D+B Architecture has opened an office in San Francisco. What’s in it for you?

Jason A. Silva

April 28, 2016

The short answer is, a lot. We are actively looking for a wide variety of talented, passionate individuals in the architecture profession, including project architects, business development, marketing, and office management people.  What can you expect by joining our team? Let me tell you about my experience with Dreyfuss + Blackford.

Fifteen years ago, I was working for a firm in San Francisco. An opportunity presented itself at D+B and I moved to Sacramento expecting to stay for a year or two before returning to San Francisco; however, living in Sacramento and working at D+B have both turned out to be great experiences.


Beltline Roundhouse Building, 1500 Sansome Street, San Francisco / photo by Adam Everton

Now I’m helping the firm expand into the Bay Area, where we have teamed up with MKThink at the historic Roundhouse Building near the Embarcadero. D+B’s practice embraces a broad range of market sectors, including institutional, cultural, civic, corporate offices, commercial interiors, transportation, healthcare, design-build, planning, research and development, workplace, and graphic design, among others (please click through our website to get a full picture). Recently, we completed the transformation of a shuttered public city school into the CLARA Midtown, E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts, which opened this month. And we’ve been commissioned to renovate the Sacramento Municipal Utility District headquarters, which was among the firm’s earliest projects in 1959.


CLARA Midtown, E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 2420 N Street, Sacramento / photo by Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Headquarters.

We’ve also been appointed to design the City of Fairfield’s Transportation Center Expansion, a 1200-parking structure featuring digitized community artwork spanning an enormous, dynamic LED grid mounted on the six-story building; it will be complete next year.


Fairfield Transportation Center Expansion / rendering by Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

What’s it like to work for D+B? Two things come to mind: 1) it’s a familial setting, relaxed but purposeful and close-knit; 2) the firm doesn’t restrain… just the opposite.

Collaborating in the Dreyfuss + Blackford Sacramento office

The work ethic here is to go forward. The firm encourages exploration of what might be on the outside of traditional practice. For example, we adopted laser-scanning capabilities as an in-house service and recently employed the technology for the Virtual Art Hotel in Sacramento. The tenement building was slated for demolition; we worked with a local arts organization that mounted a temporary art installation, which we then scanned and continued as an online exhibition for a month.


Laser-scanning the Art Hotel in Sacramento

Kris Barkley, D+B’s design director, and two others from other firms started an event called Architecture Matters. It happens quarterly and has been going on for years. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the value of good design and how good architecture improves the public environment and overall community prosperity.

We’ve also been involved in various architectural events including the Launch festivals in Sacramento and several small gallery installations. These installations ultimately became the temporary pavilions built pro-bono for The Bridge District (TBD) Festival that takes place in West Sacramento.


PiXL Pavilion for the 2015 TBD Festival

There is a small firm atmosphere at D+B where everyone is working together, but in fact we are a medium-sized firm. Key words: collaboration and friendly. Fully half of the office is comprised of licensed architects; the majority of the architectural staff is capable of working on their own. The firm enables a lot of autonomy across projects. And we are a flat organization where there is no necessity for a so-called “top-down” leadership style. It’s project-based which lets us be successful in our projects, and not just putting in our time. I think the results speak for themselves.

Overall, there is an openness and a desire among staff, collaborators, and contributors towards ‘how can we do this better’? How can we re-form the things we’re doing and what we’re doing? This is the passion within Dreyfuss + Blackford and how we practice architecture: challenging the expectations to achieve a better result. Feel free to contact me directly: jsilva@db-arch.com.

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