1 person found this helpful
I have been working at Laguarda Low Architects full-time for more than a year
Pros – Good projects, design and environment.
Cons – Long working hours,, and also during weekends sometimes
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
2012-08-10 22:53 PDT
2 people found this helpful
I worked at Laguarda Low Architects
Pros – Laguarda Low is a great place to work if you are a recent talented graduate and wish to add design experience to your portfolio. There is some limited opportunity for international travel and exposure to clients. The office is a pleasant though not inspiring place to work. Most of the staff is young and it is easy to make new friends. Overtime has been paid to all employees. This is intended as an incentive to work harder, but in the end, it is fair compensation for all the hours most people work. Because of the nature of the work, which is primarily international retail, commercial, and mixed use projects, the projects can be quite rewarding design-wise.
Cons – Laguarda Low can be a stifling environment. Advancement becomes more limited the longer a person stays. You need to work with the main principle in order to be assured advancement in the company as he is the only one who holds an employee's future in his hands. The other partners, of which there are two, have no influence over his whims. The nature of the projects demands there be a lot of time spent on them, even though there is usually a short timespan in which to do the work resulting in long hours. As most of the projects are international, the office focuses on the project only up until schematic design. This can be very rewarding, as the projects go through the office quickly, or frustrating, as there is no experience gained on how to actually build buildings and make a project work. There is almost no opportunity to gain construction documentation experience since that phase of a project is completed by a local architect wherever the project may be. The opportunity for design work is also very limited. The principles typically hand down and very closely manage any design aspect unless they trust a person implicitly, which is rare. Typically charettes are held for each project felt important by the primary principal, but these are limited to only those individuals deemed qualified by him. There is never involvement by the entire office and no input is welcomed from non-participants. The office environment and function is very autocratic. The hierarchy in the office structure is strictly defined. Management at varying levels is given titles and accompanying salaries and benefits. The staff are typically given a generic Project Designer label. Until recently there was little to no encouragement by management for people to become licensed architects. Verbal encouragement was given, but the tools, such as study guides, were lacking. This has recently been resolved. As Laguarda Low is not a full service firm, those individuals seeking licensure will have to change jobs at some point to fulfill the prerequisites. The office does employ many foreign personnel, supplying them with a work visa which is tied to the company.
Advice to Senior Management – Senior Management should welcome feedback and work with employees who wish to advance within the office.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2008-06-11 12:10 PDT
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