Principal / Owner | AIA, LEED AP
“Good design isn’t just pretty. It’s a deeper response that answers more than a single question. It’s born of context, whether that’s urban or rural, and it weathers time and change. It endures.”
Steven Rainville brings the heart of a craftsman, the hands of a builder and the mind of an artist to his practice of architecture, which spans nearly 25 years at Olson Kundig. From an early age, Steven has been designing and building with anything he could get his hands on, beginning with small single-room structures in the rural California of his youth to the residential, commercial, cultural and institutional projects that he designs today.
Influenced by the legacy of his grandfather and father, both craftsmen and builders, Steven is drawn to the expression of craft and tectonics in architecture, particularly the ways in which buildings come together and in the details and materials from which they’re made. Equal parts beauty and performance, his design approach is characterized by its rationality as much as its quiet balance. Steven balances future-looking innovation with time-tested methods, honoring established practices while striving to rethink commodities and explore emerging tools and technologies. As leader of Olson Kundig’s research and innovation initiatives, he pushes the firm to deeply engage with over-arching considerations like energy performance and community accessibility that ultimately create a foundation for progress.
Steven leads many of the firm’s most complex projects, guiding teams through design and delivery. His notable projects include the new Wagner Education Center at the Center for Wooden Boats; innovative spaces for athletic brands and sports functions, including the Seattle Sounders Football Club; cutting-edge office towers in a new urban district along Atlanta’s BeltLine; and several projects on the Washington State University campus, such as a new visitor center and art museum. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington State University and is working with his father to design and build a retreat in Eastern Washington for generations of their family to enjoy.