Seattle Architect George Suyama Profiled in a New Book

The renowned local architect blends Japanese simplicity with Northwest naturalism.
Brangien Davis  |   April 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Seattle Architect George Suyama
Seattle architect George Suyama designed the privately owned Kemper Cabin (near Mount Vernon), a glorified tent that fills with birdsong

Blame it on the soaring evergreens, the majestic mountains, or the water, water everywhere, but something about the Northwest’s natural environment spawns truly phenomenal architects. Among our many local “starchitects” are Arne Bystrom, Paul Thiry, Ellsworth Storey, Jim Olson, Rick Sundberg, Tom Kundig and George Suyama, a University of Washington architecture grad who opened his Seattle practice (now Suyama Peterson Deguchi) in 1971. His life and work are the subject of a gorgeous new book by Grant Hildebrand, professor emeritus of architecture and art history at the UW. Suyama: A Complex Serenity (University of Washington Press, $75) reveals via full color photographs of regional projects Suyama’s trademark blend of Japanese minimalism and a Northwest emphasis on bringing the outdoors inside. Determined to eliminate “visual noise,” Suyama designs structures simultaneously still and thrilling. How lucky we are to have such an artist bringing manmade beauty to our natural spaces.