Portland’s newly minted Telford+Brown Studio Architecture is at once a continuation of longtime architect Richard Brown’s original firm and a celebration of how RB/A’s Winery studio director Hope Telford’s influence since joining back in 2014. Now in his 30th year in the industry, Brown has scaled back to client-focused design work under the new ownership and management of Telford. Below, Telford shares her journey from a childhood love of design in upstate New York to becoming the current owner of Telford+Brown. telfordbrownstudio.com
PHOTO COURTESY HOPE TELFORD
When did your career begin? It really began when I was very young, being partly raised by Finnish neighbors in upstate New York. They lived a very Scandinavian lifestyle, and I loved their IKEA napkins, Marimekko tablecloths and Iittala glassware. They took me to Finland when I was 12, and it was there I fell madly in love with the interior design and architecture—the emphasis on simplicity, on natural materials and home comforts—and it’s still one of my deepest influences today.
Where has your work taken you? I moved to Portland after getting my undergraduate degree, and while earning my master’s degree in architecture I spent two months studying in Kyoto, where the food, architecture and fashion share that same focus on quality, simplicity and having everything built by hand. Then, after a few years of living in South Africa and Vancouver, my husband and I returned to Portland and I began working for Richard Brown. Richard is an extraordinary architect, and we share the same sensibilities of thoughtful, modern design to create simple, beautiful and practical spaces that emphasize natural materials and comfort.
Why wineries? I have known for a long time that I was interested in designing projects like wineries and sacred spaces. There is so much beauty to be realized when the focus is on the reverence of something, be it the land, grapes or a higher spirit. I took the lead in developing our winery studio practice, and now about half our work is in winery design.
What’s your philosophy? When I work with our clients, I think about how their spaces will help them feel comfortable and secure, allow them to explore new possibilities and embrace family and friends, comfort them and encourage them to push boundaries. I think of architecture as communicating desires for the human experience. That is the root of our work at Telford+Brown Studio Architecture.