Richard Best, who has been a resident of California for over 28 years, first came to Los Angeles in 1980 to study under the world renowned architect, Charles W. Moore, FAIA, pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA. Charles Moore soon became Richard's mentor - heavily influencing his approach to design, sensitivity to materials, and respect for the built environment. While at UCLA, Richard was awarded a scholarship to attend the 1981 session of the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design, organized and taught by Italian architect Giancarlo DeCarlo.
Having completed his Master's degree, in 1983 Richard became a member of Charles Moore's winning design team for the Beverly Hills Civic Center Competition. This international design competition, a contextual challenge, is composed of central fire facilities, central library, police headquarters, parking facility, and gardens. The design, respectfully positioned to emphasize the existing Chariga-esque 1930's city hall, organizes itself around a diagonal axis of Baroque shaped gardens and arcades which generously welcome the public into the various facilities. The individual structures – uplifting and grand in scale - are composed in a formalistic vocabulary derived from the splendor of the existing historic city hall with pilasters, arches, and tile.
The national historic landmark, Mission Inn, was Richard's next major project, in 1985. This treasured ensemble of Spanish structures built over 30 years, soon swept Richard off his feet and carried him to new heights of intimacy in architectural practice. The complexity of a nationally historic renovation/ restoration can only be surpassed by the richness and depth of sensitivity required by this unusual structure, the pride of southern California's Inland Empire.
Richard became licensed as an architect in1986, and subsequently became nationally registered by NCARB in 1989. With a full breadth of professional experience, in 1988 Richard began his own private practice, Richard Best Architect, in Hollywood with the intent of freedom to express his own design preferences and specializing in eco-friendly design. Richard's work is exemplified by relentless pursuit of sculptural clarity, skillful articulation of natural and artificial lighting, the use of natural warm finishes, and an intuitive understanding of material/technology and sustainable design.
In 2008 Richard lived in the Abu Dhabi for nearly five months during the filming of a television show on which he was a contestant. This experience provided Richard with unparalleled opportunities to establish local Emirati relationships with developers, engineers, government officials, bankers. Most importantly Richard has gained a deep understand the business climate in the UAE.
For his career-long commitment to eco-friendly design, The United Nations Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization (IREO) awarded Richard with their “Best Practices Award” for 2009. Also in 2009, IREO selected Richard to establish and Chair a new IREO committee – “The Sustainable Development Commission,” to serve the UN/IREO in support the UN’s Millennium Goal #7 – Ensure Environmental Sustainability, fostering carbon-neutral global development through the uses and implementation of renewable energy strategies.