About Us

Cathexes’ is the plural of ‘cathexis’, which is an investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea.

CATHEXES: Client and service oriented | Innovative in solutions | Quality in design

We are committed to our work over and above the built environment. From beginning to end and beyond our work is a responsibility and process that entails an understanding of Place, Presence, Growth, and Culture.  The embodiment of CATHEXES is the commitment to explore the life experience and be willing to accept any consequence of risk: we encourage all to dream what might be.  We endeavor through architecture to influence our culture, foster the education of ourselves and of others, and to lead in professional excellence.  CATHEXES is a full-service architectural firm that not only provides planning, design and documentation services to a diverse family of clients, we also strive to design environmentally friendly, economically sustainable and healthy projects from the individual project to the broader community and region.  Owners, building professionals, users present and future, and environment are all affected by what is designed and built.  It is our job to facilitate a positive effect.

At CATHEXES we have a unique culture of our own that lays the basis for all we strive for:

  • Weekly staff lunches that include team-building games, acknowledgements of fellow employees, and our traditional Plunger Award, which celebrates an individual’s foibles and humorous mishaps in a lighthearted way.
  • Our popular weekly Winetime at 4:30pm every Friday afternoon, where friends and family of staff and clients drop in and socialize.
  • Bimonthly lectures and events with local entities such as Black Rock Design Institute and Downtown Arts District

The culture of CATHEXES is a combination of the history, talents, strengths, and input of each staff member working together as a team.  By bringing together allied businesses and celebrating collaboration a synergetic relationship is brought into the mix which benefits all stakeholders.

Since our founding in 1985, we have continually instigated projects that foster the growth of our community’s culture and diversity.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Great Basin Adventure at Rancho San Rafael in Reno, Nevada
  • Sparks Victorian Square, an eight-block town center redevelopment in Sparks, Nevada
  • Nevada Museum of Art (prior to the current location and design)
  • Principal Architect Don Clark, AIA, is a Co-founder of the Reno Arts Commission and a Co-founder of Black Rock Design Institute (BRDI)
  • Designed, developed, and built the first urban renewal building, The Bunker, in the MidTown District in Reno, Nevada
  • Bartley Ranch Regional Park including Equestrian Center, Amphitheater, Interpretive Center and all park amenities over the last several years
  • Multiple companies have been launched in our previous 250 Bell Street office
  • A vibrant ‘Extern’ program involving the Washoe County School District GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) high school students, and other non-profit entities to mentor young aspiring architects and designers in our office
  • A range of mixed projects at local, regional, state and interstate levels

CATHEXES understands and has executed the economics needed to make projects real.  We have been the developer on several projects, and bring that sensibility and knowledge to the table. For example, our first office at 1000 Plumas Street in Reno, Nevada, was a historic home that we fully rehabilitated to standard codes and Plan Overlay infill design restrictions. We designed ‘River Renaissance’, a collaboration  between us and Koll Development, that was ultimately decades ahead of its time.  It included high rise urban housing, city government, entertainment and shopping along the Truckee River.   Today, an almost identical development pattern is under construction or in place.

Our second office at 1420 Holcomb Avenue was an urban infill new construction project, called The Bunker, in the MidTown District of Reno and the first of its kind in that district.  We developed, designed and executed full permit drawings for a project called Billy3, a high rise mixed use project in Downtown Reno on the Truckee River at Sierra Street (unbuilt).   At our third office at 250 Bell Street we rehabilitated a 20,000 square foot downtown warehouse into offices, workshop, and performance space.

We see the Builder as an important part of the design team for working with creative solutions, constructability, and cost control.  We work with them to investigate ways to be efficient with materials, as well as find creative and different ways to use them.  Collaboration is integral to the design process.

With a large portfolio of projects using renewable energies, passive solar design, recycled materials, and many other sustainable strategies, CATHEXES has kept its focus on responsible design for the past thirty years.  This focus is a commitment that will continue as demanded by our changing world.  We have become a creative leader in sustainable design in the region for both public and private projects, and this benefits the client and users for the life of the project.