Buffalo Design

Practice: Architecture interior design and planning

Founded: October 1986

Leadership: Lisa Roberts, president, Chris Carlson secretary/treasurer

 Buffalo Design: Monroe Library interior
Buffalo Design: Monroe Library interior

"The first half of 2002 was really quiet for us, with public clients losing funding or putting projects on hold,'' said Chris Carlson of Buffalo Design, Seattle. "Our private developers and institutional clients are proceeding cautiously as well. This fall, things seem to be picking up and we're busy again. There seems to be a new urgency to complete postponed work and enthusiasm for some new projects."

"We find ourselves working on a number of feasibility studies and master planning projects for clients that need our help to secure funding or raise money…we see our public library, community college, parks and recreation clients struggling just to keep things together, not thinking about their facilities. We're an optimistic bunch here, but it's hard to see this trend reversing in the next 12 months."

"We're focused on being creative, doing more than we ever have with the same resources…so much of the more conservative, less expensive work coming our way is well suited to us," he added. The firm is down in staff size this year to 10 from 12, with gross fees of $1.1 million. Typical project types include libraries, healthcare, higher education, senior housing and offices.

Recent projects include administrative offices for The Berger Partnership, a Seattle landscape architecture firm, which involved the renovation of a 40-year-old building to open up to views of a wooded site, expose structural elements and integrate custom furniture systems. Other projects include renovation of the Bellevue Community College student services building and the Monroe Library for the Sno-Isle Regional Library System.

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