about

At Balance Associates, we strive to live up to our name. At the core of our work is pursuit of balance: Between natural and built environments; between a client’s vision and real-world parameters; between beauty and utility. Our trademark attention to the details of each unique site and our skill at unlocking their potential, have garnered numerous awards. 

where are we?

Balance Associates’ home base is the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle and Washington’s Methow Valley. In addition, we have either completed projects or have work on the boards throughout the U.S. and Canada, including British Columbia, Novia Scotia, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Michigan, and New Hampshire.

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our process

By “our” process, we mean close collaboration between client and architect. It begins with careful listening, proceeds through thoughtful design, and culminates in a meticulously-crafted structure. We begin by asking clients, “How do you live now and what do your dreams look like?” Using one-on-one meetings and a time-tested proprietary questionnaire, we are able to zero in on wants and needs and assign square footage and preliminary costs to a client’s vision.

One of the most noted aspects of Balance Associates’ work is its integration with site, be it an urban streetscape or a wild mountainside. Our respect for the site grows out of a commitment to building in a beautiful, efficient and sustainable way. Direction of prevailing breezes affects passive ventilation strategies, sun angles determine overhangs, snow and rain dictate roof configurations, soils and slopes suggest whether a home should berm into a hillside or rest lightly on a fragile landscape. When we allow the site to influence design, the final product looks, feels, and lives harmoniously.

Selecting the proper contractor is critical to the success of each project. We cultivate relationships with highly-skilled contractors and work closely with them through the construction period. In order to more accurately predict costs upon completion of each design phase, we will often bring a contractor on-board early in the design process. Finally, Balance Associates is on hand throughout the construction period to answer questions, solve problems, and keep clients informed, as well as administer the construction contract. 

the art of balance wins awards

Balance Associates practices the fine art of balancing your vision and the potential of your site. This approach has garnered us national recognition in numerous publications and competitions:

  • Top 50 Mountain Architects, 2014, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Merit Award for the Glen Lake Tower, 2013, Builder's Choice and Custom Home Design Awards
  • Top 50 Mountain Architects, 2013, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Top 50 Mountain Architects, 2012, Mountain Living Magazine
  • AIA Spokane Craftsmanship Award, June 2012
  • AIA Spokane Honor Award, June 2012
  • Top 50 Mountain Architects 2011, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Award of Merit, 2011 Custom Home Design Awards
  • Top 50 Northwest Architects 2009, Northwest Home Magazine
  • Top Mountain Architects 2008, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Top 50 Northwest Architects 2008, Northwest Home Magazine
  • Award of Merit, 2006 Custom Home Design Awards
  • Cabin @ Elbow Coulee, What Makes It GREEN?, 2001
  • AIA Home of the Month, January 2001
  • AIA Home of the Month, June 1995
  • Home of the Year, Metropolitan Home Magazine
  • AIA Home of the Month, June 1993
  • Washington Passive Solar Design Award
  • publications

  • Houses for All Regions, CRAN Residential Collection, IMAGES Publishing, "Capitol Hill Residence," p. 48
  • Top Mountain Architects 2014, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Dwell, Glen Lake Tower, July/August 2014, "Tower of Power," p. 68
  • Cabin Life, October 2014, “Building on a Budget,” p. 44
  • Prefabulous World, Sheri Koones, "Kitsilano" p. 60-61
  • Mountain Living Magazine, March/April 2014, "A Light in the Forest" p. 80-83
  • Luxe Interiors+Design | Pacific Northwest, Winter 2014, "Open Plan" p. 90
  • Custom Home, Fall 2013, "Merit Awards | Less than 3,000 square feet | Glen Lake Tower" p. 64
  • Cabin Life, August 2013, "Natural & Modern" p. 40-41
  • Luxe Interiors+Design | Pacific Northwest, Spring 2013, "Inside Out" p. 228-237
  • 21st Century Architecture: Designer Houses, Mark Cleary, Images Publishing, 2012
  • Best Contemporary Country Houses, Gary Takle, Think Publishing, 2011
  • Cottage and Cabin, Linda Leigh Paul, Universe, 2010
  • Mountain Living Magazine, March/April 2011, "Between a River and a Road" p. 48-55
  • Prefabulous + Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home; Sheri Koones, p. 112-119
  • Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, November/December 2009, "Keeping Climate" p. 74-75
  • Sunset Magazine, December 2009, "The Great Escape" p. 42-45
  • Top Mountain Architects 2009, Mountain Living Magazine
  • Seattle Metropolitan, June 2009, "Prefabulous" p. 65-67
  • Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, May 2009, "In Harmony" p. 42-47
  • The Seattle Times, April 5, 2009, "His & Hers", Pacific Northwest p.23
  • The New York Times, November 14, 2008, "A Cabin Is Not a Shack" p. D1, D8
  • Mountain Living Magazine, October 2008, "A Natural Beauty" p. 100
  • See national and international articles on Method Cabin
  • Northwest Homes, July 2008, "Fast and Fabulous" p. 11
  • Luxury Bathrooms, James Grayson Trulove, Collins Design, 2008
  • Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, June 2008 "Skiers' Paradise" p. 49-51
  • Mountain Living Magazine, July/August 2008 "Top Mountain Architects"
  • Residential Designs for the 21st Century: An International Collection, Casey C.M. Mathewson, Firefly Books Ltd. 2007
  • Northwest Home, January 2008, "Top 50 Northwest Architects"
  • Dream Homes Pacific Northwest, Panache Partners, LLC, October 2007
  • Mexico Design: Soluciones en Interiorismo, Numero Siete, Primavera 2007 "Rainbow Rock."
  • Wood Design and Building Magazine, Spring 2007 - Number 38, "Canyon House"
  • Sunset Magazine, December 2006 "Winter Retreat"
  • Wood Houses, Ruth Slavid, Laurence King Publishing Ltd. 2006
  • Cabins: The New Style, James Grayson Trulove, Collins Design, 2006
  • The Smaller Home: Creating the Perfect Fit, Dan Sater, Collins Design, 2006
  • Mountain Living Magazine, July/August 2006 "Canyon House: Big Windows and Natural Materials Help Blur the Distinction Between Indoors and Out"
  • Custom Home Magazine, May/June 2006 "2006 Custom Home Design Awards"
  • Builder News Magazine, June 2006 "Fresh Air: Bold Ways to Rethink Outdoor Living"
  • Pacific Northwest Magazine, March 21, 2006, "Architects at Home: A Timeless Contemporary"
  • Custom Home Magazine, March 2006, "Outward Bound"
  • Beach Houses, Casey Mathewson, Feierabend Publishers, 2006
  • Residential Architect Magazine, March 2006, "k + b studio - bath: inside out"
  • Custom Home Magazine, Spring 2006, "Mountain Hideaway: A working vacation isn't so bad in an office like this"
  • The Travel Channel, Amazing Vacation Homes, February 2006, "Natural Getaways"
  • 25 Houses Under 3,000 Square Feet, James Grayson Trulove, Collins Design, 2005
  • Island Living: Inland Retreats and Shoreside Havens, Linda Leigh Paul, Universe Publishing, 2005
  • Fine Homebuilding Magazine's Getaway Homes, Winter Spring 2006, "Communing with Nature"
  • Seattle Homes and Lifestyles Magazine, July-August 2005, "Rainbow Connection" by Fred Albert. Cover and pages 64-69.
  • The Travel Channel, Amazing Vacation Homes, "Mountain Getaways" Episode 107
  • Inspired House Magazine, December 2004, "Inside The Great Outdoors"
  • Custom Home Magazine, March 2004, "Mountain Hideaway"
  • Seattle Homes Magazine, January 2003, "One With Nature"
  • Trends Magazine, November 2003, "Open To The Stars"
  • A House On The Water, Robert Night, Taunton Press, November 2003
  • Wood Design and Building, Winter 2003, "Cabin At Elbow Coulee"
  • Coastal Retreats: The Pacific Northwest and the Architecture of Adventure, Linda Leigh Paul, Universe Books, November 2002
  • Sunset, July 2002, p. 96, "Cabin Ingenuity"
  • The Smart House, James Grayson, Loft Publications, June 2002
  • Pacific Northwest Magazine, Feb. 24, 2002, "Topped With a View"
  • Seattle Times, Jan. 14, 2001, p. F1, "Going Up and Fitting In"
  • Seattle Times, June 13, 1999, p. F1, "Close Quarters of the Best Kind"
  • Seattle Times, June 12, 1999, p. E1, "Four Challenges and Four Solutions"
  • The Kitchen Idea Book, Joanne Kellar Bouknight, Taunton Press, February 1999
  • Fine Home Building, Spring 1996, p. 76-81, "Northwest Contemporary"
  • Seattle Times, June 25, 1995, p. G1, "Craftsman Spirit in New Home"
  • Metropolitan Home, Jan/Feb 1994, p. 80, "Our Natural Wonderland"
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