The sixteen houses and apartments featured here respond to different needs and sites, but all share a common DNA. They are the product of a singular vision and a collaborative process.
Seattle-based architect Jim Olson, the founding partner of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, is particularly known for his subtly elegant residences, from a glass farmhouse in eastern Oregon to a Balinese-inspired retreat in Hawaii, from a diminutive waterfront cabin for his own family to two grand art-filled residences on the shores of Lake Washington in Seattle. Modern in spirit, the luxurious houses are characterized by intangible qualities of light and space. Olson balances a deep knowledge of architectural history, from the temples of Egypt to the great buildings of the modern era, with a sensitivity to art and nature. Each work is carefully calibrated to site and client.
Olson is fascinated by the relationship between art and architecture, and many of his houses and apartments have been designed for major art collectors. The sixteen residences in this volumein Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, and Hong Kongexplore that interplay as well as the correspondences between light, space, and mood. The finely proportioned interior spaces are distinguished by a striking use of both natural and highly refined materials, masterful modulation of light, sophisticated details, sleek furnishings, and a careful balance between monumentality and intimacy. In natural settings, his buildings often weave into their surroundings as if they had always been there; in urban environments, his designs create and enhance a sense of community. The introduction, by noted design writer Michael Webb, emphasizes context and process, vital factors in Jim Olsons work.
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