Open Spaces and Quiet Places
Our architecture evolves along with our lives. As our lives, on a whole, become less formal and less socially structured, so do the spaces in which we work and live. We wear far fewer suits, work far outside 9 to 5, and can work virtually anywhere. We seek out spaces where we are comfortable working on our laptop, in our yoga pants, at 1AM for example and employers have taken note.
When Building Sustainably is Simply Building
What seems like long ago I would see for-lease signs on the sides of buildings advertising available space as “fully wired” or “wifi enabled”; these technologies were new and unique amenities at the time. Prior to this by almost 150 years I am sure the lease advertisements listed the brand new lift equipment called the elevator to win tenants over the competition.
What I Love To Create
When you ask Abeer Sweis what kind of space excites her, she would say one that influences people. Whether it’s a residential home or commercial space—wherever people spend time—she wants to bring out quality interactions in relationships that stimulate ideas, fuels communication, creates intimacy, and allows for growth. From family members chatting in the kitchen while preparing a risotto, to co-workers brainstorming a strategy to win new business, Abeer strives to create fertile built environments.
Not All Architects/Designers Are Created Equal
When selecting a firm, it’s important to understand the difference between the types of services each one offers so you will know what to expect. A firm that exclusively offers design and drawings means that it creates the design and drawings and then hands them off to the client. A company that offers design through construction administration creates the design and drawings, assists with bidding, reviews shop drawings and submittals, and verifies in the field that the work conforms to the design.
The Evolution of SweisKloss
Abeer Sweis has come a long way in the 20 years since she started her own boutique design firm. She remembers being in business for just three months when she hired one of her Architecture students as her first employee. “I really missed working with a team and quickly realized that the most fruitful results come from collaboration. So, when I met the incredibly talented Olivia, I immediately offered her a part-time job,” she said.
What inspires one to become an architect? Ask Abeer Sweis, and she’ll tell you about a time when she was nine years old. On a Sunday afternoon drive with her family through the countryside of her native Amman, Jordan, she noticed a building unlike anything she’d ever seen. Set into the side of a hill with nothing but a glass front looking out at the world, it seemed as though the roof was built into the hill and nature had been undisturbed—as if it were meant to be and belonged.