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WHO WE ARE

brick is an innovative architecture and interior design firm founded in 2010. our studio is led by rob zirkle and matt combrink, who began collaborating on projects together as graduate students at yale's school of architecture over 15 years ago. they went on to work together at some of the best architecture firms in the bay area, cutting their teeth on large commercial, residential and institutional projects. our staff is comprised of smart, energetic architects and designers who all have unique and varied skill sets but share a dedication to great design and happy clients.

when brick was first conceived there was one question driving everything: if we could design a new way of working that allows the principals to stay closer to the work, create a more collaborative design process and ultimately provide better service to our clients, what would that firm look like?

what we created in response to that question is a small firm that is nimble and flexible with big firm talent that brings a broad cross section of expertise to handle a variety of project types and sizes. controlling our size adds maximum value to the client while also producing the highest quality building possible. we leverage technology to deliver commercial, institutional, and residential projects large and small just like the big firms, but with the assurance that a principal is intimately involved at every step of the way. an architectural project is larger than one person; it is, in fact, an important and delicate collaboration of many. by capitalizing on the diverse and collective strengths of our principals and senior staff, every project at brick gets the highest level of collaborative involvement and review from design through construction. 

HOW WE WORK

brick works differently from other architectural firms. we have taken our many years of training in some of the biggest and brightest corporate firms around and turned conventional thinking into a new formation strategy aimed at keeping our hands and minds closest to the day to day work of the firm.

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why is brick’s approach better?
simple: our partners and senior staff are organized around their skill sets and not as profit centers. by providing our highest and best collective contribution to every client and every job, we recognize that our combined efforts as a team far outweigh our individual capabilities. we have created a collaborative method centered on the 3 key tenants of the project delivery continuum: design, implementation, and execution. with both partners and staff working together on every project from day one, focused on their areas of expertise, each client is assured that our collective experience will create an inherently strong set of checks and balances that will result in exceptional results and seamless movement through the project delivery cycle. our sophisticated use of cutting-edge technological tools such as building information modeling (bim) allows us to control the size of our staff, keep ourselves engaged and expert in the means of production of our work product, and ensure a seamless and thoughtful client experience from beginning to end.

HOW WE'RE GREEN

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there is no question as to the importance and moral imperative that we as architects and builders have to safeguard the natural environment for our future. we view sustainability as a cultural challenge and obligation, not only a series of checklists or metrics to follow. it is with this spirit and sensitivity that we approach every project, as well as how we operate our studio.

our office places a strong priority on sustainable practices and behavior, and is constantly striving for a smaller impact on the environment. we chose an office location near a local bicycle path, allowing many of our staff to commute by bike and walk to neighborhood amenities. during summer months we often leave our doors and windows open during the day, allowing us to leave the lights off and forgo the use of forced-air cooling systems. we believe that being green begins with establishing green habits. 

our projects range from simple calgreen mandatory measures compliance to the complexities of executing a leed platinum building. while our first goal as stewards of the natural environment is to engage clients on a pragmatic, common sense level, we also possess the knowledge of cutting-edge sustainability systems to deliver efficiencies in our work. this, combined with our understanding of the economics of construction and context-driven design methodology, allows every client we work with to not only achieve their quantitative sustainability goals, but also take pride in its execution and quality.