holistic sustainable design, is seeking LEED Platinum, ZNE, WELL Education Pilot, and LBC Petal certification. 4) A small screening room located off San Francisco's bustling Market Street that respectfully and delightfully threads brand with urban design to activate the public realm, and 5) an innovation lab designed to harness the vision for Cornell Tech's new campus on Roosevelt Island: "to spur the commercialization of new products and technologies by bringing together the best in academia and industry." These projects illustrate the myriad ways we translate beauty, sustainability, and a positive contribution to the public realm into site-sensitive, identity-rich design.
Sonoma Academy Janet Durgin Guild & Commons
San Francisco State University Mashouf Wellness Center
Collision Lab at Cornell Tech
Dolby Headquarters Screening Room
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. At all experience levels, our people are leading the critical discourse—teaching, writing, advocating for equity, and advancing sustainable practice, to name a few. Likewise, 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 construction site visits, technology workshops, and licensure advising. With several careerlong educators at the helm, our work is bracketed by a vigorous culture of education, linking academia with practice to advance architectural excellence.
WRNS Studio, San Francisco
In closing, we truly "walk the talk." WRNS Studio was the first architecture firm with headquarters in California, and is one of less than 26 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. Our decision to pursue the JUST Label is part of WRNS Studio's broader effort to do our part to promote equity, transparency, and holistic sustainability. It complements our commitment to the 2030 challenge, our pursuit of the WELL Building certificate for our firm, and initiatives like the Health Product Declaration, LEED, and the Living Building Challenge. We are currently pursuing Living Building Challenge Petal Certification for expansions and tenant improvements to our San Francisco, Honolulu, and Seattle offices, as well as WELL Building certification for our New York office.