Our architects at Opus are passionate about creating building designs that not only support our clients' goals but enhance their visions for the future. Their approach is thoughtful, asking the right questions and applying knowledge to create designs that meet, and often exceed, client requirements. One of our award-winning architects is Gary Schuberth. He's an exceptionally talented architect with a rare positive energy that translates to outstanding building designs and grateful clients.
Gary has been at Opus for 13 years and is a principal architectural leader for our Kansas City and St. Louis offices. With decades of design experience, he provides a broad perspective for projects across multiple sectors, including office, industrial, residential, retail and institutional. Gary's main responsibilities include managing design concept development, site and zoning analysis, programming and master planning, as well as creating interior tenant elements, graphics and product design. An internationally recognized architectural illustrator, Gary can also contribute to the creation of original sculptures or provide art consultation for incorporating other artists' works into building designs.
A graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Gary received a Bachelor of Architecture degree early in his career. “I've always been involved with designing and building things," he said. “In high school I did fairly elaborate design drawings and had a surfboard custom fabricated, and that led to an architecture class in high school and really wanting to create buildings."
Supporting Client Goals, Advancing Social Context
“When I think about Gary's professional attributes, I admire his ability to listen and turn what he has heard into a solution that captures a client's needs in a creative, fun way," said Dean Newins, Senior Vice President, Architecture. “His ability to collaborate with the team while providing expertise is truly one of his skills. You can tell in meetings with him that he is fully engaged and excited to find solutions that exceed expectations."
Gary is a strong advocate for creative design that accomplishes the client's goals while advancing the social context and priorities of the neighborhood. As part of the design process, this involves working with the city and community members to gain approvals and entitlements. This is where his positive energy and people skills really shine.
“This phase involves presenting 3-D building designs and illustrations at city planning and council meetings, where members of the public voice their support for or objections to projects," said Gary. “Design and aesthetics are subjective and people can be emotional when things change in their community. In general, non-supporters are more vocal than supporters, so I need to help manage and respond to these concerns. It can be both challenging and exhilarating. Overall, things go more favorably than not because we listen to and address these concerns."
“Once a project is underway, I serve as the architect of record, reviewing and signing documents as they are developed. I enjoy working with our architectural engineers, structural engineers and interior designers during that phase of the project," he said. “When it moves to construction, I meet regularly with our project managers and site superintendents, answering questions, reviewing mockups and approving details. Our 'three-legged stool' design-build approach, with development, design and construction under one roof, helps bring more value to clients. Our solutions are created vertically and organically with a common goal of satisfying the client vs. three adversaries working in a linear manner with divergent points of interest."
Designing Creative Solutions, Delivering Value for Clients
Gary says his job is really about creative problem solving. “It involves going from conceptual ideas and visioning to technical details about how the building will be assembled, so having a left brain-right brain capability is required on a daily basis. I always strive to exceed our client's initial ideas of what they wanted or needed."
For example, Edison District, a Class A, five-story, 125,000-square-foot, mixed-use office building project in Overland Park, Kan. “We had worked with this client on a previous project, and he was looking for our advice on creating a compelling vision. With a quick whiteboard sketch, I was able to illustrate how using the space between buildings and structures could add a new dimension. These outdoor spaces were an opportunity to engage the public and enhance the tenant and user experience. The conversation moved from being about buildings to about creating an active place. Joe Downs and Oscar Healy added a pro forma analysis and cost estimates to this whiteboard exercise and the client loved it. We landed the job, and it is now being built."
Gary elevated the Edison District project from being simply a building to a destination. Carefully designed to emulate the Edison Spaces brand of flexible, collaborative office space solutions, it reflects the area's urban vibe with a contemporary food hall designed to attract tenants, a custom bar area that opens to the outdoors for dining and cocktails, an outdoor event plaza and a 400-vehicle parking garage.
“Gary is a fantastic talent for several reasons," said Joe Downs, Executive Vice President and General Manager, who oversees the St. Louis, Kansas City and Indianapolis markets. “He is a great teammate because he is even tempered, treats everyone with respect, is super responsive and goes above and beyond to ensure we hit deadlines. He understands the business, is passionate about his work and is a huge part of our story and our success. Opus, and our clients, are very fortunate to have him on the team."
Gary's and his team's work has been recognized with awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Design-Build Institute of America and the American Society of Architectural Illustrators.
When he's not at work, Gary's obsession with buildings extends to art. He has several sketches on display in Germany, including at the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin. Gary also enjoys volunteering at nonprofit organizations the Opus Foundation® supports, such as Operation Breakthrough and Cornerstones of Care.
Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.