Barry was drawn to architecture because it combined so many of his interests: imagining, drawing, communicating, storytelling. And it’s not just about making things. For Barry it’s about making something that serves a meaningful purpose. This drives him and unites his talents, bringing them to a larger stage.
After graduating from Yale and some time spent as a journeyman, Barry launched Svigals + Partners in 1983, aiming to be “of service in the world”– something his grandfather encouraged. He began to cultivate an environment where imagination serves human needs, in the broadest sense. The work starts with the functional demands of architecture, then quickly opens up to include the oft-forgotten inspirational needs. Barry’s love of sculpture complements this dimension, helping to express the highest aspirations of individuals and institutions, and engaging people with an intimate relationship to their surroundings.
Barry considers architecture a team sport: “serious play with others.” His role, in addition to overseeing design quality, is to inspire his collaborators, to nourish each interaction, to create an atmosphere of respect. Barry believes that how we are moment to moment truly determines the results of our work.
What You Might Not Know
Barry, who studied under an Ecole de Beaux Arts legend, has started a few collaborative meetings by asking participants to remove their shoes.
Barry enjoys a parallel career as a rock star. Ask him, "What kind of rock music is it?" and he'll reply,"Loud."