University of Washington West Campus Student Housing Phase I
2012 AIA Seattle Honor Award
Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider
James Cutler FAIA (born 1949 Wilkes-Barre, BA 1971, MArch 1973 U. of Pennsylvania, Louis I. Kahn Studio 1974; since 1977 principal Cutler Anderson Architects [formerly James Cutler Architects], Bainbridge Island). Early in his career, he worked as a Designer/Draftsman with the Wilkes-Barre firm of Bohlin & Powell; in Seattle as a Designer with G. R. Bartholick 1974-75; and as a Job Captain with TRA 1975-76.
For his fellow architects as well as the public who have come to know his work through its extensive publication, Jim Cutler's work speaks to the fundamentals of "Northwest architecture:" design that respects nature and place, that honors its materials, that brings composure and speaks to the spirit. His 1994 elevation to the AIA College of Fellows recognized the national significance of his design contributions in advancing the profession; Edward Weinstein FAIA sponsored his nomination.
Over his nearly three decades as a practice leader, Jim's projects have touched upon environmental issues significant to the Northwest and the nation. The firm has received six AIA national Honor Awards, and more than 30 other national and regional awards. Current and recent projects of Cutler Anderson Architects include residences in Mallorca, Spain, California's Napa Valley, the Hudson River Valley in New York, the Big Island of Hawaii, commercial and mixed use projects in Bainbridge Island, and the Capitol Hill Branch Library in Seattle (with Johnston Architecture), which opened May 2003.
As an educator and critic, Jim has influenced other design professionals as well as students to exercise a higher awareness of their physical and spiritual relationship to the land. Appointments include critic and design instruction at the University of Pennsylvania (1973-74), University of Washington (1978-87), UC Berkeley (Friedman Professorship 1999), Harvard University GSD (1993), the Pietro Belluschi Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Oregon (1999), University of Oklahoma (Bruce Goff Chair of Creative Architecture 2002), and Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College (2004). He has also put his ideas into practice as a cofounder of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust (1988). Most recently, Cutler Anderson Architects has worked with Lindal Cedar Homes to design affordable homes based on a modular system.
We urge Fellows/Honors Council attendees to bring young architects and colleagues as their guests, to share the inspiration and experience of this presentation.
Donald Carlson FAIA
President, Fellows/Honors Council
Publications by and about Jim's work include
* "Houses built to move the spirit - and save trees," The Smithsonian Magazine, June 1996
*James Cutler (Contemporary World Architects/Rockport Publishers, 1996)
* Jim's essay, "The Case for Tangible Reality," in Architectural Record May 2002
* "Peaceful Coexistence" by Dean Stahl, highlighting the Bainbridge Island home Jim designed for his own family, in The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine May 18, 2003
* Cutler Anderson Architects, by Sheri Olson FAIA (Rockport Publishing, 2004)
* In "Genius Loci: Jim Cutler's design embraces Northwest place and culture," Architectural Record Editor-in-Chief Robert Ivy FAIA interviews the Bainbridge Island architect.
* In "Design Hothouse," in The New York Times 1/19/06, Elaine Louie tells the story of a home designed by Jim Cutler for author Susan Orlean and her husband.
Good design makes a difference