With a focus on the client, JCJ Architecture is an architecture and design firm that spans across industries—hospitality, education, gaming and civic—delivering not only a well-built property, but a thoughtful one as well.
Founded in 1936, the Hartford, CT-based company is a firm whose roots are based in working with clients on projects that meet a community’s needs. They follow an ESOP/Employee owned culture, a market differentiator demonstrating their commitment to both their client’s communities as well as their own. Each of JCJ Architecture’s projects carefully considers the needs of the client and their surroundings, creating built environments that act as extensions of the community.
InspireDesign spoke with Amy Harrell, project director/studio leader, JCJ Architecture about some of the firm’s projects and what inspires her when she delves into new work. Here’s what this visionary has to say:
What serves as the inspiration for your projects?
I am always looking to draw out inspiration in daily life and keeping those ideas in mind for future projects. Whether it’s from a current project I’m working on, other projects in the industry or even online inspiration, I’m constantly looking for and taking note of the latest products and trends.
Can you detail your design process?
Our design process is centered on collaboration—both with the client and amongst our various teams. As we begin a new project, it is vital that we get a true understanding of the client and their needs and goals; the functionality of the design is just as important as the design aesthetic. Once we have a thorough understanding of the needs of end-user as well as the operator, we begin idea generation. From there, we work closely with the client to further refine and realize their vision for the project and continue our integrated involvement as we see the project through to completion.
Can you speak on current and upcoming projects? What can we expect?
I am currently working on several exciting projects here in Oklahoma, and as far as Palm Springs, CA. The JCJ Architecture team is working on an important expansion to the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK, increasing the number of rooms in the luxury resort by 1,000. The expansion also includes an expanded gaming floor and fresh amenities such as new pools and lazy river, retail space, entertainment options and dining venues. Like many of our projects, this effort will bring world-class amenities to this destination.
How do you go about selecting your projects? Do you focus on certain markets, types of projects, etc.?
Through our collaborative design process, we often build long lasting relationships with our clients that result in repeat work and referrals. That said, we also seek out new opportunities where we can leverage our expertise and build new relationships. I work across a variety of typologies—from gaming, food and beverage and hospitality to K-12 and higher education, medical, corporate office, community and library—and my projects include both new construction, tenant fit out and phased renovation/addition.