In this interview published by Seattle Met, Lawrence W. Cheek speaks with Tom Kundig, principal at Olson Kundig Architects. Kundig has defined his career for designing homes that are flexible and considerate in their materials, functions, response to site and the way that the human body interacts with the space and mechanics of the environment. This interview is excellent at revealing Kundig’s inspiration and priorities when it comes to designing homes and he mentions some great examples and strategies that he has taken over the years.
Here is just a list of the variety, but consistency, representative of Kundig’s work:
- Art Stable; Seattle, WA; 2010.
- 1111 E. Pike; Seattle, WA; 2008.
- Rolling Huts; Mazama, WA; 2008.
- Montecito Residence; Montecito, CA; 2008.
Follow us after the break for the full interview, courtesy of SeattleMET, ”Q&A with Architect Tom Kundig” by Lawrence W. Cheek.
What should people experience in their homes? Virtually life’s full range of experiences. This is the reason I’m so interested in residential work. The home is primal, it’s visceral, it’s our primitive past, it carries all the baggage of our cultural life. It has to have prospect, the sense of being in the open; but also intimacy and protection. It has to encompass open and closed, hot and cold, fast and slow, light and dark, yin and yang. That’s how we experience life, and that’s how we should experience a house.
You seem to revel in the challenge of designing homes. People who build their own home tend to be very courageous. These people are curious about life. They’re thinking about what it means to live in a house, rather than just buying a commodity and making it work.
Do you enjoy the challenge of doing small houses?
In some ways they’re the most satisfying because they go back to that primitive place—the small hut that is a refuge, small enough that it can open out to the landscape. The only way you can really experience that landscape throughout a house is if it’s relatively small. If you have a big house you begin to lose touch with the outside quadrant.