Finding Potential in Circumstance

Studio Spotlight: Patkau Architects

Patkau Architects is known for creating innovative, sculptural buildings that result from a search for the ‘found potential’: aspects of site, culture, materials, and environment that facilitate architecture evocative of circumstance.

Since 1978, Patkau has been recognized with over 80 national and international awards. Defined by sharp, angular intersections, rolling curves and warm wood aesthetics, their innovative portfolio includes private residences, cultural institutions, landscape interventions, and major urban buildings. Patkau Architects’ commitment to innovation is demonstrated through ongoing architectural research, including three published books and numerous articles. Their most recent publication, Material Operations is available through the Princeton Architectural Press.

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Our decision to build with wood is primarily a response to the unique circumstances identified in each project. In many scenarios, it is the most cost effective option. Opportunities for prefabrication have a profound effect on construction speed, which passes savings on to our clients. The wide familiarity of wood and wood construction also helps to create jobs and reduce the reliance on specialized trades needed during construction. Wood’s low thermal conductivity and efficiency as an insulator helps us to design environmentally responsible buildings that cost less to operate and improve the comfort of occupants in the buildings. Above all, Patkau strives to create buildings that create a unique sense of place.

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