The Narrative 2023: Injecting Culture and Context into our Work

The Narrative 2023: Injecting Culture and Context into our WorkWelcome to the latest issue of
The Narrative, the magazine that celebrates our people, culture, design, and innovation.

This issue illustrates the firm’s myriad explorations into the strategy, culture, context—and most importantly, the people—behind each project our teams lead. In many ways, it all begins in the studio, where the diversity of backgrounds and experience adds a rich layer to the work we produce.










To wit, the 11 members of our Dubai studio represent 11 nationalities and speak 10 languages. “We value the unique perspectives and experiences that each team member brings to the table, which help us collaborate more effectively and achieve better results,” says the studio’s managing principal, Tarek Farid, in this Studio Spotlight by Alisa Shev.

Perkins Eastman Dubai studio

Left to right: Senior Associate Carl Zaccardelli; Associate Christina Bahou; Intern Nicole D’Silva; Senior Associate Jana Isaac; Intern Anna Starostina; Associate Lea Fernandez; Senior Associate Helena Rodriguez Segovia; Principal Tarek Farid; Associate Carolina Godinho; Associate Joon Park; Associate Jason Kamihira; Li Ren; and Senior Associate Preeti Mogali. (D’Silva and Starostina have completed their internships and have left the firm.)
Photograph Copyright The Photography Co


We dive further into the lives of our PEople in Take Five, our Q&A with a sustainability specialist, a planner and programmer, and architects specializing in healthcare, senior living, and educational and civic projects across studios from Shanghai to Chicago.

The Narrative 2023: Injecting Culture and Context into our Work 4


In an effort to make sure every voice counts at every level, Perkins Eastman is committed to promoting equity across its 24 studios. As Jennica Deely writes, our leaders of Sustainability and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion participated in a Metropolis magazine panel discussion to talk about their efforts to build equity both within the firm and throughout the communities where our projects are located.

Chart: Benefits of building equity in the corporate environment

Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace has many measurable benefits, as reported by McKinsey & Company (left); Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (top center); Mercer (bottom center); Academy of Management (top right); and Glassdoor (bottom right). Chart based on research compiled by International WELL Building Institute


Trish Donnally explores the fruits of that work in the magazine’s new Design Lab section, where she features several affordable housing projects that have been catalytic in uplifting their surrounding communities.

The DREAM Charter School and adjacent Yomo Toro Apartments in New York City

The DREAM Charter School and the adjacent Yomo Toro Apartments, aka East Harlem Center for Living and Learning, have given families an affordable place to live, plus a place to send their children to school. Photograph Sarah Mechling/ Copyright Perkins Eastman


Under our Human by Design ethos, these efforts are intentional, so they spin a web of success far beyond a building site. Jennifer Sergent writes about the firm’s growing portfolio of international schools, whose design innovations abroad have spurred groundbreaking work back home that improves health, productivity, and learning throughout the school and its community.

Common study/dining hall at Shanghai Community School, Shanghai, China

Schools are starting to blur the lines between common spaces such as cafeterias and libraries.
This renovated space at Shanghai Community International School offers seating for any endeavor, thus improving community, shared, and circulation spaces between its academic buildings and dining hall.
Photograph Sarah Mechling/ Copyright Perkins Eastman


Need a break? Alisa Shev inspires the wanderlust in all of us by writing about a hospitality practice that prioritizes local culture first in the planning of each new hotel and resort—and the stunning results that follow.

The mural Arabian Horses takes center stage at the St. Regis Bar at The St. Regis Amman in Jordan.

The mural Arabian Horses takes center stage at the St. Regis Bar at the St. Regis Amman in Jordan.
Photograph Courtesy The St. Regis Amman


Our own culture takes the forefront when it comes to sustainability, as Perkins Eastman drives to meet the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment that encourages firms to reach carbon neutrality with each new project by the end of the decade. Jennica Deely describes how our sustainability team has inaugurated an annual De-Carb Design competition to inspire new ideas and creativity toward reaching that goal.

De-Carbonizing the Built Environment, a new sustainability design competition within Perkins Eastman Architects.

Honor Award: Mass Timber and Passive Strategies
A new school of mechanical engineering employs a rigorous mass timber approach and
passive strategies alongside on-site renewables to reach near net-zero targets.
Chicago Studio Team: Robert Chorazy, Baine Rydin, Ryan Stahlman


Architecture at its core is a visual medium, and this issue of The Narrative is rich with eye candy, starting with a new feature called Project Scrapbook. In it, Emily Bamford takes us through the steps it took to transform a tired row of early-20th-century structures into the thriving Collection 14, which celebrates and elevates the historic architecture within the context of a new, mixed-use block of residential and retail in Washington, DC’s storied U Street Historic District.

Collection 14, a mixed-use residential and retail development along the historic U Street Corridor in Washington, DC

“The design elegantly incorporates the historic façades and works with renewed ground floor retail spaces of various sizes, offering much to the neighborhood,” says Cheryl Cort, policy director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Photograph by Andrew Rugge/ Copyright Perkins Eastman


A third debut feature called Art & Architecture, compiled by Melissa Nosal, serves up a colorful collage of art installations that enhance the architecture of our schools, hospitals, and residential buildings.

Portrait of Najaee Hall, 2020 by Kehinde Wiley at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York

Portrait of Najaee Hall, 2020, by Kehinde Wiley injects powerful life into the lobby at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. Photograph Copyright Chris Cooper


And the work continues.

As Co-CEO and Executive Director Shawn Basler writes in “Taking the Long View,” our strategic advising services help clients envision the future long before any buildings are designed or built. PE Strategies is an expanding division that aims to get in early to define goals and stay longer as partners with our clients to evaluate a building’s performance. “As strategic advisors, we can help analyze the value of projects and their impact prior to developing a concept, with an understanding of building, environmental, social, and economic performance,” he writes.

Click here to see the full magazine, and don’t hesitate to contact us at with questions or tips for stories we can feature in our next issue!