What was the journey to building your own firm and how has your practice evolved?

Christopher: We started as three partners who had previously been at the same firm in the 80’s and 90’s. We worked out of home offices for more than a decade before setting-up a central office to accommodate growth. At first, every project was a collaborative effort involving everyone. With a larger office now, we continue to approach projects openly and collaboratively.

Tim: After climbing the ladder in a couple larger firms, I found myself drawn to the single-family projects that occasionally found their way through the door. I was fortunate to find partners who are like-minded in their interest in smaller scale, highly crafted architecture. We’ve evolved into a studio of 10 who practice our craft on an intimate scale with our clients at the center. Everyone works shoulder to shoulder and finds themselves up to their elbows in a little bit of everything.

Are there common themes that distinguish your work?

Tim: One common theme is less is more. This can present as abstract minimalism or as iconic vernacular forms that have been distilled to their essence. A colleague once impressed me with the idea that our most important job as designers is editing.

Christopher: Authenticity, collaboration and looking for that unique perspective. We have the drive to provide genuine and authentic design solutions while working to realize our clients’ “dreams” for their homes.

What part of the design process do you find most rewarding?

Tim: I like collaborating with clients and colleagues. I enjoy conception where ideas are sorted out and their potentials are weighed. I like when ideas begin to take a life of their own. And I really like the fine-tuning, where it comes into sharp focus and becomes real.

Christopher: Working with the client to discover and refine the driving force of the project. It is through this distillation process that we amplify the core of the project and realize the most success.

What are your favorite building sites?

Tim: Sometimes within four walls of a kitchen, other times a vineyard in Provence. Every site has something to contribute to a unique design response. That’s what makes our work and our jobs interesting and never stale.

Christopher: Sometimes the site with the most constraints such as steep slopes or a tight urban lot. Challenges can become opportunities to push for highly inventive and creative solutions.

Do you have a dream project or location where would you like to work?

Christopher: It probably revolves around the places I like to visit the most. Some remote mountain or waterfront property. I love to cycle and ski and constantly think of project ideas while in these locales.

Tim: I’m a dreamer, so everywhere.

What contemporary influences are inspiring you now and how does that impact rho moving forward?

Christopher: As building and energy costs continue to escalate and we grapple with the environmental impacts of our industry, we start to look more and more at Passive House, recycled/recyclable materials, and prefabrication. Our industry must adapt to these ideas if we’re to survive the results of our own success.

Prized possession?

Christopher: My daughter’s watercolor painting of a tower she did when she was 8 or 9 years old.

Tim: I have few precious things. What I cherish most are family, friends, and experiences.

Favorite way to spend a weekend in the Northwest?

Tim: Anywhere outside.

Christopher: Bike riding and skiing in all their various forms.

For more information visit: www.rhoarchitects.com