Working with Robert A. M. Stern, One of the Top US Architects

One of the highlights of my career was working with Robert A. M. Stern, one of the top US architects. I had admired his work for many years and so it was with great pleasure when our firm was selected to collaborate with RAMSA (as his firm is called) on a monster project called the Resort at the Meadowlands, located in New Jersey, directly across the Hudson River from New York City.

As you can see by the photos, we are in RAMSA’s office in NYC reviewing a clay model of the resort with Mr. Stern critiquing and directing the design. RAMSA’s designers are in the room as well as Kennedy & Associates, a Seattle based pension trust fund. Jensen Fey had previously completed several projects with Kennedy & Associates including W Hotels in San Diego and San Jose as well as the Hyatt Regency in Mission Bay. The success of those projects gave Kennedy & Associates comfort in pairing our firm with RAMSA on this large resort project consisting of twin high rise hotel towers, retail and housing located next to a brand new 27 hole Jack Nicklaus golf course. It is typical for RAMSA to collaborate with another architecture firm with whom they trust to maintain the integrity of their design through construction documents and finally construction. Our relationship with RAMSA was a good one and we were later asked to collaborate with them on another resort project in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Since then, we have used this collaboration technique to work with other top design firms around the country. Most recently, for the Thompson hotel, we teamed with a Seattle design firm, Olson Kundig Architects. To do this successfully, we put our egos aside and work together for the betterment of the client and the project. We continue to watch for collaboration opportunities as a method of bringing our expertise in the hospitality industry to other top design firms and clients.

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