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Meet Rick Corsini of Corsini Stark Architects

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Corsini.

Rick, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My partner Tony Stark (the architect, not the superhero) and I were undergrad classmates at Cal Poly Pomona. I went off to Harvard to study urban design and he went to work for the Jerde Partnership during its heyday. Years later I was working out of my house in Silver Lake (the Avenel Cooperative designed by Gregory Ain) and he was sharing space with another architect and mutual friend’s office nearby when a little storefront down the street came up for rent on Rowena Avenue.

I called him up to see if he was interested in sharing the space and we ended up there for eight years! We started out with our own small projects, then helped each other out on larger ones, then joined forces to pursue still larger new projects. We formed our official partnership twelve years ago. Since then our work has encompassed a restaurant and retail design (including concessions at LAX), creative workplaces, mixed-use urban infill buildings, often related to historic buildings, and the occasional custom home.

We’ve always been interested in the way buildings relate to one another to form social and public space. Multi-family housing is an important part of that interest. And we really get excited when we have the chance to relate historic buildings with new, contemporary buildings. The variations and tensions that come from that are really exciting and it’s what life in the big city is all about.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s seldom a smooth road as an architect, especially if you’re predisposed to new and interesting ideas. We always look for a clear, elegant solution to a particular problem and often the logic of the solution requires someone to reconsider their assumptions, whether its the client or groups within a client’s organization, a local design review board, irate neighbors, or building officials.

More often than not, a good idea prevails, but generally not without a lot of persuasive effort. But of course, this is what keeps what we do interesting! The most daunting challenge for us is managing our business and staff with the ebb and flow of the economy. It’s always a big challenge across our profession.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Corsini Stark Architects – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We do probably too many things, but we enjoy the variety and challenges. Historic preservation and adaptive reuse, especially related to new buildings, restaurants and retail design, office interiors, multi-family housing, custom homes. We’ve even designed a roller coaster at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

We have designed logos for our clients, developed graphics and signage programs for our restaurant and retail clients, and custom furniture and fixtures for particular projects.

Many of our projects require master planning as well. So we really thrive in looking at the big picture and the detail. The part-to-whole relationship is, in our mind, the key to quality design and relevance to the greater community.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love its hi-brow and lo-brow culture, ethnic diversity, food, climate, creativity.

I hate its dependence on the automobile and its energy-sapping low density.

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Image Credit:
Steve King

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