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The 9 Best Residential Architects in Issaquah, Washington

9 Min Read

Named by Forbes as part of the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the US and the second fastest growing suburb in the state, the community of Issaquah, Washington, fosters a mission of creating a safe, vibrant, livable, and inclusive community. 

The location itself offers residents wonderful access to anything one might need: beautiful parks, a buzzing hub of businesses, and a convenient distance away from the cities of Seattle and Bellevue. If you’re looking to design your new home in a place that offers you the beauty of the suburbs without sacrificing the convenience of city life, see our list of the best residential architects in Issaquah, Washington. These firms are ranked based on the number and quality of their projects and the background of the principal architects.

Olson Kundig

159 South Jackson St. Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104

Now in its sixth decade of practice, Olson Kundig is a collaborative design practice whose work includes cultural and museum projects, exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use design (including wineries and sports facilities), private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design, and landscape design. With deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, the firm and its staff of over 200 work with clients around the world.

The firm adopts a humanistic approach to sustainable design, often blurring the boundaries of the inside and outside, providing an avenue for people to have a more intimate, healthy relationship with their surroundings. Its architecture reminds individuals that they are deeply and inextricably connected with their environment.

Photo by Nic Lehoux

Olson Kundig’s designs have been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times, ARCHITECT, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and The Plan. Owner Tom Kundig is the recipient of some of the world’s highest design accolades, including the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, among many others. Firm founder Jim Olson received the 2007 Seattle Medal of Honor, and both principals were inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2012.

Recognized as among the greats in the business and named by Fast Company as one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture four times, Olson Kundig believes that world-class design and building performance are connected as seen in its wide array of award-winning projects, exemplified by Dragonfly, pictured here.

Graham Baba Architects

1507 Belmont Ave. Suite #200, Seattle, WA 98122

Recognized for their successful place-making of commercial, residential, and art spaces, award-winning Graham Baba Architects delivers thoughtful and creative designs that put authenticity at its forefront. The firm also seeks to combine its skills with each client’s vision through subtle and economical design tactics. This has led Graham Baba Architects to build a reputation of designing locations to encourage social interaction and community.  

The chief principals Jim Graham and Brett Baba have a combined experience that spans decades. Jim brings a keen sensitivity and boundless creativity to each project that proves just how committed he is to the craft of building. Meanwhile, Brett, an award-winning architect, is known amongst them as the “Zen Master” of design and detailing and has great enthusiasm for each project. These principals collaborate with the rest of their team to bring the client’s vision to its fullest potential.

Pictured here is the Orchard Canyon Residence, a prime example of their innovative and thoughtful design process. It rests atop the edge of a canyon, surrounded by wonderful landscaping, both natural and cultivated. It translates the owners’ love for entertaining and maximizes the beautiful location of Eastern Washington. 

Medici Architects

11671 SE 1st Street Suite 302 Bellevue, WA 98005 

Founded by Emily Dovey Buchwalter, American Institute of Architects (AIA), in 1989, Medici Architects is known for understanding client aspirations, building sites, and meeting project budgets to create a unique space tailored for each client.

The firm is not bound to one specific prescribed style, making them able to adapt to each client’s needs. Its portfolio, consisting of a broad range of projects, is proof of their diverse clientele and the uniqueness of their designs. In the same vein, Medici Architects values client involvement from start to finish. They make sure that everything works together in perfect harmony so that the finished product is functional and a place of joy and inspiration for the owner.

Pictured here is the award-winning Oslo, a Kirkland Single-Family Residence done in collaboration with Jay Marc Homes. It’s the recipient of the 2017 Golden Nugget Merit Award for Best Single Family Detached Home and proof of their unique commitment to functionality and beautiful design. 

Castanes Architects 

1932 First Ave. Suite #828, Seattle, WA 98101

Specializing in creating highly customized, contemporary spaces, Castanes Architects is known for its commitment to a fun, collaborative design process. It believes that the practice of architecture is highly personal as a service as seen in its projects that reflect the client’s unique lifestyle and are inspired by the context of the project site.

Founded in 1984 by award-winning architect Jim Castanes, AIA, Castanes Architects had always brought with it in every project the goal of creating spaces that enhance not only the environment but the community as a whole. In its practice, the firm employs high importance in the details of their work as seen on this contemporary hillside residence. It was created to embrace the unique landscape and the pristine views of the project site, creating an interesting balance between built and natural landscapes.

Castanes Architects’ work has been featured in several publications like the New York Times, Premier Builder, The Seattle Times, Seattle Homes, and many more. 

Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

2340 130th Ave. NE Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98005

Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture sees the entire process of residential architecture as art. The firm focuses on telling the client’s story through the marriage of form and function in design—making the houses it builds homes of distinction. It mixes classic design principles with modern needs to fully express the client’s vision. To ensure quality, it has forged relationships with local craftspeople and built a team of select residential designers that are committed to expressing art through architecture.

The firm’s principals, Scott Hommas and Eric Drivdahl, both believe in the lasting impact a building can have. This reflects in the firm’s diverse portfolio. 

HARRISON Architects

1133 18th Ave. Suite B032, Seattle, WA 98122

HARRISON Architects offers clients the unique experience of working with lyrical sustainable design that doesn’t break the bank. It has a keen focus on placing equal emphasis on style and function with their love of ecological design with consideration for the long-term cost. 

With every design it creates, it applies the Passivhaus approach: enhancing client comfort using very little energy for heating and cooling — a sustainable design principle that helps cut down costs in the long run. Its chief principal Rob Harrison has over 38 years of experience as a design professional. His work has always centered around sustainability. 

Harrison Architects’ love of green architecture is featured here in the Okanogan Passivhaus Cabin. Despite the difficulties brought by the site’s climate, sustainable marvel sits comfortably amidst nature. This year-round weekend and vacation retreat in the pine and tamarack forest in Washington uses 70% less total heating energy than it would if it were built to the 2009 Washington State energy code. 

Baylis Architecture

10801 Main Street Suite 110, Bellevue, WA 98004

Baylis Architecture designs the right solution for every challenge. With over four decades of experience, they combine their knowledge to create exceptional spaces that fit the local landscape and their clients’ expectations. 

A recipient of the Gold Nugget Merit Award for Best Mixed-Use Development and featured in 25 Magazine’s Best of 425 in 2020, Baylis Architecture’s work is often characterized by the effortless visual harmony of the actual home with the surrounding landscape, as seen in this Shoreland Residence in Bellevue, Washington. It’s a waterfront residence located on a steep and narrow site, and since the place rests atop a steep slope, it was conceived with a reverse floor plan and maximizes the location’s beauty with its linear skylight in the interior’s spine and an upper level that overlooks Lake Washington and Downtown Bellevue. 

Brandt Design Group

66 Bell Street Unit #1, Seattle, WA 98121

When you ask the team at Brandt Design Group if they call themselves “green architects,” they’ll probably say no. Instead, they believe that “green” design is an integral part of any good design, not a separate category. Creating sustainable, artistic, and functional spaces that promote eco-friendly design is part of who this firm is. 

The firm, with its principal Colin Brandt, joined by Bree Medley, Kate Miller, Kevin Jensen, and Dave Delendeck, are all backed with years of experience coming from different backgrounds and all come together under the principle of creating spaces that have a responsive and responsible design. One example is this Mercer Island Custom Contemporary home pictured here. It has a wonderful view of Lake Washington, the floating bridge, and downtown Seattle. To integrate it with its environment, the team used a natural palette that elegantly brings out the warmth of this contemporary home.

Living Shelter Architects

472 Front St., Issaquah, WA 98027

Terry Phelan established Living Shelter Architects with a mission to create change in her community. To do this, she founded a firm that creates ecological, intuitive, and insightful design solutions. Her passion for having healthy and joyful elements in her life merges with the firm’s principles of creating lasting, livable homes.

Living Shelter Architects delivers innovative design solutions for healthy, resilient homes. The firm has always strived to make sustainability as affordable and accessible as it should be. Living Shelter’s design team believes that homes are not static but instead evolve over time to fit our needs and preferences as we grow with it. With that, the firm is constantly incorporating natural elements to foster a home that enhances a person’s well-being and living experience throughout the years.

A great testament to that is the Net Carbon DADU home, a design addition for a growing family’s 100-year-old bungalow. The DADU expanded the existing home’s space in such a clever way that it achieved million-dollar views of Lake Washington, the Cascades, and Mt. Rainier. In addition to this, the home achieves deep sustainability with its passive solar design and the low environmental impact of the materials and processes used. It has been dubbed by a consultant as Seattle’s first carbon-negative home.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at Home Builder Digest with around four years of experience as a writer and editor in the construction space. Shahe has always had a huge interest in commercial/residential construction and real estate. On top of his experience at Home Builder Digest, he has two years of experience as a Construction Partner Specialist at BuildZoom and six years of experience as a licensed real estate agent. In his work, he takes advantage of his expertise to take complex technical jargon from those realms and transform them into accessible, engaging content, blending his business administration expertise with a degree from Arizona State University with his experiential insights. Expertise: Architecture, Home Design and Build, Home Remodeling Key Highlights: Arizona Real Estate - Licensed Salesperson Education: Arizona State University - Bachelors in Business Administration