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Unleashing beauty throughout the Mountain West

About

When people first inquire about our work, the question that we hear most often is this: “Do you specialize in commercial or residential projects?”

Our answer: We are well-versed in both – and more – but what sets us apart is less about our product and more about our approach. Yes, we are passionate about the design of beautiful buildings, but more than that, we are passionate about doing business from an eternal perspective.

As a full-service architecture firm with both deep and varied experience, we have chosen not to specialize in a single project type for one reason: We view the architectural skill set not as a constraint but as an unbounded opportunity to serve others through creative and comprehensive problem solving. So, although we aren’t specialists in the traditional sense, we are laser-focused on our mission.

Outpost Architects is a full-service, modern design practice that exists to do business from an eternal perspective. We do this in part through a unique, four-stage process that saves our clients from unnecessary risk and regret. To learn more, simply Request a First Meeting, and include a note that you’d like to learn more about The OA Process. No other approach compares, and our clients are the only ones who receive its benefits.

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Leadership

Aaron Hunt is the founder, Chief Vision Officer, and Project Director at Outpost Architects. In these roles, he is responsible for client relationships and project design as well as the firm’s overall trajectory. He is an imperfect follower of Jesus on a mission to do business from an eternal perspective. In alignment with this mission is his vision that Outpost Architects be known and pursued for the development of beautiful architecture that leads to the development of valued relationships.

Prior to founding Outpost Architects, Aaron worked at world-class design firms in New York and San Francisco. There he gained hands-on experience with steel fabrication, high-rise construction, and an approach to making buildings that reinforced his modern sensibilities. These formative years were followed by stints in Austin and then Denver where his design, technical, and management skills were honed through the delivery of public buildings, finely-detailed private estates, and large, mixed-use developments.

Professional accomplishments and aspirations aside, Aaron is actively engaged in the most challenging but rewarding work of learning how to better love God and people. In addition to family life, he enjoys trail running, yoga practice, and reading books on business and leadership. Additionally, he is an active member of multiple growth-oriented groups including Toastmasters International.

Ethos

Like many ambitious companies, Outpost Architects is guided by a set of principles that we strive to advance and uphold on a daily basis. Our Mission, Vision, and Values are critical to our trajectory. And yet none of them – either individually or as a whole – speak to our place in the world as creative professionals. To do that, we describe our design philosophy this way:

Precedents are instructive

The history of humankind is paralleled by a history of erecting and occupying structures. Some were designed by architects, but many were not. Some reflect the spirit of their age while others transcend it. Some good buildings have been demolished or otherwise destroyed, and some bad buildings not only remain in use but are cherished by a select few. Some structures are simple. Others are complex. Some can be described as primitive. Others are labeled as traditional, vernacular, cutting-edge, modern, or even minimalist, to name a few. And still others belong to a category all their own: inspired and sublime.

Regardless of how a particular building or architectural movement is viewed by anyone else, we view them all as instructive. What we learn may be as simple as what not to do, or it may only be applicable in a certain climate. In many cases – our favorite – they teach us about our clients. So, although we certainly prefer some materials, forms, and details over others, we can learn something from any building anywhere.

Preconceptions are the enemy

In the same way that prejudice (racial, sexual, religious, etc.) has the capacity to destroy interpersonal relationships before they begin, nothing wrecks architectural creativity like the insistence on a predetermined outcome. For some architects and clients, this is a tough pill to swallow, but no project or decision-maker is immune to its effects. Consequently, we make a clear distinction between precedents and preconceptions so that we can embrace the lessons of the former without falling prey to the latter.

The result? Ideally, a clean slate. While we acknowledge the impossibility of completely severing the creative process from the design sensibilities of the people involved, their coexistence is not destructive. Whereas predetermined outcomes must be challenged, our intuitions and inclinations as designers must be channeled. Doing both fosters the freedom and creativity that we hope will always characterize our projects and relationships.

Constraints are opportunities

Every project is constrained by its climate, site, program, budget, schedule, and/or applicable codes. To believe otherwise is a precursor for disappointment at best and disaster at worst. But constraints can be viewed either as obstacles or opportunities. We view them as the uniquely favorable conditions that make innovation not only possible but necessary.

We understand that this point may be obvious and therefore easily dismissed, but we do not underestimate its power because we refuse to become victims to its opposite – the false belief that our creativity is handcuffed by something outside our control. Consequently, it is our responsibility as architects to diligently seek out, uncover, and embrace the nonnegotiable criteria that will trigger the development of a new and wonderful outcome.

Innovation is indispensable

We love this one. It’s inspiring, but attempting to justify it by merely saying that we, as design professionals, really enjoy the creative process would leave our claim without merit. Instead, we prefer to ask a series of questions. What is the value of creativity if there are no constraints or problems to solve? Does an aesthetically-pleasing project have any more value than one that is not? Who decides what is beautiful? If in answering these questions creativity is deemed unnecessary or – alternatively – a luxury, then another question emerges: Is architecture really the answer to the problem?

In the same way that we view it as our obligation to proactively engage project constraints, we also believe it is our duty to reframe the opportunities that are presented to us in such a way that the need for innovation is either clearly essential or clearly extraneous. When it is indispensable, we embrace the challenge.

At Outpost Architects, we solve specific problems as informed pioneers who are unhindered by preconceptions.