Colorado Springs Architect Michael Briar Joins JLA

DENVER — JLA Architects is proud to announce that Michael Briar (RA) has joined our Denver office. As a project architect at JLA, he will lead project design through all phases of the architectural process from conception to occupancy. Michael has a career that spans 20 years within a wide range of sectors, from residential to education, healthcare, commercial and industrial design.

“Michael is an exciting addition to our architectural team at JLA.  With over twenty years of experience as a well-rounded architect, his value to our immediate needs and future growth in Denver is critical to our success,” explains Vice President & Denver Office Director Erik Jansson.

When asked why he chose JLA, Michael explained, “JLA has a unique way of staffing projects to minimize overloading any particular role or team member. The way we capitalize on the strengths of designers, project leads, and project managers at the appropriate times through the course of a project without losing the consistent leadership and decision-making from start to finish sets JLA apart from most other architecture firms. JLA also goes to great lengths to assure the highest quality documents as possible for each project through a detailed quality control process that begins early in the life of the project and continues through its duration.”

Briar holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky.

Learn more about Michael Briar

We sat down with Michael to learn more about him and his passion for architecture. Read on for our interview…

What drew you to architecture as a career?

Architecture is the only field that I have found that affords us the opportunity to serve our communities through design, exploration, dreaming, and invention. It utilizes the media of form, function, and material in such impactful ways, affecting our built environment and the planning and shaping of communities. It is the only industry that I have felt was a true fit to my natural strengths, puzzle solving abilities, and skill set.

What market types have you worked the most in?

I have spent most of my career in K-12 education (new facilities and additions/remodel) and healthcare (hospitals, rehab facilities and nursing homes). I have additional experience in office buildings, recreation centers, higher education dormitories and single family residential.

What’s your favorite (or most unique) project you’ve worked on?

A few years ago, I was asked to take a prototype of a middle school and adapt it to a particular site for a school district in Colorado. The prototype was designed for 1,200 students and was determined to be the best fit for the program desired for the new school. There were numerous deviations from the prototype that were required that had dramatic impacts to the design. Among the updates to be implemented was the question of “innovation” and what that meant to this particular district and how it would be best expressed in the context of a middle school. I enjoyed the opportunity to engage the district leadership and the end users (school staff). There were several key features that were identified through the course of those discussions that were incorporated into the design of the new school. I was responsible for the design updates to the prototype, managed the project through construction and was able to see the school staff and students move in and use the facility that I played a large part in creating. Overall, the project was extremely rewarding and offered some interesting and complex problems to solve.

What do you like to do for fun—any hobbies or interests you’d like to share?

I have many!  Snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, off-roading or “wheelin”, motorcycling, travel, and time with my family.

How do you like to give back to the community?

I’ve volunteered doing design work overseas for Engineering Ministries International and I serve on my church board.