Cunningham | Quill Architects, located at Canal Square in historic Georgetown, provides complete professional services in the fields of architecture, community planning, and urban design. Our diverse portfolio celebrates context and reflects a fresh and insightful approach to design and master planning that has led to numerous-award winning projects.
Founded by Ralph Cunningham, FAIA and Lee Quill, FAIA, CNU in 1996, our Founding Principals bring over fifty years of experience to the practice and leadership of the firm. Together they have shaped a unique design sensibility whose well-rounded approach has helped the firm develop substantially over time. Having grown from two people to over twenty, Cunningham | Quill Architects has established a firm culture in which mentorship, collaboration, design exploration, and social responsibility are essential components to our continued success.
From master plans to interior renovations, Cunningham | Quill Architects uses an approach tailored to the unique demands of every project. The firm strives to achieve excellence in design through rigorous attention to detail. Sometimes the most appropriate design involves an innovative, contemporary solution, while in other instances we adhere to traditional building precedents. Some of our designs transform their surroundings while others are seamless additions that reinforce the existing architecture or natural features. The common element in all our projects is design excellence. Whether we defer to context and history or break the mold with inventive designs, our ultimate goal is to create architecture that enhances its sense of place.
Our design process involves the close examination of every aspect of a project. Embedded within the culture of Cunningham | Quill Architects is a belief that good design and the sound planning of projects positively impacts the greater environment. In order to build sensitively within a particular place, we study its natural features as thoroughly as the neighboring built environment, along with its history, culture, and the people in the surrounding community. Our process encourages the exploration of numerous design solutions, investigating sustainable strategies at all scales. We use hand sketches, computer drawings, and physical modeling to illustrate and refine all design decisions.
No less important to the process is close communication with the client. We work with each client from the inception of a project through its completion. Our collaborative process allows us to discover what the parameters should be, and how we can work together to realize our common goal. The project is a synthesis of the client’s sensibilities and our design expertise.
In order to create architecture and successful plans that serve not only the client, but also everyone affected by the project, Cunningham | Quill actively engages the community and other interested individuals as part of the design process. Whether working with the client, public officials, or the community, our design process is interactive, inclusive, and visually oriented. We focus on creative problem solving and the solicitation of input from various stakeholders. Through this process, a sense of community with the stakeholders evolves, ensuring a greater understanding of the design and economic determinants of a project.
Cunningham | Quill Architects is not only committed to enhancing the communities in which we live and work through architecture, but also through long-term involvement. Building on the firm’s values, employees regularly give back to the community through individual outreach and service. Staff members regularly volunteer with a range of organizations dedicated to education, physical improvements, and well-being. Many staff members have also taken leadership roles within these organizations such as Architects in the Schools, the District of Columbia Building Industry Association, Hands on DC, Hopkins House, and the Washington Architectural Foundation.
Our office has also completed several pro-bono projects, assisting non-profit organizations to meet the needs of their communities. The goal of enriching the local environment is both a professional and personal commitment.