Does BAMO focus solely on five-star properties?
Pamela Babey: Not always; we sometimes tackle more modest houses and hotels. It’s the integrity of the design that matters. Whatever the budget, there’s a quality of understatement in much of our work.
How do you allocate the office’s projects?
Gerry Jue: Depending on whether there’s a personal connection or a general inquiry, we would see who is most interested and available—unless everyone is dying to get his hands on a specific project, in which case it’s who jumps first.
Does each partner specialize in a certain area?
GJ: While we are responsible for doing similar things and meeting the same goals, each of us has a different design background and brings a unique perspective. Like a chamber ensemble, we each make a distinctive contribution to the whole but play in harmony together.
How have you addressed the issue of sustainability?
Michael Booth: It has always been an important concern. We recently designed a house in Portola Valley, [California,] where the clients were passionate about that issue, and it was a great learning experience for our team. The most important lesson was: Try to source all building materials from within a 500-mile radius—closer, if possible.