A description of PLY Architecture seems to inevitably begin with an explanation of the name. As practitioners and educators Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann realize the necessity of putting their ideas into action. Ply used as a verb means to practice or perform diligently, to ply a trade. Using ply as a noun implies multiple laminations such as plywood, a material that is both from natural origins (wood) but has been engineered for greater performance. This duality of tangible materiality and thoughtful intention pervades our thinking. Craig Borum founded PLY Architecture in 1999. In the same year he began collaborating with Karl Daubmann on the award winning competition entry for the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located in South Bend Indiana. In 2001 they continued their work together on a competition entry for Chicago Public Schools, which was selected as a finalist from an international pool of entries. Following the success of the school competition, Karl Daubmann joined the firm as a principal.
Since the founding of PLY Architecture, the firm has completed a wide range of projects from the design and construction of furniture up to urban design proposals, from residential projects to interior environments. All of the work is framed by a dedication to the synthesis of materials and craft, and building and landscape. PLY has continued to build experience with every project, acting in the traditional role as architect, working collaboratively with contractors, and taking on the responsibility to build their own designs. The work produced by the firm has consistently reconciled the programmatic concerns of clients against budget and time constraints resulting in projects that transform the expectations and preconceptions of its users. The work of PLY Architecture has been exhibited and published widely both in the United States and internationally.
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