Rob Zirkle

Clayton Mandly says that the “beauty of design” wasn’t his main motivation in the pursuit of architecture. Similar to the way that he didn’t fit the mold of a ballet dancer (though he danced professionally for years), his interest in architecture spans beyond schematic design, into engineering and the intricacies of well-choreographed construction documents and the nuances of code compliance. Clayton’s experience in mixed-use residential housing, unit planning—“sometimes it comes down to finding inches”— and retail spaces has centered around the more technical aspects of design.


precision, balance, integration.

Clayton is most influenced by the cities in which he has learned and worked. Cincinnati in particular drew him toward a culture of creatives where he picked up a keen attention to detail while practicing “maker” pursuits such as woodworking. He sees design execution like a puzzle: fitting systems into structures logically while still maintaining the design intent and “inhabitability” of a space. Clayton thrives with constraints and working under the pressure on projects of increasing difficulty. His completed projects range from a vast high-rise apartment building in Los Angeles to a LEED-silver-certified condominium unit in Honolulu to a series of Illinois supermarkets totaling to 200,000 square feet. Clayton brings what he has learned—whether it is catching the small details or being on point with large-scale structural concepts—to his work at brick, where he is currently the Project Architect for a large laboratory / office building in Redwood City. 

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