Urban Fold

L.A.-Based Architectural Firm Thinks Locally, Acts Globally

Mark Rios and his firm RCH Studios are known for their interdisciplinary approaches to architecture and landscape architecture. Despite being 'creative generalists', the firm has managed to thrive in an era of specialization.

"Not that RCH Studios doesn't export its West Coast sensibility to the east. Rios and his three partners, Frank Clementi, Julie Smith-Clementi and Bob Hale, are designing New York offices for J Records and RCA as well as a Trump World Tower apartment for TV producer Darren Star. And the firm has taken its made-in-California look international with its zippy housewares line, notNeutral, selling boldly patterned products wholesale, online and through museum gift shops and retail stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond.

...Here at home, the company's designs for houses, gardens, child-care centers and public plazas are influenced by Southern California's culture and landscape: A chess-players' park in Glendale is decked with giant lights shaped like chess pieces that allow people to play on through mild evenings; outdoor courtyards at two Los Angeles Unified School District primary schools use stylized graphics of birds, ladybugs and leaves to distinguish the walls of modular classrooms; plans for private homes often update the simple lines and open plans of California's mid-century architects and garden makers."

Full Story: Mark Rios on a roll


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