Just this week, I was asked by the principal in the architectural firm used by the health system--and the same firm that designed our new hospital--as to why we choose him and his firm. The answer was an easy one. Our previous architects were with a large firm. They had all the right answers when they were first engaged, but as time went on, we became an afterthought. We would be anticipating a worked product and when they arrived to present it to us, it was like they drew it up on a napkin in the car on their way to Cumberland. After a few of those interactions, they were warned and subsequently fired. Shortly thereafter, we began the search for a new firm. We ended up with a smaller firm in Baltimore, Hord Coplan Macht (HCM), based on how we felt that they would work with us. It was based on fit, trust and what the perceived relationship would be like. They had all the necessary expertise, but these guys and gals were genuine; they were sincere, seemed trustworthy at the time and have proven that time after time.
Large national firms can talk a great game, but have proven over time that they think that they are smarter and better than smaller boutique firms--and many times smarter than the client. When we were preparing to move forward on the new hospital, we didn't hesitate for a minute to engage HCM. They had never designed a new state-of-the-art hospital in its entirety, but they did for us. They brought in experienced architects who had previous new hospital experience. Adding our relationship with HCM and the new talent, it worked fabulously. To this day, we have a great working relationship and I gladly serve as a reference for HCM repeatedly. I can't say enough great things about the individuals as well as the firm in general. It continues to be a pleasure to work with these folks.