02 Mar

BTC: Kenneth, Patricia and Chris

Building From Inspiration

Kenneth Hart, Director of Architect

Photo of Kenneth Hart

When you conjure marathon runner, you tend to think focus, myopic determination and a constant quest to shave a few seconds off your best time. Unless you’re Ken. Ken marches to the beat of a different…runner. First, he’s run 85 marathons in the last five years — he’ll stop at 100 in 2012, having beaten paths through cities in all 50 states (twice). But more, it’s his focus on place — not time — that distinguishes his approach. “I used to think you could get a good enough sense of a place’s history and  architecture by reading about it in a book,” says Ken, “but it’s not until you stand on the Acropolis at the Parthenon that you can see what they see and get that same perspective.”

People running in city marathonKen’s marathons are studies of architecture, culture, light and perspective. He carries an iPhone so he can stop to take photos. In New Orleans recently, Ken shot dozens along the route of downtown buildings, French Colonial homes and the details that  characterize one of America’s most architecturally significant cities. He brings these perspectives to bear in projects across the country. “Every city has its own language,” he says. “But I do add about 40 minutes to my time, probably,” he admits.


Patricia Sampson, Managing Director

Patricia Sampson photo

“I love to study different cultural customs,” says Patricia who, as the daughter of an Army general, has lived among many, in places as geographically and culturally disparate as Saudi Arabia and Pasadena, California. “I appreciate the variations,” she says. Ever intrigued by those “variations” and nuance, Patricia talks of walking into a room and immediately noticing the furniture arrangement and flow. At Chambers, as client liaison and, by trade, interior designer, Patricia studies the cultural nuances of a club environment — the city, its people, traditions and preferences. She’s then able to help craft solutions that will be unique to the people of the individual club. “I love the mix,” she says, “and being able to draw from my experiences all over the world.”


Chris Smith, Vice President, Architect

Photo of Chris Smith

Chris is probably more comfortable outside then in. A native Californian turned East Coaster, Chris and his wife, Jackie, spend much of their time tending to their three-acre garden — an ever-evolving landscape with thousands of flowers, an orchard, a pergola, two ponds and a handful of ducks. It surrounds the couple’s pink (yep…pink) house, along with the studios of Goose Neck Designs, where the pair craft high relief custom ceramic tiles and sculptures, mostly nature-focused in theme.


Chris Smith working in studioChris spends his days as master planner and architect at Chambers. One might question the juxtaposition of the precision and practicality of his day job and his creative external pursuits. “For me,” Chris says, “well designed clubs artfully connect inside and out. When I’m inside, I’m always aware of what’s going on out there. I create spaces that blend the two.”



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