KG + D Architects, Mount Kisco
General Excellence Award
(left to right) Walter Hauser, Russell Davidson, and Erik Kaeyer,
Photography by Toshi Tasaki
While many companies pay lip service to the notion of collaboration, Mount Kisco-based KG+D Architecture really walks the walk. At KG+D, good ideas are accepted from anywhere within the company, no matter where they might be in the corporate hierarchy. “It’s a studio atmosphere, collaborative,” says Russell Davidson, FAIA, president and managing principal of the award-winning firm—and sitting president of the American Institute of Architects. The 32-employee firm (started in Yonkers nearly 70 years ago) also stresses the importance of collaborating with its many clients, which include numerous county school districts and a variety of municipal, religious, and business organizations.
“We deal with not only the creative design part but also the construction part, including codes, regulations, approvals, and budgets,” explains Davidson, who leads the firm along with partners Erik Kaeyer, AIA, LEED AP, design principal and vice president; and Walter Hauser, AIA, principal.
Since funding for most of their projects comes from the public or other project-specific groups, part of KG+D’s job is to build trust and consensus on the solution, Davidson says. “It’s not the architect’s design, or the architect’s project; it’s the community’s project,” he says. “It’s a challenging process, and it involves really good listening skills.”
Listening is also crucial, Davidson notes, because most of the firm’s projects require a vote of some sort, whether by a legislator, in a bond referendum, or by a congregation. Here in Westchester, he adds, “You have a vibrant, robust discussion about most every [public project] that moves forward.”