Profile

Workshop AD is a Seattle based architecture practice focused on compelling projects across a range of geographies and scales.

We believe a workshop is not about a single voice, but a collective effort.  We also believe in a workshop’s most honorable commitments to material, craft, and exploration. This model guides our practice and inspires us to pursue design critically, insightfully, and imaginatively. 

We currently work within wide range of urban and rural conditions, climate, building types and uses found throughout the West and Alaska.  Each project is uniquely informed by the needs of our clients, the integration of strong building forms and environment, the considered use of materials and daylight, and the clear expression for the human experience of a place. 

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People


Approach

workshop
We believe a workshop is not about a single voice, but a collective effort.  We also believe in a workshop’s most honorable commitments to material, craft, and exploration. As leaders in this collective effort, our responsibility is not simply to design, but to guide the design and construction process.  We work diligently to create a productive collaboration between clients, designers, engineers, and craftspeople.  It is our responsibility to nurture an architectural expression that is not representative of a single voice, but a synthesis of multiple voices and many hands.

performance
We work closely with our clients to develop a clear understanding of their goals and priorities.  These priorities form the foundation for our investigations and define a framework to evaluate the architecture proposals that follow. We measure a project’s success by how clearly the architecture performs and responds to our client’s particular objectives.

investigation
In order to expand a project’s design opportunities, we bring an open and responsive attitude to our clients goals and limits and  actively seek out the particular conditions of the site and program. We believe it is our responsibility to challenge preconceived ideas and design processes. Through an iterative methodology, we investigate opportunities or strategies that are not at first apparent. These investigations create an architecture that speaks to invention and advances building typologies, the specific conditions of a site, and the particular needs of our clients. 

 

responsibility
As the process of building consumes large amounts of capital and resources, it is our responsibility to manage a project’s limited resources and impact.  These are financial, material, energy, and environmental. We often seek solutions that find the maximum effect from the most minimal means; efficient, compact buildings, carefully selected materials, and intelligent systems.  

We work hard to do more with less. We seek to create an architecture that speaks to this efficiency and demonstrates restraint.

material
It is our responsibility to not simply be interested in how a project looks, but to bring a tangible understanding of how it will be built. We seek to create an architecture informed not only by the processes of design, but an exploration of material opportunity, and, fundamentally, the act of building itself. It is this understanding of material and craft that creates an enduring architecture of meaning. 

range
Our Seattle workshop remains small and focused on compelling projects across a range of geographies and scales.  Through this range of work--be it a new home in the forested subarctic, a shelter in the shrub steppe, surgically interventions on a 19th century loft building, or a half block of urban housing--we gather our experience from one environment and use it to expand our thinking and inform our work in another.


Honors & Awards

2011 
Pacific Northwest AIA, Merit Award, Colman Triplex

2010
AIA Awards for Washington Architecture, Honor Award, Colman Triplex

2009
Sunset-AIA Western Home Awards, Urban Living Award, Colman Triplex
AIA Pacific Northwest Region, Merit Award, Nearpoint Residence
AIA Seattle, Future Shack Award Program, Colman Triplex

2008
AIA Alaska, Merit Award, Nearpoint Residence
AIA Seattle Home of the Month, North Capitol Hill Residence
New Edge | New Blood, AIA Seattle, Exhibit
Shades of Green, AIA Alaska & Alaska Design Forum, Panelist
Headlines, University of Washington

2007
City of Portland, Courtyard Housing Competition, Third Prize Courtside 8

2005-2008
Headlines, University of Washington

2004
Rotch Scholar, Boston Society of Architects

2002
Sustainable Building Award, BEST Award, Pier 56

1997
Alpha Rho Chi Leadership Medal, MIT Department of Architecture
Boston Prototype Bus Stop Competition, First Prize
Rotch Scholar, Boston Society of Architects, Finalist

1996
Alvar Alto Boathouse International Competition, Mention
United States Airforce Design Program, Honor Award, Iditerod Dining Hall

Exhibits

Alaska Design Forum, “Freeze: An Outdoor Exhibit of Art and Architecture,” January 2009

AIA Seattle, “New Edge: New Blood,” August 2008

AIA Alaska & Alaska Design Forum, “Shades of Green,” March 2008

University of Washington, “Headlines,” May 2008

University of Washington, “Headlines,” May 2006


Press

“An Epic Plot.”  Dwell Magazine,  Sept. 2011.  View online
“Nearpoint Residence.” NewYork-architects.com,  Sept. 2011. View online
“AIA Seattle Announces 2010 Honor Awards for Washington Architecture.” AIA Seattle Press Release.  Nov. 2010. 
Decker, Julie. True North: New Alaskan Architecture.  May 2010. View online
“An Asian Inspired Airie.” Alaska Home Magazine, Spring 2010. 
“The West’s Best Homes: 2009-2010.” Sunset Magazine  March 2010. View online
Decker, Julie. Modern North: Architecture on the Frozen Edge.  Mar. 2010.
Stevenson, Kalb.  “Green Housing, White Landscape.”  Alaska Magazine  Dec. 2009.
“Nearpoint Residence, Architecture in the Tranquil Alaskan Landscape.” DUDYE.com  Oct. 2009. View online
“Colman Triplex.” Contemporist.com.  October 14, 2009. View online
“Future Shack: Architects building our tomorrow.” Pacific Northwest Magazine  Sept. 2009. View online
“Architecture Maturing in Anchorage.” Anchorage Daily News  Oct. 2008.
“Lots and Lots of Empty Slots: Thinking Beyond the Car.” AIA Seattle Forum  Summer 2008.
“Workshop offers ideas that anyone can use.” Anchorage Daily News  March 2008.
“A Light in the Attic.” Seattle Magazine  Jan. 2008.
“Romance Reinvented.”  Pacific Northwest Magazine  Jan. 2008. View online
“Long day ends with short list for courtyard housing contest.” ,Oregon DJC , Nov. 2007.
“Narrative Sketching.” Arcade  Sep. 2004.
“Pier Pleasure.” Interiors  Dec. 2000.
“Greening Your Business.” Sustainable Business.com , Oct. 2000.
“Not imitating can be sincere flattery, too.” Daily Journal of Commerce , Oct. 2000.
“Greening Your Business.” Environmental Building News  Oct. 2000.

Publications

Bull, Steve. “Narrative Sketching.” Arcade  Sept. 2004. 

Quotes

The project receiving an Honor Award is Colman Triplex by Workshop AD. Jurors felt this project was a “model for future residential building in the city” and discussed how the typology “had the right amount of detail” and while “fun”, clearly showed that a “level of thought was carried through from smallest to biggest decisions.”  According to the jury, the project “achieved its goal and was consistent throughout.” Overall, they felt it demonstrated what it means when “architecture is life; [one] could visualize what it really means to be a family living downtown.”  One juror expressed plainly:  “This is what we need in a city.” (“Honor Award: Coleman Triplex.” 2010  AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture  Nov. 2010.) 


“Adding residential capacity to Seattle’s neighborhoods while keeping their character intact is a hot topic. Enter the Colman Triplex, three tidy units (including one family-sized) tucked into the skin of a single-family home. Thoroughly modern and warmly contextual, the triplex offers a great model for denser, more flexible housing option in a changing suburban landscape.”  (“Future Shack: Architects building our tomorrow.” Pacific Northwest Magazine  Sept. 2009.) 

“What we love: That the architects designed a complex yet elegant system to fit three apartments, each with generous outdoor living space and views, within just 3,800 square feet.”  (“The West’s Best Homes: 2009-2010.” Sunset Magazine  Mar. 2010.)