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Male, US, born 1940

Associated with the firms network

Anderson, Ralph D., Architect; Anderson, Ralph D., and Partners, Architects; Olson / Sundberg, Architects; Olson / Walker Architects; Olson Kundig Architects; Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen (OSKA); Olson, James, Architect

Professional History


Designer, Ralph Anderson and Partners, Architects, Seattle, WA, c. 1965.

Principal, James Olson, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1966-1971.

Partner, Olson / Walker, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1971-1985.

Partner, Olson Sundberg, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1985-2000.

Partner, Olson Sundberg, Kundig, Allen, Architects, Seattle, WA, 2000-12/31/2009.

Partner, Olson Kundig, Architects, Seattle, WA, 01/01/2010-present. The firm changed its name on 01/01/2010. (See Stephani Miller, Architect, "Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Changes Firm Name," 11/18/2009, acessed 01/25/2022.) It had about 85 employees in 2009, and about 150 in 2015.


Olson served as one of two holders of the Bruce Goff Professorship of Creative Architecture, University of Oklahoma, College of Architecture, 01/1999. (The other in 1999 was Eddie Jones of the Jones Studio Incorporated, Phoenix, AZ.) (See, "Architecture Chair Endowed," published 04/14/1999, accessed 06/15/2018.)

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA);

Recipient, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, Seattle AIA Medal of Honor, 2007.

Recipient, AIA, National Firm Award, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen (OSKA), Architects, 2009. (See Tracy Ostroff,, "2009 Architecture Firm Award Goes to Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen," published 12/05/2008, accessed 01/25/2022.)



B.Arch., University of Washington (UW), College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Seattle, WA, 1963. He was listed as a junior in the UW Tyee Yearbook of 1961 (p. 311).



Olson attended the University of Washington c. 1959-1963. He pledged to the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity.


He married Katherine Olson.

Biographical Notes

Member, Board of Directors, Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Seattle, WA. Olson designed a number of houses for prominent art collectors around the U.S.

PCAD id: 2382

1111 East Pike Street Condominium, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WASeattleWA
187 37th Avenue East, House, Denny Blaine, Seattle, WA1973SeattleWA
520 Pike Street Tower, Downtown, Seattle, WA1983SeattleWA
729 North Stadium Way House, Tacoma, WA1970
7428 SE 71st House, Mercer Island, WA1973
Art Stable Condominium, Cascade, Seattle, WA2010SeattleWA
Berkeley Hills House, Berkeley Hills, Berkeley, CA1951BerkeleyCA
Bobo, Carol, House, Seattle, WA2006SeattleWA
Candela Hotel and Residences, Downtown, Seattle, WA2009-2010SeattleWA
Capitol Hill Town Homes, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1981SeattleWA
Carkonen Apartments, West Seattle, Seattle, WA1979SeattleWA
Chicken Point Cabin, Hayden, ID2001Chicken PointID
City of Seattle, Parks and Recreation Department, Gas Works Park, Wallingford, Seattle, WA1971-1988SeattleWA
Delta Shelter, Mazama, WA
Dowell, Lewis J. and Margaret A., House, Seward Park, Seattle, WA1953SeattleWA
East Kong Yick Building, International District, Seattle, WA1910SeattleWA
Ebsworth, Barney, House, Hunt's Point, WA2003Hunt's PointWA
Frye Art Museum, First Hill, Seattle, WA1952SeattleWA
Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation, Visitor Center, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA2010-2012SeattleWA
Gethsemane Lutheran Church #3, Downtown, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Hambach Building #4, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Hauberg, Anne Gould, House #2, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Hawaii House2006
Hillclimb Court Apartments, Downtown, Seattle, WA1982SeattleWA
Holyoke, Richard, Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA1889-1890SeattleWA
Horton, Dexter, and Company, Bank #3, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA1892SeattleWA
Magnolia House, Magnolia, Seattle, WA1993
Medina House, Medina, WA2005MedinaWA
Montecito House, Montecito, CA2007MontecitoCA
Museum Towers Project, First Hill, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Olympic Block #14, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA
Overlake Park Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, WABellevueWA
Pike and Virginia Building Condominiums, Downtown, Seattle, WA1978-1979SeattleWA
Port Ludlow House, Port Ludlow, WA2003Port LudlowWA
Raff, Kathie and Douglas, House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1969SeattleWA
Seattle Art Museum (SAM) #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA1991SeattleWA
Seattle University, Chapel of Saint Ignatius, Seattle, WA1996-1997
Skinner, Catherine, Office Building, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1910SeattleWA
Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Noah's Ark Exhibit, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Studhorse House, Winthrop, WA2012WintrhopWA
Studio House, Seattle, WA1993-1998SeattleWA
Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, ID2008KetchumID
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Burke, Thomas, Memorial Washington State Museum #2, Seattle, WA2016-2019SeattleWA
West Edge Apartments, Downtown, Seattle, WA2015-2018SeattleWA
Bostwick, William, "High Resolution", Architectural Digest, 174-181, 09/2011. Whiteson, Leon, "Architecture: Olson / Sundberg A Balance with Nature on Puget Sound", Architectural Digest, 52: 4, 126-133, 202-203, 04/1995. Pearson, Clifford A., "Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen turns the prosaic into the memorable at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle", Architectural Record, 197: 6, 68-73, 06/2009. "Scofield advertisement", Architectural Record, 192: 6, 94, 2004-06. Thake, Alyson, "Subtle in Seattle", Architectural Review, 204: 1218, 80-82, 1998-08. Barnes, Rebecca, Collins, Alf, "Downtown Seattle Waterfront", Arts + Architecture, 4: 1, 46-51, 1985-05. Mishkin, Laura, "The New Burke Museum is coming", Daily of the University of Washington, 124: 95, 2, 2016-03-08. Sundberg, Rick, Frye Art Museum, 2007. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Gas Works Park", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 59, 119, 206-207, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "House, 1970", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 199, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 136, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Holyoke Building", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 121, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Carkonen Apartments, 1979", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 194, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 113, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 269, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "House, 1973", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 235, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "House, 1973", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 179, 1980. "Noah's Ark", Oasis Magazine of the Skirball Cultural Center, 10-17, 2008. Olson, James, Sundberg, Richard, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects: Architecture, Art and Craft, 2003. Nabbefeld, Joe, "Frye museum may put up luxury condo tower", Puget Sound Business Journal, 20: 42, 8, 02/18/2000. "Seattle's 10 Greatest Homes Studio House", Seattle Met, front cover, 45, 01/2012. "Builders of One-of-a-Kind Architecturally Significant Residences", Seattle Met, 49, 01/2012. Huston, Barbara, "Queen Anne tour finds charm--circa 1969", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, D2, 1983-09-19. Shaw, Linda, "Passionate patrons hail 'lovely' library", Seattle Times, B2, 03/11/2007. Rosenberg, Mike, "At $37.5 million, Hunts Point home sets a Seattle-area sales record", Seattle Times, A7-A8, 2019-04-23. Hill, Emma, "Give Me Shelter", Spaces, 20, 98-105, 2008-03. Tom Kundig: Houses, 2006. Webb, Michael, "Consummate Grace", Town and Country, 166-175, 2006-05. "Hawaii Adalarinda Bir Tasarim Harikasi", Villa Dekoratsyon, 10: 29, 38-47, 06/2008.