Olson Kundig is one of the quintessential Seattle-based architectural practices, with a focus on creativity, experimentation, and craftsmanship that has allowed them to expand on a global scale over the past few decades. This expansion has necessitated office improvements and renovations throughout the years, the most recent of which occurred in 2018. As explored in a recent article by Metropolis Magazine, this 2018 expansion reflected key values of collaboration and flexibility, expressed through the firm's unique visual and kinetic language.
Since 2003, Olson Kundig has been located in a brick manufacturing building in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square. At the time, the firm’s approach to office renovation was already experimental: the 2003 redesign was minimally invasive and left historical details intact, an unusual decision for an architectural office at the time.
In their most recent renovation, Olson Kundig’s approach was even less conventional. A diverse team of varying ages, expertise, and backgrounds were selected to collaboratively critique and redesign the space. Flexibility was prioritized and staff even designed kinetic furniture to make the space more accommodating. The result was a workspace that visibly emphasized cooperation and echoed the firm’s uniquely unstratified design process. Additionally, it gave Olson Kundig room to grow. As owner and principal Kirsten R. Murray says, "If you can make the baseline rational decisions well, then the space can develop a life of its own. It can grow up."