Shoptalk - Andrew Patterson

Where did your interest in architecture come from?

I think from a genuine fascination with how things work. Even as a little kid I would dismantle all sorts of machines and devices to find what parts were within while drawing elaborate mega-structure imaginariums that my future self would live in. Buildings are reflections of so many parts, elements, and pieces - it’s a thrill to play a role in how the parts come together to make a building – to create a home.

What keeps you going in your work?

Relationships do. I enjoy working with clients and talking with them about their lives and how they live. I also enjoy working with my team every day as well as with our extended team of builders, craftsmen and artists.

Since starting PRd+a, what has been the greatest team/company accomplishment in your eyes?

I am particularly proud of the PRd+a team and how we are currently overcoming the challenges of living and working through the Covid-19 pandemic. We are continuing to do our best work and while physically apart, are working closer together than ever. The balance of work / life is important to us and we are overcoming this by pulling together as a team.

What are some of the current influences on your work?

I am influenced by what I believe are the best principles we live by and want to draw from those in how we approach design for others – with authenticity, forward thinking and refinement.

What does regionalism mean to you and your work in the Pacific Northwest?

Regionalism is about respecting the time and place of a project. It is the idea that the project reflects not just a client’s expectations but additionally the intentions and values of that specific place. Bringing the resources we have here in the PNW into our homes and buildings connects us to this place.

How do you find inspiration for a new project?

Inspiration comes from many places but finding that special idea for a project comes from simple perseverance and determination to stay with the problem until I find an idea that sticks. It isn’t a material, a particular view, or lifestyle that is the inspirational thing – it is putting in the time to draw from all of those elements to discover a concept and develop that idea though the entire arc of the project.

Most memorable project?

My most memorable project is the greenhouse I am currently building for my wife. It is a timber and polycarbonate structure that keeps me humble and appreciative of the builders and tradespeople we work with every day that make our ideas come to life and look good!

What are you working on at the moment?

One of the things we are currently working on are the finishing touches to a substantial renovation of a waterfront home built in the 1920s. It was a wreck, to say the least, and due to the proximity to the Puget Sound, it could not be replaced with new. We painstakingly preserved what gave the house soul and brought it from near collapse into the present with a wonderful client and hard-working builder. It will be a beautiful home and we are so pleased with how the team was able to salvage and transform the house into something special that will last into the future.

What are some of your interests outside of architecture?

I live on a mini-farm and care for a very large garden, along with all sorts of farm animals, which feeds my family for a good part of the year. Being a dad to two boys, a farm hand, spending time hiking and in the outdoors, archery, motorcycles, daydreaming in the shop - all keep me occupied.

Favorite travel destination?

These days, it’s in the garden, or working on the greenhouse.

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