How We Work




We enjoy close collaboration with clients and contractors, and maintain deep involvement in the work from the initial design concept to occupancy of the finished work, following through on every aspect of modern residential architecture. 

Whether working in Seattle, Portland, or Palm Springs, we design all essential interior details, with computer modeling that clearly illustrates finish materials and details, inside and out. 

As modern-thinking residential architects in Seattle, we have a great respect for the groundbreaking work of Seattle modernist architects dating back to the 1950’s, and have updated mid-century modern designs by those Seattle architects, including: 

  • Paul Hayden Kirk

  • Lionel Pries

  • Roland Terry

We are inspired by the mid-century modern architecture of noted California architects: 

  • John Lautner 

  • Richard Neutra

  • Rudolph Schindler





Our design process and services are carefully tailored to create highly livable, modern residential architecture.


Our initial work requires gathering information about you, your design goals, and your site. 

We help you to define your design “program”—an outline of spatial and functional requirements, aesthetic preferences, and a realistic budget.  We summarize regulatory requirements, such as building height limits and setbacks, to define the potential building “envelope.”  Requirements can vary widely depending upon location, and may also include homeowner association compliance.  This first step as residential architects often includes preliminary pencil sketches of potential plan options that help to test the design goals and budget.  If the project is a remodel, we measure and create as-built plans.

Schematic Design

At the conclusion of the Schematic Design Phase, there will be a site plan, floor plans, section drawing, and exterior elevations which the client approves prior to moving to the next phase. 

A basic 3D model is completed on ArchiCAD, our Building Information Modeling system.  This is a model clients can explore on their own devices.  Initial ideas for the exterior materials are shared, along with a preliminary estimate of construction cost that we provide in writing.  We provide a list of recommended contractors for your consideration, each of whom will have extensive experience with custom, modern residential architecture in Seattle or the region of the project.

Design Development

The Schematic Design is taken to much higher levels of detail and presented with more realistic illustrations in this phase. 

Interior features, such as staircases and finish flooring, are more clearly defined.  Our software allows us to select a specific day of the year and time of day to perform sun and shadow studies.  The structural system we have imagined as architects is reviewed by a structural engineer, and other engineering consultants (civil, geotechnical) may also be consulted.  Outline Specifications contain initial descriptions of materials and systems in a four-page document.  A general contractor of your choice is consulted for an independent estimate of construction cost.

Permit Document

While there is continued refinement of the design, this phase focuses primarily on the permit application and related submittal requirements, including full civil and structural engineering plans. 

Options for compliance with state energy codes are shared and compared.  Reviews for compliance with HOA regulations are typically completed within this phase, and may also involve staking corners and mock-ups of new rooflines.  The contractor updates the cost estimate to reflect the added level of detail. 

Construction Document

While we await permit approval, our time is devoted to completing interior details that do not affect the permit. 

We design cabinets, tile work, and lighting, providing you with suggested materials and fixtures.  Your selections are illustrated in the ArchiCAD model.  The initial Outline Specification is expanded to a detailed 15-20 page document that identifies standards of workmanship for each trade, plus warranties.  The contract for construction references our plans and specifications.  We assist with negotiation of the contract terms and price, often exploring “value engineering” options that may reduce cost.  While most clients prefer this “negotiated bid” approach, there is an option for obtaining competitive bids from multiple contractors, which would typically occur starting in the Permit Document phase.  

Construction Administration

Our work continues during construction, with real and virtual visits to the job site, and in meetings with you and your contractor. 

Along with our engineering consultants, we verify that the construction is in accordance with the plans and specifications.  In any custom residential architect project, there is a potential for errors; there is no prior version for testing.  It is important to catch those errors—which are typically minor--early in the process to make corrections as painless as possible.  The ArchiCAD model is frequently referenced by the entire team—you, your contractor, and us as your architect—as it accurately depicts in 3D what is described in the 2D plans.  We also assist with any design or contract changes initiated by you or the contractor, providing additional documentation and reviewing costs.  As the work concludes, we conduct a final “punch list” review with you and the contractor.  We enjoy post-occupancy visits to see how you are enjoying your new custom residence.