SPF Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

SPF Architects Reviews

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2.6
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Judit Fekete
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Hard working office with great design"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Architectural Designer in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Junior Architectural Designer in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have worked with SPF:a for just under two years and in that time I have seen significant growth in both the employees and the management. You are asked to work very hard here, and in return you produce award winning designs and grow immensely on an individual level. The firm is constantly recognized for having some of the strongest design capabilities in LA, and that level of recognition stems from the high caliber of standards set by the Principal. He is heavily involved on each project and you will interact with him from SD through completion of CDs. The employees here are all extremely talented and create a stimulating and enjoyable studio culture. Get involved with the after-work activities they have arranged; these talented young people quickly become your best friends and family.

    Cons

    In order to consistently achieve a high level of design, the employees are occasionally expected to work very long hours. It is up to the each employee to ensure their work-life balance is maintained, and that can be difficult at times. Maintaining a clear line of communication between upper and middle management has traditionally been an area which needs improvement in this office. It should be noted that previous comments have touched on this critique and the owners have been making positive, concerted efforts in this area. Have thick skin and be ready to work hard – you will learn how to succeed in this profession.

    Advice to Management

    Management has been making efforts to create clear dialogue between Designers, Associates and Principals. This effort has been recognized and needs to continue. The more people can trust each other and look out for one another, the longer people will stay here, and the stronger your team will become.


  2. "Great experience at SPF:a"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SPF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Having worked there for only 6 months, my time at SPF:a was short-lived; but in that time I had a very good experience. The firm prioritizes good design above all and never compromises on that, even if that means losing a project. The design process reflected how I was taught in undergraduate and graduate programs, so I felt at home in the work environment. There is a very talented group of young designers that are all on the same page with process from conceptual design through construction documents. The principal is involved in all projects at any given stage, and treats each team like they are top priority. He is lead designer but is open to others design input and even taking charge of a project.

    Cons

    The principal’s passion can sometimes be misinterpreted or taken to a personal level, but this is a firm that is led by a husband and wife, so the experience is naturally more of a personal relationship in nature. They care about each employee, it is just up to the employee to communicate and go after what they want from their experience. It is not corporate, so as long as expectations are that of a smaller intimate firm, then I think most would be happy.


  3. "There are good sides to SPFA too."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Designer
    Current Employee - Project Designer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPF Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the Employees are very young and talented, and you get to know them as friends rather than co workers. There are variety of project types that i had an opportunity to work on, and i believe if you prove yourself to be an asset here, you will eventually be given more freedom and responsibiliy in what you do. The level of perfectionism that goes into Spfa projects builds you into a better architect. About the working hours, there were occasional times where we had to stay really late, but usually i get to leave the office around 6 p.m which i believe is a reasonable amount of hours in an architectural firm. Lastly, there is a good athletic spirit between the employees where once in a week we play basketball, soccer after working hours, and we do have free Yoga sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Cons

    There are ocasions of unnessecary drama between the principal and some of the employees that could easily be avoided or resolved in a different manner. SPFA definitely needs more senior designers that have as much experience as their Project managers. another issue that one notices while working at SPFA is the lack of systematic way of dealing with project management systems and workflows. There needs to be more protocols and consistency in terms of creating architectural parametric models. this usually causes confusion and where there is a problem within this work process, it turns into a blame game.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Reputation swings both ways"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office, great location, interesting projects (if they ever get built while your are there).
    Adjoining restaurant and art gallery curated by the owner host fun occasional events.
    Well known firm in Los Angeles, albeit not always for the right reasons but none the less, reputable...

    Cons

    Zero work-life balance.
    Owners are well known for being verbally and emotionally abusive.
    Unless you LOVE building physical, this will be an issue after a few months.
    Ladies, make sure all your assets are covered if you are stuck in the model shop on Friday afternoons.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Well known in Los Angeles for being a tumultuous work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    When you realize that it's a toxic place, there's good firms to interview at within 10 minutes in Culver City.

    Cons

    Leadership is admittingly, and boastfully, mistreats staff. Views employees as servants instead of colleagues. No work life balance or promotions.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring full time for anyone working under the principal's minions aka 3-4 associates. At least be transparent about the turnover and compensate hourly.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Worst place i ever worked."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good local Projects
    Being involve in many aspect of a project
    Friendly co workers(exclude managers and owner)

    Cons

    No life/ work balance (all work) you may work everyday late and some times till morning
    No respect for employees(they yell and scream at you for even minor stuff)
    Below average benefits and salary ( you only receive 7 days sick and vacation for first two year)
    Extremely bad management. You never know when the deadline is or what should be done. you overdo many stuff.
    No protocol or standard for drawings ( this issue takes you triple time to finish a presentation)
    There is no value for people here
    In past 5 month 9 people left this office which proves how tough is working here
    Uneducated manager( mostly loyal traditional people without enough knowledge)
    High stress level working under managers
    No chance to promote. if you are good at modeling or rendering you stuck with that.

    Advice to Management

    People need to be treated more gentle. they are not slaves or people with no value. the best way to have more efficiency is to respect hardworking employees and give them the chance to grow.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Very bad work environment is little to no professional growth"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SPF Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are interesting projects in the office. Minus Principals and associates, the coworkers are a pleasure to be with. Most architecture firms in LA knows how poorly the office is run and will understand your plight when applying.

    Cons

    Communication between management (associates & principals) to staff is nill to none. Do not expect to be part of design charrette's or meetings. Horrible office environment that adhere's to the "burn & turn" (hire & fire) philosophy of running a business. Late nights is expected (typ. 7:30-8pm leave). Caustic method of giving direction by associates and principal.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is key to running a business. Your staff are people. Treating them like cattle probably isn't the best way to be attractive to current or new talent. Having such a poor office culture spreads like wild-fire through the architecture community.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Learned a lot, but there is a gap between management and employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SPF Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Small office, get exposed to all stages of design, if savy

    Cons

    Micro-management, and it comes from the top, gap between designers,

    Advice to Management

    There is a lot of bad management