In Western culture, science and art are often thought of as existing in separate worlds. Our higher educational institutions support this notion, for example - coursework is generally offered in the arts, or in the sciences. Yet we need look no further than the rise of Apple to recognize this is a false choice. In design, and in life, art and science are dance partners to the music of quality and innovation.
Louis Kahn believed "Architecture must begin with the un-measurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be un-measurable." He was saying that in contrast to mere building, architecture is a work of both art and science. Art, in his mind, being the un-measurable, science the measurable. Art lies on both sides of technology in the process of creating architecture. Indeed, any practicing architect or architectural firm worthy of the title must excel both artistically and technologically.
Our Work as Artists We're keenly engaged in all aspects of each of our projects, but our design solutions are consistently anchored in our client and their site. The trendy or sensational is not of interest to ... our work seeks timeless authenticity. This calls for skillful, attentive listening for the true spirit of each project before we begin to shift our focus to pragmatic questions of construction. What that translates to for our clients are final outcomes truly and 'un-measurably' resonant with them and their land.
Our Work as Technologists Always seeking to elevate our standard of practice, we have become known for technically advanced 'passivhaus' architecture, which is, by definition, simpler than 'mainstream' buildings 'built to code' that rely on brute force machinery to overcome what we regard as the glaring weaknesses of obsolete 'conventional' design and building practices. Our clients enjoy pristine interior air quality, superior consistent comfort, reduced maintenance, and substantially lower energy use. Working closely with specialized experts in each of the disciplines involved, we model every system in the project... not just the architecture, but the lighting, plumbing, ventilation, communications, etc. with advanced three dimensional computer modeling. It's all virtually integrated and assembled in our studio before it's physically built in the world.
High Design | High Performance Putting it all together, we make distinctive, heirloom quality architecture that is far more delightful, affordable, healthy, and durable than buildings created with conventional design and construction practices.
Sam has been practicing as an award winning architect for over thirty years, the majority of which of which he has also built his client's projects. This blend of experience balances the powerful artistic and theoretical interests of architecture with the pragmatic understanding of construction only available to highly experienced builders and architects. He is currently licensed to practice architecture throughout the western United States and Canada, and is also certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) which expedites registration in other states and provinces. He is the only Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) architect in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.
Nate's focus on architecture as a means to improve the built environment whilst designing projects woven to their natural and cultural context aligns perfectly with the ethos of the studio. Nate participates in a variety of aspects of practice in his role as a project architect, including three dimensional modeling, energy modeling, and material research. Nate says "I am excited to be learning and growing as part of a team actively working to improve how architecture is created."
Maren manages a busy schedule in our studio as a licensed architect. She is particularly interested in high performance architecture and building science, using site analysis along with three dimensional thermal and spatial modeling to design beautiful, efficient buildings that perform reliably, elegantly, and simply. She holds a Masters in Architecture from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and is a Certified Passive House Consultant, certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environment) professional, and a WELL Accredited Professional (a credential that signifies knowledge in health and wellness in the built environment and specialization in the WELL Building Standard). Maren is also on the Passive House Northwest board of directors.