The work of Bolender Architects is known for sensitivity to its surroundings and for expressing the values of an individual client along with the enduring principles of architecture. Different circumstances evoke differing stylistic responses, with common threads of modesty, joy in materials and commitment to sustainable practices. Projects vary greatly in size and function. Clients include businesses and home owners, non-profit organizations and the City of Philadelphia.
Process is important to the work both functionally and intellectually. Each project brings the opportunity to seek answers to basic questions. How are decisions made that result in a good building? Whose voices are heard? How will this building uplift the next generation, whose voices cannot be heard? Especially in difficult economic times, how can this building offer the greatest value to our clients and to future users?
Bolender Architects was established in 2012. Projects from 1997 to 2012 are by Schade and Bolender Architects LLP, with Kiki Bolender as principal in charge. The firm is registered with the City of Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity as a Woman Business Enterprise.
Kiki Bolender, FAIA LEED AP, is principal of Bolender Architects. Along with acting as a principal for twenty years, she is engaged in consulting and advocacy work. From 2012 to 2015 she chaired the Design Advocacy Group (DAG), representing that group at the Land Bank Alliance and Next Great City, and testifying at City Council on issues related to the built environment. With May 8 Consulting, she founded the Healthy Rowhouse Project. Currently she is on the Board of Friends of Historic Sedgeley, and was recently on the Board of AIA Philadelphia and the Board of the Women's Humane Society. She is on the Advisory Board of Design for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, taught at the Citizens' Planning institute for six years, and was on the People's Editorial Board of the Daily News. She is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and is a Lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania PennDesign Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. Kiki grew up in a very small town in Arizona, and attended Occidental College, University of Toronto and received her MArch from Columbia University.