Ford 3 Architects at 32 Nassau Street, which has been run by managing partner Moira McClintock since 2006, has been certified as a Women Owned Business under the state’s Small Business Set-Aside Act and Minority and Women Certification Program.

McClintock says that she believes the certification will help open doors to new markets while also building on the firm’s existing design portfolio. “One of the things we have been looking to do is to expand into more public work.”

McClintock explains that after the recession hit, the firm tried to get involved with projects offered as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They found that the government required firms to have experience with four or five projects of that nature. “That effectively shut us out.”

“We’re hoping that the certification gives us an opportunity to do more public work on our own, or as a subconsultant to a larger firm,” McClintock says.

Ford 3 was founded by Jerry Ford in 2004 with partners Quinn Schwenker and McClintock after Ford left Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch after some 30 years. In addition to its Nassau Street headquarters, the firm also has a location in Solebury, PA, and a collaborative partnership with Thornewill Design in Nantucket, MA.

Ford, now in his early 80s, still comes to the office every day and is actively involved in the business. In this age of digital-everything, Ford’s knowledge of the days when architecture didn’t involve the use of a PC is invaluable, says McClintock.

The scope of the firm’s work includes adaptive re-use, new construction, renovations, and additions. The company’s projects include the Bedens Brook golf club, the D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, the Princeton Center for the Arts and Education, Peyton Hall at Princeton University, Blake Hall at Rutgers University, and Washington Crossing Animal Hospital.

Despite the lack of government work, the firm has weathered the economic downturn well and is back to the same staff level as before the recession — three partners and four associates, says McClintock. “We feel we’ve come out in a pretty strong position. We’re trying to diversify our practice areas and build on the areas that we do have. We offer a range of services that keeps us fairly busy.”

A registered architect in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, McClintock earned a degree in architecture in 1991 from Cornell University. Her professional experience includes the Dalton School in New York; Allan Greenberg, Architect in Washington D.C.; Ferguson, Shamamian and Rattner in New York; and Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch, where she met Ford.

McClintock grew up in Manhattan, where she attended the Dalton School. Her father, now retired, was a professor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, where taught philosophy and social sciences. Her mother is an architectural historian and theorist in Manhattan at Parsons The New School For Design .

“She had a big influence on me, and I had a lot of exposure to the field,” McClintock says of her mother. “When I was young she took me to college with her and spent I spent a lot of time with the students.”

Although McClintock was very interested in the fine arts, she found that her creative talents were more suited to architecture. “It’s an interesting art form because it’s also a business — one where you are working for your clients. It’s not as individual as other art forms, and I really enjoy the collaborative aspect of it.”

McClintock says she is “tentatively optimistic” about the future of Ford 3 coming out of the recession. “Right now the majority of our practice’s work is with redesign in existing buildings. Given the current economic climate and the obstacles that exist in land development, a lot of people are looking at those types of projects in New Jersey. They are trying to figure out how to get the most out of existing buildings.”

Ford 3 Architects LLC, 32 Nassau Street, Suite 303, Princeton 08542; 609-924-0043; fax, 609-924-2380. Moira McClintock, managing partner.

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