ZGF Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

ZGF Architects Reviews

28 reviews

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3.8
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Ted Hyman
3 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Big fish in a small pond"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people, generous and patient. Projects locally and nationally.

    Cons

    Large firms will suck your soul out of your body unless you set limits, especially with your own expectations.


  2. "Good design - lots of changes"

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

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    Good design
    Great firm wide support

    Cons

    Lots of turn over
    Difficult work environment


  3. "Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architectural Intern in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Architectural Intern in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Treated very well, many opportunities to advance if you take initiative and express interest, Great overtime pay, great culture

    Cons

    Overtime can be grueling but rewarding

    Advice to Management

    Some projects suffered from "too many cooks in the kitchen" causing meetings to be less successful than they could be, some obvious cliques


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Good Company with Flaws"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time

    Pros

    The company is very flexible and supportive with understanding your personal life and allowing you to balance personal and work when the time comes. The pay is decent as well.

    Cons

    The organization does not value their employee's especially the Administrative group. When you first start at the organization, it can come off pretty clique-ish. It's almost like you have to be into "design" to feel apart of the organization or team. It's also difficult for new or younger employees to really ingratiate themselves within a project team. Teams typically do not make it easy for newbies or younger staff to get involved in the project details. When it comes to management of the administrative staff, this organization seems to really undervalue their administrative staff. There seems to be little focus on the administrative staff and it seems as though they tend to be an afterthought. There are also no advancement opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Provide advancement opportunities for the younger staff as well as for the administrative staff. Allow staff to grow professionally.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Architect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wealth of high quality project opportunities. Really supportive and welcoming culture. Conscientious leadership. Strong support of IDP.

    Cons

    Significant growth in last two years is a challenge to assimilate new hires into a quality design process. Firm has adopted Revit as tool of record, but everyone uses it in their own way.

    Advice to Management

    Work to increase continuity of staff on projects...there is a cost to restarting projects with different teams. Invest in Revit processes and skill development. The R-word may be painful, but should not be ignored.


  7. "OK a little old fashioned"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Partner in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Associate Partner in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    decent buildings, good people, salaries OK,

    Cons

    not so good for interiors especially for mid level. A bit silo-ed by phase.

    Advice to Management

    improve your interiors upper management, get people out of conceptual, design development, CD or CA silos!


  8. "Talented and Motivated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    The firm is doing great work. The projects I'm engaged are amazing, fast paced and design driven. This is a talented and motivated bunch of architects and designers. And great depth of resources.

    Cons

    Good design takes time. Some residual projects from the downturn are too limited by low fees - unfortunate but will pass.

    Advice to Management

    Keep winning design driven projects and keep a focus on local projects as well as national and international work. Keep looking for like minded clients that will support high quality and innovative projects


  9. "So much potential, too little time."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Model Maker in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Model Maker in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Challenging work and a good degree of control over my work environment.

    Cons

    Impersonal atmosphere makes it difficult to make friends

    Advice to Management

    Motivate, appreciate, delegate. In that order.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Associate Partner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    ZGF is the largest architecture firm in Portland, so has great resources and attracts great talent. If you are looking to work on large projects, or national and international projects, it's among your best bets in Portland. Coworkers are talented and friendly.

    Cons

    Many of my coworkers, myself included, would say that what kept them at ZGF was the dearth of other options. While there are many firms in town, the list of those that: get high profile projects, are large enough to have good resources (i.e. you don't have to take turns answering the main phone and fixing the plotter), and isn't known for TOTAL mismanagement and COMPLETE chaos, is very small. The partnership is pretty dysfunctional. They don't trust each other - and for good reason. The dynamic trickles down through the whole organization. It's a "me" not "we" culture. And very little genuine transparency. There are also endless tactics to "create a design culture" that appear to be veiled attempts to get junior designers to work for free, i.e., "Let's make the conceptual design phase for this project an internal design competition!"

    Advice to Management

    You all bring something special and important to the table. Have some respect for each other.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Made frienDS there"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Architect in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ZGF Architects full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very cutting edge design, very talent designers, open minded working environment

    Cons

    Unfortunately running like typical corporation, little advancement oppprtunity, a lot of young people come in working for 2 to 3 years and leave for a smaller firm to be lead designer, some people there for 20 years doing the same thing every day, depends on the team, some project team has people very stressful to work with.

    Advice to Management

    Have more advancement opportunities to young designers, organize team around people.


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