An award like AIA Charlotte’s 2023 Firm of the Year is insignificant unless there is true grit and reasoning behind the subject. Our firm works daily to improve the well-being of our employees, projects, community, and profession. We are proud every day to be BB+M and want to congratulate every employee who helped our firm achieve this recognition!
At BB+M Architecture we find joy in the process of creating unique places & spaces and deepening our relationships with clients and partners. With our focus on design, we surround ourselves with opportunities for continued education, giving back to the community, and serving our profession. We believe the pillar of doing good work with good people serves us well and in turn, affords us the opportunity to better ourselves and the community inside and outside of the office.
We take design very seriously, but our solutions are for and about our clients. The passion our team brings to the table for our craft is evident in our work. Our full-service team looks at every opportunity to create architecture considerate of the site, materiality, and local design language through a variety of project types: Multifamily, Office, Mixed-Use, Interiors, Senior Living, Institutional, Retail, Hospitality, Adaptive Reuse. We hope our work is esteemed by the profession and appreciated by the community.
Our multi-family projects include exteriors and interiors that are aesthetically pleasing, regardless of if it’s a sleek urban high-rise or a serene garden-style apartment community. Our housing is designed with the resident in mind instead of just designing for whimsy. We love conceptualizing residential architecture and give thought to how a user moves from street to door to find their sanctuary within.
Designing modern commercial workplaces is a fun challenge to balance function, style, character, efficiency and flow. We endeavor to stay true to the brand vision while sticking out from the crowd to provide offices that every company covets. This ultimately helps those businesses grow and recruit talent. Whether it’s a half-million-square-foot headquarters or a smaller niche urban office development, our architects relentlessly focus on design to be high-performing, flexible buildings that command higher rents.
We design spaces that are ergonomic, stimulating, flexible, and productive while also creating “Instaworthy” hotel lobbies and best-in-class amenity centers residents adore. The BB+M interiors team creates inspirational interior design and seeks premiere vendors to incorporate top new trends. Architecture and Interiors work as a tightly integrated team to make our projects coherent from exterior to interior.
We strive to educate, collaborate, and develop our unique design style. One mechanism for this is through ‘design charettes’. In these recurring meetings, the project is presented wholistically with the primary goal to obtain input from the entire firm regarding specific design challenges identified by the project team. This process gives our projects a remarkable amount of professional design exposure, while simultaneously encouraging designers to sharpen their analysis, design, and communication skills.
While the forefront of our designs is centered around client success, awards are an added bonus. The awards our projects receive validate our ethos to create authentic, purposeful, and creative designs. A few of our most notable projects, winning a combination of AIA, NAIOP, and IIDA awards, include The Refinery, Camp North End – Gama Goat, and The Murray (see ‘Additional Information’ for a list of all awards).
The Refinery with its challenging infill site, due to its triangular shape and local flood zone, is a 5-story, industrial-style office building featuring patinaed steel accents in the revitalized Freemore West district of Charlotte.
Camp North End’s “Gama Goat” building was an abandoned warehouse, like many others on the site, now beaming as a revitalized hub for creativity and innovation as a 152,000 sf adaptively reused office and retail space.
The Murray, tucked within the longleaf pine forests of Charleston, SC, represents a new generation of multifamily living with its “Lowcountry meets industrial” style amenity building that sets the tone of a luxury hotel.
These awards celebrate our team’s success in collaboration and overcoming challenges and the partnerships we build with clients, contractors & consultants.
At BB+M, our culture of compassion extends beyond our office walls. Recognizing the varied needs in our community, our employees participate in a wide range of initiatives.
Over the years, we’ve participated in Barkitecture, a non-profit organization that hosts an annual pet house design/build competition. As a team who has “Furry Fridays”, inviting a dog into the office every week, our team thrives at this event to help our communities’ furry friends.
Another annual initiative in Charlotte, WeCare, has involved our employees hosting a table of crafts for children at The Boys and Girls Club, creating gifts for their families during the holidays.
BB+M happily gives our team members hours to use toward any volunteer events every year. It’s up to each person if they want to join in any or all of the multiple events like Habitat for Humanity, CANstruction, ACE, Maggis Puppy, Hospitality House, Bags of Hope, and more. The eagerness of our team is evident when they participate by choice, with every event full of volunteers and never mandatory. In fact, most of the team exceeds their available hours and gives in their own time above and beyond.
In 2023, BB+M set up our largest initiative yet, partnering with A Better World, an inner-city after-school program, created to allow for a safe environment for at-risk youth. Five of the BB+M team members have a reading buddy for the entire school year, meeting weekly to do homework, practice reading, and show consistent support. On the first volunteer day at A Better World, the BB+M employees purged classrooms, the library & offices, cleaned the rooms, removed unused items, and then organized and filled the shelves again. Each book was returned to the library with a color-coded sticker to allow the children to pick the appropriate reading level. The second day this fall will be an outdoor volunteer event, partnering with a landscape architect to work on cleaning up bushes and sidewalks, and painting the parking lot to add versatile “sidewalk chalk” like games, as well as adding a new basketball hoop! There is no end date for this partnership, but rather an exciting future to help their community thrive for the kids that need it.
Some of our projects have a lasting impact on the community as well. One, in particular, is One Place, a non-profit that provides vital programs and services to thousands of children and families. From preventing child abuse to connecting families with high-quality child care, their goal is to support every child who calls Onslow County home. The new 33,680 square-foot, two-story building located in Jacksonville, North Carolina will be creating a holistic community with expanded space for community training, trauma-informed mental health services, and additional forensic medical exams for child abuse victims. With a new permanent home, the non-profit will have a profound impact on the future of the community and prepare the next generation for a healthier, more vibrant tomorrow.
The BB+M team wants to make a sustained impact in the community, not just one-off events. By establishing long-term partnerships, we contribute to the stability and growth of the organizations we support. Our purpose is to touch the lives of the people we serve, as they also leave a large impact on each of us.
BB+M is committed to consistently using many different methods to improve skill levels amongst all levels of staff. For more than a decade, the firm has hosted a “Tuesday Before” session on the morning of every Tuesday with the idea of presenting a new or refreshed topic to the office for one hour each week. All levels of experience are encouraged to participate or lead sessions and sessions are typically multi-disciplinary between architecture, interior design, and construction administration. The topics range from design assist discussions and code-related challenges to stair design and edge-of-slab plans. In some cases, special guests from our consulting firms or general contractors are invited to speak and lead discussions. These sessions, once complete, are archived for future use and reference. Additionally, the firm also hosts a separate, more tailored session for new or less experienced staff. These “onboarding sessions” are aimed at providing a deeper look into firm processes, standards, and general operating procedures.
While in-office sessions and experience are valuable, sometimes being out in the field is even more so. With a dedicated Construction Administration team, the firm invites all staff to monthly site visits to projects in varying stages of construction. The idea is to expose staff to new project types, and design methods, or to just get out to the field to see how a drawing translates to reality. The site visits are well attended and can range from projects just starting concrete work to MEP installation up to applying final finishes.
The consistency and deliberate nature in which BB+M strives to improve staff knowledge has led to a high number of licensed staff. The firm provides resources for ARE studying and a group of staff in the midst of testing regularly meet to review topics. With 31 licensed architects, BB+M is currently 3rd in number of licensed architects amongst all firms in Charlotte [Charlotte Business Journal], and 7th in North Carolina [Triangle Business Journal].
-Service to the Profession-
BB+M recognizes that the practice of Architecture goes well beyond any individual project. Through practice, we partner with builders, owners, local officials, trade partners, and design & planning organizations – a truly broad swath! We understand that the knowledge gained through these partnerships affords us the ability to grow as professionals, but we also recognize the reality that we don’t just represent BB+M, we represent the profession.
Because of this, BB+M encourages professionals to be active in not just the AIA, but also organizations adjacent to the practice of Architecture. In recent years we have had participants in the AIA’s Young Architects Forum, promoted BB+M emerging professionals through AIA Charlotte’s Project Showcase, and provided speakers to AIA-sponsored panels.
One leader served as President of NCIDQ in 2022, and another served as a ULI panelist. Our professionals have served as the Keynote Speaker during an ASID Carolinas meeting and presented a case study for high-performing facades at a convention focused on façade design. BB+M professionals have led multiple tours of BB+M projects at the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Environments for Aging Conferences. Many of these tours provided AIA credits to attendees and showcased innovations such as large-scale adaptive reuse, forward-thinking approaches to housing older generations, and a carless apartment community.
BB+M has always valued academic contributions to professional practice and has demonstrated this through our scholarship at UNC-Charlotte. Many professionals serve as jurors and one BB+M professional splits his time between professional practice and his role as an Adjunct Professor.
The firm was awarded Mecklenburg County’s Code Hero award in 2022 proving a commitment and dedication to professional practice, but also demonstrating a true working relationship with County officials.
While certainly proud of these achievements, BB+M believes it’s our responsibility as design professionals to continue to broaden our experience, serve and continually promote the profession.