Chicago Public School
© Marble Fairbanks
Our Practice –Marble Fairbanks is a design-driven, client-focused architecture firm with offices in New York and Atlanta led by partners, Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks. Founded in 1992, our practice is at the forefront of merging user-centered design processes with advanced digital tools and technology to create high quality spaces for our clients. Through our ongoing involvement with architectural education around design innovation, we are recognized leaders in creating connections between university research and professional practice. Marble Fairbanks is the recipient of over 40 local, national and international design awards and our work is regularly published in books, journals and magazines. Our work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world including the Architectural Association in London, the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art in Japan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York where our drawings are part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Our Work – One of the most common questions an architect hears is what do you specialize in? Rather than relying on an expertise around a particular building type, we specialize in innovative design solutions tailored to each project. We have an in-depth knowledge of several program types (libraries, education spaces and workplace, among others) but we consider this to be only part of the foundation to begin design, not the core value of what we offer our clients. Rather, it is the synthesis of this foundational knowledge with the unique conditions and constraints of a given project that forms the essential design challenge. The work of Marble Fairbanks is a matrix of new buildings, building renovations, interior design, planning studies and design research combined with educational, cultural, residential, institutional, retail and workplace programs. Recent projects include Glen Oaks Branch Library, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Colman Residence Hall, and Hunter College Library.
Our Process – After 25 years of practice, we have learned that the more transparent the process from the design side, the construction side and the client side, the better the result. There is no substitute for a collaborative, team-based approach to a project. We pride ourselves on listening closely to our clients to understand their needs and goals for a project as the basis of design. We engage stakeholders in the iterative process of developing design options and getting feedback as we work together toward the best solution. We have a proven record of maintaining sensitivity to multiple constituents while designing complex projects for a wide range of clients. We deploy a research-based design process where creative solutions are informed by shared knowledge and experience so our clients benefit from, yet go beyond, what has already been done.
Our Clients – Over 70% of our projects at any time are with repeat clients. We consider each project as a step in a long-term relationship with our clients. Beyond the scope of any single project, we collaborate with our clients to understand their institutional needs, vision and aspirations in a broad sense so we can bring our full range of experience and expertise to bear on accomplishing their goals. Marble Fairbanks has worked with a range of organizations, from higher education institutions and world-renowned museums to distinguished public organizations and non-profit groups. Some of our recent clients include New York Public Library, Lawrence University, Hunter College, New York University, Columbia University, Princeton University, Haverford College, The Architectural League, and The Museum of Modern Art.