Top Company 2020: Architecture
These three companies are shaking up the world of architecture
In its 33rd year, ColoradoBiz‘s Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists – represent the 2020 Top Companies in Architecture.
Design Workshop’s community of designers, landscape architects, planners and strategists share a deep commitment to improving social equity and environmental justice through design.
“Our team shares a core value of caring about people in the communities where we live and work,” President Becky Zimmermann says. “From civic and nonprofit service to professional and academic involvement, giving back is what drives us.”
To commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2019, Design Workshop launched the #DWGivesBack50 program, with employees donating more than 1,550 volunteer hours for community service projects that focused on improving landscapes, including working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Denver; removing invasive species at Sand Ridge Nature Center in Illinois; cleaning up a beach in Santa Monica; performing mountain bike trail maintenance in Lake Tahoe; and planting trees with Plant It Forward in Houston, among others.
Its collaborative office culture embraces new ideas, encourages continued education and supports growth and learning. DW’s employee stock ownership plan gives staff an ownership interest in the firm and reinforces the mentality that everyone contributes to its success. Everyone sees monthly billing and revenue projections, and office scorecards reflect DW’s financial performance, design reviews and recent awards.
DW creates projects that showcase Western landscapes and environments. Its project in Wildcat Ranch near Snowmass, which covers only 2% of the 6,800-acre parcel and won national awards for planning and land stewardship, was an early example of conservation development. Other notable Colorado projects include Riverfront Plaza, Cherry Creek North, Rocky Mountain Arsenal cleanup, Aspen Gondola Plaza and Festival Park in Castle Rock. DW has been honored with more than 360 national and regional awards.
In its half-century, Pioneer Landscape Centers has grown to 35 retail branches and 23 quarries and production facilities across the Southwest. It produces about 60% of its landscape and hardscape materials and transports them as well, allowing the company to oversee and ensure quality control and keep pricing competitive.
Pioneer works with dozens of community and other local groups each year to donate labor and materials to beautify area parks and schools, as well as share information and education with students both in and out of the industry.
In the past year, Pioneer has donated an entire playgrounds’ worth of mulch to area school districts and parks and offered expertise to municipal groups on product use and selection for recreation projects. It also hosted about a dozen field trips for elementary schools, technical colleges and university programs and donated rocks and supplies throughout the year to local rock painting groups to spread kindness messages in their communities.
EVstudio has pioneered an all-in-one approach that marries architecture and engineering plans, reducing errors and saving clients money. It operates under its 10 EValues, which are prominently displayed around the office: Demand Quality and Excellence; Deliver High Service; Communicate Continuously; Value Intelligence and Creativity; Embody Passion; Trust the Team; Embrace Change; Play!; Spread Positive Attitude; and Be Courageous.
Its 56 employees are encouraged to volunteer, and many help tutor children, provide engineering services for nonprofits and have instructional booths at events such as Girls In Science. The firm also works with Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity in Evergreen, providing architectural services and build-day volunteers.