In Pursuit of Excellence: Celebrating Curtis Gelotte’s Career

As we travel through the seasons of Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture’s growth and evolution, we pause to celebrate a momentous milestone. After almost four decades of designing dream homes for clients, our founding principal, Curtis Gelotte retires. Thirty-five years ago, Curt founded a practice focused on award-winning home designs. He designed hundreds of distinctive residences throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, earned numerous awards, and enjoyed seeing publication of many designs. Curt influenced and empowered many up-and-coming architects who have gone on to great success with their own careers, including our own Principal Architects, Scott Hommas and Eric Drivdahl.

Reflecting with Gratitude

Tuscan style home designs in downtown Kirkland

Scott notes, “Throughout his career, Curt pursued design excellence. He modeled the ideal that ‘it’s not my home, it’s the client’s home.’” Curt would say that he felt successful when a client would say, “This is just what I wanted, only better.”  Scott adds, “Curt’s design approach was to explore the art of architecture anew with each project, and that is what defines the Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl standard. That is also why I am so thrilled and thankful to carry on the tradition of design excellence Curt brought to his career, his work, and to this company.”

Eric reflects on Curt’s influence and ideals. “I’m exceedingly grateful for all I learned from Curt. I caught his ideal to never settle for good when you can create great. How he would stand back and critically examine each design and ask, ‘Is it beautiful?’ I saw in his design process time and again that there’s more than one great solution to a design problem. Curt has this remarkable ability to hold ideas loosely and to quickly generate design ideas to meet specific input from a client or team member or when faced with another influence necessitating refinement of the design. In my own work, I strive to incorporate similar attitudes of pursuing design excellence and to think outside the box to quickly iterate design solutions. All this is because Curt modeled these things.”

Looking Forward

Japan-inspired home designs in Seattle

This new era finds Curt traveling and enjoying time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. “Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl is now in the very capable hands of my partners Scott Hommas and Eric Drivdahl in whom I have the utmost confidence,” Curt says. “They will be championing our core values of outstanding customer service and creative, beautiful design.”

As we move forward on our journey, we reflect with gratitude on Curt’s career and wish him a well-deserved retirement. While we will miss his presence in our day-to-day activities, his sense of design, thoughtfulness for clients, and his pursuit of the art of architecture will be with us in all we do, and it’s with gratitude that we look forward to building upon the values Curt established.

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