The opportunity to renovate and re-envision the theater where the likes of Johnny Carson and Jay Leno taped their iconic shows would be a dream job for many architects.
For those at Luckett & Farley — it’s all in a day’s work.
About the firm
As the largest architectural firm in Kentucky, and one of the oldest in the nation, Luckett & Farley is responsible for some of Louisville’s most historic landmarks, as well as work that spans to both coasts and across multiple industries.
In fact, you probably live near, work by, cheer at or swirl bourbon insideone of their many remarkable designs. See for yourself.
We sat down with Paul Sirek and Robert “Boz” Lindgren, architectural discipline managers, to learn more about the firm and what it’s like to work in the architecture department.
A diverse portfolio of clients
Whereas many firms specialize in a certain industry, Luckett & Farley boasts a wide variety of clients which include the federal government, higher education, casual dining and commercial interiors.
“Our profession is cyclical. We’ve expanded our core markets so that when one market is on the decline, others are on the rise,” says Sirek. “This allows us to focus where business needs dictate. It’s been a really successful model, plus it provides variety in our work.”
“We’ve got someone right now who’s working on an independent living facility for a large national senior living provider,” says Lindgren. “She is developing skills that apply to the senior living market today, that she can leverage and apply throughout her career.”
Poised for the future
Both Sirek and Lindgren say it was the firm’s future focus that attracted them to the company.
“We spend a ton of time planning for growth, not just year by year, but five years out,” says Lindgren. “When you take the appropriate long-view, you can adjust your plans to create sustainability for the future. That doesn’t always happen at other firms.”
“This adaptability is very intriguing to architects,” adds Sirek, “whether you’re just out of school or a more senior professional looking for a firm that’s stable, with an eye on the future.”
"Friends, opportunities for growth, pursuit of passion"
And it’s not just company growth that’s a priority at Luckett & Farley. The company invests heavily in its employee owners — including its unique Leadership Institute and its lucrative employee-ownership.
“There’s no ladder; it’s a rock wall,” Sirek describes. “You can move in many different directions depending upon what really intrigues you, what your passion is.”
“Maybe you’ve got a propensity for a certain industry, maybe you’re a great project manager or interested in leadership,” Lindgren says. “We try to tailor projects to folks’ interests and help them develop into those roles.”
And because Luckett & Farley takes a multi-disciplinary approach to design, architects there get to work alongside interior designers and engineers of every kind — another learning opportunity, according to Sirek.
“Here the whole team is working together and it helps us be on the same page,” says Lindgren. “It’s a very collaborative environment where we can short-circuit a lot of communication because of our familiarity with each other.”
And part of the reason the firm invests in developing great leaders and fostering collaboration is because everyone in the company is an employee-owner.
“The ESOP is a game-changer,” says Sirek. “And we’re the only ones in the architecture, engineering, or interior design industry in Louisville that offers it.”
“It’s empowering to be directly responsible for your own success,” says Lindgren. “We’re a firm that wants everyone to share in our success, advance to their full potential and have a common sense of purpose.”
A culture of professionalism
“Folks approach the job as owners,” Sirek said. “They make decisions that benefit the client and by doing so, create financial rewards for themselves through the ESOP.”
The firm also values complete transparency, including quarterly meetings where they “open up the books” and share news and updates.
And community service is part of the culture as well.
“A lot of folks coming out of school are really interested in social architecture, work that makes a difference in people’s lives,” Sirek says. “We love to take what we do professionally and pair up with non-profits. We’ve worked with YouthBuild and WaterStep, among others.”
“We want to be a leader in helping to grow and develop the area and to act as a connector for folks looking for spaces in SoBro,” Sirek says. “We’ve put a big financial stake in the ground. We’re committed to the neighborhood.”
Luckett & Farley is seeking talented architects. Interested in being an employee-owner with Paul and Boz? Apply today!
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