What is A Sense of Community?
May 26, 2017, In News, Recent Posts, by Gene GuszkowskiClick to Print
At AG Architecture, we work to design and build innovative structures for multifamily, mixed use and senior living clients that foster a sense of community. That is what we do. It is our tagline. But what does that mean?
For our firm, it is not just about creating a physical environment to house groups of people, it is about designing spaces that bring people closer together. It is also about the way in which we accomplish that, by working in a collaborative mindset with our internal team as well as colleagues, vendors and consultants. We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our clients as well, together creating a project that successfully solves the challenge at hand while supporting the future goals they have for their communities.
The AG Community
Our workplace is a community located in a historic community. Every member of the AG team contributes to the development of a successful building. This sense of community is not just represented by our collaborative process, it is expressed in our culture. While it is not a family-owned company; it is a modern family working together in the heart of a special community, Wauwatosa. While the firm’s work takes team members around the country, it feels good coming home to the office in the heart of the Village of Wauwatosa, a walkable and vibrant community with restaurants, bars, retail stores and a park to offer breaks in the work day. A community the AG team helped develop over the years.
Our Tosa History
When we work with our clients, we take great care in understanding the history of the organization as well as the context of the neighborhood. We respect that history as we help forge pathways to the future. We don’t just apply this to our clients, this is a core value of our firm and can be illustrated by the building and the community we call home. AG has called Wauwatosa home for many years, but since 2002 we have been headquartered in the historic village of Wauwatosa at Lefeber Pointe, a building designed by AG.
Over a span of 150 years, only three structures have stood on this site. The original historic hotel was replaced by a brick mercantile building named the Lefeber Building. In 1963, a fire burned it to the ground and the lot remained vacant for 37 years. Eleven developers had tried to bring this site back to life, but were unsuccessful. Then, Rich Conley of Metropolitan Development called upon AG and together we developed a successful formula for a 24/7 building where people work, live and can explore retail opportunities.
Not only was this solution a success for the revitalization of this site, it ignited the further development of the historic village which now is a vibrant destination with shops, restaurants and other walkable amenities. AG is proud to have continued to support this growth with project work along State Street and throughout the community.
When it comes to office life, AG believes in the importance of family. The firm recognizes the challenges and importance of family responsibilities, so employees are afforded a lot of flexibility with their work schedules. AG believes in nourishing the growth and development of its staff, from educational opportunities such as traveling to job sites across the country to plenty of snacks and perks in the office throughout the week. Fresh fruit deliveries, complimentary water, juice, coffee and soda every day, Breadsmith bread on Tuesdays, cookies and popcorn on Thursday afternoons and Beer:30 on Fridays, these are the many ways the company supports and rewards the team throughout the week.
These socialization opportunities encourage camaraderie as do off-site activities such as the UPAF Ride for the Arts and a company picnic every summer. Part of living in a great community is supporting your local sports team, and AG team members are definitely Brewers fans. The company has tickets on the third baseline in the second row and every employee has the opportunity to enjoy a game up close in these great seats. When it comes to building a sense of community, it starts at home. AG creates a community appeal for its employees, and they all work together to create that for their many clients.
We Work in Community
Our project process focuses on providing vision, building consensus and bringing certainty and predictability to the construction process. Every project is unique so this collaborative process is important to creating a solution that truly supports client goals. We are a resource and advocate for our clients. Our enthusiastic team cares about understanding client goals and listening to their input. That is how the AG team delivers solutions better than the clients even imagined.
We also partner with others in the design and construction community who share our passion for the profession. We collaborate with the professionals who finance, construct, approve and market our work. Their ideas can lead to even better solutions, creating successful buildings that reflect the best efforts of an accomplished project team.
Each new project is not without challenges, especially when it impacts the status quo of a neighborhood. We also work with city officials and neighborhood groups to build consensus so that we design projects in the best interest of the surrounding community.
Our collaborative process is about asking the right questions and working together to find the best answers. We bring together diverse personalities, abilities and insights—we work in community with our clients to help them achieve their objectives.
We specialize in the design of living and working environments that function as a community. Buildings are more than forms and spaces. Whether a multifamily, mixed use or senior living project, the structures we create impact people, their daily lives and their happiness. As we design, our focus is on the people who will live, work, play and learn inside these buildings. We take that seriously. We create environments that promote interaction and enhance quality of life.
A Sense of Community
While our firm has operated under the name AG Architecture for the last 25 years, our firm history dates back more than 55 years. No matter what name we have operated under, we have been committed to creating architecture that enhances our community. Everything about who we are, how we operate as a business, where we are located and the clients and residents we serve is focused on instilling a feeling of community.
On every project, we take a bold long-term view to design a building that benefits the people who live and work inside—and outside—it’s walls. We create community in every sense of the word.
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