Inspired By: Ivan Leonidov



One of my favorite architects is someone most Americans have never heard of. The great Russian Avant Garde architect Ivan Leonidov was introduced to me by me thesis tutor Elia Zenghelis and has since been someone whose work I have regularly returned to.

Leonidov is generally agreed to be the most idealistic architect of the young group of Utopian idealists that came to prominence in the interwar period, prior to Stalin’s rule. His designs were so bold and so ambitious that they were never built, except for one modest landscape project later in his careers.

I was fortunate enough to see some his original paintings on a trip to Moscow in 2002 and the 1988 book on his work by Andrei Gozak and Andrei Leonidov (the architect’s son) is one of my prized possessions. I found a few web pages that show his drawings and paintings.

Read more here.

– Brent

Inspired By: Master Plan by West 8



As a firm, we have had the good fortune to travel extensively, and meet and work with some exceptional practitioners, who have helped to inform our planning and design efforts and the ways we work.

This curiosity for what is new, innovative, and occasionally just cool, drives us to continue to always look for new forms of inspiration. This weekly post is our effort to share the things that inspire us to do what we do, both from our past and in the everyday things around us.

Today, we are featuring Master Plan by the Dutch firm West 8.

This project was nearing completion when we moved to the Netherlands in 2000, and has always been an inspiration for us in terms of planning and architecture.

The plan involves the total redevelopment of two massive peninsulas outside of Amsterdam, formerly used as docks. While the magnitude of the project at 2500 residential units is impressive, West 8’s focus on rethinking the traditional Dutch row house—through a prescriptive code that required designers to work with the conventional ‘kit of parts’ of a row house, while challenging them to find new solutions—is the most innovative part.

The portion of the development that is shown most often is a series of row homes all designed be different architects, with their unique response to the challenge laid out by the planners. As we shift to a Form Based Code style of zoning in many neighborhoods, I think this could lend some inspiration to how we work.

Read more here.