"Good design isn’t just pretty. It’s a deeper response that answers more than a single question. It’s born of context, whether that’s urban or rural, and it weathers time and change. It endures."
Steven Rainville brings the heart of a craftsman, the hands of a builder and the mind of an artist to his practice of architecture, which spans two decades at Olson Kundig. From an early age, Steven has been designing and building with anything he could get his hands on, beginning with small single-room structures in the rural California of his youth to the residential, cultural and workplace projects that he designs today.
Influenced by the legacy of his grandfather and father, both craftsmen and builders, Steven is drawn to the expression of craft and tectonics in architecture—particularly the ways in which buildings come together and in the details and materials from which they’re made. Equal parts beauty and performance, his design approach is characterized by its rationality as much as its quiet balance. “Good design isn’t just pretty,” he asserts. “It’s a deeper response that answers more than a single question. It’s born of context, whether that’s urban or rural, and it weathers time and change. It endures.”
In addition to design work on the Center for Wooden Boats, the new headquarters for the Seattle Sounders and the Washington State University Visitor Center, Steven leads the firm’s research and innovation initiatives, focusing on building energy use and the integration of technology with architecture. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington State University and is working with his father to design and build a retreat in Eastern Washington for generations of their family to enjoy.
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