In 1978, Hugh Knoell, AIA and Phillip Quidort, AIA opened a small studio to create architecture sensitive to people and place, beyond the confines of stylistic trends. In 1997, Sandra Evans Seward, ASID, became a principal, adding interior design to our services. As part of KQ’s next chapter, the firm added partners Terri Hanshew and Crystal Luong, AIA Associate in 2016, and Jack Leonard, AIA in 2019. The decision to keep the firm small is based on how we could be most effective, while nurturing opportunity, learning and accomplishment. Over the past four decades, we have been faithful to our initial goals, embraced an ever changing profession and grown with it.
While our projects are diverse in type—residential, healthcare, educational, corporate and non-profit—they share a common thread: our clients are involved and invested; they expect our participation to help them succeed, and their properties and the surrounding environment to be enhanced.
Each project addresses the problem to be solved in its unique context. In a natural setting we draw from climate and landscape. In an urban or campus environment, we look for an appropriate identity that strengthens the fabric. In existing structures, we build on their best qualities and adapt them for new endeavors. Contemporary in spirit, our architecture does not forget the lessons of those have gone before us.
Our work in sustainable and energy conscious design is an expression of our principles. To achieve solutions specific to context, we search for harmony with climate and topography. We take care that our sites are developed with minimum disruption of their inherent qualities and of their surroundings. We promote the effective use of regional materials, conservation of water resources, and healthy interiors with daylight and views. We believe that designing with climate means more than energy efficiency; it enriches architecture, offering a better quality of life and the enjoyment of place. Our long term commitment to environmentally sensitive design has allowed us to reach beyond local boundaries.
We enjoy a reputation of integrity and professionalism within the community and with planning, zoning and building officials in the various municipalities.
Hugh Knoell set a precedent of community involvement within and outside of the firm, including with AIA Arizona, the City of Phoenix, and Arizona State University’s architecture program. Jack Leonard continues to build on this heritage with his own involvement in the local community. Jack serves as AIA State Treasurer, is a member of the City of Phoenix’s Leadership Committee for the General Plan Update, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Local First Arizona.