Our Beliefs

We believe we can change the world if we’re crazy enough to believe it.

In 1984 an unusual commercial challenged the world: “Here's to the ones who see things differently… And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” The commercial was for Apple computers. 
At 109 we’re dreamers. Our imagination comes to life with visionary concepts, unconventional building methods and unexpected materials. They once called us crazy, but slowly others are dreaming along with us.
We will always believe in our ability to change things. We will always “think different”.

We believe Elvis is still alive.

Greatness never dies, and we all want to be immortal. 
Yes, we’ve won competitions. We’ve been honored with awards. But at 109 we’re driven by the desire to create projects that will continue to touch people’s hearts long after the plaques fade and we’re here to take credit for them.
We know it’s our work alone that will stand the test of time. 

We believe we are not alone.

The world does not start and end with us. But while we’re part of a much bigger picture, at 109 we know that even small firms can make a big difference.
What we do extends far beyond the plots of land we build on. We consider everyone our work impacts – the client, city, country and beyond – and challenge ourselves to make that impact positive. By finding creative ways to contribute to local arts festivals, advocate for green community space and refurbish historic landmarks, we’re more than just an architecture firm. We’re a productive part of the community.

We believe we should walk with our eyes closed and sleep with our eyes open.

Dreaming is what keeps us going. Like Alice in Wonderland, it doesn’t matter whether we’re awake or asleep; what matters is that we keep our minds open at all times to new experiences.
Any abstract idea can become a reality, with the right dose of dedication. For a team who eats, lives and breathes our passion, dedication is the easy part.

We believe we are artists, poets, geniuses, misfits, rebels, lovers, dreamers, entertainers, geeks.

A passion for our work may define us, but we’re far from one-dimensional. We are architects who write, engineers who paint and academics who dance. Our many interests and hobbies give us individual ways to approach what we do and unique ways to contribute.
While we don’t all share an enthusiasm for science fiction or Andy Warhol, at 109 our curiosity binds us all together. The ordinary has no place in our life; it passes us by while we’re knee deep in our next challenge.

We believe in mastering our thoughts and being slaves to our ideas.

When we’re seduced by an idea, we surrender to its fantasies. At 109 our thoughts are structured, organized in our mind, under our control. Ideas may be wild and unexpected, but they’re always solidly built and followed through to the end.  
Once an idea takes hold, there’s no room for compromise.

We believe wise people need to lose their heads every day.

Our 10 years in business means we’re experienced enough to be wise, and young enough to be foolish. We follow our fantasies and feed off the rush that comes along with seeing risks pay off. Through over 75 successful projects, we’ve mastered the art of keeping our feet on the ground and our head in the clouds.
Everyone’s got an alter ego. At 109 we know when to let the Clark Kent in each of us get to work, and when to dust off our capes and fly.

We believe having doubts is the first sign of success.

The easy way isn’t always the right way, and it’s rarely ever the best way. At 109 we always question what’s around us. 
Challenging the status quo can spark doubt. The only thing that quiets uncertainty is a steady cycle of questioning, research, discovery and rediscovery. A research-oriented approach to architecture allows us to explore ideas and solutions at any stage, from design to execution. Our projects continuously evolve for the best results. Nothing is set in stone until it’s actually set in stone – flawlessly. 

We believe none of us is as smart as all of us.

Two heads are better than one. That’s what makes a team, this man-composed structure where minds blend together, each adding its own ingredient, to create the perfect recipe of an idea. Sounds like cooking? Well here's a thought: how far can you get with just one ingredient?
At 109 we function as in informal collective. There’s no star architect, no hierarchy of ideas. The team trumps us all, opening our office to the constant flow of ideas and pushing us forward, together.

We believe every one of us is the best one of us.

A team is only as strong as it weakest link. Each architect has his own talent, his own voice, something that makes him unique and extremely valuable to the whole. Whether it’s an MBA or a background in academia, creative talent or technical know-how, our individualities ensure that no one blends into corporate scenery. At 109 everyone can be king.

We believe in Howard Roark.

Kids have Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny; we have “The Fountainhead’s” individualist protagonist. Far from being make believe, Ayn Rand’s iconic character lives in all of us. 
When it comes to our vision, we know that compromise leads to mediocrity. We aren’t afraid to say no in defense of our ideals. That’s why our clients trust 109 – they know that good design will always prevail.

We believe in making every date the first date.

It’s easy to fall into patterns, to succumb to old habits. At 109 we know that the key to our clients’ happiness is a partnership that starts fresh and continues to evolve.
We approach every project like it’s our first, bringing only our experience and expertise to the table. There are no preconceived notions, no cookie-cutter designs. All clients deserve – and get – thoughtful results that meet their individual needs.
At the same time, every client is our top priority; you’ll never find us neglecting our partners while we search for something new. It’s our genuine enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication that makes each client feel like the only one.

We believe the grass is always greener on our side

This earth doesn’t belong to us; it’s merely playing host to us and our work. At 109 our respect for the environment drives how we act as a firm, as architects and as people. 
We take a humble approach to design, and it’s something we’re proud to admit. Our architecture respects the environmental context of each and every project. Why overpower nature when we can highlight the beauty of what surrounds us?
Our partners studied green practices at Harvard Business School, and our team shows ongoing support to local environmental groups in various projects, architectural and otherwise. We’re not interested in empty marketing speak or trendy buzzwords. We set out to acknowledge nature with our every day acts.

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