What is Ennead? \en-ee-ad\ The partners of Polshek Partnership Architects have renamed their practice Ennead Architects LLP. This event marks the culmination of a gradual transition in organizational structure and leadership from the partnership’s identification with a single design leader to its identification with a group of accomplished architects. Consistent with the principles on which the practice was founded, the partners continue to embrace the ideals of design excellence, public commitment and environmental responsibility as the philosophical underpinnings of their work and as fundamental to the creation of enduring architecture. The new name underscores the partners’ commitment to both their history and their future, acknowledging the interplay between continuity and change that is central to the energy and excellence of the work. Ennead, which means a group of nine, authentically captures the spirit, ethic, achievements and aspirations of the partners. The number is important only to mark the intentions of the current partners: the identity is a platform for a
common trajectory and signals a new vitality. Reflecting the collaborative and democratic culture of the partnership, the new name contains none of the partners’ surnames, and its relevance is not limited in duration by the partners’ involvement in the firm. Ennead allows for shifts in the composition of the partnership over time without the loss of the studio’s identity and values. The name change represents more than simply a shift in nomenclature. The partnership remains an alliance of individuals, who have unique talents, ideas, experiences and skills and also share a history, a discipline, a philosophy, resources and an approach to problem solving. Predicated on the cross-fertilization of ideas, that approach has benefited from a discourse that has evolved as the group has worked together. Projects share formal and material qualities and designs respond to their specific environmental circumstances. Solutions are distilled from a process of consistent and comprehensive analysis and reduction. While each project demands to be understood on its own terms, each has at its heart an overarching vision, and each is emblematic of a fundamental commitment to the creation of architecture that explores and communicates ideas.
This commitment to the creation of meaningful, innovative, enduring and sustainable architecture and the tradition of analytical problem-solving is overlaid with Ennead’s studio culture. This agile and passionate working environment allows all staff to participate in and benefit from an open exchange of ideas and to undertake personal research or engage in pro-bono activities to enhance numerous new research, educational, and professional initiatives. Their realization is emblematic of the greater balance in intra-office relationships. These are: • Ennead Lab: Ennead Lab is to be a private foundation devoted to research, education and advocacy. It will emphasize the critical importance of the social and environmental dimensions of architecture and engage directly in explorations that not only enrich the studio’s level of inquiry and approach to design but expand upon the field of architecture at large through investigations into related disciplines including conservation of resources, public information, sociology, information technologies and graphics.
• STIM: STIM is a regular series of studio-wide presentations and thought-provoking dialogues, which enlist studio members as well as other architects, academics, and related professionals, to explore trends and activities in design and related fields. • Open Crit: led by project team members, each Open Crit explores an Ennead Architects project currently in design. The program provides a platform for studio architects at every level to articulate design problems and their resolution and to engage others in an open conversation about approach, intentions, and the challenges encountered from conception through construction. • Research Groups: leadership of each Research Group is a collaboration of a partner and senior staff member and includes studio architects and other staff at all levels. The research groups address project-based and general office issues both practically and speculatively, with the goals of improving performance, expanding our understanding of new technologies, methods, resources and materials and fostering
innovation. Groups include: Project Management, Document Standards and Technical Resources, Regulatory Resources, Physical Model Making, Sustainable Design, Construction Administration, Design Communications, Applied Computing and Building Information Modeling, Material Resources, Research, Marketing, Web Development and Intern Development. Our creative accomplishments are based on our deeply held conviction that the most successful architectural visions affect imagination, experience and memory in profound ways, standing as expressions of society, its culture and institutions. "What we create is rooted in how we work. With genuine and active dialogue, we listen carefully, respond thoughtfully and create with integrity and ingenuity."