Selecting architectural firm names is one of the first things architects do when they start their own firm. Many firms, like Zaha Hadid Architects or Gehry Partners, went past the traditional least-creative naming method. Such strong architectural names made a label out of their practices and forever branded them in people’s memory.

But what about young architects who are currently establishing their firms? Should they go the traditional way? Or come up with something unconventional; a name that gives character to their new establishment, since their names are not known yet? Many architects prefer the second option as a weird, catchy name can ring in one’s ears for a long time.

Such names often have funny stories that intrigue people to look for their interpretations. They draw attention to the rising practices and encourage clients to deal with these “funky” studios.

10 Hilarious Stories Behind the Weirdest Architectural Firm Names

Here, read these Funny Stories Behind the Weirdest Architectural Firm Names:-

1. !@#? – New York, USA

Weirdest Architectural Firm Names


As you can see, the name chosen by the owners is impossible to utter or obtain a web address for. This is why architects Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith changed the !@#? For their New York-based practice into a more traditional form, dubbed the “MOS Architects.”

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2. Design, Bitches – Los Angeles, USA

Weirdest Architectural Firm Names


Seven years ago, Los Angeles-based architects Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph were asked in an architectural competition to define what architecture is. Their answer was: “It’s Design, Bitches”. The phrase has been memorable ever since, although they didn’t intend it to be so.

3. Atelier Bow-Wow – Tokyo, Japan

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The Atelier’s name was given by the Japan-based studio co-founder, Momoyo Kaijima. She explained the name by simply saying: “We like a dog.” Obviously, these are dog lovers.

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4. G///Bang, Zaragoza – Spain

The name of this firm is composed of a “G’ which is the initial of the owner’s family name,” G,” Jose Javier Gallardo Ortega. The graphics tool slash “/” is repeated thrice to separate the studio’s name’s first and last parts. The last part of the name is “Bang,” which is a widespread sound imitation in children’s comic books. Ortega wanted to spread the idea that to invade the field of architecture; you have to be a thug. He likes it when people who come across the name wonder about its interpretation.

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5. FREAKS Architecture – Paris, France

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Seeking to attract people’s attention, architects Cyril Gauthier, Guillaume Aubry, and Yves Pasquet named their Paris-based firm “FREAKS” instead of the familiarly used initials of the founders. Although the owners are average on the “freakiness scale,” they are amused by the name and the public’s reaction.

6. 5468796 – Manitoba, Canada

The owners of the firm, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, left the firm’s name undecided till the last minute. The seven numbers that compose the name referred to the corporation’s number when the founders applied for the company’s papers to be registered.

The firm’s co-founders, architects Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic, commented that ten years ago, many people expected them to change the name. People were skeptical of the name’s ability to attract attention. Now that the company is on the road to success, all the doubts have diminished. While some clients brag about keeping the whole number by heart, others go for using shorter, more straightforward names like the “546”, “the numbered,” or “the barcode” firm.

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7. Ninkipen – Tokyo, Japan

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What is Ninkipen? Or who is Ninkipen? Well, he, not “it”- a Japanese architect called Yasuo Imazu. The architect meant for the name of his studio to be unusual and not belong to a particular culture or country. Ninkipen is a new word composed of two parts. The first part is Ninki 人気 which is Japanese for “popular,” while the second is the English word “pen,” which doubles as Imazu’s designer name at college.

8. Swimming Pool Studio – Shanghai, China

The name of the Shanghai-based practice implies that they design swimming pools or have one at the office. However, that is not the case. The firm’s name in the Chinese language is 三也, and when the two parts are placed together, it becomes 池, meaning “swimming pool” in English. The Swimming Pool’s name gives a fun and creative impression about the studio.

9. P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S – Los Angeles, USA

When Marcelo Spina wanted to set up a website for his firm, “PATTERN,” the domain was already taken, so he introduced hyphens to break up the name. The employees in the Los Angeles-based practice were not very happy about typing all these hyphens, but they got used to it eventually.

10. Atelier YokYok – Paris, France

The name of the Parisian Atelier is inspired by YokYok, a children’s TV show character that also appeared in a couple of books. YokYok is a dwarf of a man in the world of giants who wears a big red hat. The architects and founders Steven Fuhrman, Samson Lacoste, and Luc Pinsard felt that YokYok represented and helped with their embarkment in the complicated world of graphic design.

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