"Yesterday I attended two celebrations for Pugh + Scarpa Architects, the AIA Firm of the Year—a panel took place in the afternoon where partners Larry Scarpa, Angie Brooks, and Gywnne Pugh, presented their work. The panel was moderated by friend and nominator Steve Dumez, who contributed to the atmosphere of casual ease in the presentation, a tone that is common with all things Pugh + Scarpa. This was especially evident when the Powerpoint crashed and had to be rebooted and Larry decided to take the lead in keeping the 500 or so members of the audience entertained while the computer was reactivated. He asked Steve Dumez to do his “Alvin and the Chipmonks” song. The audience clapped until he finally relented and performed the tune, shifting he his deep baritoneto a comically high-pitched register. By then the audience was quite animated. Then Larry told his story of how he built the carport of his house without a building permit, and the shenanigans he pulled with the building department, which was equally hilarious.
In the evening, a gathering of friends and family to celebrate their award occurred. Larry is originally from Florida and his two brothers and father joined the gathering. A good time was had by all with Pugh + Scarpa’s abundant friends present—Marlon Blackwell, Wendell Burnette, Tom Kundig, his wife and several people from his firm Olsen Kundig, Richard Maimon from Kieran Timberlake, Ned Kramer, Tom Fisher, and many others joined in animated conversation in the crowded bar area of the Meat Market. For me, it was a fitting end to the convention." —Jane Kolleeny