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Olsen Kundig Residence Wins Design Prize

This is The Pierre, a house in the San Juan Islands, designed by Tom Kundig of the Seattle firm of Olson Kundig Architects. It took top prize this week in the 2012 Design Awards from the Northwest & Pacific Region chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The design website Inhabit.com notes the award with admiration, then subjects Kundig to a cringe-worth interview that assumes Seattle is some remote, off-the-grid hick town.

The interviewer obviously ain't from around here. This is the opening question:

Many well-known architects make it a point to establish offices in large cities, but even with your success Olson + Kundig remains in the (arguably) more remote Pacific Northwest. What impact do you think being a Seattle-based firm has had on your work? And here is the answer:

Tom Kundig: Not entirely sure. I'm sure there are impacts that we are not aware of – are we 'mysterious' because we are remote, or are we 'removed from the action'? My guess is that it might be both, but the most important consideration is how we do our work. In a large landscape like the Pacific Northwest – and in a relatively large city like Seattle that is connected internationally – we might have the best of both worlds. Irregardless, our work is context based - cultural, environmental, craft, tectonics, and so forth – and we are in an ideal location where all these elements converge. · The Pierre: A Breathtaking Hideaway Tucked in a Cluster of Rocks [Inhabit.com]
· INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 8 Questions with Architect Tom Kundig [Inhabit.com]