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A R C H I T E CT U R E 317 Richard Brown Architect, AIA Sometimes it's that which is most unexpected—in architecture and in life—that makes the most difference. One could certainly say that about Richard Brown, AIA, and the trajectory of his career. While some junior architects spend their early years overseeing residential site plans and commercial offices, he cut his teeth in a more unconventional manner by designing and building a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in northern California shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with his master's degree. The five-year monastery project—one that also had him managing an art and cabinet-making studio onsite—was formative for Richard, though. He gained invaluable knowledge about construction as well as the beauty of respecting tradition, simple materials, and natural light. After relocating to Portland, he honed his skill at the internationally recognized ZGF Architects before launching his own eponymous practice 28 years ago. Thoughtful, responsive architecture and regionally influenced design are hallmarks of his award-winning firm; these principles guide every step of their work. While the firm has a wide range of projects to its name, including religious, educational, commercial, and winery structures, Richard has always been most passionate about custom residential design. His distinctive residential projects are as diverse as the homeowners who commission them. But, it's this personalized aspect with the homeowners and their investment in the project that is most fulfilling, he says. Preferring a deeply collaborative process, Richard and his firm recognize that each client's needs are diverse and they provide seasoned, thoughtful, and responsive solutions that are specifically tailored to create beautiful, supportive environments. Emphasizing elemental materials such as wood, cement, steel, and stone as well as energy efficient design, Richard's site-specific work most often celebrates a modern spirit that's also informed by historic tradition as well as the unique landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Left: Dramatic curb appeal is assured in the Cedar Mills House, a sleek architectural stunner that was designed to emphasize views, privacy and natural light while cohesively assimilating the home into its sloping, tree-lined site in Portland. The material mix of stucco- covered Rastra wall blocks with mahogany and metal roofing effectively balances sleek modernity with storied tradition. Photograph by Josh Partee PORTLAND

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