Seattle-based goCstudio, an architecture firm best known for its innovative work and collaborations with artists and craftsmen, has received the 2018 Emerging Firm Award from the Northwest and Pacific Region Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award recognizes emerging firms less than ten years old that are challenging traditional perceptions and methods of architecture and elevating the quality of the built environment. The AIA Northwest and Pacific Region (NWPR) includes the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Hawaii, and the territory of Guam. The firm was previously recognized with a 2016 National AIA Small Projects Award for its best known work, wa_sauna, a motorized floating sauna that began as a conceptual installation project.
In recognizing the studio for the Emerging Firm Award, the jury noted, “goCstudio’s submittal was phenomenal. Their projects have a sophisticated yet thoughtful and restrained material palette. The studio has completed a wide range of very imaginative projects in a relatively short firm life.”
Since co-founding goCstudio in 2012, Jon Gentry, AIA, and Aimée O’Carroll, ARB, have been deeply involved in the design and management of every project at the firm. “We are honored to receive this recognition from the AIA,” notes Gentry. “We’ve packed a lot of work into a short amount of time. Reflecting on the early years of our studio, it seems that some of the greatest rewards in our work have come from taking the greatest risk. Our self initiated projects—whether formal conceptual competition entries or weekend design/build projects like the floating sauna—have expanded the depth of our work and the connectedness of our studio with our community in ways far beyond what we could have expected. This recognition from the AIA is incentive for us to continue seeking out risk taking projects and clients, and to follow through on those wild, unlikely ideas that require the most heart and dedication,” adds Gentry.
The firm works simultaneously on conceptual and client-driven projects, mixing art-inspired collaborations with real-world problem solving. “We strive to produce conceptually rich projects that act as partner to their community and site, where architecture and creativity are combined with philosophy and craftsmanship to create lasting human environments and experiences. It is our intent that the projects use our limited natural resources responsibly and that each design enriches its site and cultural landscape,” notes O’Carroll.
Mini Mart City Park is a project that exemplifies the goCstudio process and platform. A community-focused project owned-and-initiated by the artist collaborative SuttonBeresCuller and designed by goCstudio, Mini Mart City Park involves the transformation of a former gas station site into a public park and cultural center. The project demonstrates our commitment to architecture as spatial, social, environmental, and artistic construct, engaging both the technical and the poetic.
The firm’s work includes the design of residences, as well as commercial and hospitality spaces. The Island Cabins project is a family retreat consisting of two modest cabins, a new cabin and the remodel of an existing cabin. The structures are designed to operate off the grid and net zero in terms of energy use.
Substantial, a digital product studio, is an office designed to accommodate a company’s growing needs. The entire 14,000-square-foot project occupies the top floor of a 100-year-old brick building in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
COR Cellars is a winery located outside of Lyle, Washington in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. The design is focused on creating shelter, both physical (from the winds and tough climate) and psychological (a place of refuge in which to enjoy the company of friends).
“One of our first projects—wa_sauna—was a crowd-funded and community built effort,” notes O’Carroll. “wa_sauna was primarily funded by our local art and design community with fundraising events hosted around the city and then built by our studio. The community outreach that this small project demonstrated has inspired us to establish a new design/build program (Hiatus), that our studio plans to initiate in the summer of 2020.”
“It was an exciting and daunting decision to carve our own path and launch goCstudio,” notes Gentry. “This time six years ago Aimee and I were living and working in London, sorting out our business plan, figuring out where to locate the practice, and how to seek out the type of forward-thinking work we had in mind...and of course how to land our first paying job.”
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