A founding partner in the award winning Central Office of Architecture (COA, 1987-2008) and IDEA Office (2009-2014), Russell Thomsen formed RNThomsen Architecture in 2015. He has been a licensed architect since 1989. The office provides a full range of architectural services. In addition to directing the practice, Russell is also a senior design studio faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in downtown Los Angeles. The work of the office has been internationally recognized, exhibited and published. The office has received several awards including the Architectural League Prize and Emerging Voices, both from the Architectural League of New York, and the Best In American Architecture Award for the Saitama Residence.
The office incorporates over twenty-five years of design experience. We develop projects that embody and exemplify an architectural response to the dynamic nature of contemporary culture characterized by conflicting desires, competing models and contradictory views about how to effectively move humanity forward. We practice architecture as if now, more than ever, design matters.
RNThomsen Architecture runs on ideas and design intelligence to engender architecture. Whether working with larger, institutional clients such as the Getty Conservation Institute, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, or the young owners of a single-family house in Tokyo, our work engages a wide array of interests under the umbrella of an architectural practice. We conceive of architectural solutions at multiple scales in response to specific problems and situations, from installations at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to scenarios for plausible, sustainable futures for the City of Los Angeles. We are advocates for architecture, keenly aware of its ability to reveal the world in new and compelling ways and to transform the way we understand the familiar.
We are invested and passionately devoted to architecture; form and utility are tightly bound together, directing opportunities for joy, delight and the production of unusual and beautiful forms of design intelligence. We build creative collaborations around each project; design emerges by actively integrating the needs and aspirations of our clients. These are synthetically incorporated into a more dynamic process to generate design ideas and direction.
We practice design as a process of innovative problem solving; relating, ordering, and disciplining information and parameters in relationship to utility, cost, constraints, a particular site and its environs, performance and beauty. Design is a robust process, built upon the creation of dialogue and feedback with our clients.
We practice architecture as a spatial, formal and functional product of the diverse aspects of life, resulting in a clear organization with strong material expression. From the unique character of a program and site, to organizational types and material performance, to ideas of beauty and presence, we work collaboratively with our clients, consultants and builders to engage architecture’s ability to manifest a palpable and compelling physical environment.