Firm: Tomecek Studio Architecture
Location: Denver
Founded: 2013
Leadership: Brad Tomecek (founder and principal), AIA, with Kevin Sietmann and Brian Martin
Education: B.Arch. and M. Arch., University of Florida
Experience: Barrett Studio Architects, Studio H:T (a former Next Progressive)

Mission:
Tomecek Studio approaches design with the intention of crafting spaces that reflect the intimacy and poetics of "making," using light and material as guiding principles, instead of form. We think about human experience first and allow it to shape the project. To create successful spaces and items, we explore various scales, from objects to occupiable locations, with reference to the size of the human body. We focus on experience, site, and the lasting impression of memory to craft spaces specific to our clients and their sites.

As part of the Black Hills Homestead, a modernist, translucent cube, serving as a chicken coop, is elevated off the ground to protect its occupants from wildlife and to promote airflow.
As part of the Black Hills Homestead, a modernist, translucent cube, serving as a chicken coop, is elevated off the ground to protect its occupants from wildlife and to promote airflow.

Memorable learning experience:
I interned for Don Singer, a well-respected, modern Florida regionalist. He would constantly subtract and edit projects down to their true essence and enlightened me to the power of reduction.

“Unfastened” aggregates approximately 3,900 nails on a 2-foot-by-4-foot stained wood base.
“Unfastened” aggregates approximately 3,900 nails on a 2-foot-by-4-foot stained wood base.

Favorite object:
"Unfastened" is a piece we created for the Denver Art Museum's Design After Dark program. It is an exploration of nails as a material instead of as simple fasteners. The number of nails is based on the typical amount needed to frame an average American single-family home: about 3,900. The moments of compression and tension between the nails speak to the co-dependent nature of a fastener. The amassment of nails begins to transcend function as each nail head uniquely catches the light, asserts its individuality within the whole, and contrasts the shadows and voids created by the aggregation.

Favorite enclosure:
Sunset Pavilion, in Firestone, Colo., is a steel cantilevered structure, sheltering visitors from the harsh Colorado sun. Acting as a lens, the pavilion’s details emphasize the phenomenal qualities of the sun’s path throughout the day. A carefully diagrammed set of perforations along the overhead plane tracks the sun's movement during the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. A steel plate over the gabion wall suggests the immediate and distant view of the mountain range while simultaneously editing out the adjacent development in the foreground.

Sunset Pavilion in Firestone, Colo., is constructed with a steel-plate overhang, a concrete bench, and gabion walls.
Sunset Pavilion in Firestone, Colo., is constructed with a steel-plate overhang, a concrete bench, and gabion walls.

Favorite dwelling:
Our Shoshone Residence project examines the Denver site’s unique urban setting and the ever-changing lighting conditions. By carving a series of curved light channels that lead to skylights in the structure's interior, we direct and alter the intense daylight into the residence. Modulating space and focusing attention on the nature of day and night, the Shoshone Residence turns light into an instrument as well as an object among the client’s many artifacts.

Shoshone residence featuring light channels at varying levels of the structure.
Shoshone residence featuring light channels at varying levels of the structure.

Architecture hero:
Juhani Pallasmaa. Every word he speaks has profound wisdom collected over many years of focused observation. He constantly reminds us to feel architecture and space.

Special item in your studio space:
Physical process models that multiply by the day and litter our design studio.

Design tool of choice:
Woodless pencil.

For Tomecek Studio Architecture’s submission to the 2016 Tokyo Vertical Cemetery competition, the firm drew inspiration from Buddhist rituals in conceptualizing a wood tower with a translucent panel skin, which features a remembrance garden, urn walls, and gathering spaces for mourners on its top floor.
For Tomecek Studio Architecture’s submission to the 2016 Tokyo Vertical Cemetery competition, the firm drew inspiration from Buddhist rituals in conceptualizing a wood tower with a translucent panel skin, which features a remembrance garden, urn walls, and gathering spaces for mourners on its top floor.

When I am not working in architecture:
I go camping in the summer and snowboarding in the winter with my wife and 10-year-old son.

Skills to master:
Saying no.

Social media platform of choice:
Instagram

Vice:
Design

Tomecek Studio employed modular design and prefabrication to expedite construction of the main residence of the Black Hills Homestead, which is connected to a barn via a vertical-grain cedar breezeway.
Tomecek Studio employed modular design and prefabrication to expedite construction of the main residence of the Black Hills Homestead, which is connected to a barn via a vertical-grain cedar breezeway.
Kevin Sietmann