This is a door

Managing Partner, Katie Barnes, frequently shares a lesson of meeting a client “where they are.” Katie was at a client workshop presenting the big picture design for a new recreation center. She was elaborating on all the design concept details—the open and welcoming façade, the use of natural light throughout the facility, the large lounge space designed to serve as the community’s ‘living room’— when abruptly the client pointed to something on the floor plan. “Yeah, yeah that all sounds great, but what does this mean? I see it all over the floorplans.” He pointed to two lines on the floor plan, the architectural symbol for a door.

After telling this anecdote for years, it has become engrained into BRS’s culture as a reminder to slow down, consider your audience, not make assumptions, and remove jargon. A client may not be where we are. We’re passionate about our work and, as a result, love to go on tangents about design, the inspiration behind it, and how we're solving all the clients' problems, but sometimes that client’s mind is consumed wondering what a symbol means before they can listen to anything else.

This lesson was the inspiration behind our new website. We want to be more than pretty pictures and high-minded design. We want to communicate honestly and transparently about what we do and who we are and to have a little fun along the way.

“Excuse me, uh, why do you have an outer space theme on your home page?”

Great question—Welcome to the BRSiverse, we are out of this world! We've been fortunate with 47 years of inspirational clients all over the United States (Europe too!), resulting in some spectacular projects that we are eager to share. As you ‘scroll down’ to earth and our collective community you will see some of our featured projects.

The biggest change you’ll notice is a focus in what we do. On our old site, we listed 12 categories of all the different types of projects we had experience with including cultural, mixed-use, municipal, hospitality and education. For the last 15 years our focus has been on recreation and community design, and we wanted our new site to reflect that expertise. Click on the symbols under the project page to choose how to see our portfolio – grid view, map view or list view; inclusive of some historic projects.

Next, you’ll find the Services page that speaks to what we do in an easily understandable way for an approachable introduction to architecture—from entry level recreation professionals to seasoned veterans. We break our services into three parts, Planning, Design and People Inspired Process. Click into the “accordion folder” tabs on the left to explore more.

As you explore you will find a newly organized Team page with all staff listed on one page. Need to contact a principal or our marketing staff? Click on the buttons to filter who you want to see, by role. Click on a staff member to learn about their superpowers, find their contact information and learn a fun fact or two! Kristi taught Taekwondo—who knew?!

While you’re at it, explore our Insights page. Insights is our newly minted blog where you will be able to find useful information, case studies and tidbits about the recreation industry and happenings around the office.

Want to brush up on your BRS history? Our About page contains our story, gives a sneak peek into our office culture, and is where we post open positions.

Ready to dive deep into a project? Our newly designed Project pages contain pictures, sketches, renderings, videos, and all the necessary items to share insights from the design process with you. Each page celebrates the unique people-inspired work that we do and tells a story about the project’s design. Click into a photo to quickly flip through the album of images.

Throughout the entire site we hope you notice the shift from architecture to community and how we accomplish that through innovative engagement. We will continue to strive to communicate and “meet you where you are.” Our new site reflects our personality and values, we hope you stay a while and get to know us. When you’re done, let us know what you think, drop our Communications Manager, Eric, an email at

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