The Cool Box / Monica Robertson, Principal

The Hord Coplan Macht Cool Box is a place to get to know some of the people and personalities who are delivering great ideas and leading work for our clients. In the Cool Box today: 19-year HCM veteran, Monica Robertson, Principal and Housing/Mixed-Use Studio Leader.

Monica Robertson

What is it about your personality that helps you do your job?  

In my relationships with colleagues, I find a great benefit in having a positive attitude, being kind and having a sense of humor. Would you rather work with a tyrant, or someone who appreciates your efforts and encourages you to realize your potential? It’s rewarding to see others succeed and to watch them find personal success and happiness. With clients, I find that trust and respect are the key ingredients to a successful relationship. For me, it’s important to develop both, and for the partnership to extend well beyond a singular project.

“If I couldn’t be an architect I’d probably be…”

A doctor. It’s another profession that has a direct and significant impact on people’s lives.

Tell us about one of your favorite projects from the last few years. 

Union Wharf is one of my favorite projects. It was a collaboration of many people, which ultimately produced a signature Class-A, multifamily, mixed-use property in Baltimore that rivals those of other major U.S. cities.

What particular challenges of a project attract you or really excite you?

I enjoy the initial conceptual design process that involves understanding the client’s vision, identifying the opportunities and constraints within a site or context and then developing early ideas that convey creative and innovative design solutions for the project.

Is there a rule or principle your studio lives by?

In general, we strive to push the boundaries of creativity, sustainability and innovation to create the best possible places to live, work, shop and play.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on writing proposals for new projects and managing the day-to-day operations of the Housing/Mixed-Use Studio.

How does the vast expertise here at Hord Coplan Macht, across markets and services, help you deliver for your clients?

Our firm’s multidisciplinary offerings and expertise are assets to every project we design. It allows us to integrate the knowledge that we have of best practices, construction techniques, innovations, sustainable advances and lessons learned across multiple markets to make better decisions and deliver higher quality design solutions.

Additionally, our capabilities are further enhanced by the close relationship our architects and interior designers have with our landscape architects and planners. Working together, we are able to beautifully integrate interior and exterior spaces.

Is collaboration important? Overrated? 

Collaboration and communication are critical for success. Their importance cannot be underestimated.

What aspect of Hord Coplan Macht’s approach to projects do you see really making a difference for clients?

We approach each project with the energy and enthusiasm we would bring if it were our own investment. Ultimately we want the built work, or landscape, to not only fulfill, but also exceed, the goals identified by the entire team. We see the importance of the relationship between ourselves and our clients and work to gain mutual respect, confidence and trust. Essentially, Hord Coplan Macht cares deeply about the quality of our work and our relationships.

In your opinion what is one of the most exciting trends in architecture right now?

It’s exciting to watch the sustainable design industry evolve from green building design, to taking a closer look at how the built environment impacts health and wellness.


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