Rivers Barden Architects is a Houston-based architectural practice with a focus on residential as well as small commercial and civic projects.
In an essay entitled The Hedgehog and the Fox, Isaiah Berlin quotes the Greek poet Archilochus, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Berlin 7). The essay was written as a commentary on Leo Tolstoy’s view of history, however, the text can offer an understanding for how one might practice architecture as well. For us, this understanding reveals itself in perceiving the environment as a fox and believing in it as a hedgehog. Perceiving the environment as a fox requires “plenty of full light” (Albers) and a methodical rigor aimed at exploring forces and processes including climate, culture, economy, atmosphere, and material.
Believing in the environment as a hedgehog requires a confidence and trust that the projects we build and discussions we nurture “feel the pull of life” (Martin 159) and contribute positively to the world around us.
Albers, Josef. Poems and Drawings. Ed. Nicholas Fox Weber. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. Print.
Berlin, Isaiah. The Hedgehog and the Fox; an Essay on Tolstoy's View of History. New York: Mentor Books, 1957. Print.
Martin, Agnes and Briony Fer. Agnes Martin. Ed. Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell. London: D. A. P./Tate, 2015. Print.
Joe Rivers, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Joe Rivers is a founding principal at Rivers Barden Architects. He has previously worked at Gensler and a few other small firms in both Houston and North Carolina. He also serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Now, a licensed architect, Joe began as a laborer for a general contractor, working his way up to carpenter, before returning to school and finishing his architectural studies. He holds a Master of Architecture from North Carolina State in Raleigh, a Master of Construction Management from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University in College Station. He apprenticed at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture for a year, and studied at the Prague Institute for a semester.
Joe bought the house he grew up in from his parents, where he now lives with his wonderful wife and their two dogs. He enjoys cooking and canoeing in his spare time.
Kevin Barden, AIA
Kevin Barden is a founding principal of Rivers Barden Architects. Prior to Rivers Barden, Kevin worked for Atelier Peter Zumthor and Partner, Olson Kundig Architects as well as firms in Minnesota, San Francisco, and Houston. Beyond the professional realm, Kevin has been a Part-Time Faculty member at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, a Workshop Instructor at Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd School of Architecture, and most recently a Part-Time Faculty member at the University of Houston. Kevin received a Master of Architecture from the Chur Institute of Architecture in association with the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, Germany and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. Prior to completing his undergraduate studies, he was an apprentice at Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd School of Architecture in Scottsdale, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin. He is a licensed architect in the states of California and Texas. Recently married, Kevin and his wife enjoy traveling near and far as well as going on walks with their dog; a “porky” Yorkie named Brinkley who prefers his food peppered with parmesan cheese.
Awards + Citations
March, 2017ArkxSite – Site Dwelling CompetitionHonorable MentionSite Dwelling Winners
December, 2016ArchDaily – 2016 Architecture Holiday Card ChallengeFavoriteHoliday Card Best Submissions
718 Richmond Ave. Houston, TX 77006 (281) 845-9801 email@example.com
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