Launch Slideshow

Tysen/Hunter Residences, Brisbane, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

word on the street, redux

last year's "lowdown on the downturn" firms revisited.

word on the street, redux

last year's "lowdown on the downturn" firms revisited.

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

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    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

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    Reader & Swartz Architects

    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

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    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

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    Reader & Swartz Architects

    Lake Holiday House, Cross Junction, Va., by Reader & Swartz Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Diversion Lake Camp, Medina, Texas, by Michael G. Imber Architects

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    Diversion Lake Camp, Medina, Texas, by Michael G. Imber Architects

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    Michael G. Imber Architects

    Diversion Lake Camp, Medina, Texas, by Michael G. Imber Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Turnberry Way Library, San Antonio, by Michael G. Imber Architects

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    Turnberry Way Library, San Antonio, by Michael G. Imber Architects

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    Michael G. Imber Architects

    Turnberry Way Library, San Antonio, by Michael G. Imber Architects
  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Vermont Cabin, Jamaica, Vt., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

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    Vermont Cabin, Jamaica, Vt., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

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    Resolution: 4 Architecture

    Vermont Cabin, Jamaica, Vt., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Long Beach Cottage, Long Beach, N.Y., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

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    Long Beach Cottage, Long Beach, N.Y., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

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    Resolution: 4 Architecture

    Long Beach Cottage, Long Beach, N.Y., by Resolution: 4 Architecture

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Barboro Flats, Memphis, Tenn., by Looney Ricks Kiss

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    Barboro Flats, Memphis, Tenn., by Looney Ricks Kiss

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    Looney Ricks Kiss Architects

    Barboro Flats, Memphis, Tenn., by Looney Ricks Kiss Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Lugar Tower Apartments, Indianapolis, by Looney Ricks Kiss

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    Lugar Tower Apartments, Indianapolis, by Looney Ricks Kiss

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    Looney Ricks Kiss Architects

    Lugar Tower Apartments, Indianapolis, by Looney Ricks Kiss Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Private Residence, Grand Rapids, Mich., by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

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    Private Residence, Grand Rapids, Mich., by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

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    Albertsson Hansen Architecture

    Private Residence, Grand Rapids, Mich., by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Guest Cabin, Michigan, by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

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    Guest Cabin, Michigan, by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

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    Albertsson Hansen Architecture

    Guest Cabin, Michigan, by Albertsson Hansen Architecture

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    UC Davis West Village Square Mixed-Use, Davis, Calif., by Studio E Architects

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    UC Davis West Village Square Mixed-Use, Davis, Calif., by Studio E Architects

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    Studio E Architects

    UC Davis West Village Square Mixed-Use, Davis, Calif., by Studio E Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    90 Archer Affordable Housing, San Jose, Calif, by Studio E Architects

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    90 Archer Affordable Housing, San Jose, Calif, by Studio E Architects

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    Studio E Architects

    90 Archer Affordable Housing, San Jose, Calif., by Studio E Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    South Lincoln/10th and Osage Redevelopment, Denver, by Mithun

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    South Lincoln/10th and Osage Redevelopment, Denver, by Mithun

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    Mithun

    South Lincoln/10th and Osage Redevelopment, Denver, by Mithun

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Cabaña at Roanti Orchards and Vineyards, Glen Ellen, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

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    Cabaña at Roanti Orchards and Vineyards, Glen Ellen, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

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    Edward Caldwell Photography

    Cabaña at Roanti Orchards and Vineyards, Glen Ellen, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Tysen/Hunter Residences, Brisbane, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

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    Tysen/Hunter Residences, Brisbane, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

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    Arkin Tilt Architects

    Tysen/Hunter Residences, Brisbane, Calif., by Arkin Tilt Architects

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    South Gilpin Townhomes, Denver, by Sprocket Design-Build

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    South Gilpin Townhomes, Denver, by Sprocket Design-Build

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    Portal Imageworks

    South Gilpin Townhomes, Denver, by Sprocket Design-Build

  • "Word on the Street" Architects' Recent Work

    Single-Family Residence, Chicago

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    Single-Family Residence, Chicago

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    Studio Dwell Architects

    Single-Family Residence, Chicago, by Studio Dwell Architects

If there ever was a year of living dangerously, 2009 was it. In the aftermath of the economic crash, residential architect’s January/February 2009 issue featured “Word on the Street,” a snapshot of how 10 firms were coping with dwindling projects and budgets. As they girded for the worst, most firms painfully pared staff and slashed expenses.

As a new year begins, we checked in to see how those architects fared in 2009 and how they see 2010 shaping up. All made tough decisions and survived what was likely the worst year of their careers, but they lamented the breakup of talented teams, networks, and business relationships. Some firms have moved from holding on to holding steady, and there are incremental increases in activity.

Consumer confidence is up, judging by a perkier custom home market. Until lending thaws, though, few foresee a quick uptick in developer-led projects for 2010. Architects are starting to exhale, but their fingers are still crossed.