21 August 2014

Autofamily House / KWK Promes

Do you live architecture and cars? This project by Polish architecture firm, KWK Promes, certainly combines both interests into a single entity. In suburban area where cars are preferred method of transportation, this architecture eliminates the boundary between the family living space and the garage. Where the main entrance is rarely used, the driveway is transformed into multinational space to create an epic experience upon entry and exit.  Find out more about this amazing architectural achievement here!

18 August 2014

National Parliament Principality of Liechtenstein

This architecture is a masterpiece of a German architect, Hansjoerg Goeritz. The detailed masonry craftsmanship and use of primary geometry creates a serine monumental  architecture. We find the paradigm between the play of  light and mass of bricks influential. Read about this project more in detail here!

21 July 2014

the house of the infinite

One of our favorite sensations is looking out into the ocean and experiencing how infinite it feels. The architects at Alberto Camp Baeza have captured this feeling through a beautiful house in Cadiz, Spain. The perfectly horizontal lines used demonstrate how sometimes, the simplest things can be the most powerful. Read more about the project here!

30 June 2014

the world cup of architecture

This summer, it seems we can't go five minutes without hearing about the World Cup, whether it's about Luis Suarez biting someone or general soccer madness. But for those of us who are interested in something other than sports, Arch Daily has rounded up some of the most beautiful buildings in Brazil, the World Cup host country. See more of beautiful Brazil and it's incredible architecture here.

20 May 2014


How cool are these bus stops in the village of Krumbach in the the Bregenzerwald district of Austria? Seven architects from around the world teamed up with local architecture offices in Bregenzerwald to promote an international exchange of ideas. Each bus stop is a unique and spectacular display of international architecture combined with the know-how and skills of local businesses. Read more about the project here.

06 May 2014

Deconstructing the Restaurant Process

Like a gourmet meal, the design of a restaurant requires vision, planning, agility and technical skill in order to execute beautifully. When a lease is signed, the clock is ticking and it’s important to balance all of these things along with your budget.

Designing a restaurant is different in many ways from designing a house or other project. Often with a house, you have the time and budget to explore many design pathways to arrive at the best solution possible. With a restaurant, where time is of the essence, choices (& their implications) must be communicated clearly and early on, so that decisions can be made quickly.

For us, the design process often starts even before a lease is signed. Clients come to us and want to know if it will meet their needs before they commit. For instance, if the space was not a restaurant before, sometimes converting it to a restaurant triggers costly code upgrades to the building. A potential restaurant owner can avoid a lot of headache later by investing time to assess the feasibility of the space before the lease is finalized in order to make sure it is a good fit. We can hand-draw speculative restaurant plans that help potential restaurateurs really visualize things like how a space could layout, how big the kitchen could be, and how many seats could fit, making sure this aligns with their business plans. 

Envisioning and Refining the Design
As Architects, we are trained to solve a design problem from many directions and many scales at once. On one end, we are thinking about the overarching concept of the restaurant: What is your Big Idea? What is the menu and style of service? How do you want the place to feel? On the other end, we are thinking about your unique process of operating a restaurant: What is your kitchen workflow? What kind of equipment does that require? What are the critical equipment adjacencies? We attack the design from both ends at once to arrive at a solution where all of the parts (hidden or not) work together harmoniously with your vision.

It is also important that necessary drawings are prepared and submitted for permits from the City Building Department, County Health Department and other jurisdictions so that construction can start as soon as possible.  While we are waiting for drawings to be reviewed and permits issued, we develop the rest of the necessary drawings and details (interior views, colors, lighting, cabinetry, furniture, material & finish selections, etc.) to communicate the entire design intent and create the finished space.

Constructing the Design
When all necessary permits are obtained, construction crews are on-site, and it’s time to build! This is a very exciting time in the life of the project, where you start to see intangible pencil lines and computer models transformed into wood, concrete and steel. Sometimes you find some pretty cool things under the surface after the demolitions of old walls and such. When Café Pettirosso was under construction, we found an entire room that had been boarded up and forgotten!

We also like making things. For Ethan Stowell’s Bar Cotto, we designed and built the light fixtures ourselves, adding a personal touch to the restaurant. We’ve also designed custom chairs and tables for many other restaurants.

In the end we must be agile in order to react quickly to changing site conditions during construction in order to maintain tight project timelines. We must be available and on-site to answer builder questions, problem-solve and respond quickly with drawings and decisions. In the restaurant world, this means doing whatever it takes to get you open on time for the Grand Opening you scheduled months in advance, a challenge that we love.

To learn more about our restaurant design process, check out our featured article in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious Dining Guide!

16 April 2014

Two Projects by Inblum

These two projects by Lithuanian firm Inblum are both great examples of using vaulted attics spaces to your advantage. I really love the bar above, it manages to feel cozy and light filled... The addition of skylights keep the ceiling and walls from feeling two low, while also creating visual interest. The textures are just great.

This apartment (also with vaulted ceilings) uses its soaring height well - The open stair leads to a loft above, which provides some privacy from the main space while still maintaining the connection. One thing I really like about both spaces is that they value and highlight asymmetric vaults, rather than trying to create a perfect centered vault, which while spacious wouldn't feel quite as dynamic.

Love both these projects.

08 April 2014

how to bring unique character into your space

Nowadays it’s easy to step into a space for the first time and feel a strange sense of déjà vu. It seems like every other room is just a rearrangement of the same mass-produced furniture and art. Who can blame them? It’s so much easier and more economical to pick up a chair from Ikea even though you know your neighbor down the street has the exact same one. So how do we create a space that is uniquely our own?

When we designed Ballard Pizza Company, it was important that the space stood out from the rest of the pizza shops out there. The pizza is unlike any other pizza you’ll find in Seattle, so why should it look like all the other pizzerias?

While we custom designed and built our chairs and bar tables to bring Ballard Pizza Company its unique look, another way we created the distinctive character was by salvaging pieces from stores like Second Use in SoDo. It’s amazing how much history and character is added to a room by adding small details like this vintage doorknob.


The great salvaged pieces hanging on the walls of Ballard Pizza Company are reminiscent of the art gallery that used to occupy the space previously, making the space richer in history.

To incorporate charismatic pieces into your own home, check out Second Use’s online inventory. It is updated once a day so you’re bound to found items to fall in love with!

What are some of your favorite ways to display your personality in your space?

24 March 2014

Vote for Us for Best Architecture Blog

We have been nominated as Best Architecture Blogger in the 2014 JDR Industry Blogger Awards! Voting is now open until April 11. Please click the link below and vote for us today! 

28 February 2014


Check out this fun 'Archcine' line of posters from Federico Babina that highlights some iconic architecture from classic films.  The style is reminiscent of vintage movie posters and highlights some great modernist pieces as well as iconic fictional buildings such as the home from North by Northwest.  Which is your favorite?  Prints are available here.