Wednesday, October 10, 2012
As much as any architect working today, Eric Colbert is responsible for the look and feel of contemporary D.C. Once called "the architectural god of 14th Street," Colbert and his firm, Eric Colbert & Associates, is known for his subtle but artful aesthetic, and his projects are everywhere. Whether you know it or not, when you think about District architecture, you're thinking about Eric Colbert.
1. What’s a typical day for you?
Wake up at 5:45 and am on the Potomac River by 6:20 am in my kayak doing a workout near Brookmont. In the office by 9:00 am. Most of our projects are local and I often make a site visit to one of our construction sites during the day. As the owner of the company, it is my responsibility to distribute work to the employees and insure that our resources are being used efficiently. At least 3-4 times a week potential clients come to me with possible projects that they want me to analyze.
I normally work through lunch. Leave office around 7:30 pm. I have no TV and usually read a couple of hours in the evening.
2. What or who is your biggest influence?
When I started my company, for many years I shared offices with the developer, Sandy Wilkes. He taught me a lot about how to organize and run an office, and remains a close friend and client. Gary Squire is another long-time client that has taken a strong interest in my company and has been an effective mentor.
3. What neighborhood do you live in?
I have lived in numerous DC neighborhoods, including Adams Morgan, Eckington, Penn Quarter. I currently reside in Chevy Chase, DC.
4. What is your biggest DC pet peeve?
Phobia about building height.
5. What is the #1 most played song on your iPod.
I play a lot of songs from Cold Play’s “Mylo Xyloto” album and Leonard Cohen’s “Old Ideas” album.
6. Favorite DC haunt?
7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Be outdoors, kayaking, hiking, etc. I just returned from a 2 week, 227 mile kayak trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I travel quite a bit and always enjoy returning to Washington, DC. There is no place else that I would rather live.
9. If you couldn’t be an architect, what would you be?
If I couldn’t be an architect, I would probably want another type of job in the construction or design industry. I love all aspects of creating a building, furniture, or any built form.
10. Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
I am addicted to crime novels.