Since its founding in 1998, Johnston Marklee's portfolio is distinguished by its concise conceptual approach to each specific project. Rather than adhere to a signature style, Johnston Marklee investigates issues of design, form, and technical resolution to create unique works of architecture. Principals Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee have developed their approach to projects varying in scale from master plans to contemporary buildings and temporary installations to distill the inherent complexity of each project into coherent, singular solutions.
The firm has a substantial architectural portfolio including a range of institutional, residential, and commercial commissions throughout the United States as well as in China, Argentina, Portugal, Switzerland, and Italy.
While maintaining a deep commitment to architecture history as well as the discipline's contemporary discourse, Johnston Marklee's creative process engages the respective knowledge and influence of collaborations
beyond those typical to architecture. Drawing upon an extensive network of professional experts in related fields, Johnston Marklee is widely recognized for culling the expertise of engineers, contemporary artists, graphic designers, writers, and photographers to broaden the breadth of design research. Johnston Marklee fosters collaboration in which the expertise of joining disciplines are sharpened, rather than blurred, maintaining permeable boundaries for greater results.
Principals Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston are equally engaged in academic and applied design research, and the firm fosters the vital links between these arenas in their practice. Johnston Marklee couples their conceptual approach to design with rigorous study of building and material methods, fabrication technologies, and construction techniques. The firm directs complex teams of collaborators where cross disciplinary practices yield unexpected results. Academic study focuses on critical reassessment of architectural and urban design history within the context of urban development and housing in border cities and culture-specific landscapes.
Mark Lee received his Bachelors in Architecture from University of Southern California and his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University. He has taught at the ETH in Zurich, UCLS in Los Angeles, and is currently a guest professor at the Technical University of Berlin.
Sharon Johnston received her Bachelors in History from Stanford University and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University, and she has taught at SCI-Arc and UCLA in Los Angeles.