Brian West attended Dunedin High School where his talents for math and art peaked his interest in architecture. He earned his Associate of Arts Degree in Undergraduate Architecture from St. Petersburg College in 2007, and his Masters of Architecture from the University of South Florida in 2012, where he received the King Research award for his thesis project. He worked as an Adjunct Professor of Undergraduate Design at USF and comes to sdg Architecture after five years with Alfonso Architects in Ybor City, Fla.
Brian’s experience focuses on hospitality, commercial, healthcare, parking garage and mixed-use facilities, the kinds of projects that have made up my 50-year career. He’s preparing for his Professional License Exams on the way to becoming an Architect. His attitude and knowledge are energizing.
“I was able to jump right in.”, said West. “I am working on space planning with Rod and I’m more involved with design, setting up projects and having direct exposure with clients – something that is very gratifying.”
“I have always loved design,” said Chase, “but I found architecture the most interesting because it is artistic in the way that it inspires. It has rules and confines, but there are more variables that control the concept. You are really creating everything with your own spin."
Brian and Chase are joining a dynamic team in the partnership of sdg Architecture and Shorelines Design Group. My 50-plus years in commercial architecture and Gary Badders’ 30-plus years in residential design, combined with the experience and talent of our staff members, create a special chemistry for success. How do I explain it? I sold my interest in my firm (Collman & Karsky) in 2014. I didn’t bring any clients with me. We don’t do any advertising. In my first year with sdg Architecture, I had 50 new clients. It’s all word of mouth. It’s the talent of our team. Part of it is our own internal cross-pollination of referrals for commercial and residential clients.
My mission is grooming my eventual replacement, and I have two nice candidates. I would like to do more cruising on my boat and less time in the office, but while I have learned to work remote quite well, grooming my new staff has to take precedence right now. The challenge is in finding clients and building relationships and I have mentored many graduates. A lot of them have their own firms today. I had one come back recently for business advice who has had his own business for 10 years. It is a wonderful opportunity to have Brian and Chase join us and I believe they will be great assets to our firm and to the future of the architecture community.