Architecture that Enriches Community

In our commitment to the Southeast, we create architecture that enriches community through a culture of design excellence, expertise, innovation, and collaborative engagement.

As designers, we have a responsibility to improve and enrich the communities in which we live. This responsibility to design a more perfect situation for the common good is enshrined in the very fiber of our country’s Declaration of Independence. Our founders were compelled to not accept the status quo, but to design a situation that allowed them to secure their unalienable rights – and to improve their community.  Is that not what we strive for as architects and designers?

We have a duty to make our places better. This responsibility involves understanding issues that we are passionate about, and engaging our communities in ways that create positive change. What does that mean?

First, be AWARE.

As architects, we get to craft the places we live. We are observers of the human condition, and caretakers of the built environment that allows communities to grow and prosper.  To make our places better, our first task is to observe it. We must be cognizant of our surroundings, “listen” to our streets and buildings, and “feel” the sidewalks. The more sensitive we are to our environments, the more we notice physical things that we can improve.

It is the same way with our civic and social fabric. Good designers design everything around them with intention and purpose. We must first recognize a problem, then design a solution. We can apply the same concept to our civic lives by recognizing issues in our communities that need improvement – and acting upon them.

Second, be ENGAGED.

At the core of our success as a firm is our deep commitment to, and engagement with, our communities. We genuinely care about making our environment better – but as importantly, we do something about it.  This authentic empathy shows when we are offering ourselves selflessly without expectation of a direct return.

When we are outside in the community attending a Chamber meeting, or building a Habitat for Humanity House, or serving on a community board, we have the chance to make friends, to represent the firm, and to craft connections that lead to relationships. A recent study from a collaborator of ours found that they had a zero percent success rate in getting work where they had not previously established a connection with the client. These relationships are the currency of our practice, because ultimately, people hire people they like!

Building Stronger Communities

“Doing well by doing good” is at the very core of who we are at LS3P.

Whether we are working directly with clients to design the best possible solution for their needs, or engaging in civic processes, we use our design ability to understand the needs of all stakeholders.  But when we act with authentic empathy, and are actively engaged, we are building relationships that last. Architecture that Enriches Community is about much more than the structures we design. It speaks to who we are, how we care, and our aspiration to make our corner of the world a better place.

About Chris

As Chief Relationships Officer, Chris focuses on firmwide business development and oversees large local projects including investment, commercial, mixed-use, hospitality, healthcare, and higher educational campus projects. His work has been recognized in recent years with both AIA NC Design Awards and Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Awards for exceptional design and commitment to sustainable building practices. He has been with the firm for 23 years and was project lead for the Wilson Center, named best design in North Carolina (2017); Carolina Bay, named Best CCRC in the Country in 2018; and multi-award-winning Live Oak Building Headquarters.

Chris is active in both the state and local business communities. Professionally, he has completed terms as President of AIA Wilmington, the Board of Directors for AIA North Carolina, and National Advisor to the AIA Young Architects Forum. He chaired the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Planning Commission and is currently chairman of the Battleship North Carolina Commission. He also currently serves on the LS3P Board of Directors, Cameron Art Museum Board of Trustees, and the Wells Fargo Advisory Board.