Sidell Pakravan is a contemporary practice that is committed to making compelling and beautiful architecture. To do this, we leverage architecture’s primary language, form, in response to a critical exploration of context.

We work at a variety of scales and formats – from writing about urbanism to designing buildings. Each project is a collaborative process that results in a clear formal idea.

Our process begins with an inquisitive approach to context.  Every site is uniquely defined by physical conditions, cultural identity, and social engagement.  We investigate a set of conditions and then clearly define questions with formal explorations. This project specific context engenders a set of questions or queries. With this approach, we avoid applying a ‘one size fits all’ methodology. Instead, we work closely with our clients to solve each project’s specific questions and conditions. We develop unique solutions that reflect our critical awareness of local conditions – such as urban infill density and rural openness or local materials and tectonics. Similarly, we develop long term working relationships with contractors that allow us to get the best possible realization of our design.  While we relish the creativity of the initial design process, we thrive on the collaboration of the execution.

This process allows us to both exploit and blur distinctions between architecture and its context. This may be a physical relationship between built form and landscape or a cultural relationship between site and the city. The results are bold yet simple sculptural volumes that meet our client’s needs while reflecting an awareness of the specific time and context.



Kristen Sidell and Rudabeh Pakravan, the principals at Sidell Pakravan, are both licensed architects. Together we have over twenty five years of experience in residential, commercial, and civic buildings in Europe and North America. We discovered our affinity for contemporary design and an interactive creative process while studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. We are committed to exploring how architectural concepts take root in contemporary contexts. We engage these questions in our practice and through teaching architecture at the California College of the Arts and the University of California, Berkeley.

Team: Alex Spatzier, Adam Miller, Earl Kho, Keenan Gravier, Lucas Almassy

Collaborators: Trenton Jewett, Julia Klineberg, Tara Sypriano, Tiffany Xu, Meg Anderson