25 years +
Kiss + Cathcart - Gregory Kiss, Colin Cathcart, and their team -
have been practicing innovative, high-performance architecture for
more than 25 years. Since graduating from the Columbia University
School of Architecture and Planning in 1983, our work has been marked
by innovation, technological adventure, and geographic and typological
Starting in 1983, a series of projects to design manufacturing facilities
for the then-infant photovoltaic industry demanded a highly pragmatic,
problem solving approach, which included laying out production processes,
as well as helping to define the solar products themselves. We had
to find ways to take these factories beyond functional, low-cost
machines to the level of “architecture” without spending extra money,
beginning a fascination with technology and tough, economical design.
To make these facilities effective in terms of their most important
and highest-cost component - the work force - each consumed a great
deal of thought about the quality of the workplace, as well as the
factory’s presence in its urban or suburban context.
It was also immediately apparent that the solar materials produced
in these factories were similar to building materials, and so began
our efforts to integrate the two. The early work in photovoltaic
technology sensitized us as well to related aspects of the environment:
daylighting, views, natural ventilation, water and waste issues.
In the years since, Kiss + Cathcart have worked on project types
from apartments and single family houses to infrastructure, housing,
and civic buildings, in locations across the US and around the world.
We have also performed research and technical studies, collaborated
with industry on product design and optimization, and have pioneered
a number of building technologies and products.
Although it did not begin as a conscious plan, this work became
a process, a continuous working out of technical, artistic, and functional
issues. Most of our projects have been challenging on multiple levels,
and many have employed first-of-their-kind solutions. Some would
label the result “green” or “sustainable”, but our motivation has
always been simply to create good architecture: productive