Studio Ectypos is a design collaborative begun by Michele Marquardi and Lucia Pirzio-Biroli in 2001. In their work they seek to find a sympathetic relationship between context and project, landscape and building. Their projects are never historically derivative but do have their foundations in historic ideas. The word Ectypos was derived by Chrysostome Quatremere de Quincy in the 18th century from the Greek term ηκτυποσ (archetype, prototype) meaning that ideas are not original but transgress from one context to the next. In their projects the site/context/landscape is never separate from the proposed building and is in fact typically the protagonist. In their work they seek an inclusion of scale from the domestic space to the territorial. The Studio likes to work directly with the client and feels that the success of all projects is not just in the abilities of the architect but in the active participation of the client in the process.
Michele Marquardi was born and raised in northeastern Italy. He attended the University of Architecture in Venice (IUAV) where he received his degree in 1989. Before coming to the United States, he worked designing and building the infrastructure between 20 communities along the Tagliamento River. The environmental restoration projects included parks, aviary reintroduction centers, bridges, piazzas, etc. This is the basis of the studio's integration of building and site in the Pacific Northwest.
Lucia Pirzio-Biroli was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She received a bachelors of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in Italy on restoration and new construction projects. In the United States her work has focused primarily on new construction with experience in light commercial and high end residential design and construction.