studio
Philosophy
People
Recognition

PHILOSOPHY 

MPA’s design philosophy is shaped by values that integrate architecture, landscape, urban design, and art. Our commitment extends beyond our own projects as we actively seek collaboration to advance knowledge and maximize architecture’s contribution to the broader community. From institutional to commercial to residential spaces, these multidisciplinary values lie at the root of every MPA project.
  1. Past, Present, and Future: Every MPA project begins with an intensive analysis of a site’s physical, social, and psychological history. Through this historical investigation, we are able to identify overlooked opportunities that have shaped a site’s current condition. Rather than leaving these missed opportunities behind, MPA works through these repressed moments and uses them as springboards for design, creating the possibility of a new story that revalues a site with honor, dignity, and identity.
  2. Identity + Presence: MPA develops each project with a comprehensive approach, considering both the intricate details and the broader urban and environmental contexts. By engaging everyday materials, historical and present day site conditions, and natural phenomena in new relationships, we create fresh connections that generate iconic images. These images not only hold significance for individual communities but also contribute to the overall cityscape, surpassing their individual impact.
  3. Integrated Sustainability: MPA employs innovative site, climate, material and Active Design practices in support of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Our whole-building design process integrates all aspects of site development to minimize a building’s resource consumption and environmental impact. Our integrative approach to sustainability shapes healthy, active buildings and places whose innovative energy, storm-water, and maintenance practices contribute to the longevity of the project.
  4. Landscape: MPA approaches the role of nature in the city in non-traditional ways. The notion of the constructed ground reveals overlooked relationships between landscape and architecture. MPA projects engage and motorize heterogeneous elements that share urban spaces, ecosystems, and temporal frames in order to create new synergies. 
  5. Tectonics: The construction of a building provides unique opportunities to challenge architectural conventions, including the relationship between structure and cladding, and between primary and secondary structural elements. Our design approach diverges from a direct expression of construction logic and instead emphasizes the importance of what encompasses, surrounds, and guides a diverse range of materials, as well as the creation of space.
  6. Art: In collaboration with artists, we harness the power of architecture to integrate and maximize the impact of art in everyday spaces. Notable are collaborations with environmental sculptor Michael Singer at Queens Plaza and with conceptual artist Allan McCollum at Elmhurst Library. 
  7. Active Design: MPA implements robust processes to improve the connections between health and environment. We aim to deepen our understanding of how physical activity intersects with larger systemic aspects of urban environments, fostering a transformative mindset and knowledge of how design can enhance this intersection.

ACTIONS

MPA’s integrated design approach puts these ideals into practice through… 
  1. Diversity and Equity: MPA projects acknowledge and support diversity, giving positive value and equal dignity to all spaces and elements, in which each individual is an active participant.
  2. Relationships and Collaboration: MPA’s studio is visited by children and adults from near and far. We build models to enable visualization by clients so that they can not only understand the implications of what they want, but also be empowered to explore what else is possible. Each project is a collaborative undertaking in which we constantly engage with clients and consultants throughout each step of the process.
  3. Design: MPA’s award-winning projects in the United States and elsewhere receive acclaim for the skill with which they redefine their context at multiple scales, integrate interior and exterior spaces, and enhance use, program, circulation flows, and climate equity.