Olson Kundig is a Seattle-based design practice founded on the ideas that buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives. Led by five owners, the firm’s work can be found across the globe, with projects as wide ranging as huts to high rises, homes—often for art collectors—to academic, cultural and civic projects, museums and exhibition design, places of worship, creative production, urban design and interior design.
We are thrilled to announce that founding partner Jim Olson’s latest book, “Jim Olson: Building • Nature • Art” is now available for pre-order with
Photo: Nic Lehoux ( .lehoux). This complete overview of Jim’s career, which spans more than fifty years, contains a broad range of buildings across the globe – all united by Jim’s commitment to architecture that sensitively responds to its environment. Jim notes: “This book is very special to me because it illustrates the philosophy I have been refining for over fifty years – one of integrating nature, architecture, furnishings and art into a unified whole.” Pre-order link in profile.
This month, in honor of our 2018 Speaker Series theme “You Are Here,” we will be focusing on the city of Seattle and our long history of engaging with this region. Started by principal/owner #ok_speakerseries is a pillar of our firm culture and invites guest speakers outside the realm of architecture to speak to our staff about their work. For 2018, we are inviting speakers whose unique perspectives of our city can help locate us in the ever-shifting landscape that is Seattle and the PNW – a region we have called home for the last five decades., the
#ok_desks – Principal/owner Tom Kundig’s workspace holds visual inspiration from natural, built and cultural landscapes. Pinned between a photograph recalling Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and an image from Virilio’s “Bunker Archaeology” is a quote from land artist Robert Smithson: “I’m interested in that area of terror between man and land.”
A recent materials palette from our Interiors Studio was inspired by the concept of a warm, glowing wooden box. Inside, Japanese Sen wood walls, teak floors and a Douglas Fir ceiling complement the exterior wood siding and copper roof that will patina over time. A few prominent blue elements such as a door painted in Ford Falcon blue and indigo glazed lava stone offer a point of contrast to the warm wood interiors.
As the new year begins, we reflect on one of Olson Kundig’s foundational projects: Jim Olson’s Earth House featured in in 1973. Jim’s history of designing architecture that grows out of nature can be seen throughout his body of work. As Jim puts it: “Our world is continuous and connected. Climate, culture, landscape, architecture – they are all one integrated environment.”
We are looking for a motivated, early-career professional to join our fast-paced Marketing Department. The new marketing/communications coordinator will work closely with our communications manager, and the integrated marketing team, to document Olson Kundig's people, practice and culture. Check the link in our bio for more info or tag your design-minded marketing friends here.
Design Principal: Kirsten Murray, FAIA; Project Manager: Todd Matthes; Project Architect: Brian Walters
(video by ), the food is the star. ’s design frames the open kitchen, offering guests a view into the artistry and passion behind chef Shaun McCrain’s elegantly understated cuisine. Equal parts intimate and social, the space offers transparency throughout, allowing McCrain’s delicately prepared dishes to take center stage.
Our resident Gizmologist, Phil Turner, at work on one of his more whimsical kinetic models. Phil has worked with Tom Kundig for decades on his “gizmos,” beginning with Chicken Point Cabin where Phil helped engineer a solution for opening a six-ton wall via a hand-operated wheel.
Phil joined Olson Kundig in 2012 after retiring from his company . Since then, Phil’s vast experience (he grew up without electricity so whatever had to be done was done by hand) has resulted in many beautiful devices that connect people with architecture and place.
We’re thrilled to be featured on the cover of the January 2018 #AD100 issue! “It was a deep honor to work with such wonderful clients and interior designer Rodman Primack. We couldn’t be more excited about the cover feature and being included again on the AD100 list.” –Tom Kundig, Design Principal.
A series of pavilions in the landscape, the design of Hawaii Residence references the Polynesian Island vernacular in both site and building. Floating above an orthogonal garden of coconut palms and a board-form concrete pool, the raised living spaces offer refuge from the elements while revealing a stunning ocean view. Tom designed the client’s other home in North Fork, Long Island, also featured in this issue.
Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, Design Principal; Angus MacGregor, Project Architect; Derek Santo ( .derek) and Steve Grim ( ), Project Staff.
Rodman Primack ( ), Interior Design; David Tamura, Landscape Architect; Sidney Genette, Lighting Designer; Schuchart/Dow ( ), General Contractor; Mark Morrison, Mechanical Engineer; Spearhead Timberworks ( .ca), Timber Frame Fabrication.
(Image by ) annual
We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic designers with 5+ years of experience to fill a number of new architecture positions in our Seattle-based studio! Check the website link in our bio for a current list of open positions and internship opportunities. (Shown above: detail of the single-hung floor-to-ceiling window wall at the Tom Kundig-designed 242 State Street adaptive re-use project in Los Altos, CA.)
peeking into our own ‘s sketchbook today at this drawing of Pioneer Square – a moment where reality and invention converge. as Jerome notes, “Drawing allows me to open a link between my imagination and the visible world.”
digital scans of WWI and interwar period military buildings that and his team are turning into a children’s museum in Sausalito
in addition to architecture and design, we also enjoy music and other listening experiences — in the latest installment of our weekly radio station KLOK, leads us into a séance of moody goth rock, dissonant noise, and atonal arrangements. throw it on tonight at your peril. (Mixcloud link in bio)
in Pullman, Washington, a crimson-paneled monolith has made itself present as a reflective beacon in the center of the campus — the Museum of Art, designed by Jim Olson, is just beginning its mission to share the power of art and the spirit of creativity that art embodies
back in Brazil, #internationalcouncil visited a number of housing projects (and several occupied buildings) in a 3-day charette on urban density — including a visit to a 5-year art/research project with the founding members of São Paulo art collective Lanchonete ( ), Tom, and fellow members of the
this week, Olson Kundig joins architecture and design firms from around the world for the
Tom Kundig and ’s first order of business off the red eye was out to Avenida Paulista to look at buildings…
First up: , a free museum designed by Arquitectos. The well-detailed glass curtain wall building is devoted to photography and film, and Alan and Tom saw a portion of a terrific 24 hour piece called “The Clock” by Christian Marclay and Robert Frank’s iconic work “The Americans”
(image by ) Institute’s International Council Meeting in São Paulo, Brazil —
we are always looking for driven and enthusiastic team members to join our studio in Seattle — check the website link in our bio for current list of open positions (image of the new Tom Kundig-designed project currently under construction, photo by )
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