Meet the OZ Leaders: Kelly Davis

March 16, 2023

Name: Kelly Davis
Practice Area: Urban Living + Mixed-use, Hospitality
Years at OZ: 28

What sparked your interest in architecture?
Between observing my father growing up, who built his career in live theatre as a set and lighting designer, and my first jobs working in construction through high school, pursing architecture felt like a natural fit.

Tell us about your career journey and what led you to specializing in your practice area.
I started my career in San Francisco and over the course of my 34 years of practice, I have intentionally not limited myself to any particular project type, focusing instead on the architectural opportunity each project presents. I’ve always prioritized relationships, which has led to opportunities in healthcare, higher education, office, industrial, retail, mixed-use, and multifamily housing. Recently I would say my focus is on urban mixed-use, multifamily and workplace projects, and occasionally, hotel projects are in the mix.

What’s something people might not know about your practice area?
In all our projects, regardless of type or program, we seek opportunities to be creative and advance new ideas, while exceeding our client’s expectations.

How would you describe your design approach?
Our approach is to treat every aspect of our job as a design opportunity. From the biggest ideas to the smallest detail, every decision we make should be approached as an opportunity to bring a creative, elegant solution to the task at hand. Design by committee is hard, but design by collaboration is imperative. We are all better together than we are individually.

What is the most difficult part of your job? Your favorite part?
Challenges are often balanced by very rewarding outcomes. It can be challenging to align expectations and realities without compromising excellence, but our team is very skilled in navigating these complexities. My favorite part of the job are the collaborative sessions with our team to uncover and generate creative solutions.

What are some of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on recently or are currently working on?
Top of mind would be Evolve Towers, 1800 21st Street, Riverpoint, Platte Fifteen, Crescent Fort Worth (Hotel and Office), Mill Creek Madison and Mill Creek Cook.

Platte Fifteen | Denver, CO
Platte Fifteen | Denver, CO
Evolve Towers | Denver, CO
Evolve Towers | Denver, CO

What are three personal things about you that people might be interested to learn? I prefer golf over skiing, hot weather over cold, and bourbon over wine.

As you forecast, what does the future hold for your practice? Both locally and nationally, regardless of project type, I see a growing prioritization for creating buildings that facilitate community. We’re not designing buildings as containers for activities — we’re designing to create an interaction between human, physical and environmental worlds, providing an opportunity to consider the broader impacts of design solutions.

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3003 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

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