Firm of the Year

Firm of the Year

Firm of the Year

Our team at Holst is honored to be named the 2020 Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Northwest & Pacific Region. This award recognizes Holst for our outstanding contributions to the profession of architecture through our commitment to excellence in design and elevating the quality of the built environment. The award was presented during a virtual Honors and Awards presentation on September 24, 2020. Thank you to the AIA and to the jury, including Kim Yao of Architecture Research Office, Matt Zinski of Weinstein A+U, Andrea Leers of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, and Ian Butcher of Best Practice. We gratefully accepted this award on behalf of all the people that have contributed their hard work and talent to the collective success of Holst since 1992. We also humbly accepted this award on behalf of our clients who trust us as partners to help them realize their visions every day.

In addition to an appreciation for the architecture Holst creates, we were especially heartened to hear the jury comments regarding our internal culture, as well as our connection to the community.

“Holst is the whole package. In this firm, we saw design excellence across an extremely diverse portfolio; we saw a model of practice that was inspirational for all of us on the jury; and we really witnessed a collaborative culture that is celebrated and eloquently discussed in their submission... We were incredibly impressed by the caliber of the work and a commitment to the profession.

The [AIA NW+PR Firm of the Year] award recognizes so much more than just a design portfolio…what we saw in Holst’s submission was their demonstrated commitment to the profession and to the community. They have a really eloquent way of talking about their inward focus and their outward focus… how they take sustainable principles and enact them in their projects and their work, but then also how to look at their own footprint and think about their own workplace, so that they can be practicing in an environmentally responsible way in their own activities. They talked about that in terms of social justice. Again, outwardly, doing pro bono work through the 1+ program and committing resources meaningfully to their community. And then inwardly by achieving JUST certification, thinking about equity and justice in their own practice and how they create community in their office.

We got an amazing sense of who they were as a firm, which also really impressed us because this is a firm that’s been around…and they’ve had a leadership transition. That can be difficult for a firm to sustain their culture and their design caliber through that type of transition. We were incredibly impressed by the range of work in their portfolio that was robust and consistent…and with that transition we saw amazing leadership obviously still present in the firm, and diverse leadership which was really exciting….We saw consistent high caliber and quality of design in the projects.”

- Kim Yao, AIA, Principal, Architecture Research Office

“First and foremost, [Holst] demonstrated they are a firm with a really good culture. They respect their employees, they enhance and respect design and architecture, and the same with their community. They are invested in all of it, from all angles. The second piece of it was their design. They really demonstrated that they’ve had a history of good design throughout a spectrum of project types, scales, locations, and time.”

- Matthew Zinski, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Weinstein A+U

We like to say at Holst that we are devoted to creating architecture people love, to making places that have meaning, and to turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. As architects and designers, we have a responsibility to be agents of change toward social and environmental progress, and to use our privilege to respect and listen to all voices that are impacted by our work. We take this responsibility personally, and it is why we love to do what we do.

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