Thomas Architecture Studios earns AIA Merit Award for 'Campus Lofts'.

Congratulations to Ron Thomas and everyone at Thomas Architecture Studios on receiving a Merit Award for their ‘Campus Lofts’ project at the AIA Southwest Washington Honor Awards held November 2, 2017 at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). This award celebrates architectural designs and projects that represent top standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance, and overall integration with both client and the surrounding community.

 2017 Winner of the AIA SWW Merit Award

2017 Winner of the AIA SWW Merit Award

This ‘adaptive reuse’ project turned vacant office space into a 43-unit development featuring 36 apartments and seven townhomes and is now a lovely addition to the Olympia skyline.

I was asked to photograph some preliminary work on the project in late 2015. In the spring when the project neared completion Ron asked me to meet him for a walkthrough to discuss the various programs associated with the project. We reviewed the 'must have' elevations and the 'hero shot' and then he said something unexpected - he asked that I approach the remainder of the project with ‘a fresh eye’.

 Southwest Townhomes View

Southwest Townhomes View

You see, most project clients seek establishing shots and needed elevations along with various additional shot treatments. Ron insisted on coaxing views that were not scripted, not prescribed, but rather to provide me with ample ‘creative freedom’ to seek out the building with a ‘fresh set of eyes’.

 Third Floor Lobby View

Third Floor Lobby View

Further, he added that after spending 1-2 years on any project, you risk being biased due to frequency and familiarity. I find this approach somewhat refreshing and would welcome future clients to consider at least some of this perspective. It does empower and engender an ‘intensity of approach’ that I rather enjoy.

 Kitchen Unit/1 Bedroom Apartment

Kitchen Unit/1 Bedroom Apartment

I look back on this project with great satisfaction. Doubly so now knowing it produced an AIA Merit Award for my client!

Congratulations again, Ron! I am looking forward to your upcoming projects which will soon grace the Olympia skyline!

 Apartment Entry View

Apartment Entry View