04 Mar Peter Fisher
Chairman, Director of Master Planning
Uncovering every hidden opportunity within a project — solving its riddles — elevates it beyond good architecture to become a strategic business asset.
Peter Fisher is an architect who builds relationships before buildings; an advisor who believes people power places. Anyone who has worked with Peter knows of his unparalleled ability to shape human experience through master planning and architecture. Together with the client, Peter works to uncover the full potential of a project. He ensures the project is working to create maximum value for the client’s investment.
As PDR’s Chairman and Director of Master Planning, Peter brings his collaborative problem-solving skills to guide and motivate the corporation to achieve PDR’s strategic vision outlined by CEO and President Lauri Goodman Lampson. Peter recognizes all plans must have clear goals, objectives, and success measures.
In a strategic move to broaden PDR’s presence across the state of Texas, Peter founded PDR’s Austin office, which services the central Texas region. While committed to building and strengthening local relationships, the Austin office, led by Director Shawna Hills, operates under PDR’s One Room Wonder philosophy where regardless of location, PDR team members share knowledge and innovate as a single studio. The collaborative perspective Peter cultivates firm-wide has enabled PDR’s global projects to happen from anywhere for decades. His culture-building efforts also unknowingly prepared the entire PDR studio for the conditions forced by the coronavirus pandemic — a silver lining during a challenging time.
As a trusted partner to project executives, Peter demonstrates how to organize the tapestry of systems that become a significant built project. His insight is grounded in over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 firms and global developers. Peter’s perspective is also propelled by his innate optimism. He builds excitement not only for what has been proven to work, but for what is possible, exciting, and worth exploring.
The innovation center PDR recently completed for a confidential global consulting and technology firm is rooted in work Peter and Lauri completed for the same company when it was first founded nearly three decades ago. Peter’s inner compass drove the young tech firm to think beyond conventional corporate real estate and Lauri advised them to leverage workplace as a business tool. Together, their guidance led to an unconventional decision: to renovate a historical building that was once a department store into the firm’s first high-performing workplace. The visionary project led to near-flawless retention rates and a workplace that enabled the critical process and behavioral changes needed to fulfill the organization’s vision. That initial project would lead Peter, Lauri, and PDR to advise on many of the firm’s national projects leading up to the present day.
Peter’s longstanding advisory role with ExxonMobil guided the energy giant to bring its most precious assets—its people—together in an unprecedented way. He worked with executive leadership to align behind a plan to consolidate workplaces across the nation and bring its people together in its 14,000 person Houston Campus. Since 2015, the campus has been a creative hub for beneficial “collisions” between knowledge workers. The campus is designed to encourage every resident to “collide” with 3,000 cohorts daily—an impressive 3.75 million of these collaborative touchpoints are possible during a typical work hour.
As a trusted advisor to real estate investment company Spear Street Capital, Peter has worked with building owners to reposition their assets back into the market. His understanding of what brings people to an office and how to craft tenant experiences are the foundations of his planning.
Similarly, Peter’s advisory role with Skanska, a global project development and construction group, is changing the face of downtown Houston. Skanska challenged Peter and his team to create a unique amenity that would attract tenants to their new Capitol Tower. The project led to the launch of The Assembly, an enticing event venue and hospitality hub that embodies work/life integration. Skanska quickly felt the value of their investment as several tenant leases closed while standing in The Assembly. Tenant demand for the space remains incredibly high.
The mindset of a master planner is one that holds many systems in balance; it is a role that weighs multiple scenarios across the past, the present, the near future, and the long-term future. Peter thrives in such complexity. He is the ideal partner for asking what if? and then working closely with his clients to forge the path to how.