Williams Partners Architects


What services do you offer?

Generally we are a full- service architectural firm whether tasked with alterations to existing homes or new construction.

What geographic area(s) do you serve?

Primarily Idaho.

What is your architectural and educational background?

I have a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Washington State University. I started
my apprenticeship in 1978 doing summer work in Seattle while still in college. After graduation, I spent six years in the Seattle area prior to moving to Sun Valley at the end of 1986. I established my own business in Ketchum 22 years ago.

When did you know that you wanted to be an architect and what motivated you?

Our family moved a number of times when I was young. I have many memories of our family driving around looking at houses. I had my first class where we designed a house and built a model of it in 6th or 7th grade.

What architecture inspires you?

Many types, I’m a huge fan of great architecture whether it’s historic or contemporary. I have traveled to many places to see great work by master architects, to experience it and understand it firsthand.

What do you consider the most exciting and inspiring developments in architecture in history?

When man saw that buildings had the ability to inspire and uplift the lives of the users, a world of possibilities opened up. For the average person commissioning a building, they have the ability of changing the entire nature of their project by just asking for more than shelter. Ask to be inspired and the nature of the product moves to a new level.

What project(s) are you the most proud of?

I think I am most proud of the fact that we have been winning many awards over the last decade and that each of these projects served the needs of the client, and that the breadth of our projects have no definable style and no consistent layout. We always focus on the client, the site, and the budget.

Do you have favorite materials or architectural details to use or a style you prefer or are known for?

Left to our own devices we will design a contemporary mountain style house but given the task of designing in a “style,” we will attempt to make that style the best the budget will allow. Each style has its own set of proportions, materials, and stylistic clues to make it work properly, but then it has to fit and work with its site, orientation, etc. Experience and research are the best ways to achieve that.

What makes the difference between a good house and a great house?

Great houses are rare. Great houses do all the things they need to do functionally but they have more. They answer questions that were never asked, they are inspiring, they teach, they are beautiful, and they enrich the lives of the users.

What places in the world do you find most inspirational and why?

I’d say the top of any mountain with a good view is as good as it gets. It gives you a view of the world beyond the myopic everyday view, a sense of the bigger picture of life and of place.

If you could own any three pieces of fine art, what would they be and why?

A house by Frank Lloyd Wright, a house by Peter Bohlin, and a house by Louis Kahn.

What’s on the top of your list as a great getaway?

A week or two at a mountain lake with nothing to do and a good book.

What do you enjoy most about living and working where you do?

While not a native of the Wood River Valley, there are many times during the year, summer and winter when I can’t believe how lucky I am to have landed here.

Williams | Partners Architects specializes in custom residential design. Their service is complete, attentive, responsive, individualized, and thoughtful. Williams and his partners believe that by remaining a small firm they remain more attentive to clients and focused on each individual project. Williams says, “Our job is to act as the client’s interpreter and guide, sifting through often-conflicting requests and requirements to find the project’s unique expression.”