What was the journey to building your firm in your Seattle and Astoria locations and how has your practice evolved?

We met in our first year of the Master of Architecture program at UW. We collaborated on projects in school, and after working for other local firms, we formed our own practice in Seattle in 2001. The Astoria, Oregon branch was started in 2002, after we purchased a historic fishing complex on the Columbia River called Alderbrook Station. We decided early on to stay small so that we could give our full personal attention to our clients and their projects. After 20+ years, we still find this to be a rewarding business model that focuses on creative collaborative relationships in both Washington and Oregon.

Can you trace your interest in architectural design back to a particular influence?

Daren: I have traveled extensively and lived in Mexico and Japan. After I saw firsthand the cultural differences in how buildings are designed and used. It has been fascinating and has shaped my approach to design and construction.

Lisa: My uncle was an architect and had an interesting life. He worked with Charles Moore, taught architecture at Harvard, worked in museum exhibit design all over the world, and lastly, became a published photographer. Visiting him as a child, I was inspired by his lifestyle and immersion in art, food, travel, and architecture.

Your work emphasizes the connection between inside and outside spaces. How do you use form, materials, and light to accomplish this?

Light is such a valuable resource in the Pacific Northwest, from craving it in winter months to the abundance in summer months. We emphasize visual and physical connections to light and nature by incorporating areas of expansive windows, doors, and skylights; extending the interior floor and ceiling planes and materials from the inside to the outside; and using dynamic landscapes to draw your eye to the exterior.

How would you describe your relationship with architecture? How has it changed over your career?

We are always learning. Architecture is an amazing profession that is so dynamic, and though we have quite a bit of shared experience, each project teaches us something new. Every client brings their own unique building site, dreams, stories, and lifestyle to learn about. Discovering the particular design quirks in each project is what keeps us interested and engaged in the profession.

What are indulgences you like integrating into a space?

Most of our clients are interested in using low maintenance materials, and often they come at a higher initial price. We look for products that are durable, integral, and will age gracefully over a long time. In our minds, low maintenance is the greatest luxury.

Outside of architecture, what are you currently interested in and how is it influencing your design thinking?

Lisa: Cooking is one interest of mine that I think relates directly to design in the combination of elements that create a cohesive dish. I love the aesthetics and sensuality of it and try to use those qualities in our design work.

Daren: Travel and outdoor activities, such as surfing and motorcycle adventures, continue to give me new experiences and exposure to different environments. This always recharges my batteries and helps keep ideas about design, space, and materials fresh.

Where are you most inspired in nature?

Lisa: The edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Daren: Beyond the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

What’s next on the boards?

We’re currently working on the design of an off-grid fire lookout residence on a forested mountaintop. It’s been a great opportunity to dig deep into sustainable, fire-resistant, off-grid strategies that will likely be more applicable to all of our projects in the future.

For more information visit: www.chadbournedoss.com