ABOUT GEROU & ASSOCIATES and FAQs
Gerou & Associates, Ltd. is a full service architectural firm located in Evergreen, Colorado, just west of Denver. Our goal on every project is to create timeless architecture; a design which "fits" the site and the climate; a design which makes use of existing, proven building technologies and indigenous construction materials and methods; a design that is buildable. Above all, we develop architecture which reflects the client's budget, needs, schedule and personality.
Gerou & Associates was established in 1986 to provide diversified architectural services. Since that time, we have successfully designed hundreds of architectural projects. Our work includes a wide range of project types including residential renovations, additions, multi-family developments and custom homes, as well as historic preservation, hospitality, recreational, cultural, medical, commercial office and retail architectural projects. We have completed projects in Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado, including Denver, Ft. Collins, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Fraser, Snowmass, the Vail Valley, Beaver Creek, Genesee, Black Hawk, Central City, Golden, Morrison, Conifer, and Evergreen.
Phillip H. Gerou, FAIA
Phil received his Bachelor and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska. He is a licensed architect in the Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, and Iowa, an NCARB certificate holder and an active member in the American Institute of Architects.
In 1986, Phil served as President of AIA Colorado. From 1991 to 1994 he was a director on the AIA National Board of Directors and in 1995 served as the AIA National Vice President. Phil was elected to the College of Fellows in 1993 in recognition of his 'extraordinary service to the profession'. In 1997, he was appointed to the AIA National Ethics Council, on which he served for six years, the final two as Chair. In 2002, Phil was the recipient of the coveted Western Mountain Region Silver Medal. This is the highest honor presented by the six-state region recognizing an individual architect who has contributed toward the benefit of the profession and the citizens of the Western Mountain Region, and who has transcended local boundaries in making those contributions.
An active public speaker, primarily on the topic of architectural ethics, Phil has spoken to universities, AIA Grassroots Conferences in Washington DC, AIA National Conventions, Canada’s RIBA, the Texas Society of Architects and various trade organizations. Phil’s contributions to the profession of architecture have spanned a career of nearly forty years. His work has included residential, commercial, educational, recreational, medical, technical and various specialized buildings housing satellite tracking stations and telecommunications systems.
Cheri R Gerou, FAIA
Cheri received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado. She is a licensed architect in the State of Colorado and holds a certificate from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Cheri is an active member in the American Institute of Architects, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, History Colorado and Historic Denver.
Her service to the community and profession includes: Chair, Community Caring Project; Chair, Board of Deacons/Rockland Church; Board Member, C. Henry Kempe Center. Cheri's involvement in AIA has included: Co-Chair, 1998 Denver design Awards; Chair, Host Chapter Party AIA 2001; Instructor, Colorado Association of Black Professionals & Engineers (1997-1998 & 1998-1999); Chair, AIA Colorado 200 Convention Booth/Philadelphia; Treasurer-Elect AIA Denver Board of Directors; President, AIA Denver Chapter 2002; Juror, AIA Wyoming Design Awards 2002, President AIA Colorado 2006. In 2011, her service to the profession was nationally recognized by her elevation to Fellowship by the American Institute of Architects. Fellowship in the AIA recognizes extraordinary contributions in the field of architecture. In the 100+ year history of the AIA, Cheri is one of only nine women in Colorado to be so honored.
Cheri has provided architectural services for numerous projects including the award-winning Wood Residence and the Alta Moda European clothing store, winner of a Citation Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
How is Gerou & Associates different from other architectural firms?
In two ways:
First, with nearly forty years of experience in high-end residential design throughout the Colorado Rockies, we can bring a thorough background in vernacular design, knowledge of the stringent climatic restraints and opportunities and a design sensitivity to an owner's needs, budgets and desires.
Secondly, in addition to our architectural experience, having been general contractor on more that 30 custom homes as well as townhomes and commercial projects, gives us unique insights from a builder's perspective. We approach our designs with "build-ability" in mind. We approach our drawings with an understanding of how they will be interpreted in the field. We approach our budgets with an awareness of current construction costs and viable alternatives to various materials and methods of construction.
What's your design philosophy?
We don't have a particular 'style'. But we do believe that there are underlying design elements in any great design. One way to describe our design approach is through the logo that we've used for the past 30 years. That image is a home named "Glen Fern" or sometimes referred to as the Livesey House located on the Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia. The original house, built of locally quarried schist, is an excellent example of the Delaware Valley vernacular of the time. It was completed in 1739 with additions in 1765 and 1853. Today it is the home to a local rowing club, which practices on the nearby Schuykill River.
This house was chosen as our logo for a number of reasons. First, it was designed and built at a time when the practice of architecture was not distinct from that of contractor or “master builder”. When a client needed a house built they worked with a professional that not only had an innate design sense but also the expertise, craftsmanship, structural capabilities and common sense required to see a project through to its completion. The local vernacular developed through the use of indigenous materials and the historical context was known to the designer. An sense of balance, proportion and texture combined to create a building that is as pleasing, comfortable and attractive today as it was 250 years ago.
Our goals in design are much the same. On every project we create a design that will prove timeless; a design that “fits” the site and the climate; a design that makes use of existing, proven technologies and indigenous materials. Above all, we develop a design, which reflects the budget, needs, values and personality of each client.
How do you use computers in your work?
Computers are a tool - and we feel we use them very successfully to take our designs through full project documentation. We are able to create 3D models and images of interior spaces and exterior forms. We use the internet to relay information to owners, to our consultants, to architectural review committees (ARCs) and building departments. Often our designs received full ARC and building department approval by being made available electronically. With a tour of our office, we'd be pleased to give you a demonstration of our capabilities.
Who will be working on my project?
Your primary point of contact will be with one of the two principals, Phil or Cheri Gerou, each with more than 30 years of architectural experience. All work in the office is provided under their direction. In addition, highly talented and skilled project managers and architectural interns provide technical expertise and 'manpower' to produce projects of all scales.
How do I work with you; what information do I need to provide?
The more information, the better. The more 'footwork' you've done, the more quickly we can focus in on your specific design wishes. This footwork may be taking pictures of houses or interiors you like, reviewing books and magazines for details or designs, deciding on specific rooms and room sizes, even sketches you've made. Anything that helps convey or demonstrate what you like, what you're looking to accomplish.
Our initial meeting may be only introductory - a chance for us both to decide if our working together is a good match. The second meeting - the kickoff - will be, what we like to call, 'the mind dump'. We will spend several hours taking in every thought, every sketch, every detail you can provide. We may ask for additional information such as detailed site information, the size of your immediate and extended family and those relationships, what types of social relationships are typical, who does the ironing? The design process for a home is very personal - you may even find out some things about yourself that weren't obvious.
I don't visualize things well... how will you help me through the design process?
We all visualize spaces and forms differently. Some people can 'see' in three dimensions with no problem; architects usually can. Others look at a drawing of the front view of a house and have a hard time visualizing the design intent. Through three-dimensional, computer modeling we can provide you various views and perspectives so you can totally understand your project. We all see things differently. Our job is to assure you have a good sense of the project before it leaves our office.
How long will it take?
The design can be done quickly, if that's your wish, or it can take as long as you need. Several years ago we designed a 'family retreat' in the Rockies. For each member of an extended and geographically dispersed family to have the opportunity to have input into the design, we took each step slowly and considered each suggestion carefully. On the other hand, we had builder once ask for a design - he was "breaking ground in the morning". We made that work as well. We'll work with your schedule and your needs.
How do you make decisions on our project?
With you. Our job is to present you with our expertise and help you through the process. If you ask for something we don't feel is right for you or the project, we'll give you our reasons why, so you can make a fully informed decision. You make the final decisions and we'll help you do that.
How do you establish your fees?
Our fees are based, quite simply, on the time it takes to do the work. This can vary widely. If you have determined who your builder will be, a rather abbreviated set of construction documents may be all that's needed - a "builder's set". This allows the builder to have input into items such as the window manufacturer he has worked with in the past or a cabinet supplier he believes would be good for the project. If your intent is to have the drawings bid by a number of contractors, then a far more complete set of drawings will be required. These will include some specifications of the plumbing fixtures, the interior doors and trim details, flooring materials, etc. This requires more work on the architect's part but also more work by you, the owner. You will be required to make decisions on many details of the design and leave little flexibility to the discretion of the builder.
Based on how you intend to contract for the construction, the scope of the project as well as meeting to discuss the level of design and detail you're looking for, a fee range can be established. This fee will be based on an estimate of the time and manpower required to complete the work.
What's your experience in "Smart House" design?
Gerou & Associates, Ltd. has completed a number of projects with various level of electronic sophistication from simple computer interface to full home electronic automation. One system recently installed will allow the owner to view the interior and exterior of his home remotely from any internet-connected computer terminal. He will also be able to monitor and control individual heat zones within the house, open and close all window coverings, control the electronics throughout the house - all from any remote location.
I've heard a lot about "sustainable design" and "green architecture". Have you?
In recent years, there's been a lot of press given to these subjects. As it turns out, we've been doing it all along! As newer technologies and materials come available, making the best use of resources during design, construction and during the life of each building has always been an underlying theme of our designs. Making use of alternative energy sources and renewable natural resources is the only responsible approach, for our clients, our environment and our posterity.
How do you approach ADA compatibility or Universal Design?
In 1975 Phil was the architect for the Center for the Physically Disadvantaged at the Community College of Denver, North Campus (now the Front Range Community College) while working with Anderson Mason Dale Architects. At the time of its completion, this was the largest solar-heated building in the world. It was quickly eclipsed by other, larger projects but the lessons learned in energy conservation and solar heating have been the basis for many other projects. Likewise, the 12,000 square foot Center for the Disadvantaged was designed to assist disadvantaged students and allow their full participation in the College's facility and curriculum. Phil was subsequently requested to speak to various groups on the underlying concepts of accessibility.
In many of our residential projects, Universal Design criteria are introduced with the intent of allowing full access without being obvious. The design doesn't have to 'look accessible' to 'be accessible'.
Will you be there during construction?
You bet. We will be as involved in your project as much as you like or as much as is required. Construction is a difficult process. Your three-dimensional image has been transferred - presumably successfully - to the architect. We must take that 3D image and distill it down to a two-dimensional drawing format. The drawings will then be read by contractors and subcontractors with various backgrounds and preconceptions that give the word 'interpretation' a whole new meaning. Working closely with the people actually doing the work is the only way to assure that your 'dream' gets built.
Construction of a private, custom home can be time-consuming and heart-wrenching - or it can be the most fun you've ever had. Understanding that it is a very involved, personal process. If you are looking for a house just to live in, you should consider buying one already built. If you are looking for an experience that will take your self-image, your life style, your dreams, and turn them into an environment that will support, nourish and invigorate you for years to come, then perhaps, the design and construction process is for you.