when I know about Olson Kundig Architects


(Jim Olson [left] and Tom Kundig [right])

When I know about Olson Kundig Architects , the only thing that comes forward from my mouth is “super cool…” Why? How?

Here’s the story,

On a nice evening, I sitted on a couch with my husband , while watched TV.. my favourite channel is Li TV. That evening there’s a program called “Designer’s Travel” on Li. 

This program showed us an “insiders” perspective on the cool and cutting edge in some of the world’s leading creative hubs and desirable destinations. Thw shows let us to take part of someone’s trip to someplace, and that someone tells us a unique information about the destination, but most of them is about design, such us, buildings, products, foods, and so on. 

That evening, the Designer’s Travel goes to Seattle , USA.. Up until now all I now about Seattle is Rain City.. 😀 rrrrr,,I’m from Indonesia , guys.. I don’t know anything about Seattle.. but the Designer’s Travel tells us mooooore information about Seatlle, a different side of it.. and make me have a positive thinking about this city.. and then, it comes to a segment that tells about an Architect’s firm called Olson Kundig Architects..and because of me and my husband were came from the same field, we both are architects, so we got very interested in this part to the most.. and I said “hmmm, Olson Kunding? Let’s see..”

First, we got amazed by the projects that OKA’s did..(OKA=Olson Kundig Architects). They are unique, and I think there’re a soul in every OKA’s project.. They did every project based on each project’s unique character..very contextual also..

And then, the 2 principal talks about their company, what they do, and many more.. They are Jim Olson and Tom Kundig. What made me interested the most is  when Jim Olson told us of what he think about architecture and how he think about his employee on OKA.

He told us that he’re interested in architecture from maaaaany years a go, even before he know about the real architecture. His first project is his own house that he built even when he haven’t enter an architecture school. He said that  as an architect we should treat our project in a different way, never forget the contextual side, and detail. He said that it’s not just about architecture or engineering, it’s about the art of making. It’s about passion to do architecture. We should do architecture in a very passionate way, so that we can deliver a good design for our clients. 

Jim said that he believe his employee as a partner, a family, not just someone. He said that he didn’t concerned of where do his employee comes from, nor from university that his employee graduated, nor what education that his employee took,. What he realy concerned about is do his employee have a passion in doing architecture. He said, as long as they have a passion about architecture, they’re very welcome. He realy appreciate every one in his team, without exception!

and then, it is the time of the sound “super cool..” comes out from my mouth.. Because it realy hit my heart (aaaww…), I think that’s the true architect. This is the type of architecture firm which I always imagine. I am in an absolute agree with Jim’s opinion. And u know what, suddenly, I adore him so much 🙂

From that time, Olson Kundig Architects become my favourite architecture firm in the world.. I become a big fan of OKA.. ^_^ .. 

So as a good fans, I start browsing on the internet, trying to find more information about OKA. At first I only want to know about OKA’s project which might be able to be my Architecture guru.. But, what I found is even more impressive! There’s an information about given by one of intern there that tells me about the firm’s culture.

(here’s the link : http://theissuecollective.com/2011/12/life-at-olson-kundig-architects/ and http://uwarch-belog.com/index.php/2012/07/inside-oka-olson-kundig-architects/ )

and for the main source, I open the site of OKA, http://www.olsonkundigarchitects.com/About

It is a veeeery awsome office!! they have a good office’s culture, talented people, and a nice working atmosphere.. 

I can make a good-point-list of OKA :

  1. They have a laser cutting machine and 3D printer for making building miniature in their office
  2. They accept about 5 intern who will work for OKA in 6 months
  3. The office space design is very inspiring
  4. They manage their models in a neat way
  5. They have “Night Crits” culture on Thursday. it is when every people turn their computer off and put their pencils, and gather around to disccuss about a project
  6. They work together with Artist and Craftpeople
  7. They take art as an unseparable part of architecture
  8. They can put a soul on every project
  9. I heard that the salary is good enough
  10. Disccussion as a ways of working


(A long countertop at the front of the office houses old models)

That’s only a very short list though…i believe there will be a long list if I browse more .. 😉

In the end, I make a wish in my heart, that someday me and my husband will be a good architect, as good as Jim Olson, yeah, that good.. And although we haven’t had a real company yet, but at least we already make a quite good start by making our small studio, named “ChandraWicaksana Studio” / “CWS” .. though curently we only worked on small project, but I believe if we keep our good spirit , and do our project in every passionate way (just like what Jim Olson’s said), we can grow better and better. And though the current main team of CWS were just the two of us with some freelance draughtsman, but it is very possible if in the future we will increase our team member and become a real company.. 

Well it is a wish,, it’s a wish from the deep of my heart,,but it is not just a wish..it is a dream that need an effort to make it come true….