Grisafe Architecture in Long Beach, CA, which is headed up by owner and lead architect Mark Grisafe, is one of many architecture firms in the Long Beach area. In a city as large as Long Beach, it can be difficult to stand out—especially among larger firms. Grisafe Architecture is a boutique firm with a small, but talented, staff that specializes in home remodels, custom home design, and tenant improvements. Over their 20 years in business, Grisafe Architecture has built quite a reputation for themselves, both among their clients and with city officials. Much of that has to do with their community-minded approach.
Architectural Design with the Community in Mind
Have you ever seen a home or a commercial building that stood out like a sore thumb? There was nothing in the design that connected it to its surroundings or considered the neighborhood in which it stood. You probably got the sense that the designer wanted to make some sort of statement and do something so different that people would take notice.
While there’s a place for cutting-edge architectural design, Grisafe prefers a more community-oriented approach. He says, “When I design, I do my best to respond to what’s given—things like views, adjacent buildings, materials that are commonly used in the area—and try to create something that enhances the experience of everyone viewing or using the building or home.“ At the same time, Grisafe desires to provide his clients with what they want. While this can be challenging at times—especially when the client is asking for a specific type of design that isn’t typically seen in the community—Grisafe and his team love a good challenge and seem to always find a way to respect both the community and their client’s wishes.
Assisting the City of Long Beach’s Development Services Department
When the City of Long Beach wanted to test out their new online plan checking system before opening it up to the public, they called Grisafe. Grisafe and his architecture firm were among the first to submit a set of building plans via the online system and were the first to have a project fully approved under the new system. They were also able to provide valuable feedback to the city’s Development Services Department on the process.
Not long after, the online checking and approval system was opened up to the public and is serving the city well to this day. This new system has greatly streamlined the process for those submitting residential and commercial plans to the City of Long Beach, and also allowed the city to be able to continue to review and approve plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Grisafe sits on the City of Long Beach’s Cultural Heritage Commission, a group that is tasked with helping preserve historic buildings, homes, and neighborhoods throughout the city.
Community Service Through Design
Grisafe Architecture also gives back to its community through pro bono work that benefits community organizations within Long Beach. For example, they have completed multiple projects with the Alpert Jewish Community Center of Long Beach, helping the organization upgrade its facilities.
You can learn more about Grisafe Architecture and their community-minded approach by reading this ebook, published by Businessing Magazine.