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Gordon Walker's (b. 1939) highly unusual design process has yielded an extensive architecture of extraordinary quality; he is a unique figure in the American architectural movement and in the history of the Pacific Northwest. This personal and professional biography contributes both to our understanding of the breadth of viable design processes and, in a broader sense, to regional and architectural history.
Gordon Walker is a 1962 graduate of the University of Idaho. He was co-founder of Olson Walker Architects (now Olson Kundig), worked with NBBJ in Seattle and San Francisco, and practiced in his own name for twelve years before joining Mithun Architects as a consulting principal. His work embraces the American west coast from Davis, California, to the Canadian border. He has designed over thirty residences (and built several with his own hands); a host of buildings and plans for universities throughout the Northwest and California; three buildings for the Pacific Northwest Ballet; and myriad commercial buildings, remodels, restaurants, and parks. He has been an educator and mentor, teaching at the Universities of Idaho and Washington. In addressing all of its determinants simultaneously in plan, section, and elevation, Gordon Walker has, for half a century, created an architecture of exceptional merit.