expertise > Architecture > Visionary Design
ExxonMobil Energy Center in Houston, Texas
The Devon Auditorium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
BHP Headquarters in Houston, Texas

Visionary Design

All aspects of Pickard Chilton’s work are animated by the belief in the transformative power of research-driven design to deliver high-performance buildings that create measurable value for our clients, produce an engaging and productive environment, and build better communities. Research is an integral part of our design process, and the firm invests in explorations that significantly expand our ability to serve the needs of our clients.

From cutting-edge technology to new and innovative structural materials, state-of-the-art visualizations, and high-performance enclosures, Pickard Chilton’s studio-wide research effort proactively seeks to strengthen competencies, broaden the studio’s portfolio, and increase the firm’s thought leadership. These explorations have consistently allowed us to efficiently deliver architecture of exceptional value, resilience, and performance.

To best inform how we serve our client’s immediate needs, we leverage the knowledge, interests, and creativity of the entire studio. We also weigh these decisions on how they may impact their buildings as well as their organizations in the years ahead. Our creative solutions are often anticipatory and inherently flexible to allow for unknown future technologies and materials, as well as the repurposing of these spaces for next-generation uses.

Related Work

A thoughtfully-designed city and its master plan can wield transformative influence over a community, shaping its very heart and soul. In undertaking the master plan of a future city or community, we explore how best to redefine urban landscapes and to create thriving, sustainable communities. Pickard Chilton is committed to advancing the design of future city master planning, with a focus on fostering mixed-use sustainable developments and innovative urban spaces.

When Pickard Chilton embarks on the journey of designing a building, we draw inspiration from a myriad of sources to craft structures that are rooted in the character of a city. Our design philosophy is profoundly influenced by the words of Eliel Saarinen: "Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan." Pickard Chilton takes these words to heart and carefully determines how our buildings shape the experience of those within them and their impact on the broader urban context.

ACAW 2023 - Pickard Chilton Team Presentation

Team Pickard Chilton +  Magnusson Klemencic Associates created a structural terra cotta stairway using an angled stringer with tension rods — gaskets established compressive force.

Pickard Chilton’s designs have contributed to the revitalization of historic neighborhoods through a number of thoughtful repositioning projects. From our inaugural adaptive-reuse of Eaton House in Dublin, Ireland, to our work in Düsseldorf, Germany with Le Coeur in the bustling Königsallee district, and our contributions to the fabric of Washington DC with 600 Fifth Street, we have honed the art of drawing inspiration from the surrounding architectural landscape to revitalize these structures.

Since 2016, Boston Valley Terra Cotta has partnered with the University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture to host the annual Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop (ACAW). During the weeklong event, eight teams, composed of paired design and engineering firms, collaborate to create facade prototypes using architectural terra-cotta.

Design teams consisted of Eric Parry Architects and FMDCZGF and LERAPickard Chilton and Magnusson Klemencic AssociatesRIOS and ARUPHGA and Studio NYLHenning Larsen and Thornton TomasettiCO Architects, and Selldorf Architects and Socotec.

Read more at The Architect's Newspaper 

The Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW), now in its eighth consecutive year, has reached a newfound level of complexity and interdisciplinary collaboration. Hosted by Buffalo-based manufacturer Boston Valley Terra Cotta, the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, the weeklong event offers participating architecture and engineering firms, as well as students, an opportunity to hear from several speakers and to get their hands dirty designing and putting together terra-cotta facades and other architectural elements under the watchful eyes of the specialists.

Read more at Architectural Record 

Here's how to push the next generation out of the house and back into the office with outdoor amenities, spaces that fit all work styles and connections to their surrounding communities.

The workplace is changing. However, the origins of the changes we are now seeing in workplace design and strategy are fundamental, and actually predate the pandemic. Regardless of industry, the use of the workplace to attract and retain the best talent has been driving this movement across the country and the globe for many years. For companies to compete at the highest level, they need the best and brightest employees to support their vision and goals.

Read more at Interiors and Sources 

We know the built environment can affect mental health—but how can we make sure that impact is positive?

We spend most of our lives in buildings, from our homes to our workplaces and “third spaces”—social surroundings that are separate from home and work. It’s not surprising that the buildings we spend so much time in have an impact on our wellbeing. In addition, health and wellness—including mental health—are a growing focus area for building owners and managers who are looking to make sure the built environment is having a positive impact on the people occupying it.

“The pandemic is obviously something we’re all continuing to think about, live through and engage with every day, and that has shined a brighter spotlight on wellness in general,” said Stephen Harris, principal of Pickard Chilton. “Folks are also seeing mental health as a more substantive component of the wellness equation, so it’s becoming more recognized that the built environment has major contributions to make to either the success or detriment of mental health.”

Read more at Buildings 

Scientists working in a bright and clean lab

The new BXP Life Sciences Center (Kendall Square MXD Substation Plan) is well underway and will be home to one of the first underground substations in the United States. A collaboration between BXP, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA), Eversource, and the City of Cambridge, this advanced substation will provide energy to Cambridge and surrounding areas, and its state-of-the-art facility incorporates advanced technologies to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. In addition to the substation, the project will feature two new commercial buildings totaling ~400,000 SF, a 420,000 SF residential building, and new open space.

Read more at Kendall Square 

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, buildings faced an unprecedented need for access to fresh air. We developed a solution allowing tenants to install air porches for a private outdoor experience


We are passionate about our clients, our work, and the positive impact of every building we design. If you have a difficult design challenge, contact us to create a solution that realizes your vision.