History

Once Local Remodel Specialists - Now International Award Winning Sustainable Architecture & Design Firm

Back In The Day...

20 years ago Artisans Group opened as an Olympia residential remodel firm.  With co-Principal Randy Foster at the helm, AG built a strong word-of-mouth reputation for beautiful, high quality work.  From kitchen and bath remodels to historical home remodels and home additions, we built our reputation and understanding of Pacific Northwest architecture from the inside out - and we discovered our secret recipe.

Listening.    

The more we listened to our clients about how their homes could work best for them, and the more we learned about our clients’ passions - the more our phone rang, and the more high quality craftspeople wanted to work with us.  Awards followed, and we grew.

On The Way

Then, about 12 years ago, a local early-in-her-career designer applied to be an architectural drafter at Artisans Group.  Tessa Smith quickly proved her mettle. Our clients loved her architectural designs so much that word got out; people sought Tessa for new home design.  By day, Tessa worked with our clients on their architectural design. By night, she studied sustainable design, studied for her architecture exams and she designed custom Pacific Northwest homes for her clients.  

The Recession  

Seeing the difficult landscape unfolding before them, Randy and Tessa decided to enact an enormous change.  They became co-Principals of a new Artisans Group, an Architecture Design+Build firm specializing in sustainable design and green architecture; a firm that creates incredible custom homes that are built to last and designed for a world we want to live in.  By expanding operations during the recession and continuing to listen to our clients we found people wanted high quality sustainable design - they wanted architecture that invigorated the Puget Sound community by actively building for a better future.

The Journey Continues

As we honed our sustainable design chops we hired and trained more local craftspeople in cutting edge building science.  But everywhere we looked we saw struggling community cores throughout the Pacific Northwest. We believe that good design can build community resiliency by increasing social engagement so we began to branch into Commercial Tenant Improvements and Commercial Design.  Roussa Cassel, an incredible architectural designer who had transformed the downtown Olympia community with Olympia Coffee’s flagship café, came on board. And just as we had with sustainability, we dove in. We listened to local business owners, we learned about their markets and pressures, and together, we created some incredible Commercial spaces.     

Today

Artisans Group is a women-led sustainable architecture & design firm.  

Co-Principals Randy Foster, Tessa Smith and Roussa Cassel lead an international award winning team responsible for designing some of the most energy efficient buildings in America and renowned for its blend of sustainability and modern architecture.  With persistence, humor, and elegant can-do attitude, they’re piloting the Artisans Group ship like we all deserve a better built future. It’s been an amazing first twenty years, and we’re excited for the innovations to come.

We look forward to the opportunity to make some more history with you.

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