Handel Architects Reviews

Updated August 10, 2015
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3.6
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Gary Edward Handel
10 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to learn

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Can get a lot of experience early on if you ask for it.

    Cons

    They could be more transparent with how the firm runs as well they could be better when it comes to standards used in the office.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Potentially a great place to work; also potentially terrible

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of freedom to grow and develop if you're lucky to have a good manager. There are a few managers that will give you opportunities to learn and empower you to raise your status. The office can give generous bonuses during successful years. They also try (but usually fail) to create a positive and lax work environment. The happy hour on Fridays creates an appearance of camaraderie, but really it's surface deep. Most people have too much work to actually attend.

    Cons

    Many of the managers (senior associates) are TERRIBLE. These are folks who merely stuck around long enough to get a promotion, but really lack communication skills and management skills. Quite a few are temperamental and fail to give clear direction. The office's practice of promoting loyal employees or talented designers should be a good thing, but because there have been so many senior associates with poor management skills, the most talented staff end up leaving before reaching senior associate status. This creates a revolving door environment that the partners probably like to tell themselves filters out the lazy/poorly equipped staff but more realistically filters out the most ambitious and hungry designers leaving just the timid and ambivalent staff to remain. Also HR could offer more solutions to these issues but remains typically silent//powerless.

    Advice to Management

    Look to promote staff that are responsible and have good relationships with their fellow team members. Too many senior associates are terrible at communicating and generally unpleasant to work with. This has been the clearest reason why talented designers have been leaving. Also the happy hours are a waste of time and resources. A better use would be to have all-hands meetings where various design teams present their work to allow the office as a whole to connect with other projects. Opening up projects to critical feedback from other teams would enrich the design process immensely. Also loosen up on the vacation days. Run some experiments to see what happens when you give staff more time off. Two weeks initially then three weeks after ten years does not sound appealing to anyone.


  3. Helpful (1)

    A place that offers real opportunities

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Overall it was a great experience on every level. Very friendly and hard working people across the board. Experienced teams that will help you grow among them and will also allow a lot of initiative. Lots of opportunities are provided along with plenty of responsibilities. Excellent support and on hand collaboration on every phase of the projects from SD to CA.

    Cons

    As with most architectural offices the long hours. Not too frequent though.


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  5. "One man show without standard. Like a fish market...."

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect
    Former Employee - Architect
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flashy work. Upper management is skilled and competitive. Well known architectural projects.

    Cons

    Minimal investment on staff, staff resources or the firm in general. Short term approach to problems. This also affects their architectural work. But since their clients are speculative real estate developers, it does not matter. Top and upper management is skilled and competitive. Mid level is not skilled (when the firm does not invest on you, what can you do?). Unprofessional with clients. Presentation to clients are often misleading (biased evaluation etc).

    Advice to Management

    Please look at the firm as an institution not a shop. You are an architect not a Mafia Don. Work with ethics and honor.


  6. Rewarding

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A real sense of teamwork and a great office culture that encourages collaboration. There's opportunities to work on projects at all stages of design and then to see those buildings being built - very rewarding.

    Cons

    Late hours sometimes, but with advance notice so it's not onerous.


  7. Been happy at Handel for many, many years

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Been at firm for 10+ years and have had lots of opportunity for growth. Handel encourages individual responsibility and independent thinking/problem solving. Firm has a high rate of projects that get built - very gratifying to see your design/work effort pay off in the field. Firm focuses a lot of energy on design and wants input from all team members.

    Cons

    Company is currently split on 2 floors. Plans to move to a bigger space are in the works.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more people.


  8. Invaluable and Tremendous Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    During my 17 months at the firm I had the opportunity to work on 4 amazing and challenging large-scale residential projects with great teams led by some of the most experienced partners and project managers I have ever worked with. Not only I found my training and experience at Handel Architects very fulfilling, I also gained the confidence to initiate my ARE examination process after getting exposed to so many different aspects of the profession in such a short amount of time. This office is filled with real and on-going projects all over New York City and beyond, led by some of the most competent and seasoned project managers. I did not experience many long days. The partners and project managers were understanding of personal commitments and responsibilities outside the office. The firm's name on my resume has gotten me a recognition that has helped me in my new academic and professional aspirations.

    Cons

    This field is intentionally left blank


  9. Good chance to learn and work on high profile projects

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time

    Pros

    Very open work environment, with accessible Partners. No one has an office, so there isn't the feeling of a strict hierarchy.

    Cons

    Office is a bit disorganized.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Worse experience ever

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Architect in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Large scale projects gaining experience in all phases . Schematic to CA.

    Cons

    Very bad management. Project managers are the biggest nurds ever seen in the industry, no design sense, very limited technical capabilities leaving architect with no real technical support. Project managers are administrator and nothing more. Copy paste is always their answer. No idea how they keep on getting such high profile projects. Spend 10 minutes with 80% of the project managers to know that this is a production architectural company and not a design company. Simply bad for those with real passion for architecture. And salaries...:) a joke but that's the industry. Not much room for growth unless slavery is something you enjoy and living poor and single until the age 50 is something you would enjoy as much. Benefits are ridiculous, no over time. Working hours are something very vague. Come at 9-9:30, leave next day is not that rare. The team I worked with was a bunch of amateurs. Most of them hard workers but very little experience, team work skills are at the lowest level. No collaboration at all. Everyone is responsible for one aspect of the project and interaction / help is very limited. Very much like the project managers - lack of interaction will help you not being responsible and stay away from trouble. Very much the mentality of our best politicians.

    Advice to Management

    Change it.


  11. Great work environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great atmosphere and very friendly workplace

    Cons

    Late hours every so often



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