After 53 years of dedication and significant contributions to the industry, Founding Principal Chuck Davis, FAIA has decided to retire. He will continue to be a presence at EHDD as a consultant, mentor, friend and Principal Emeritus.
Chuck began his career as a draftsman at EHDD hired by founder Joseph Esherick in 1961. Chuck was instrumental in expanding the scope and scale of the firm’s work by taking the philosophical foundations established by Esherick and applying them to the design of major academic, institutional and private projects. Today he is recognized as an expert in the design of aquariums and libraries, and his diverse portfolio includes historic renovations, museums, laboratories, residences, and university work of every type.
Quintessentially Californian, Chuck’s approach is inclusive rather than exclusive; inventive and spontaneous, rather than formal and pedantic. Well known for his particular passion for the marine ecosystem and its inhabitants, he has a rare ability to create environments that form a harmonious union of marine science, habitat understanding, materials research, visitor experience and aquarium exhibits.
His integrative, visionary design of the Monterey Bay Aquarium transformed the field of aquarium design, earning the 25 Year Award from the AIA California Council in 2011, and Chuck himself the prestigious Maybeck Award in 2003, as well as the coveted AZA Wendy Fischer Award for Professional Excellence in 2010.
Chuck’s most notable projects include:
- Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California;
- Science Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz, California;
- Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California;
- Main Library Complex Renovation at the University of California, Berkeley;
- Exploratorium at Pier 15, San Francisco, California
Chuck’s many achievements and honors include:
- Fellow, American Institute of Architects
- Distinguished Alumni, University of California, Berkeley
- Director, San Francisco Chapter, American Institute of Architects
- National Firm of the Year Award, American Institute of Architects, Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis
- Architectural Firm Award, California Council, American Institute of Architects
"Chuck's contribution to building EHDD into what it is today — a practice that puts the client first, and nurtures talented young architects to continue the values and quality established by him and his partners — has been invaluable. He was a mentor to me as well as many in our profession. We have greatly benefited from his keen insight and the integrity that he brought to his work and our firm, as well as his good humor.”
—Duncan Ballash, EHDD President & Principal