Studio Interview - Oppenheim Architecture

Feature Story

Miami, United States

Oppenheim Architecture is an award-winning architecture, planning and interior-design firm specialising in hospitality, commercial mixed-use, retail and residential buildings worldwide. It has received many honours, including some 45 AIA Awards and the 2018 National Design Award for Interior Design by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. The firm’s work is built on “both a physical and spiritual contextual sensitivity, supported by evocative and economic design solutions that all serve to enhance life”.

The company’s buildings are “crafted to establish the perfect balance between artistry and economics — timeless architecture that is as beautiful as it is functional”. With projects spanning over 25 countries, it aims to “design with sensitivity towards human beings and Nature — harmonising with the surroundings of each context”. Oppenheim Architecture is headquartered in Miami and has offices in New York and Basel.

What do you see as the main advantages and main drawbacks of working in a large or medium-sized design studio?

In a medium-sized studio, it’s easier to apply a design vision across a team and promote it as a part a culture. A lot of the work that the designers do at Oppenheim Architecture is to translate the ideas I have into living works of art. This requires a lot of attention to detail, and it’s something that’s very difficult to scale up past a certain team size.

Can any comparison be drawn between the way design studios function and a rugby team plays?

Maybe we can compare it to the need for communication and teamwork. Everyone is working towards a similar goal and equal in the sense that we’re all facing the same challenges. It’s the studio leader’s job to put everything in place to allow for successful collaboration.