For Trekkies, it’s not the “Final Frontier” I’m referring to. It’s those VOIDS, that air between the solid stuff. We architects deal in space. While the beams, columns and walls of a building are important, unless you are a mouse, you don’t live, work or play inside a wall.

Winston Churchill said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” As one who has made their living for 30 years sculpting spaces cut out of blocks of stuff, this statement inspires, but it also humbles one with the huge responsibility architects have. The efficiency of your work, the enjoyment in your entertainment, the effectiveness of your learning and the inspiration of your worship is greatly impacted by the work of an architect.

This idea of space is not only relative to interiors. On the exterior, it’s not just important how a building looks, but what happens with the spaces between the buildings. How does a building sit on the site, relate to its neighbors, create a neighborhood or outdoor spaces people enjoy and want to spend time in?

Another thing you may not know about space is that it talks. People’s homes and buildings reflect who they are: traditional, contemporary, trendy, frugal, out-of-date, showy, creative or hip. What does your space say about you?

CMBA recently celebrated the move of our Grand Island office into a new space. This is what we hope our space says about us:

Rather than build a new building, CMBA chose to repurpose an existing, vacant space in a 1930’s Art Deco building.

We are committed to the communities we work in and serve. CMBA purchased our condo in downtown Grand Island. We made a long-term commitment toward Grand Island’s downtown revitalization.

There aren’t many walls. We don’t need any walls to get in the way of working together. We believe a collaborative team produces better results than working as individuals.

The walls we do have are glass. Ducts are exposed, and there just isn’t much hidden. Integrity is in our mission statement. Our team is open and transparent with our clients. Our only agenda is to leave you with great spaces and great service along the way.

Of course, we hope you see many more things in our space…things like current, creative, exciting, vibrant, fun, efficient and effective. Come visit and judge for yourself. We look forward to welcoming you.


In 2010, the CMBA office in Sioux City made a similar commitment to Sioux City’s downtown by purchasing space in a vacant 100-year-old grocery store warehouse. The 90,000 sq. ft. building is now fully occupied and on the tax roles. CMBA received the 1000 Friends of Iowa “Best Mixed Use Development” Award for our work.

CMBA is currently exploring similar opportunities for a sustainable community commitment at our Spencer, Iowa location.