Robert Gray, Architect

Robert “Bob” Gray

Bachelor of Architecture – University of Virginia 1973
Dean’s list 1968-1973
Recipient American Institute of Architects Commendation 1973

Work experience
Shank and Gray Architects 1973-2016
Professional registration 1976
Design Instructor University of Virginia 1976
Board of Directors – Building Goodness Foundation
2011 – present
Carpenter, various small general contractors
1969- 1973
Hobbies: furniture making and painting (water color)

Architecture is about performance in construction.

This involves quality at all levels of the process. Logical rational design is just the beginning. I strive for structures that are light, uncluttered, have clarity of purpose and are thoughtfully arranged. Buildings must also be energy efficient and easy to maintain and this lives in the details. Clean modern design is carefully sited, has an awareness of the sun and the weather and avoids temporary fads and inscrutable details. It is about what is good, not just new.

The firm has been in practice since 1977 and has recently changed names with the retirement of Richard Shank. This is a small firm, with experience and attitude and I devote personal supervision to all my work. My primary goal is to provide rational and responsible construction. Toward that end I offer real world solutions that embrace the potential of compatible, easily maintained, and proven mechanical and structural systems.

The design dialogue between owner and architect will cut its own path. I do not employ a rigid methodology. I have found, however, that offering a carefully studied series of choices often facilitates the effort to find a solution, which is tailored to the client’s specific tastes and needs. We use a combination for tools, which include computer aided techniques combined with traditional hand drawn renderings and models. These capabilities are in-house and available for all our work.

Beyond thoughtful design, I bring the very real value of carefully compiled, comprehensive working drawings, prepared by experienced people, who have real construction exposure. It is here in the technical documents that the real value of architectural service resides. Cost control and quality are inextricably linked to comprehensive and complete construction documents.

This firm has completed an impressively broad range of work. We have successfully designed a number of restaurants and light industrial buildings, which display an obsession with logical function and crystal clear process.

I also have extensive experience in single family and multi-family housing at a variety of scales. In addition I have done several institutional and municipal buildings and been instrumental in the design and maintenance of one of the largest secure computer facilities in the region. The firm has completed a variety of homes designed to stand with our clients through time, programmed with intentional age-in-place strategies built in to the structures. I have also designed, over the span of a 30 year long relationship, the only new monastery in central Virginia. I celebrate the challenge of function, delight, and place that abides in each new project.

Over time I have developed a warm relationship with older buildings. It is a particular skill set that can breathe new life into aging structures. Worthy older homes and commercial buildings have qualities that make them distinct and give them a particular character. This firm embraces the art of renovation and re-purposing older buildings. This work is done with care, real respect, and a measured sense of whimsy.