NINE BY DESIGN. Michael Bierut’s stencilicious logo for Ennead Architects.
What’s Ennead (“EN-ee-ad”)? A Greek-derived term for the number nine or a group of nine. A distinguished nonet of Egyptian gods. And the architectural firm previously known as Polshek Partnership. Why the name change? To mark “the culmination of a transition in organizational structure and design leadership begun more than thirty years ago,” according to the firm’s nine partners, who are eager to transcend the starchitect model (based on the identity of founder James Polshek, who remains design counsel to the firm). They are also creating Ennead Lab, a private foundation dedicated to research, education, and advocacy. Tasked with graphically defining the new, collaborative identity of Ennead Architects was Pentagram. We think Michael Bierut has outdone himself with the logo, a nine-part stencil (riffing on Stymie and Bau) that plays with themes of openness, materiality, and practicality. “They were great to work with and are very energized by the transformation,” Bierut tells us. Meanwhile, Pentagram partner Lisa Strausfeld and her team brought Ennead’s innovative spirit to life online, creating a website that puts all its cards on the table with a flexible structure and an appealingly blackboardish quality.