westerbeck|architecture llc is founded on the idea that everyone deserves good architecture – living spaces that enhance everyday life. We endeavor to create spaces that are modern, functional, well-proportioned and uplifting. w|a has experience in multiple project types including residential, multi-family, light commercial, public and mixed use as well as master planning. w|a approaches each project with fresh eyes. Each site or existing home is unique and yields a distinct response based on client preferences, light, location, climate or your existing home. We respect and design to your budget, and eagerly take on the challenge of creating spirited architecture with difficult sites or awkward existing homes.
westerbeck|architecture strives for authenticity – emphasizing clear, simple solutions to design problems. We prefer low, or no-maintenance materials and expression of structure. This often minimizes cost, makes the space more dynamic and requires less homeowner maintenance which frees you to enjoy your home. At w|a we believe buildings should minimize their impact on the land and our resources. Energy and water efficiency, passive heating and cooling, daylighting and durable materials are a focus on every project, resulting in lower home ownership costs for clients.
Client participation is central to the w|a design process. After discussion of your design ideas and space needs, we get to work creating a synthesis between function, craft, material, light, contemporary ideas of space, site, geography and climate.
About Cary Westerbeck
Your project will benefit from direct daily attention from w|a architect and owner, Cary Westerbeck — from the first phone call until the end of construction. Born and raised in the Puget Sound area, Cary grew up in a home designed by legendary northwest modern architecture pioneer, Paul Hayden Kirk. This home left a big impression on Cary and his now architectural photographer brother, Will — they both can still sketch the floor plan from memory. Later, the family lived in a northwest modern home with yet another flat (low slope) roof. Cary has fun recalling that he didn’t live in a house with a gable roof until he was in his twenties. Living in modern homes with modern furniture by Eames, Breuer and Saarinen, Cary was surrounded by contemporary design and style that he still draws on in his work today. Cary feels northwest homes benefit from a relationship to our unique light, geography and climate. His career goal is to contribute to this ever-evolving northwest modern school of architecture.
After stints as a bicycle mechanic, cook, and Watershed Planner for the City of Seattle, Cary pursued his original love for architecture and received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington in 2004. Highlights of his education include a season of studying abroad in Rome, Italy and studying under architect Dave Miller of Miller|Hull. After five years at Johnston Architects pllc working on a wide variety of project types with an emphasis on residential, Cary started w|a in 2009. Cary is a registered Architect in Washington state and the country of Iceland. Cary also holds NCARB certification so he’s ready to be quickly licensed anywhere in the U.S. or Canada that his work may take him.