Brillhart Architecture is borne out of a love for and facility with “making” things. In the natural course of development, tectonics, materiality and the logic of construction have become a primary focus of interest. Relying on a back-to-basics approach, we often study old models for future buildings, marrying archetypes and prototypes with new materials, fabrication and construction assemblies – all the while placing heavy emphasis on process as a means of furthering creativity and invention. The goal is to create a contemporary and dynamic building vocabulary that resuscitates the Ancient, celebrates the Modern, and foresees an architecture without big style.
Though the firm works on a diverse range of projects – including commercial and residential architecture as well as exhibitions, interiors, furniture, and other speculative research projects – a pragmatic building vocabulary, emphasis on tectonic potential, and ideas of craftsmanship are the common threads that link each project together.
The office also embraces a very hands-on, “knowledge-how” ethos that extends beyond design. Engaged in low-budget competitions, installations, and personal endeavors (such as our house) early on, we grew our firm by conceiving, designing, fabricating, assembling and constructing many things ourselves. In simply having to figure things out, we have become highly resourceful: regularly collaborating with outside disciplines; learning to maximize structural and material efficiencies; and seeking creative solutions to details that may be outside the industry defaults.
As a result, the firm has won numerous awards for design innovation, including AIA awards in 2008 and 2010, and competition winnings. Work has been featured in the New York Times, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Design Bureau, and the Miami Herald. Custom furniture pieces have also been included in the annual design show, Inventory, held during Design Miami and Art Basel.
The firm was founded by Jacob Brillhart in 2005, after he completed his Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. Jacob complements his practice by teaching design, freehand drawing, and architectural theory as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. A Gabriel Prize finalist in 2006 and 2007 and a finalist for the 2010 Rome Prize in Architecture, Brillhart has also served as the Favrot Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane University.