When I first posted on Instagram about buying land, FORT reached out asking if I needed an architect. It was a DM I happened to catch and the rest well was history! We scheduled a zoom call, hit it off, and a week or so later they flew down for a site visit. If you missed my first post on our new build project head here to get all caught up here. After sharing my plans and vision for the house I knew they got it, I was excited, they were excited, sparks were flying. I’m thrilled to introduce you to the team at FORT architecture so you can fall in love with them too…
Tell us about yourself:FORT is a boutique architecture and interior design studio based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada focusing on residential and hospitality design. Three principals lead our studio: interior designer Landon Anholt, Architect Meghan Bannon, and Architect + interior designer Tara Marshall.
We are three friends who started our firm based on a shared dream of creating impactful and thoughtful designs at any budget.
What values do you uphold at FORT?
Our number one goal at FORT is to design inspirational spaces that tell our client’s stories and not our own. We understand that every client has unique experiences, style, and budget; we recognize the need to tailor the design process to our client’s individual needs. We try to listen and understand our clients genuinely – you might say that we are empathetic designers. It is a learned skill that we always have at the forefront of mind when starting a new project.
On top of all that, we love design! We want our clients to enjoy the design process as much as we do. We truly strive to create a client experience that is fun, engaging, and stress-free, starting from initial concept to final construction. We want our clients to feel inspired, at ease, and eager to share their ideas, no matter how big or small they may be.
Where do you find inspiration?
Travel is hands down our favourite way to find inspiration. Right before the world shut down due to COVID, we made a team research trip to Melbourne, Australia. It was a quick trip, but the design scene was unbelievable; amazing food, drinks, architecture, interior design, art, and fashion – all enabled by many talented forward thinkers and some incredible design teams. We left with full bellies and freshly inspired minds.
Sometimes you need to step out of your element and experience something new.
Although travel is on pause, for now, we still find ourselves retreating to our favourite books, looking at new fashion and furniture trends, tuning into our favourite designer podcasts, and scouring the internet for anything design-related.
What are you most excited about with this project?
Beyond the obvious of working with a designer, we really admire (full disclosure, we had to throw back some wine prior to our first meeting with Sarah). We are incredibly excited to work on a project that not only reflects Sarah’s style but is also very in tune with our own personal aesthetics. Our teams have been able to align our thinking and vision easily and organically throughout the process. It has been amazing to collaborate on all aspects of the design and to work with Sarah to see the bigger picture, from interiors to exteriors and all the details along the way. Even with a couple of thousand miles between us, the process has been nothing short of a dream. We constantly need to pinch and remind ourselves that we are not the ones moving in at the end. There is some major house envy on the FORT team!
Tell us about a favorite past project(s):
Are we allowed to say Sarah’s? In all honesty, we have been fortunate to work with some amazing clients recently. We love working with passionate people and find our client’s excitement to be a very contagious and inspiring driver for our designs. This is part of why we really enjoy working with start-up hospitality companies and young families on the residential side. We cannot put into words how rewarding it is to collaborate with and assist our clients in achieving their dreams.
One of our favorite residential projects to date was a small-scale backyard studio we designed for a wonderful client last year. Our client is heavily immersed in the design, fashion, and art scene, has incredible taste and trusts us to design a beautiful backdrop for her eclectic collection of furniture, art, and accessories.
A couple of favorites currently under construction are Monogram Coffee and Porch. The three owners of Monogram are very inspiring in their pursuit of coffee perfection. We felt it was necessary to create a design capable of matching their enthusiasm and had fun diving into the world of coffee. On the other hand, Porch is a new restaurant where we blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor dining. In a climate with a short patio season, it has been a rewarding challenge to try to create the feel of an all-season porch and play with typically exterior materials on the interior of this exciting restaurant.
Thank you FORT!
Photo by: Jamie Anholt Photography