Metcalfe Architecture & Design is a Philadelphia firm of sixteen architects, artists, graphics designers, and planners; focusing on exhibition design & wayfinding and architecture for cultural, non-profit, education, retail, and food service clients. We have developed a design approach which emphasizes the power of social spaces and informal education as vehicles for learning.
Experience has shown us the importance of researching an organization's mission, identity, and history before starting design work. We extend this inquiry to designated end-users, until we understand their needs. Our work as exhibit designers has shown us the power of listening carefully to clients & end users to develop a strong narrative that drives our designs - be they architecture, exhibit, or wayfinding.
Metcalfe Architecture & Design has a particular sensitivity to craft and construction. Alan Metcalfe spent 12 years as a contractor and cabinetmaker before completing his architectural education. Aaron Goldblatt was trained as a metal sculptor and potter before turning his attention to learning environments. He has also worked on the client side as a museum administrator, overseeing construction projects, and as an independent school teacher. The other members of our firm also have hands-on experience with designing and building, as well as teaching.
Our role is to help our clients reach their goals. Significant experience on the client side of the table has taught us the importance of listening. Our projects succeed only when we make ongoing and long-term operations central to the design process.