It’s been just over a month since we welcomed Eric Drivdahl as a name partner at Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture, and we want to provide you with a glimpse of what allows him to thrive as a custom residential architect in Seattle.
What draws you to work each day?
Eric: The greatest success is when we listen intently enough to capture exactly our client’s vision and we’re then able to interpret that into their dream home. That’s the home run, which we try to hit every time.
It’s an adventure that we get to have with the client, crafting a home for them.
It’s always hard because there’s a lot of constraints on that effort: time, budget. Within each family, people have different ideas of what they want in their home. There’s all these different things that weigh into the home, all these different paths. It’s an adventure that we get to have with the client, crafting a home for them. We get the privilege of guiding them through that, helping them make the decisions when they’re faced with constraints of any sort and still achieving the dream. We’re distinctly privileged to work with some amazing clients who have a vision for a home, to build these incredible homes.
Is this where you envisioned you’d be?
Eric: My real passion interest through college and through the first years of my career was historic work. I love old buildings. I’m fascinated by them. I love their craft and the materials that they used and the proportions that they used. In my mind, a building that was built a hundred years ago was a better building than a lot of buildings that get built today. They were built to last. There was quality inherent in the work. That’s why a lot of these buildings are still around. You look at a lot of the housing stock that gets built today, and they’re not hundred-year homes. In forty years, they’re old and tired and need to be completely redone. You walk into a 100 year old, terracotta clad masonry building with marble inlay floor and it’s just as beautiful now.
We get to recreate that quality, that permanence, that visual delight that a lot of older buildings have.
So I had this fascination with historic structures. I did a lot of that work in Ohio. When I moved back to Seattle, I was offered the project architect role in the State Capitol renovation project in 2001, but I turned it down to come work with Curtis Gelotte. I was fascinated by the work Curt and Scott were doing. They recreated these old homes. Some of them are traditional or classical in style, so we get to recreate that quality, that permanence, that visual delight that a lot of older buildings have. It was a fascinating opportunity to do work aligned with my passion, but in a new way. We get to build new “old” houses.
Are you a convert to residential design?
Eric: Ultimately, I fell in love with residential design. I came out of doing a lot of commercial work and working for institutions and corporations. When you’re doing a home, you’re working with an individual family, and the personal care and attention that the client has for the project and that you have for the client is so much more rewarding because it’s relationship-based. It’s all about your relationship with the client and with the project, which is what I love. That’s a strength of mine. I love relationship.
We’d welcome the opportunity to build a relationship with you and help you translate your dream home into reality. Please contact us for more info.