Firm name: Silo AR+D
Location: Charlotte N.C., Cleveland, and Fayetteville, Ark.
Year founded: 2012
Firm leadership: Frank Jacobus, AIA, Marc Manack, AIA
Education: Jacobus: B.Arch., Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Art; M.Arch., University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture; Manack: B.Arch. and M.Arch., Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University
Experience: Before Silo, Marc worked with Robert Maschke, FAIA—an amazing architect, mentor, and friend—in Cleveland. Frank worked with Nader Design Group in Fort Worth, Texas, and started an office Citycraft Architects in Austin, Texas. Frank currently teaches at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design where he is 21st chair of construction and technology. Marc teaches at University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture.
How founders met:
Standing in line to get our faculty photos taken at the University of Arkansas. Our mutual affinity for Charles Moore is what ultimately brought us together.
Firm size: Four-ish

Completed in 2017, the Fayetteville, Ark., Hillside Rock residence features a corrugated metal envelope that contrasts with the landscape and the wood interior details.
Timothy Hursley Completed in 2017, the Fayetteville, Ark., Hillside Rock residence features a corrugated metal envelope that contrasts with the landscape and the wood interior details.
Timothy Hursley

Mission:
The two quotes that best describe our practice’s aspirations and motivations are “Good art should elicit a response of ‘Huh? Wow!’ as opposed to ‘Wow! Huh?’ ” by artist Ed Ruscha; and “Less yackin’, more stackin’!” from a Cleveland-based masonry contractor named Bob.

First commission:
North Presbyterian Church in Cleveland.

Favorite project:
Our recently completed Hillside Rock. It’s our most complete work to date, and it brought together many ideas and techniques that we tested in earlier projects, such as Mood Ring House, Reflects, and our unbuilt Split Personality House. In particular, we love how the house sits on the land, holds shadows, and reframes the landscape. It’s both chunky and thin, both a mass and a façade. We call it a “mineral”—something inorganic yet naturally occurring. Silo also built the house, as we sometimes do, so it was indeed a labor of love.

Second favorite project:
We have a number of projects that are personal for us. An ongoing project we call Heads House is for Frank’s parents. Its shapes and spaces are derived from the sculptural and painterly work of his grandfather and important family memories.

Additionally, Semi-Automatic is a research project from 2015 that considered how design automation might be used to memorialize tragedies resulting from mass gun violence.

A collaboration with students and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture, the Effervesce memorial wall displays 49 built-in bubble guns—one for each of the lives lost during the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.
McKenzie Canaday A collaboration with students and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture, the Effervesce memorial wall displays 49 built-in bubble guns—one for each of the lives lost during the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.
McKenzie Canaday

Firm name origin:
This is a bit cliché and naïve, but we didn’t want the firm to have our name. We wanted to be anonymous to create an environment of collaborative authorship and ownership. In the end, we wanted something catchy and we thought naming our firm after a building might do the trick.

AR+D (Architecture, Research, and Design) came about because Silo LLC was already registered to an agricultural building company, and we were already operating across mediums.

Memorable learning experience:
Years ago, we’d told a colleague that the only work we could scare up was deck designs, so why bother? He remarked that he wouldn’t turn down any design work if he felt he could make a difference in how well it turned out.

We have kept that comment close to us through the years, and now we try to embrace all opportunities for design as a chance to make something great, no matter the scale.

Silo AR+D won a design/build competition hosted by the Cleveland Botanical Garden with its Reflects treehouse pavilion in 2015. A riff on the gabled house, Reflects offers panoramic views and creates a forest-like effect using mirrors that reflect views of the garden outside into the structure.
Pease Photography Silo AR+D won a design/build competition hosted by the Cleveland Botanical Garden with its Reflects treehouse pavilion in 2015. A riff on the gabled house, Reflects offers panoramic views and creates a forest-like effect using mirrors that reflect views of the garden outside into the structure.
Pease Photography

Architecture hero:
Charles Moore. He had such diverse and open ideas about architecture. Even if at times we’re not enamored by some of his buildings (although we love many of them), we have affection for his approach to the discipline. He seemed to entirely love life; we can think of nothing more inspiring than that.

Modern-day architecture heroes:
Peter van Dijk, FAIA, is a great architect who brought modern architecture to Cleveland. His Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio is one of the most profound works of architecture we’ve ever encountered.

We also admire Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, and his practice. He has inspired us to strive for architecture’s highest aspirations, regardless of where we practice from, and who our clients are. He believes there are no excuses not to do great work, and we like to think we practice with that level of conviction.

Special item in your studio space:
Jacobus : Paintings from my brother and grandfather; Manack: a poster of The Titanic Taxonomy of Wrestler Names from Pop Chart Lab

Once an industrial warehouse, the sanctuary of the North Presbyterian Church in Cleveland is capped with a hybrid canopy/cathedral ceiling made of patterned panels.
Pease Photography Once an industrial warehouse, the sanctuary of the North Presbyterian Church in Cleveland is capped with a hybrid canopy/cathedral ceiling made of patterned panels.
Pease Photography

Design tool of choice:
Paper Mate Flair M pens

Design aggravation:
Anything overwrought or trying too hard; over-detailed buildings, material fetishism, and romanticism.

When I’m not working in architecture, I:
Jacobus: Watch my kids play baseball, draw chairs, think about ideas. Manack: Watch cooking shows, search for great food and drink, think about architecture.

The best advice you have ever gotten:
Jacobus: “Less thinking, more drawing.” I took this to mean that drawing and building are forms of thinking as essential as writing down your thoughts. Manack: Act professional, operate with integrity, treat everyone fairly, be consistent.

The firm’s proposal for combining historic buildings and surrounding existing lots of Charlotte, N.C.’s Belmont neighborhood creates a mixed-use development oriented around a central “agora” rather than a typical parking lot.
courtesy SILO AR+D The firm’s proposal for combining historic buildings and surrounding existing lots of Charlotte, N.C.’s Belmont neighborhood creates a mixed-use development oriented around a central “agora” rather than a typical parking lot.
courtesy SILO AR+D

Biggest challenge in running a successful practice:
We’ll let you know when we win the Pritzker.

Superstitions:
We save all our fortune cookie fortunes.

Skills to master:
Jacobus: Drawing, thinking, creating, building, story-telling. Manack: Drawing upside down for clients across the table. I can’t do it, but Robert Maschke, FAIA, is brilliant at it.

Morning person or night owl?
We were young night owls that have evolved into middle-aged morning people.

Social media platform of choice:
Instagram

Vice:
Jacobus: Sugar and being too forthright about my vices in major publications. Manack: Swearing, professional wrestling, bread, and bourbon.