With each new design—residence or commercial building—we attempt to create the best architecture in Seattle. Our desire is to bring the ultimate version of your dream to life using contemporary materials that fit poetically into your environment.

To achieve such lofty goals, it’s essential we stay abreast of the innovations taking place throughout the country. One way this is accomplished is by consuming industry news and this year at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2018 conference there were more than 800 brands and manufacturers present. Among those, a few stood out.

Here are the some of the innovations presented this year that were of particular interest:

Velux Cabrio Balcony

Having a window on your roof to bring in added air and light is a delightful, but Velux takes this concept a step further. This skylight cleverly expands living spaces by folding out into an extended awning makeshift balcony. This metamorphic opening activates the otherwise hard-to-use space beneath a steeply angled ceiling.

The best part is that while it may sound complex, it’s quite easy to use as the window portion is top-hung and just opens outward, while the bottom simply unfolds into a balcony complete with side railings.

Another bonus feature is the ability to let in fresh air even while the window is locked and the weather is bad. Plus, the built-in, reusable filter will prevent dust and insects from entering.

Architectural Metal Panels

When considering materials for your countertop you may have thought of granite, corian, and even cement, but you probably haven’t considered metal. While metal may initially leave you recoiling as you want a warm, inviting space, not a cold, sterile one, when you choose Rigidized Metals it’ll be anything but.

Today, stainless steel comes in more colors and textures than you would have ever have guessed and will complement wooden cabinetry with a modern flare. It’s also a great kitchen surface as it’s heat resistant, anti-bacterial, and requires minimal maintenance. Satin Copper with texture is a favorite option available.

Other applications of the deep textured metal and panels include backsplashes, woven closures, mouldings, and many more interior commercial applications as wells.

DesignWork by Eileen Fisher 

Does that name sound familiar? It might if you’re interested in fashion as Eileen Fisher first made her mark in this space. She was working as an interior and graphic designer and was looking for clothing made from great fabrics and simple shapes as she used in her work. Nothing could be found at the time so she took a chance.

Her vision started with four shapes that she bought and sold at The Boutique Show in New York. This was 1984.

In 2015, she took things a step further with Vision2020. The fashion industry has been anything but sustainable and she wanted to change this and push a movement. She knew that human rights and sustainability should be front-of-mind, and that “social and environmental injustices are not unfortunately outcomes of an industry.” She pledged to do things differently.

Today, she’s taken her company in yet another direction and invested in DesignWork, an initiative to remake used clothing garments into captivating wall hangings, upholstery, and accessories for interior spaces. In September, this idea goes a step further when she releases acoustic panels and architectural wall systems to be used in both residential and commercial spaces.

For Eileen, the goal is beauty, function, and zero waste. We can get behind that!

ColorReader by Datacolor 

Have you ever seen a piece of art or a textile and thought, “That is the exact color I want to paint my wall?” This can now be your reality without scouring through endless swatches to find the exact right match based on a photo you took on your phone. All you need is ColorReader.

This small, portable device—designed in Lawrenceville, New Jersey—pairs with your Smartphone to identify the RGB, Hex, and CMYK through the mobile app. But that’s not all. Just choose a surface and ColorReader will synch with your phone to appropriately identify the closest paint match across brands like Behr, Sherwin Williams, Valspar, and others.

Using the ColorReader app on your phone, you can also view complementary colors, and build, share, and save various palettes.

You no longer have to spend hours rummaging through swatches to match the exact yellow found in the pattern on your living room couch. You can do everything from home in moments and probably even order the paint right to your door.

While this handy technology will benefit homeowners, it’ll also come into play as we develop the best architecture in Seattle. If you are looking to incorporate specific colors into your design, this will be easier than ever as we incorporate innovative ideas like the ColorReader.

Descending Window by Hirt 

It’s no secret that we have some of the most spectacular views in the Pacific Northwest. And when we design the best architecture in Seattle, we keep this in mind and orient homes and buildings to ensure we’re capitalizing on these views.

For this reason, we’re particularly careful with window placement, often adding in over-sized panels and limiting walls. But, we don’t want to simply appreciate the vie;, we want to breath in the fresh salty pine air. We want to feel the breeze graze our neck as we relax with a morning cup of coffee.

But, no matter how we open a window, it’s still in view and blocking some aspect of our surroundings. That’s why Hirt—a Swiss company—developed the Descending Window; a window that literally descends into the ground below as if by magic. With just a push of a button the glass slides silently into the floor.

As one of the top architectural firms in the Seattle area, we know that part of being the best is staying alert to the various offerings we can provide our clients. These are just some of the innovations we now have access to.