Olson Kundig Architects

Olson Kundig Architects has grown in size steadily over the years, from two to nearly 100 people.

“It’s grown incrementally,” says principal Kirsten Murray. “It’s sort of like gaining weight. You gain a pound a year and you go, ‘Oh, wait?’ ”

Principal Jim Olson. “I’ve always liked working by myself and bouncing it off somebody and going back and working by myself again,” he says.

Principal Tom Kundig. “I had long been an admirer of Jim’s spirit and jumped at the opportunity” to work with him.

Principal Alan Maskin. “When I was hired, I was torn between pursuing a career in architecture or art,” he says.

Principal Kirsten Murray. “Growth was never our plan. We’re a little surprised by how big we are," she says.

Critique drives the culture at Olson Kundig.

“Every Thursday since the inception of the firm over four decades ago, we turn off computers and put down pencils, and the entire office gathers in a conference room to discuss an ongoing project," Maskin says.

Even when 50 people are giving one-minute presentations, the crits are more than scratch sessions.

The firm came together “in real time” to design a project for a Seattle ideas competition, Murray says.

Maskin leading a discussion.

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