Creating spaces that unite light and sight while reflecting the intimacy of a place

Interview with Brad Tomecek, founder of Denver-based architecture and design firm Tomecek Studio Architecture (TSA).

Tomecek Studio is an architecture and design company based in Denver. One of their most celebrated projects is the Container House, a 1500 square foot residence implemented to reduce the average American house size while applying environmentally sensitive strategies including green roofs, and photovoltaics.  

DesignWanted had the opportunity to interview Brad Tomecek, founder of TSA, and gain more insight on creating spaces that unite light and sight while reflecting the intimacy and poetics of a place. 

Tomecek Studio - Oneida
PIANOFORTE located in Denver Colorado – © Tomecek Studio

Who is Brad Tomecek?

Brad Tomecek:

“I grew up in Orlando, Florida, and attended the University of Florida for both undergrad and postgraduate degrees. I was very taken by drawing at an early age and had an affinity for planning and making.”

Tomecek Studio - Homestead
BLACK HILLS HOMESTEAD located in Black Hills, South Dakota – © Tomecek Studio

What is the vision and main values that TSA represents?

Brad Tomecek:

“The vision at TSA is the thoughtful, collaborative, and lasting creation that architecture has the ability to impact the quality of life for those who use it. Tomecek Studio Architecture is dedicated to crafting unique and responsive spaces that go above and beyond the standard building experience.

TSA’s mission is to operate with a spirit of curiosity through craft and exploration. Our observations become the basis for our actions. We employ a collaborative process to provide creative solutions to our client’s specific circumstances. Ultimately, we craft places that live in memory based on the sculpting of light, surface, material, and space. Quality is the ultimate measure of value.

Tomecek Studio - Canon City
CONTAINER CABIN located in Canon City, Colorado – © Tomecek Studio

Our values at TSA are:

  • Design Excellence – We believe in the extraordinary power of design to influence the quality of life.
  • Integrity –  We stake our reputation and found our relationships on honesty, trust, respect, and financial integrity. We desire clients who believe in the same.
  • Innovation – We challenge the status quo in order to access improved processes and technologies. We explore methods both old and new to yield experientially innovative spaces.
  • Collaboration – We take time to listen. We iterate in a co-creative process with clients, consultants, and contractors.
  • Environmental Stewardship – We lead by example, providing clients with projects that are sustainable and responsible. We believe in taking actions as designers to minimize the human impact on the world. 
  • Outreach – We evangelize the power of design through teaching, mentorship, community involvement, and public speaking.”
Tomecek Studio - Sugarloaf Boulder CO perspective view
SUGARLOAF CONTAINER CABIN located in Boulder, Colorado – © Tomecek Studio

As we have seen in your projects, you strongly believe in the concept of prefabrication and modular construction techniques. Could you tell us more about this approach?

Brad Tomecek: 

“Although I am a practicing architect, my roots are academic. Researching alternative processes to understand how we construct and why we construct is at the core of my values.  By taking the path less traveled, we believe we have a wider range of options depending on the projects’ goals.”

Tomecek Studio - Festival Park
FESTIVAL PARK located in Castle Rock, Colorado – © Tomecek Studio

You teach architecture and design students on a daily basis, what is the most important advice for young designers?

Brad Tomecek:

“Follow your passion. If you want to be the creator, then think through the whole process beyond one moment. Understand the size, proportion, and scale. Be flexible and iterate, iterate, iterate.”

Especially during this time, how do you think students can be more productive while studying from home?

Brad Tomecek:

“This is a hard question. Teaching online has surprised me. On one hand, the communication worked better than I thought. On the other hand, nothing replaces sketching and drawing in real-time at a desk. Since staying at home should free up additional hours, I would physically draw and model since this type of making connects the hand to the brain.”

Tomecek Studio - HeliBarn
HELIBARN STUDIO located in Big Sky, Montana – © Tomecek Studio

What are your thoughts on “Architecture is not about space but about time?”

Brad Tomecek:

“I am not sure where to start… My education would beg to differ regarding space. Everything we do is shaping, quantifying, qualifying the atmospheres we occupy. Certainly, time is the great equalizer for all projects as time discriminates against poor quality and reveals amazing contexts for future generations.”

Tomecek Studio - HeliBarn with helicopter
HELIBARN STUDIO’s structure includes a guest studio, garage and helicopter/equipment hanger – © Tomecek Studio

Some of your most famed projects perform at net-zero energy consumption. Could you tell us more about this?

Brad Tomecek:

“We find that these projects are usually in remote areas which typically require alternative energy sources. Septic, well and photovoltaic panels have become staples of these projects.”

Tomecek Studio - Sunset side view
SUNSET PAVILION located in Firestone, Colorado – © Tomecek Studio

Where do you see TSA in the future?

Brad Tomecek:

“I see our studio working on medium-sized projects that require thoughtfulness and vision. My goal has always been to have our firm be hands-on in the design and construction process to ensure that quality and experience excellence.”

Send this to a friend