Ross Davis

The Cool Box / Ross Davis, Senior Associate, Multi-Family Studio

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: Ross Davis, Senior Associate, Multi-Family Studio.


Did you have an “ah-ha” moment where you knew you wanted to be an architect? What was it?

When I was young, I told my mother that I wanted to build bridges. There are not that many bridges in Atlanta, (at least not the bold ones I had envisioned working on), so I started leaning towards architecture. As I got older, I really liked the idea that someone was “behind the scene” designing the buildings that I used everyday.

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

I would be in advertising or in a band. I enjoy combining the design and technical sides together to create something new.

Clearly, Mumford & Sons missed out on having me in their group, but I’m sure they sleep well at night.

If your studio had a mission statement, what would it be?

Our mission statement would be to make people’s lives better and to surprise or even inspire them. What better way to do that than designing the future of housing? It’s a very challenging and rewarding segment of our profession.

What drew you to work at Hord Coplan Macht? 

The quality of HCM’s clients/projects and the entrepreneurial atmosphere. Working in our Alexandria office has the added perk of working on large-scale projects in a small office setting.

Where do you find inspiration for projects?

I love to travel and when I need inspiration, I frequently start with photographs from my trips. It is interesting to see how other architects approach similar challenges in different ways. I owe my wife so much gratitude for patiently waiting for me while I take literally hundreds of pictures on our travels.

How would you describe your approach to tackling challenges when it comes to the client?

I tend to start with the most obvious solution(s), but then look for fresh opportunities as well. More often than not, the best solutions are simple at their core with many layers woven on top.

How does the vast expertise here at Hord Coplan Macht, across markets—healthcare, education, multi-family—and additional services—planning, interior design, landscape architecture—affect the way you approach projects? 

It is a blessing to have multiple disciplines under one roof. Getting different perspectives in a design review or to being able to pull someone over to your desk and ask their opinion is truly invaluable.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to up-and-coming architects?

Choose a firm like HCM that has a broad range of project types. This will allow young architects to explore their strengths and discover their affinity to specific work without having to switch firms.

What’s the most exciting trend you see really taking hold in the coming 2 years?

It may take more than two years to start changing the way we design buildings, but the autonomous car and increased use of sensors will have a tremendous impact on the built environment. There is much speculation on where these technologies will lead us, but hopefully these they will help us to build smarter and more efficiently.

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

HCM has a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship where exploring new and better ideas are encouraged. The value of this firm’s culture shows in our built work.


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