We have worked with Fernau + Hartman Architects for two years since the re-boot of the CuriOdyssey project – a major renovation of an existing science center and wildlife habitat at Coyote Point Park. 

F+H have been incredible partners in this endeavor. They are very good, not only at listening to our client’s direction, but also in listening for CuriOdyssey’s needs and wants – and then translating it all into a complete design package.

The F+H team are also very adept at communicating and fleshing-out their design concepts, with well-organized client presentations, and clear explanations of issues and solutions, and the willingness to go a step further in researching options so that our client is confident they have exhausted all possible options.

F+H have demonstrated a mastery of the technical aspects of architecture, and work to maintain a high level of expertise and knowledge of their profession – from the most mundane code requirements to leading-edge sustainable design concepts.

Under the guidance of principal-in-charge Laura Hartman, and the diligent direction of project architect Laura Boutelle, F+H’s team of consultants have delivered a cohesive and coordinated design package – from concept thru construction documents – which is a testament to F+H’s ability to efficiently and effectively manage the design team. 

Fernau + Hartman’s ability to creatively address our client’s competing “tensions” has earned F+H the highest kudos from CuriOdyssey’s executive management, and ensured our recommendation for future projects.

— Melissa Bartolo, KPM Consulting, LLC, Client Project Manager for CuriOdyssey

CuriOdyssey hired Fernau &Hartman after a competitive process as it was clear from their concept design presentation that they “got” us. They understood first and foremost our mission, our challenges in the current building, and were adept at listening and translating our desires into a vision that was in our hearts. Since that time, we have worked very closely though all phases of the project – schematic design, design development, construction documents, and just recently the permit set was submitted for plan check. A celebratory moment!

The F&H team, specifically Laura Hartman, principal-in-charge, and Laura Boutelle, project architect, have been a joy to work with through every step of the journey. We had scheduled meetings during each phase with both of our teams making important decisions together. Early on in the process, we needed to cut back the initial design due to results from our feasibility study and it was basically a third of the original cost. Yes, a third. That particular meeting took about an hour and the F&H team had listened so well and understood our program needs so acutely that they arrived at what is an even more perfect building that meets our needs and staying within budget. There was no ego involved. Also, during each phase they scheduled weekly conference calls that were well run, well documented, and kept us on schedule throughout.

One of the successes we’ve enjoyed is how well our teams have worked together on each and every aspect of the design details and/or direction decisions. Some of the decisions were a result of great grounded discussions and at times those decisions were hard to make and some not so hard at all! The F&H team understands every nuance of our program needs, the building requirements and our budget so well that we were 100% confident in each of those decisions we had made together. The F&H team has been incredibly professional at managing any and all technical issues, various and seemingly unending code requirements, and in numerous building and planning meetings with the County.  

From a personal perspective, my role on the task force has been the in-house CuriOdyssey liaison working directly with Laura Hartman, Laura Boutelle, and various members of their team almost on a weekly basis. They have been wonderful at every step of the way in making sure I was well-informed, educated, and had all the pertinent information at hand in order to make decisions and move the project forward on a timely basis. It is with great honor I recommend the team of F&H for your project.

Joan Martel, Deputy Director, CuriOdyssey