The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power,
the shapes of things, their colours, lights, and shades;
these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.
Allan Shope Architects is a firm dedicated to creating buildings with sophisticated craftsmanship, carbon neutral operation, and inspired design. This office was started by Allan in 2006, following a 25 year career leading the architectural firm of Shope Reno Wharton Associates. Allan Shope Architects focuses on a select number of projects each year for clients who want to challenge aesthetic and environmental conventions with the buildings they construct.
Most architects seek the inspiration to create beautiful architecture in the wrong place, emulating the historic styles they see in the pages of architectural history books. Truly meaningful architectural beauty has always been a reflection of our humanity, not of the past. Proportion, scale, texture and form are the building blocks of architectural beauty. The greatest buildings in the world, such as Ronchamp, the Guggenheim Museum, Falling Water and Bilbao, are not defined through style. They are a reflection of humanity and all of its potential. Creating original, meaningful designs that reflect their place and time is more challenging than selecting a Georgian Colonial or Shingle Style design, but, potentially, far more rewarding.
The world needs innovation in our built environment, not “greened up” traditional designs. We must begin to create buildings that produce more energy than they use. This architectural firm is dedicated to exploring all construction methodologies that could facilitate this goal. We are working with passive and active solar systems, geothermal systems, earth buffering, wind energy, mechanical synergy and aerobic amoeba to create carbon neutral buildings. The effective integration of these energy sources into inspired architecture is essential in a world with diminishing natural resources.
The first step in designing a house is choosing the site. After considering legal requirements such as applicable zoning laws, yard setbacks, wetland ordinance restrictions and coastal regulations setbacks, most people look for the best views, distance from neighbors, and proximity to roads and amenities like ponds. We always counsel our clients to consider one other important priority when siting their homes: understanding and respecting the natural community that lives on their property. We can and should build houses that co-exist harmoniously with the ecosystems that surround us, and live not as kings of the universe, but as stewards of the land.
Today’s global economy makes available a vast selection of materials from the farthest reaches of the earth, allowing every architect to create buildings using identical materials specifications wherever they build in the world. The result is architectural uniformity and sterility. Although the availability of imported materials is an attractive convenience, we enjoy incorporating the forms and materials that are indigenous to a region. Vernacular forms and materials offer not only the environmental and economic benefits of less energy consumption for transporting the materials, but also a distinctly regional experience, with architecture that is unique and appropriate to its surroundings.
Allan Shope graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1978 and was a founding partner of Shope Reno Wharton Associates. At Shope Reno Wharton, Allan designed world-renowned houses, academic buildings, museums and environmental education centers from 1981 to 2006. During Allan’s time at SRW Associates, the world changed profoundly with the need for renewable energy and sustainable architecture becoming increasingly apparent. Allan left Shope Reno Wharton in 2006 to start a new architectural office dedicated to sustainable architecture.
Allan married Julie Flicker in 1985, and they have four wonderful kids, currently aged sixteen to twenty-three. Allan’s passions, beyond family and architecture, include woodworking, farming and environmental causes. Allan and his family live on a large organic farm in Dutchess County, New York, where they grow fruits, vegetables, and emus. A large portion of the Shope farm is a forest, which is sustainably managed to provide wood that Allan uses for furniture-making and architectural projects.
Allan has served for many years as a Trustee for the Dutchess Land Conservancy and the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies. He is a visiting teacher at Harvard University and President of the Board for the environmental organization Clearwater.
845 877 6335
78 Sinpatch Road Wassaic, NY 12592
© 2013 Allan Shope Architects