The Beginnings of CO Architects

By: Jill Capanna

Jack MacAllister and David Rinehart studied and worked for Louis I. Kahn, FAIA in the 1950’s and 1960s. Throughout their careers, Jack and David’s work and practice values were deeply influenced by their experience with Kahn and shaped the culture and values they brought to the founding of the Los Angeles office of Anshen+Allen in 1986. The practice became CO Architects in 2005.

Kahn’s practice was based on a high degree of collaboration of staff and all consultants. Spaces defined by structure and integrated building services required continuous participation of all consultants in the design process. Jack and David learned to seek solutions that went beyond simply “state of the art,” and instead led to new, forward-looking designs that promised a long and useful life for the building. Young architects were encouraged to take on responsibilities beyond their experience and were mentored and guided by more experienced staff. Everyone was a designer and project teams remained constant from schematic design through construction documents. Technical innovation was encouraged and supported by rigorous research and close relationships to suppliers and manufacturers.


The Salk Institute

The long hours worked were rewarded by the joy of creating great architecture in a rich learning environment. It is that environment that David and Jack emulated with the founding of Anshen+Allen’s Los Angeles office.

CO Architects retains all of these long-standing goals, values and standards, even under its third generation of leadership. In addition, it fully embraces the founding idea to employ the most advanced computers and software available. Even in 1986, all architecture and engineering documents were done on CADD. Today, CO Architects is a pioneer and national leader in the application of BIM and integrated project delivery.

The firm continues the legacy of Jack and David through the design of beautiful, innovative, green buildings that provide inspiring environments and enhance the physical environment for their occupants.

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