Canadian Architect

Feature

Emerging Talent: Platform Architecture + Design

July 14, 2016
by Paige Magarrey

Jesse Garlick

Jesse Garlick

“Ideas are cheap,” says Jesse Garlick, MRAIC, 40, of Vancouver’s Platform Architecture + Design. “Finding a way to make them happen is the key.” Since launching in 2014, the one-man-firm’s projects have exemplified an uber-collaborative style of getting things done. Skyhouse, for example, an off-the-grid cabin in the semi-arid foothills of northeastern Washington State—and one of the first cross-laminated timber residences in the region—was installed in just three days with a group of friends. “It really captured the spirit of collaboration and building,” says Garlick. “It represented a way of working and a way of approaching a project.”

Cross-laminated timber panels give a warm interior finish to a 79-square-metre cabin in Washington State. Photo by The Morrisons

Cross-laminated timber panels give a warm interior finish to a 79-square-metre cabin in Washington State. Photo by The Morrisons

This it-takes-a-village method was honed, in part, working on site-specific theatrical installations; Garlick has been a member of Radix Theatre since a chance meeting with the artistic director on a chairlift a decade ago. His recent otherworldly set for 605 Collective’s production of Vital Few was developed with the dancers, choreographers and lighting designers. “It is almost impossible to define what the set is. It is really about light and movement. It’s like the architecture disappears.” Garlick was also heavily influenced by two years in Norway after his undergrad. “There’s something about the Scandinavian embrace of both Modernism and nature that really resonates with me,” he says, praising simple aesthetics, a human-focused approach and, of course, wood. “I have this dream to build a solid wood hotel somewhere. I’ve become fascinated with the collective nature of a hotel and the way the building temporarily connects you to architecture. I think it could be really great. Maybe one day.”