An interview with Chris Zimmerman, AIA
by Gina Pasharikov, Intern Architect
What inspired you to open your firm?
A: Even as a student of architecture it was my goal to open my own Architectural Practice. My desire was to have the ability to make my own decisions and position a practice for the future. After graduation, I immediately pursued registration and achieved this within three years. My experience with the City of Fort Lauderdale provided me with a strong understanding of municipal architecture. Having Marvin Scharf, AIA as a mentor gave me the understanding of a private practice.
What goals have you been able to accomplish with CPZ? What goals would you still like to accomplish?
A: Naturally as I opened CPZ, the main goal was to be successful and establish a well-respected practice within the community and profession. Having successfully grown and prospered, even thru tough economic times, CPZ Architects has attained this goal. My future goals are to establish an Ownership Transition Plan so the firm can continue to grow under the direction of other dedicated professionals with a passion for Architecture.
What is your greatest professional and personal achievement?
A: As an Architect, my greatest professional achievement is the ability to say that I continue to work with many of the same clients since the CPZ doors opened 13 years ago. This is a testament to the firm’s tag line that states: “Designing Quality Architecture that builds lasting Relationships.” In regards to my greatest personal achievement, it would have to be my family life. Married for 23 years and having raised three great children, I can see each of them heading in the right and positive direction.
What do you do to take a break from being a Boss?
A: Architects never have time to take a break! But on occasion, I enjoy heading off shore for a great day of fishing.
What inspires you?
A: Travelling to view architecture and observing its ability to communicate and influence people.
What is your best advice?
A: “Best advice is to be happy in what you do. It was a Saturday morning when my 6 year daughter came into the home office and asked, ‘Dad are you working again?’ Wow, talk about stopping in your tracks. But I said to her, ‘I am doing what I like to do so it is not work. I can only hope that when you grow up, you like what you decide to do.’ Then I also said, ‘But if you want to do something sweetheart, I will stop and we will go!’ If you love what you do, think about it all the time, then it really does not become work.”