History

ada-county-courthouse

Defining Our Communities Through Architecture

For over 45 years, LCA Architects have created public spaces that enrich, uplift and inspire the human spirit.

Established in Boise, Idaho, in 1972 as Lombard-Conrad Architects, founders Joe Conrad and Ernie Lombard began their practice designing public architecture through a spirit of collaboration. They believed that great architecture is not only created by dedicated and talented design professionals, but by a collaborative effort between clients, consultants and the public.

barber-park-event-ctr-sm

Barber Park Events Center on the Boise river

This philosophy of collaboration and an open culture gave the firm’s young designers extraordinary¬†freedom and opportunities to create many of the region’s iconic buildings such as the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, the Wells Fargo Center and Timberline High School.

Joe and Ernie’s early success and determination paved the way for commissions outside of the Boise market. Designing facilities throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Nevada required the firm to respond to the unique characteristics of each region. The firm’s collaborative approach to design enabled them to better understand each community’s culture and design buildings that respond to their specific needs. LCA Architects and staff endeavor to learn as much as possible about the conditions of the site, the history of the surrounding architecture, regulatory parameters, the political landscape and future development. This insight allows LCA to create projects that have a distinctive yet appropriate place in the community.

1st-interstate-building-wells-fargo

Wells Fargo Center in downtown Boise

Practicing their own philosophy, LCA developed a site-specific and site-sensitive design for their own office in Boise. Nestled on the banks of the Boise River with views of the foothills and adjacent city park, the building’s wood exterior, large glazed openings, scale and massing encourages the surrounding natural landscape to be the focal point for the visitor. The spirit of teamwork and open collaboration is obvious when one enters LCA’s lobby. There are few doors or individual offices, supporting the collaborative culture of the firm. The open floor plan encourages staff to stop by each other’s desks to discuss projects and share ideas.

In 1999, Joe and Ernie retired and turned the firm over to seven architects who shared the firm’s vision for enriching communities through architecture. The new generation of owners shortened the company name to LCA Architects as a symbol for looking to the future while honoring the reputation Joe and Ernie had created.