Who we are
Wittman Estes is a Seattle based collaboration between architect Matt Wittman and landscape designer Jody Estes, founded on the idea that buildings and landscapes could be combined into one interconnected whole. The office is known for innovative designs for custom residential spaces, energy positive prefab housing, multifamily housing, and their ability to design for sensitive ecological sites.
We believe architecture should be based on connecting to nature and experience, and not be about making new shapes and precious objects. Living spaces should be innovative and experimental, but also comfortable and cozy. Housing should be modern and refined, but also have depth and richness of material and detail. Architecture and landscapes should be beautiful and timeless contributions to the cities and geographies they are part of.
Why we started the office
Wittman Estes came from the realization that in our cities and surroundings, buildings and landscapes were being designed as separate entities. The fields of architecture and landscape design were operating out of sync with each other. The rapid densification of American cities, and our carbon footprint and environmental concerns were at the forefront of people's minds, but they way buildings were designed was stuck in the past. Modern housing, despite it's ambition to elevate quality of life, was too often internalized and object focused, and was in sharp contrast to people's love of nature and a lifestyle that valued a connection to the outdoors.
We set out to offer clients an integrated design process, where architecture is based on nature, and landscape design is integral to the built elements and functional lifestyle of your specific situation and place. We focus on the play of natural light, smooth thresholds between inside and outside, a richness of natural materials, and most importantly, how people live in and experience the built spaces they inhabit.
Working with Wittman Estes
Wittman Estes is a dedicated team of architects and designers focused on bringing your project from concept through finished construction and lived reality. We have built a collaborative community of engineers, environmental consultants, builders, artisans, and other allied professionals to design, permit, and oversee the construction of buildings and outdoor spaces with the goal of bringing the highest quality finished product for the least cost and fastest timeline.
We have completed projects throughout the Pacific Northwest, California, and New York, and have been published widely including Dwell, Dezeen, ArchDaily, Gardenista, Seattle Magazine, Luxe, and London's Made magazine. Our work has been featured in galleries and exhibits in Seattle and San Francisco, and was recognized at the 2018 AIA Honor Awards for Washington Architecture. Every project we do strives to add a distinctive contribution to the innovative culture of both Pacific Northwest and global architecture and landscape.
ARCHITECTURE IN THE EXPANDED FIELD
We believe buildings and landscapes can be combined into one interconnected whole. As our planet faces rapid and unprecedented changes in the environment and technology, our cities grow denser and wild landscapes are transformed. In this new future, an awareness and connection to nature is ever more essential. By composing environments with indoor spaces that extend outward and outdoor spaces that are livable and beautiful, our designs support contemporary active lifestyles that value an awareness of the outside. Blurring boundaries between buildings and gardens, the relationship between indoor and outdoor space is brought into balance. We believe in working across disciplines, elevating both architecture and landscape together in the expanded field.
Wittman Estes was founded in 2012 in West Seattle. Since then a team of talented designers have worked together with forward thinking clients on unique sites to deliver the best possible architecture and landscape design working from our studio in Georgetown's historic Rainier warehouse space.
Matt Wittman, AIA leed ap
Matt is the founding principal of Wittman Estes, and received his Master of Architecture in 2003 from UC Berkeley, where he was awarded the Gerson Prize for Design Excellence, and taught architecture and design studios.
His work has won numerous awards at the Honor Awards for Washington Architecture, has been exhibited in San Francisco at the LAB Gallery and the AIA SF, at the Seattle Architecture Foundation, and published in London based MADE magazine. Prior to founding Wittman Estes, Matt was an architect in the Seattle office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
Working in California and Latin America, Matt was inspired by the clean simplicity of courtyard houses, where abundant windows and open floor plans expand interior spaces and bring the outdoors in. His work continues the modernist tradition of integration with nature and doing more with less.
Matt is currently a visiting critic at the University of Oregon and University of Washington Departments of Architecture.
He is a licensed architect in the State of Washington, and a LEED accredited professional.
Born and raised on Vashon Island, Jody received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington in 1999, and her Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley in 2003. She studied in the doctoral program for Architectural History, with a focus on mid-century modern housing and landscapes.
Prior to founding Wittman Estes, Jody was a landscape designer at Scot Eckley, Inc., where she designed numerous award winning residential and multi-family landscapes in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Her work is focused on creating outdoor spaces that are experientially rich and have a feeling of intimacy within a simple modern layout.
Jody is a keen observer of social and natural phenomena, an avid gardener, and an expert in the native flora and fauna of the Puget Sound ecosystem.
ashton wesely, LEED AP
Ashton is a Project Manager and Associate at Wittman Estes, and has completed multiple high end houses including Aldo Beach Residence, Clyde Hill Residence, Pederson Gardens and Seven Gardens in Pullman, WA.
Ashton is a Nebraska native, where she gained an early appreciation for rural landscapes. She was awarded a Regents Scholarship at the University of Nebraska for her bachelor's degree in architectural studies.
While pursuing her Master of Architecture at the University of Oregon, she focused on Ecological Design and received an AIA Northwest and Pacific Honor award for exploring the material capabilities of cross-laminated timber. Ashton is a LEED accredited professional.
At Wittman Estes, Ashton is happily pursuing her interest in ecological design, beauty, and materiality. She can often be found outdoors with her beautiful White Shepherd "Klaus".
Faith received her dual Masters in Architecture and Interior Architecture from University of Oregon, and her Bachelors of Urban Planning & Design from UC San Diego. Her research background focused on rooftop gardens as community spaces.
Faith’s design work is inspired by Luis Barragan's "Emotional Architecture", believing that cold functionalism should be replaced with culturally, physically, and program oriented spaces. She maintains that public spaces and buildings should be created from the needs of the human psyche as much as from the local ecology.
At Wittman Estes, Faith is working on residential, commercial, and interior design projects—focusing on humane modernism on a range of scales from intimate interiors to large apartment buildings.
Before joining Wittman Estes, Faith worked for the Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle.
Originally from Chicago, Julia migrated northwest to pursue a dual degree Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. Drawn to the northwest by its natural beauty and leadership in environmental design, her design sensibilities reflect modern simplicity and critical regionalism.
At U of O, Julia directed two ecological design conferences and was a design media instructor. She was the editorial board coordinator for KTISMA Journal, and her landscape studies in Kyoto influenced her taste for material expression and transitory spaces. Prior to joining Wittman Estes, Julia worked at AldayJover Arquitectura y Paisaje in Barcelona.
At Wittman Estes’ interdisciplinary design practice, Julia is a designer for both architecture and landscape projects. She continues to be fascinated by the environmental, social, and expressive impacts of holistic design.