A Q&A with Tucker Johnson Architects

Founder Tucker Johnson talks about his firm’s philosophy and approach to design.

Images: Timothy Gormley and Tucker Johnson Architects

Learn more about Tucker Johnson Architects here.

Tell us a little about Tucker Johnson Architects. When did you start the firm and why?

I became an architect in large part because of the way good design positively impacts peoples’ lives. I moved to Colorado for a healthy lifestyle by way of its endless outdoor opportunities. Attempting to find a balance between these two passions—a career in architecture and a lifestyle rooted in rich experience —ultimately led me into self-employment. 

In the fall of 2017, we made an effort to establish that balance. My wife and I were several months into the process of building a home in Evergreen. We had chosen a place to live that offered access to the outdoors, walkability into town, a neighborhood with other young families, excellent schools, and a great community. I was looking for a way to improve my experience, simplify life, and hopefully add significance to it, which is when I established Tucker Johnson Architects. We have been lucky enough since the inception of our firm to be entrusted with meaningful residential and commercial work that allows us an opportunity to demonstrate our integrity.

Above: Tucker Johnson, his wife Hannah Johnson, and their two children.
What is your firm’s philosophy of design?

As an architect, I don’t believe we “create” as much as we are inspired by experiences and efforts we come across. Our goal as a design firm is to take that inspiration and apply it with acknowledgment of the client, the team, the site, and all the resources we are investing into these projects. We strive to do so in a modern way with efficiency and, hopefully, humbleness.

It is very important to us as a firm to uphold the value of our profession because design directly improves how we live. This takes great consideration. It also requires collaboration, designing within context, and demonstrating restraint. Our philosophy has become “considerate design.”

Tell us about a recent project that best reflects your firm’s design approach?

Without singling out any particular work, we hope that all of our projects demonstrate our philosophy. Our design approach is born out of a singular desire to do the right thing. Our principles are humble, clear, modern, contextual, and hopefully well expressed. Design is intentional and should take into consideration more than the mere construction of a building. We believe design should consider the experience of the user and, when fully realized, this experience is what dictates whether the project is successful.

We frequently refer to a quote that says, “Design adds value faster than it adds cost.” Today it seems we find ourselves fighting for that statement more than ever. We all choose full, memorable experiences over common ones. We often choose the beautiful things over the predictable ones, despite the functionality of both. We choose the experience that makes us feel good. We choose design often without realizing it. As architects, this is our job, and at TJA, we are passionate about it. What we create outlives us. We hope to guide clients in recognizing what they want out of their experience, whether we are designing their home, a studio, or a multi-family complex. Design generates value and significance.

Fundamentally, we strive to provide an experience that is respectful. To create considerate experiences is to leave something important behind.

What artists, architects, or designers do you most admire that have influenced your work?

We all admire and draw upon the work of those that came before us like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, or Philip Johnson. Currently, I draw inspiration from the efforts of Cutler Anderson, Lake Flato, Miller Hull, CCY, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson among many others. All of these architecture firms produce timeless design, using materials, scale, and style that I relate to.

Learn more about Tucker Johnson Architects here.