By Paula Detwiller Special to the Pineapple
Here’s a quiz: which local architectural firm designed the historic restoration of Old School Square, the Sundy House, and the Delray Beach Train Depot (next to Bru’s Room)? Would you believe it’s the same firm that designed Boca’s Mizner Park Amphitheatre, the Boynton Beach Intracoastal bridge, Delray Beach’s Fire Rescue Headquarters and, more recently, the new Boston’s on the Beach, 50 Ocean and the Sandbar? These iconic local projects — and hundreds more — are the work of Currie Sowards Aguila Architects, now celebrating its 44th year in downtown Delray Beach. To mark the occasion, the firm has unveiled a new logo and moved into a modern storefront location at 185 NE 4th Avenue (next to Pineapple Grove Cleaners). For the last 17 years, the office was in a restored historic cottage on NE 1st Avenue. “We really needed more space,” said founding principal Bob Currie. “This new location gives us better visibility and room for growth as we dive into the large projects on our drawing boards.” Currie and his partners, Jess Sowards and José Aguila, also decided to rebrand the firm after using the same logo for about four decades. “We’re an established practice that has been at the forefront of industry trends and customer service over the years, so it was time to freshen up our look,” said Sowards. With the economy on the rebound, Currie Sowards Aguila Architects is positioned to take on multiple large projects for public and private sector clients. In recent years they have held their own as other South Florida architecture firms have been forced to downsize or close completely. The firm’s current clients include the cities of Delray Beach and Pompano Beach; the Delray Beach and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agencies; Palm Beach State College; Frenchman’s Creek Beach and Country Club in Jupiter; and many private developers and investors.
“The tide is beginning to turn,” said Aguila. “We’re seeing governments and private investors spending money again on good architectural design and responsible project management.” “We played a major role in downtown Delray’s renaissance in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s,” Currie said. “We are now being asked to renovate or update some of the same buildings we designed back then. We’re also getting calls to resume work on projects that were shelved when the recession hit.”
Currie founded the practice in 1969 after receiving a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Sowards joined the firm in 1987 after graduating from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s of Architecture. He became a partner in 1998. Aguila, meanwhile, was one of Currie’s first employees, starting as a draftsman and working his way through architecture school. He left the firm in 1993 to become Construction Manager for the City of Delray Beach, overseeing the implementation of more than 50 million dollars’ worth of capital improvement projects for the City. He rejoined the firm in 1999 and became a partner in 2001. For more information on Currie Sowards Aguila Architects, visit www.csa-architects.com or find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/curriesowardsaguilaarchitects.