Our Mission

In their practice and teaching, Phoebe Crisman and Michael Petrus foster relationships between seemingly oppositional conditions: natural ecology and heavy industry, regional watersheds and roofing details, and global climate change and individual education. Working with environmental nonprofit NGOs, as well as businesses and governmental agencies, Crisman+Petrus Architects design strategies that promote the coexistence and growth of healthy ecosystems, human cultures, and thriving, urban, economic opportunity.

Our architectural projects engage overlooked and underserved communities and have an enormous impact. The Wetland Learning Lab and Beazley River Academy at the Paradise Creek Nature Park, as well as the Elizabeth River Project Learning Barge are powerful projects that support outreach and education for children from Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Norfolk and beyond. Children who have never gotten their hands muddy are encouraged to directly interact with the plants, animals, water and dirt that are in their own backyards but are rarely directly engaged. Our projects are designed to didactically support the mission of educating K-12 children about their local environment amidst global challenges of climate change, sea level rise, pollution and sprawling urbanization.

Our larger urban projects integrate industrial waterfront development with restoration ecologies. Projects such as the 300-acre Money Point Revitalization, Atlantic Woods Industries constructed wetland project, and the Scotts Creek industrial Low Impact Development Plan conceptually share the same strategy that industry, local communities, and ecology can coexist and thrive through thoughtfully deployed constructed and biological infrastructures. These projects have earned awards from the American Institute of Architects, US Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Design Research Association, Places Journal, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.