Skip to main content

Hilltop House Featured on Cover of Portrait

By 2023, Announcement, Cover, magazine, Photoshoot, publicity, Remodel, Residential

Excited to share that the Hilltop House was awarded the cover on the latest issue of Portrait Magazine! This was such a transformative project and we had a blast working with such great clients and an incredible project team! You can find the full article online here: 

Architecture: Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects
Build: JDL Development Inc..
Interiors: Betsy Brandenburg Hurst + Midori Karasawa
Landscape: Michael Schultz
Outdoor Lighting: Oregon Outdoor Lighting
Photos: David Papazian

GSW Now Licensed In California

By 2023, Announcement

Principal, Jake Weber, is now officially licensed in California, broadening the environments Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects is fortunate to design in! Jake was elevated to Principal in 2019 and has been with the firm for 10 years. A graduate of the University of Oregon, he regularly serves as a panelist at studio reviews and assisted past professors with experimental spatial studies. Before architecture, Jake spent 5 years in the commercial furniture industry at NW Office Interiors designing modern office space. Aside from architecture, Jake has a passion for multimedia including graphic and web design and when not in the office he likes to play with his two kids Brock and Winnie, play basketball, or snowboard on Mt. Hood.

Newberg Ridge House Wins Concrete Excellence Award

By 2023, Announcement, Awards, Residential

Exciting news! The Newberg Ridge House has won a prestigious Excellence in Concrete Award from the Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association! We are honored and grateful to receive this recognition for such a unique project. Concrete played a pivotal role in allowing us to push the boundaries of design and create unique structural elements that showcase the versatility and beauty of the material. Thanks to our clients, the contractor / concrete finisher Whitaker Ellis, and the whole team for making this such a successful project! And thank you to this year’s jurors!

Design: Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects
Build: Whitaker Ellis
Engineer: Stonewood Structural Engineers
Ready Mix: Knife River Corporation
Photos: David Papazian

Steven Glassman Elevated to Associate

By 2023, Announcement, Associate, Personnel, Promotion

Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects is pleased to announce the promotion of Steven Glassman to Associate with the firm! Steven joined GSW in 2021 and has extensive experience in commercial architecture with a specialization in mixed-use, multi-family residential projects. His continued passion for enriching families through quality materials and experiential sustainable design had propelled him to join the single-family residential sector. We’re lucky to have him on board! Congratulations Steven!

Dave Giulietti Retires

By 2023, Announcement, Dave Giulietti, Retiring


While Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 2022, we knew the day would finally come when Dave would officially retire. That day has come and as of January 2023, Dave has transitioned to one day per week.  It’s not a complete retirement, yet, but of course eventually it will be.  He’s been such an instrumental architect, mentor, and friend over the past three and a half decades to everyone connected to the firm as well as the Portland architectural community. He will be greatly missed at the firm, but this is also a moment to celebrate. Dave is the consummate architect, but because he’s an even better person, his impact will continue to be felt in many a season to come.




Tributes to Dave Giulietti


Dave Giulietti has rounded the bases and is headed for home plate.

 A talented baseball player in his youth, Dave has spent the past 35 years leading a prosperous and beloved Portland architecture firm of his own founding. While countless magazine covers and design awards speak to his ability as a designer, as Dave reaches retirement this year, it’s the outpouring of support from across the community—from fellow architects to builders, from clients to his many friends—that speaks to what a great team captain Dave has always been.

 Put it this way: if Dave Giulietti is retiring, GSW Architects will be retiring his jersey too. First, though, a few of Dave’s friends, collaborators and colleagues would like to pay tribute.

From New York to Portland (Jonah Cohen)

Raised in Queens, New York during the late Sixties and early Seventies, Dave first got passionate about architecture after enrolling at City College in Harlem, each day making a three-hour round trip via subway. He worked his way through college, at New York firm Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee (today known as RKTB Architects) and was offered a full-time job upon graduation in 1979. But Dave dreamed of going west. A few years later, he flew to San Francisco, bought a cheap used car and drove up and down the West Coast, and picked Portland over San Diego.

Dave was first hired at Portland architecture firm BOOR/A (today known as Bora) in 1981. The job captain for his first project was Jonah Cohen, who also hailed from New York and even shared a teacher-mentor in Carmi Bee, FAIA, a partner in Dave’s old firm. Years later, Jonah would be the best man at Dave’s wedding.

Early on, Jonah remembers Dave striking a chord both in and out of work. They started a softball league together, and naturally Dave served as player-manager. “I’ll never forget it,” Jonah remembers today with a chuckle. “He got us all together and said, ‘You can make all the physical mistakes you want out there. But no mental errors.’”

At work, Dave distinguished himself too, not just on projects for clients like the US Veterans Administration and the Oregon Department of Transportation, but also in tackling how the firm operated. When BOOR/A leaders announced a contest meant to generate ideas for how to run the business more efficiently, “Dave just completely analyzed every aspect of the firm, even down to things like the distance between where the pencil leads were stored and architects’ desks,” Jonah remembers. “He came up with about 50 or 60 different ideas. He blew everyone else away.”

As New Yorkers embracing Oregon’s natural beauty, Jonah and Dave didn’t just go camping together. They went snow-camping. Jonah remembers waking one morning, unzipping the tent, and finding Dave had carved out of the snow a little outdoor room for them to cook and eat breakfast in, complete with contoured seating.

Dave and Jonah wanted to start their own firm, which would have been called Oxalis Architecture (after the flowering plant). They set their sights not just on design but development, specifically the industrial Northwest Portland neighborhood just beyond downtown that was just beginning to be called the Pearl District.

“Coming from New York, we saw the potential in all these warehouses for residential, because we’d seen that in SoHo,” Jonah remembers. They met with the owner of a circa-1906 warehouse at NW 13th and Glisan, who welcomed their redevelopment suggestion, but didn’t seem to take them seriously. A few years later, though, the pioneering Jamison/Thomas Gallery moved into the building, birthing the Pearl’s new era as an arts and residential Mecca.  “We were ten years ahead,” Jonah says. “But we saw it.”

A Natural Collaborator (Tim Schouten and Dave Lyons)

Dave founded his own firm in 1987, finding success with designs like the Waymire Residence, co-designed with David Gonrowski. Its blend of contemporary style with hints of Bauhaus and Art Deco won a People’s Choice Award at the AIA Portland Design Awards in 1989. Three years in, Dave rented the storefront on Northwest Thurman Street that remains the firm’s home today, a former neighborhood grocer that had also previously held the offices of architect Edgar Waehrer.

GSW Architects principal Tim Schouten joined the firm in 1993. After several years at Portland’s SERA Architects and a large firm in California, this was a chance to work holistically and take more responsibility in a smaller firm. “I really got the sense that it could be long-term, and it would allow me to evolve and grow as an architect,” Tim says. One of their acclaimed early projects, 1995’s Parsons Residence, featured a unique yet traditional look: three distinct gabled wings configured around a central South facing court/patio.

Tim loved to draw and visualize new designs, and “I saw that as very complementary to Dave’s skills,” he explains. “Dave’s passion is the relationships and a personalized service that’s really unique to the single-family market. I think that’s a testament to how we have survived over the years. It takes a certain type of personality, who puts people at ease during a very complex journey. Being able to explain that process in a way that’s easily understandable, people gravitate towards that. That’s a special quality Dave has.”

Tim also believes Dave helped him become a more responsive architect, able to visualize designs that also articulated clients’ wishes. “I always remember early on, Dave would tell me, ‘That’s a really good design. But remember, we promised the client we would do this.’ That was a hard thing to learn. But now I’m often the one telling architects here, ‘We have to solve what the client expects us to be showing them first, and then we can show these other options.”

Dave has also been a favorite of general contractors, many of whom the firm worked with several times, such as JDL Development and co-owners Dave and Joe Lyons.

“We very much appreciated that working relationship,” says Dave Lyons. “I don’t recall ever going to loggerheads with Dave on a project, and we did a lot of work together. He was always up for discussing methods, and didn’t care too much about how we got there. He also didn’t feel that he had to drive the bus. We were all in it together, and it brought out the best in our company.”

Lyons remembers working with GSW on 2007’s acclaimed Walnut House in Yamhill County outside McMinnville, a contemporary residence dramatically cantilevering over its rural hillside; the project was ultimately featured in three different magazines. “They tested us all the time to find ways to achieve what they were trying to achieve,” Dave Lyons says. “Their creativity and vision forced us to stretch ourselves as contractors, which made us better. Working with Dave and Tim exposed us to projects that were better budgeted and more discerning clients.”

Dave Lyons thought highly enough of his working relationship with GSW that he and his commissioned the firm to design renovations to their own home—twice. “Both turned out great,” he adds.

Giving Back (Saundra Stevens)

The story of Dave Giulietti’s career would not be complete without mentioning his many years of volunteering with the American Institute of Architects’ Portland chapter. In 1998, after a number of years on the chapter’s board of directors, Dave became the AIA Portland president. But that was just the start. He also helped co-found the chapter’s Small Firm Roundtable, spearheaded the creation of a local-architecture-firms directory, and annually during Architecture Week would host a seminar for the public called “How to Hire and Work with an Architect.”

“I think really the whole time that I worked with AIA he was in and out. He was really committed to advancing the profession. I really admire him for that because a lot of times, you might rise up through the ranks because you’re trying to go for partner or you’re just trying to get some AIA involvement on your resume. But he was not like that. He was very engaged and that is what made him pretty special — especially since when Dave started volunteering with the AIA he didn’t have a lot of staff to fall back on.”

Saundra remembers coming to trust Dave when it came to both strategy and execution as the AIA chapter expanded its public outreach. “He is so well organized, and he isn’t a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy,” she says. “He just has this subtle way of pushing you through and supporting what you’re doing completely. I mean, we launched a bunch of stuff while he was president and during his years on the board. We hadn’t really done a lot of programming at the time I started working there. With Dave’s help, we started adding things piece by piece. Dave had the ability to tap into all these different resources, which he had. He was really solid as a rock.

He has a lot of vision and he can look at something and say, ‘Yeah, that could really work.’ But he also has the ability to look at it and be pragmatic. ‘How are we going to take care of it? How are we going to get to that point? He is really smart in how to move a project forward.”

An Ideal Mentor (Jeff Guggenheim and Michelle Schulz)

Another way of giving back lies in Dave’s touch with employees. Architect Jeff Guggenheim of Guggenheim Studio, who in 2021 won the AIA national Young Architect Award, remembers discovering the firm on a walk in his neighborhood, during a snow day, seeing Dave and Tim through the window of their storefront space, still working. “I hadn’t been planning to apply for a job, but the storefront and their presence in the neighborhood was very approachable,” he says.

Guggenheim remembers being tutored by Dave in a way that helped him prepare to later co-found his own firm.  “Once I started working for Dave, he did an excellent job walking me through how a drawing actually goes together, and how a building is designed: a really holistic approach to architecture that I appreciated,” he explains. “We even did all the structural drawings, which you would typically just outsource to your structural engineer. So early on I got exposed to every aspect of a project, which I think is really helpful, especially for someone starting out: the care that went into every project, and thinking through every detail and decision.”

Even when not receiving direct mentorship, just the openness of the studio helped Jeff learn. “The ability to listen in to meetings that maybe Dave was having with a client in the front room—hearing how he presented work and walked clients through the process—was really great too. Often at other firms the principals go off into the meeting room with the clients, and the young designers don’t get to hear those conversations. But there I could just be working at my desk and tune into the client happening in the front room.”

Michelle Schulz, now a principal at Portland’s GBD Architects, came to what was then Giulietti & Associates as an intern, while completing her architecture degree at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus.

“I remember my first day being so nervous, not knowing what to expect.  But Dave was so welcoming to me,” Michelle wrote via email. “He spent time introducing me to everyone and talking me through all of the various projects the team was working on.  He let me know that he wanted to allow me an opportunity to see all that went on in an architecture firm.  And he was true to his word!  I helped out with drawing changes on projects, I sat in on client meetings, I went out on construction sites, I helped run blueprints, I worked on our detail and specification library. You name it…I was doing it. Dave really brought me in as a part of the team, and it was great!  I was lucky enough that after graduation he offered me a job.”

At the firm for nine years, Michelle worked with Dave on many projects, but remembers one in particular: 2005’s Leftwich Residence on Skyline Ridge in rural Multnomah County, with its commanding four-mountain view.  “We were originally hired to do a remodel on the existing house, but during our initial design work the house had a fire—a tragedy that ended up allowing the couple freedom to explore the house of their dreams unencumbered: a forever home they could retire and grow old in. The design won awards, but the best award was homeowners that truly love their home,” she says. “They still live in that house today, and I happy to say I am still friends with them to this day, almost 20 years later.  It’s the bond and connection to people and design that Dave taught me that I cherish the most.”

Into the Future (Jake Weber)

To prosper over many years, an architecture firm must grow and change with the times. Partner Jake Weber credits Dave for not only acting as a mentor to young architects like himself, but also for embracing the opportunity to learn from a new generation and evolve. “Dave has always been totally open to how we can get better and offer more,” Jake says.

When Jake joined what was then Giulietti Schouten in 2013, a year out of college and joining his first architecture firm, “Dave took me under his wing and showed me how to do things, and he immediately let me take the reins on a small remodel project,” he remembers. “I was even meeting with clients right out of the gate. And as the years went on and it became clear I was looking to grow within the firm, he really started opening up even more of the business side of the firm to me, helping me learn that as well.”

Even early in his tenure, Jake was able to return the favor by spearheading the use of 3D modeling and design software. GSW became able in time not just to map out every last millimeter of their designs, but to give their clients virtually an immersive sense of what was being produced. “It’s an impactful tool for us to use throughout the design process because it allows clients to see something that is close to reality,” Jake says. “Dave relied on me to research and show them what the possibilities were. He was always very open to progressing the firm’s capabilities.”

Embracing change goes beyond technology. Dave has trusted in Jake to help the firm embrace sustainable design choices, from energy-efficient architectural approaches to deeply researching materials chosen. And together with Tim Schouten, the firm is expanding its portfolio to include a growing list of commercial projects. That’s why one thing that won’t change is the name, because even if Dave is retiring, his imprint will always remain.

“We all agreed that the GSW name would live on from this point forward,” Jake says. “We’re definitely looking to expand the legacy of this firm into the next 35 years.”



GSW Celebrates 35 Years in Architecture

By 2022, 35 Years, Anniversary, Brian Libby, GSW, Personnel

Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and we’re incredibly grateful to all our incredibly dedicated employees, open-minded clients, expert consultants, high-caliber contractors and many others that made our firm what it is today. To commemorate this milestone we sat down with Brian Libby to talk about the firm’s past, present, and future. Check out the article below to get a glimpse of the firm’s 35-year history and what’s on the horizon.

Cheers to 35 Years

By Brian Libby

In the spring of 1987, David Giulietti quit his job at a local architecture firm and hung out his shingle for the first time as head of his own firm. That year, movies like Three Men and A Baby were playing in theaters, while songs like U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” ruled the radio waves and “Cheers” was perhaps the most popular TV show. But thankfully this likeable architect had found what he was looking for. Dave built his firm to last, and befitting the drummer he is on weekends, over time his solo became a harmony, joined by partners Tim Schouten and later Jake Weber.

Half of all American small businesses, including architecture firms, do not survive five years. Coming to Portland from New York City during an early-Eighties recession, without a network of contacts or family roots, Dave’s odds might have been even greater. Yet from the firm’s studio in a historic storefront building on Thurman Street in Northwest Portland, a longtime neighborhood fixture, GSW has spent three and a half decades designing homes and commercial buildings with timeless aesthetics and happy occupants. That the firm is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year is the ultimate testament. To these three men and a business, cheers are indeed in order, as well as a look back.

1981: From New York to Portland

Dave was raised on the outskirts of New York City, in the Rosedale and Kew Gardens neighborhoods of Queens. When he was in high school, in 1969 Dave’s beloved New York Mets won the World Series, yet the city also faced increasingly challenging times. In 1972 he enrolled at City College of New York, which at the time offered free tuition to local residents. CCNY was located in Harlem, necessitating a three-hour round trip commute.

“I typically had to take a bus from my house to Jamaica, Queens, then take the subway to Columbus Circle in Manhattan, then hop on another train uptown to City College,” he remembers. “But it was fun, because you had a wide variety of people going there, and once I went into the architectural studio and saw the models being built and the drawings, it was a no brainer to choose architecture over engineering.”

While studying architecture, Dave worked as an office assistant at New York firm Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee (today known as RKTB Architects). With so many mid-career architects having left town amidst a recession, he was offered a full-time position upon graduation in 1979. “Having to run jobs as such a young architect, being thrown into the fire like that, it was great,” Dave says. “But I knew I wanted to get out of New York.” He planned to move west with his girlfriend, and spent nearly two years retrofitting an old telephone-company van into a camper. Before they could embark, the van was stolen, and then she decided to say home. “I said, ‘The hell with that,’” Dave remembers with a chuckle, “and I bought a plane ticket to San Francisco.”

Dave didn’t have any friends or family in Portland. It’s simply the city he picked out in 1981.

After flying to San Francisco because a friend of his sisters could put him up for a few days, the young architect bought a used car and drove the entire Pacific coast, visiting every major city as well as natural wonders like Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. “I just pretty much left with destination unknown,” he says. “Once I got to Vancouver, BC, I made my decision to come back to Portland. It was a actually toss-up with San Diego, but I just felt Portland had so much more to offer in long term.”

In the short-term, though, things were tough. He arrived here with $250 to his name, no contacts and no job. At the time, America was also in the midst of a deep recession. While looking for work, Dave remembers visiting one venerable firm (today still in business) whose three principals were nearly the only staff left, and whose co-founder said to him, “You’re from New York? Go back there.”

Then Dave got his break. In 1982 he was hired at Portland firm BOOR/A (today known as Bora) by longtime principal Heinz Rudolf, who had emigrated here from even further away: Bavaria, Germany. Yet coincidentally, the job captain for Dave’s first project, Jonah Cohen (a future decades-long friend, AIA Fellow and longtime Hacker Architects managing principal), was a fellow-New Yorker who had been taught at Cooper Union by Dave’s former mentor: Carmi Bee, FAIA of Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee.

1987: Founding the Firm

Dave spent nearly six years at BOOR/A (today Bora Architects), working on the Vancouver Veterans Administration Nursing Home and many other projects. During these years, the firm received accolades for its Portland Center for the Performing Arts design, on which Dave participated in the landmark project’s early stages. Yet he’s always intended to eventually strike out on his own.

“Maybe it was naïve,” he says today. “I mean, I just assumed you go to school, you work for somebody, get your experience and you get your license, and then you start your firm. I never expected to work for a big firm for long, even in the beginning, quite honestly.” In 1985, Dave had married his then wife, Joni, and knowing they planned to have children soon, “it was one of those now-or-never moments. At the time, I thought, I’ve got a little bit of work. Now’s the time to do it.’”

It took time for the firm to establish its reputation, and Dave had to adjust what kind of projects he was targeting. While today GSW is especially known for its houses, at first he sought out commissions for elderly and low-income housing, like he’d designed at RKTB, and some of his first jobs were small commercial buildings, which remain part of the mix today. Yet houses became particularly satisfying and provided a steady stream of work without advertising. “You end up getting work based on word of mouth,” he says. “You do a house. You get another referral. One thing after another.” And slowly, with the help of a magazine cover or two, the firm began to develop a reputation for beautiful homes.

Dave also began to get involved in the local architecture community as soon as he formed his own firm. He joined the American Institute of Architects Portland Chapter and headed up the Chapter’s Housing Committee prior to joining the board of directors in 1995 and becoming its chapter president in 1998. He also founded the chapter’s Small Firm Roundtable.

1990: Coming to Thurman Street

For all but the first three years of GSW’s history, the firm has been located in the same studio on Northwest Thurman Street: a single-story building that was constructed in 1913, just a few blocks from where the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition had been held in 1905. It was the Terrace Grocery from 1913 until 1960, then it was a pattern-making company, Prem & Sons. When Dave rented space here in 1990, he discovered that it was not the first time it had served as an architectural office. In the 1980s, a collective of architects had offices here, including Edgar Waehrer, Susan Sturgis, as well as Dave’s longtime friend and colleague Stan Chesshir. Neighborhood newspaper The NW Examiner had its offices here in the 1980s, and the final tenant before Dave’s firm was a wedding photographer.

“We learned to capitalize on the storefront atmosphere,” Dave says. “We make sure there’s activity in the meeting room out front by the window. There’s always kids coming by and people coming by looking at the models and the drawings just stopping in to ask questions. We kind of encourage that. We’ve become sort of the neighborhood architect.”

1993: Scoutin’ a New Partner

It was only six years into the firm’s 35-year history, in 1993, that architect Timothy Schouten became a regular at the 28th & Thurman office. For the past three years, he’d been working at another venerable local firm, SERA Architects, known initially in the 1970s and ’80s for its historic building renovations (including Portland’s 19th century City Hall) but eventually developing a robust portfolio of hospitality, higher education and multifamily housing projects. Prior to that, Tim had spent three years working in Los Angeles for a large firm, Corbin Yamafuji and Partners Architects, contributing to a range of hospitality and commercial building projects. But by 1993, after seeing a recession impact multiple projects, he was ready for a change.

“I got a call from a friend who had just started working with Dave who said, ‘I’m moving to New York, and there’s an opening at Dave’s office. Why don’t you go talk to Dave? That sounded really appealing,” Tim remembers. “I liked the idea of designing residences that actually get built, as opposed to large proposals that don’t always go anywhere.”

Portland had turned out to be an ideal fit. After growing up in SE Idaho and earning his architecture degree at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, Los Angeles had been an adventure: absorbing not just the California landscape but absorbing the work of architects and firms like Morphosis, Eric Owen Moss and Frank Gehry in the LA area and custom desert homes in Palm Springs. Yet eventually the crowds and traffic took their toll, and returning to the Pacific Northwest felt right.

Yet wherever Tim lives, it’s just a base for he and his wife Maria to seek travel and adventure. “Whether we’re traveling or mountain climbing or just hiking or skiing or taking my motorcycle out, I do like to explore and discover new places, landscapes and cultures,” he says. “We just returned from our second trip to Ecuador and a successful climb. In our house, most all the walls are covered in photos of where we’ve been, and it doesn’t touch the surface of our favorite spots.” Another favorite was the time Tim and his wife and son spent nearly a week camped out in Jordan’s Red Desert with a Bedouin tribe.

2006: The Walnut House

Over the ensuing years, Dave, Tim and their team designed a number of distinctive projects, including 1995’s Parsons Residence, with three distinct gabled, brick-clad wings, and 2000’s Hidake Dental Building, a pair of stone and wood-clad structures joined by a covered bridge. Yet their most acclaimed firm as a duo may have been the Walnut House, located outside McMinnville in the picturesque Willamette Valley.

With a palette of concrete, steel and glass, the project was a departure from many of the homes Dave and Tim had designed in the past, most of which responded to our rainy climate with pitched roofs and featured warm, often wood-clad contemporary interiors: classic Northwest style. This house, for a California-raised client, was more like a classic Case Study midcentury-modern house, with a flat roof and industrial materials—all of which became more popular with clients in the years ahead. yet its glass-walled views were matchless. “I can remember early in the design process, we were looking at the sketches and saying, ‘Let’s do something different,’” Dave says.

2013: Jake Joins the Jam

In the early 2010s, now in his fifties, Dave took on a new passion: playing music, specifically drums. “I played briefly as a kid, but growing up in an apartment in New York, you know, the neighbors didn’t appreciate that. But I was always into the beat.” After taking lessons, he began playing with friends in a band, Bleuphonk, playing a few gigs each year (at least when there’s no pandemic) and holding weekly jam sessions. “It’s been a great crossover, because a lot of our clients come out to see the music,” he says.

A Bleuphonk gig was actually how Dave got introduced to his future partner: architect Jake Weber. “I met Jake’s dad, who was friends with the owner of the place I played at,” he explains. “He said, my son’s an architectural student just finishing up school.” At the time we weren’t hiring, and I didn’t pay much attention. But once I met Jake, his skill set was across the board. Talking in baseball terms, he’s a five-skill ballplayer. That’s what you need at a small firm, and what’s fun. One day you’re out at a jobsite. The next you’re producing drawings or meeting with the client or looking at marketing. It gives you a breadth of experience really quickly, and it allows you to find your own key skills and strengths.”

Jake grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon, the son of a commercial furniture dealer who eventually expanded into office design. “He used to bring home plans with the layouts for all the cubicles and furniture. It got me interested enough that I wanted to go into architecture,” Jake remembers. As a teen he worked installing furniture in offices, “seeing how things were built and put together was fun and challenging.” Jake earned a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Oregon in 2012 and went to work for the firm just one year later. Jake became a partner in 2019, prompting the name change to GSW Architects in 2020.

2015: Myrtle Midcentury House

In 2015 came one of the firm’s most highly-regarded projects, and the first for which Jake managed from start to finish. In expanding a classic midcentury-modern house in Portland’s West Hills designed by noted architect Van Evera Bailey, the design needed to add a substantial amount of space without taking away from the home’s essence.

“It was for a younger client who wanted to be a little more adventurous, and he was looking to add a few bedrooms,” Jake remembers. Yet there wasn’t enough room on the site to expand with only single-story architecture. The design team thus created a two-story addition to the rear of the house, and remodeled a separate pavilion in back, thereby retaining the original home’s signature roofline and form.

The Myrtle Midcentury House also represented a sea-change of sorts. “When we first started, people were buying a lot of homes on the east side: Hollywood, Irvington, Laurelhurst, so a lot of renovations of Craftsman and Arts and Crafts homes,” Dave explains. “More recently, people had to start moving further out, so we started getting clients from places like Raleigh Hills and the western suburbs, buying mid-century and ranch houses, which were ideal for modern conversions.”

2017: Cliff House, White Salmon Residence

Two house completed in 2017, both in the Columbia gorge town of White Salmon, showed the firm hitting its stride: the Cliff House in White Salmon Residence.

The Cliff House is perched high above the Columbia River on a rocky bluff, at the end of a narrow, forested road . A steel bridge spans between tall firs and rock outcroppings to the main entry. Inside the two-level home, expansive views of the mountain and gorge fill the upper level through 14-foot tall south-facing windows. “Those clerestories really helped to give that drama by bringing more light in and creating this kind of wide-screen view,” Tim says. A staggered open plan creates individual corner views of the Gorge at each of the living and bedroom spaces. Large roof overhangs and lower canopies at the entry and outdoor living areas were designed to provide shelter from the wet and windy Pacific Northwest climate. Stained cedar cladding dark bronze windows help the house blend in with its forested site.

The White Salmon Residence is a contemporary take on mountain cabin architecture and Northwest midcentury-modern style. A steep pitched metal roof extends over façade to provide a covered walkway. Facing the Columbia River are three levels of glass-walled spaces, including a double-height living room and a kitchen dining area that spill directly onto an outdoor deck, as well as an outdoor pool area below. The clients also reserved space above the garage for a massive bunk room, where there children could bring a group of friends while the parents maintained their privacy and quiet across the house.

2020: Lake Front House, Boomerang House

Two homes completed in 2020, each a combination renovation and expansion, provided special opportunities for the GSW team to fine-tune or transform existing architecture.

The Lake Front House in Lake Oswego is located on a steep and narrow property with lake front access to the city’s namesake lake. “It touches on what we’ve been seeing a lot of lately with regard to jurisdictional restrictions on sites, as there becomes less vacant land in the metro area,” Jake says. “This was a constricted site, which came with some strict parameters about where we could build.” The existing home was severed at the garage and redesigned with a compact, three-tiered plan that maximizes views to the water and increases lake front property depth. In front, a striking entrance is created by an indented wood wall. In back on the lake side, a series of angular grass terraces spill down to the water.

Although the Boomerang House is a renovation and expansion of an existing midcentury home, “It feels like the architecture has come full circle to where we really honored what was there and added to it,” Tim says. “Most people, when they look at it, don’t know if it’s new or they don’t know if it’s a remodel, but it feels appropriate for now.”

The home was for years rumored to have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. According to a 1947 Oregonian article, the original owners told friends that Frank Lloyd Wright had written the design on a napkin and that they had then hired a young local architect, Derald K. Harbert, to complete the blueprint. The house’s essence, of a zigzagging sequence of space, remains intact, yet is actually enhanced. The redesign removed a wall between the kitchen and the living space, and added a garage, and the creation of a breezeway between the garage and the home.

“The sensibility of the covered walkways and the glass and how it opens up on the backside: you don’t get the whole story from when you park,” Tim adds, “but you get the sense that there’s something going on just around the corner, on the other side.”

2022: Crescent Grove Cemetery Administration Building

In addition to houses, the GSW portfolio has always included work for commercial and institutional clients. The administrative headquarters for Crescent Grove Cemetery in Tigard, Oregon is an ideal example.

The oldest non-denominational cemetery in the state, for Crescent Grove, “there was kind of a fine line on this project between, ‘We really want a quality project, but we don’t want a monument to us,’” Tim explains. “But it is a legacy building that was going to be here after all of us are gone.” The design starts with a simple gabled zinc roof that extends to form a covered entry lined by a limestone colonnade. “There’s just a few moves there, and timeless materials,” he adds.

Looking Ahead

Long before this 35th-anniversary milestone, the firm embraced sustainable design principals, from energy efficiency to natural ventilation and the use of enduring, VOC-free materials. Unlike most small firms, GSW handles energy modeling in-house, allowing the design team to continually explore different solutions.

“You can quickly test the orientation or the form or how much glass you have, with different variations, and it can give you an output of the energy that you’d be using,” Jake says. “It’s not just working with an energy-modeling consultant once. It’s continually running analysis as you design. In 2021, GSW also joined the 2030 Commitment and created a sustainability action plan for the firm.

While every good architecture firm evolves and changes over time, there are also values that don’t change, which at GSW Architects means listening to clients and delivering something timeless.

“That notion of being restrained and simplifying the materials as much as possible so the designs don’t get too cluttered or too trendy, I think that goes back to Dave, making sure we pride ourselves on having artful designs that are going to last,” Tim says. “But what I’ve always liked about working with Dave is his real easy demeanor. He really sets clients at ease, and you can just sense the honesty behind what he’s saying. And I think that follows through on the projects: just really a kind of clear, concise sort of way about describing to clients what we’re dealing with in the project, what the next steps are, or breaking down some really complicated sort of requirements by the city or the site, so that everyone understands what they can expect and what our role is. That’s a quality that really helps when we’re working with, with families, with couples. It’s a real personal process. And it goes back to our mission statement of being good listeners.”


Thanks to Brian Libby for helping us take a look back at our long history. We love what we do and are incredibly excited for what the future holds for our firm! Here’s a few more images of notable past projects as well as a few projects currently in the works. Cheers to 35 years!

Wildwood Featured on Dwell

By Uncategorized

Dwell just published an article on the Wildwood project in NW Portland! You can check out the beautiful photos taken by David Papazian and the great write-up by Lucy Wang by clicking the link below. Very fun to be the headline on!


New Hire: Chris Dara

By Uncategorized

Chris Dara recently joined the Giulietti / Schouten AIA Architects team as a designer. Chris holds a M.Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Architecture, with a supplemental exchange program in Poland at the Warsaw University of Technology. To regard and respect the context of his new home in Portland, Chris has joined the Portland Japanese Garden Resource Committee and has connected with the local AIA Chapter. Chris values himself as a creative team member who ignites fun and adventurous activities with those around him, including a contestant in GRAY magazine’s Hot New Next – a dynamic competition celebrating innovative ideas in the Pacific Northwest, and Oregon Home Structure + Style Awards. Chris won the 2018 Oregon Home Structure + Style Award for the design of best Outdoor Entertaining Space. At Giulietti / Schouten AIA Architects, Chris is working on design development of multiple residential homes and remodels in the Portland area. Chris is tracking to become a registered architect is the state of Oregon, stay tuned.

Jake Weber Elevated to Principal

By Uncategorized

Giulietti/Schouten AIA Architects is extremely pleased to announce that Jake Weber has recently been elevated to Principal with the firm. It is a great milestone for Jake and the firm that enters its 32nd year in business. Jake has been with the firm since 2013 and has been a significant contributor in the evolution of our architectural practice.  He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Architecture where he regularly serves as a panelist at studio reviews and assists in experimental spatial studies. He is currently managing the design, development, and construction of various residential and commercial projects.