Meet your Miami Movers & Shakers: William Sharples


Architectural engineer William Sharples is part of the dynamic team behind SHoP, an architectural firm with an unconventional approach to design that has been making waves in the industry since 1996.

Projects include Uber headquarters in San Francisco, Barclay’s Arena in Brooklyn, Google’s offices in Mountain View, California, and the Miami Innovation Center.

A Principal at the firm, Sharples holds a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arhictecture from Columbia University. Sharples has also served as a Louis I. Kahn Assistant Visiting Professor for Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture.

In addition to joining the class of 2015 Top Miami Movers & Shakers, William was voted the People’s Choice winner by readers.

Meet the talented William Sharples:

Miami Happening: What part of Miami do you live and work in?

William Sharples: I love to visit as often as I can, but I don’t have the pleasure to live in Miami. For many years now I’ve been living and working in Lower Manhattan. Like parts of Miami, it’s a wonderful, very lively place full of restaurants and culture and nightlife, a lot of it right on the water. But of course for about four months every year that waterfront is too cold to really enjoy, so you win.

Miami Happening: Where did you attend school?

William Sharples: I studied engineering at Penn State and architecture at Columbia University. That’s where I met my partners at SHoP Architects, except for my twin brother Chris, who I was acquainted with much earlier. 

Miami Happening: What drew you to a career in architecture?

William Sharples: A lot of fields now are hyper-specialized and look at the world through a very narrow lens. Architecture is different. We’re always looking from the details up to the biggest picture, thinking about the issues that shape cities and society and politics and art.  Architecture is really the last generalist profession, so every day I get to think about something new. 

Miami Happening: Which of the SHoP projects are you most proud of?

William Sharples: One project near and dear to my heart is our first commission, Mitchell Park in Greenport, New York. It was an incredible opportunity for us as young designers to work very closely with the community to transform a huge site at the center of this historic village, and in the years since it was completed the park has played a big role in jumpstarting the economy there and bringing a real sense of pride to the town.

Miami Happening: What is the biggest accomplishment that you’d like to achieve over the next 5 years?

William Sharples: I’d like to see the Miami Innovation District achieve its potential to support the creative culture of the city and really secure it’s place as a world-class tech hub. The district will be a really productive addition to the city, bringing to a single Miami location all the environments and amenities that the global technology workforce relies on for inspiration. But it’s also just going to be a really cool place to hang out and experience Miami’s new energy.

Miami Happening: Where’s your favorite place to unwind?

William Sharples: One of the places I go to unwind in Miami is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. James Deering’s home and garden is beautiful and the architecture is stunning. His home is mostly made out of limestone and uses a lot of sustainable building techniques. It has an authenticity that inspires me.

Miami Happening: It’s no surprise our readers voted you in at this year’s People’s Choice winner. Congratulations!

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