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Episode 79
rad Cloepfil

The architect Brad Cloepfil views his work as less of a job and more of a calling. Sites speak to him. He listens with his eyes. When embarking on a project, Cloepfil slowly feels out the place, studying its particularities closely in order to understand its truest, deepest nature. He and his Portland, Oregon- and Brooklyn-based firm, Allied Works, craft buildings as much as they design them. His are finely tuned, well-wrought structures, elegantly proportioned, and unforgettable in their tactility, visual wonder, and reverence for their sites and surroundings.

From the Portland, Oregon, headquarters of the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy (2000); to Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum (2011); to, more recently, the U.S. embassy in Mozambique (2021), Allied Works sculpts spaces of meaning and feeling that also serve pragmatic functions. Not surprisingly, the firm has become renowned for its designs of museums and arts institutions, including the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2003).

On this episode of Time Sensitive, Cloepfil talks with Spencer about his multisensorial approach to design and making; how reading, writing, and poetry have shaped his perspectives on the built world; and why all of his buildings are on some level about “amplifying and elevating the idea of service.”

Special thanks to our Season 6 sponsor, L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts.

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