Our Origins

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 Seward, ASID, became a principal, adding interior design to our services. 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.

Our Philosophy

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.

Key Principles


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 has been a director of AIA Arizona and a member of AIA’s National Energy Task Force. He served on the City of Phoenix Visual Improvement Committee, Arizona State University’s Design Review Board and ASU’s Architecture Guild, contributing to the liaison between design values and community goals. On behalf of the Arizona Architects Foundation, he directed a State of Arizona funded research grant to develop building energy design guidelines.

A New Chapter

As part of our commitment to customer service, longtime team members Terri Hanshew and Crystal Luong became partners in 2016. Crystal worked closely with partner Phil Quidort for over a decade before taking over for Phil when he retired at the beginning of 2017. Terri has over 30 years of business management experience and continues to oversee the day to day operations of the company including business and financial management. These new roles reflect the dedication that Terri and Crystal have shown to our clients, colleagues and company.