Collaborative Design / Sustainability / Community
Much like public spaces are defined by more than their structures, we’re more than just another architectural firm. Since Cole Architects was founded in 1995, we have fostered a culture of collaboration — both within our company and with our clients — all while emphasizing superior design, sustainability, and community.
It’s been almost 25 years since we first opened our doors, but we continue to be one of the Northwest’s premier architectural firms. From inception, we’ve defined ourselves by our high-quality designs, diverse portfolio, and award-winning work — which ranges from residential renovations to commercial mixed use (and everything in between). Our principals are involved in all project phases, working closely with our project architects. Both have the experience needed to tackle major commercial projects, but also possess the capabilities required for working in highly technical niches.
Regardless of project size, you could say we’re always reaching for perfection — creating nothing less than the most unique, quality designs. Because what is function without its well-known complement, form?
At Cole Architects, we bring our expertise to the table, but we also know when to take a step back and listen. After all, it’s our clients who possess the vision — our skillset simply brings it to life. In addition to carefully scrutinizing our own work, we also value client feedback — prioritizing their needs and pivoting when a project demands it. (We’re nimble enough to do that.) This client-centric philosophy places project needs over our own egos, which results in a collaborative and highly connected work environment that energizes both our team and clients — setting us apart from larger firms. This approach to our work is a win-win: it doesn’t just look good, it feels good, too.
And we do more than just work with clients — we form lasting bonds that often continue long after a project’s completion. These relationships speak for themselves. Since Cole Architects was founded, our solid reputation has yielded repeat business. It’s also not uncommon to see us enjoying all of Boise’s amenities with long-time clients (turned friends).
For us, sustainability is more than a buzzword. It governs our entire design process — from concepting to construction. This requires that we remain informed on the latest design innovations and continue our education. It also means we take our role as environmental stewards seriously. As architects and designers, we have a responsibility to set a higher standard for healthier, more energy-efficient buildings. In so doing, we play our part in creating a better world for future generations.
We also know that good design doesn’t just happen overnight, we’ve worked for years to develop a repeatable design process for award winning projects. Its effects can (and should) last a lifetime. This is where our reputation for quality comes in — through not just the materials we use but in creating artistic spaces that are meant to endure. And our efforts have garnered praise. To date, we’ve received several Idaho Smart Growth awards, City of Boise Design Awards, and recognition from The Society for History in the Federal Government.
We are also dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our historic places. Because when it comes to sustainability and preservation, our credo is: the two don’t need to be at odds but can co-exist harmoniously. In line with these values, Cole Architects has been recognized with Preservation Idaho’s Orchid Award for our work relocating and renovating Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel — one of the oldest synagogue buildings east of the Mississippi.
Every project is different, so we don’t subscribe to any particular ethos — other than the need for superior design to be accessible to all members of our communities. And since the most important aspect of any community is its people, we try to support charitable causes whenever possible. As leaders in our industry, it’s our duty to create these high-caliber designs that improve the spaces being built for those in need.
From the beginning, we’ve taken pride in giving back to the communities that have helped us grow. Our long history of pro-bono work is seen in cultural institutions like the Black History Museum and Boiseko Ikastola Preschool — and in nonprofits such as the Ronald McDonald House and area Boys & Girls Clubs. Many of these long-established organizations are mainstays in our community, and we strive to do our part in supporting them as they make the Treasure Valley a better place to work, play, and raise our families.