Celebrating 25 Years

What brought me here, why I stayed, and why I don’t plan on ever going anywhere else.

To celebrate 25 years of Triad, we will be spending the next year sharing stories, anecdotes, thoughts, and reflections on Triad over the last 25 years.  To kick us off, this is what Triad means to me…

25 years ago, Dave Price and Clyde Henry started Triad Architects in Dave’s dining room.  I was a junior in high school, friends with Dave’s middle son Matt, and had a lot more hair… a lot more hair.  Dave gave me an internship in the firm’s second year.

The firm made me a partner 13 years ago, and we’ve since then added other services, including construction, facility management, and real estate development.

As I reflect on what brought me to Triad, I think about the two founders.

Clyde recently shared with me why he and Dave started Triad:

I wanted to dedicate myself to a practice that cared about their clients and put them first, where integrity meant doing what you say you’re going to do. So, I chose a man I knew held the same values, and we gave it our all. The idea worked and continued with the next generation.

Clyde Henry

One of Two Triad Founders

This quote sums up what Triad is all about: helping people discover, design, build, and care for the world they want to live in.  We trust our team, our clients, and their communities to play their parts in building the place they want to leave for future generations..

Believe it or not, this was a novel idea for a couple architects in 1997.  The cultural prototype of an architect that is celebrated throughout college campuses, in popular culture, and in every young architect’s manifesto, The Fountainhead, is a headstrong, usually male, genius who knows better than any client what should be designed.  Frank Lloyd Wright , for example, famously told a client to move his desk when the building was leaking on it.  And Howard Roark,  the protagonist in The Fountainhead,  blows up a building when he believes others have ruined his design.

Triad was, and is, an attempt to be the antithesis of this.

Triad is a place where we listen to and celebrate everyone’s voice.  It’s also a place where our whole process is designed to identify the challenges in a project and face them together as a team with our clients and their stakeholders.  Here, we challenge each other to create optimal outcomes for everyone.

Triad is a place that uses architecture, design, construction, facility management, and real estate development as an opportunity to build a better world.  We bring these disciplines together to collaborate with communities.  Here, we help them discover their vision, formulate it, and make it come true.

Triad is a place where we can admit when we don’t get it right and change our course to make it better.  Where innovation comes from thoughtful, purposeful deliberation between opposing points of view.  This is a place where we admit when we don’t know something but work doggedly to figure it out.  A place where we are in it together.

I spent this weekend celebrating my brother-in-law’s wedding.  A marriage, much like a building project, marks the beginning of a collective journey. Two families with different backgrounds, personalities, and histories come together to discover and learn about each other.  These people explore each other’s character, and these families determine if they are aligned.

Two people plan a life together.  The design of this life must be flexible and able to grow and change with the challenges and opportunities that come along.  They build this life together and things grow from it.  If they put smart, thoughtful work into the marriage, it works well even through hard times and crises.

As we celebrate 25 years, this frame of mind has me reflecting on what an anniversary represents.  This kind of relationship is what Triad is about.

I like to think of April 1997 as the birthday of Triad, but I celebrate each anniversary as a joining of people toward a common goal. Twenty five years later, we are still together, still thriving, and still helping communities  discover, design, build, and care for our world… for our  future together.