Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynne Giesecke and James Royce.
Lynne and James, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We worked together at another firm for about 5 years focusing mostly on large scale institutional projects (Universities, campus work) before going out on our own. For a number of reasons, we decided to make the leap in 2011 and launch our own firm. It was a major (and terrifying) step to start a business in the midst of an economic downturn but we embraced it as an opportunity and made the leap. James had been invited for a one-week residency by the Cape Cod Modern House Trust so we used the time to do some soul-searching about a vision for the firm and how to establish some guiding principles. Most importantly we wanted to establish a studio environment with a collaborative, creative spirit and a progressive approach rather than it being about us or any personal design preferences.
So while residing in a mid-century modernist house within the National Seashore, we hatched the idea for Studio 2112 (twenty-one twelve). People frequently ask about the name…we wanted the firm to be a studio and not just about us so we didn’t want to involve our names nor a metaphor of nature as is frequently done. The name was derived from a concept album by the band Rush. A bit obscure for a design firm but the album’s core message was about individuality and freedom of expression and those ideas are critical to our design practice. James is also a drummer and a lifelong fan of the band so the name spoke to us. We saw this as our chance to work in a way that was authentic to us which relates to the concept of the 2112 album.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Certainly not! We started the firm in 2011 at the tail end of the worldwide financial crisis and essentially with no clients or work in hand, so it was a grassroots effort from the start. We initially leased a few desks from some architect friends and eventually leased our own modest space for the first few years. We were accustomed to working on large-scale projects at our previous firm but quickly learned that there is not a lot of credit given for anything you may have done previously. We had to start from the bottom to earn peoples’ trust before they were willing to hire us for anything significant. We were lucky to have had some pioneering clients so were able to get a few projects built and start to establish business relationships on our own. We had a big break when we received a call from an architect who Lynne had worked with previously and that led to several major residential commissions. This enabled us to establish the firm while we slowly gained some recognition in the highly competitive Boston design market.
As owners and managers, we realized how many different hats we must wear and that we are the bottom line for everything. That can be daunting but as the business has grown we have built strong supportive teams within the office to offset that stress. It’s the group effort which supports the original vision for the firm; a committed group of designers striving to do their best work for every client, explore design ideals and create some beautiful, ecological spaces as we go. We always want to do great work and be great to work with.
Please tell us about Studio 2112 Landscape Architecture.
As landscape architects, we consider ourselves primarily as creative problem solvers. Many people still think we deal only with plants but the profession has evolved significantly to the point where it is a very multidisciplinary and collaborative design process. Our work is very diverse and we are involved with everything from residences, schools and universities to sculpture gardens, memorials, parks of all scales and landscapes as/within large infrastructure projects.
The design profession is finally recognizing landscape as a medium for urban design, for its significant environmental benefits and for its critical role in the health of people in cities.
We have a specialty in landscapes over the structure, technical and complex designs which require a very high level of coordination and detailing. Our primary focus is providing appropriate design solutions that are tailored to our clients and the project requirements. We’re not looking to impose design preferences on a project but rather find the right solution and design an intervention that is just enough to implement it effectively and sustainably. Most of all we want to be known as a creative, collaborative and innovative firm with exceptional client service and a good sense of humor.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
For Lynne, it probably involves either guinea pigs or cookies. For James, likely drumming or dirt bike riding…..
- Address: 840 Summer Street Suite 102, Boston, MA 02127
- Website: www.studio2112la.com
- Phone: 857.350.3856
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @Studio2112LA
Studio 2112 Landscape Architecture