Firm Profile

"As an architect, my priority is to merge high-quality design with a respect for human comfort and elegant use of materials."
   -Jay Lazerwitz

Our expertise is custom residential projects that blend the challenge of affordable housing with quality design. We take pride in successfully collaborating with clients, builders, contractors, and other consultants with a focus on client satisfaction.

Our excellent relationships with local builders, as well as hands-on knowledge of the construction process are a tremendous asset to our clients. Budget review is crucial at all stages of a project, and we work with a range of contractors and other consultants to keep this on track.

We understand building materials and strive to use them in creative ways. We feel strongly that the details are of great importance to enhance the basic design concepts and create long-lasting fulfillment. We pay close attention to resource-efficient building strategies and environmental issues that can impact both the construction process and the life of a structure.

Firm Profile

Jay Lazerwitz founded art & architecture in January 2000. The firm offers a full range of architectural services. We specialize in custom residential work, however our projects have also included substantial commercial design work, with a focus on affordable artist space projects.

Our projects include:

  • New house construction: from over 4,000 to less than 500 square feet.
  • Project additions: upper floor add-ons, bedroom and bathroom dormers, exterior decks, and houseboat re-design.
  • Residential remodeling: from whole house and kitchen renovations to second floor projects that typically include a combination of additional space and interior remodeling.
  • Commercial remodeling: design and development of large (up to 14,000 sq. ft.) industrial buildings into artist work spaces.
  • Alternative energy and solar integration: both active and passive systems that work in remodel and new construction projects.
  • Understanding zoning and building codes: including variance applications, waterfront site restrictions, accessory building projects, steep slope conditions, and change of zoning use.

Bio: Jay Lazerwitz

Jay is a registered architect, a visual artist and a passionate arts advocate. He has twenty-five years of experience in the field of architecture, including ten years with Prentiss Architects, an award-winning Seattle firm. In 1980-82 Jay worked with Arthur Hall Pedersen Design and Consulting Engineers, specializing in solar and other alternative energy projects.

Jay graduated from the University of Washington with a M.Arch in 1985, with undergraduate studies at Washington University, in Saint Louis, MO. Related scholastic and research studies took place at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, Berkeley CA, as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Energy and Daylighting Group, 1984; and also at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, International Studies in 1978.

A former commissioner of the Seattle Arts Commission, Jay was instrumental in organizing a city-wide forum focusing on live-work artists' studios. He developed BallardWorks, a large arts center providing exhibit areas, nineteen private artists' work spaces, and two commercial store fronts. He also co-created the former ArtSpace gallery in Pioneer Square. Jay's artwork is mainly in encaustic medium using figurative abstraction to explore human connections.

Bio: Adam Peltier

Adam is an intern architect at art & architecture. In 2003 he graduated from the University of Washington with a BA-Arch and began working for Jay shortly thereafter. He was led to this field by interests in materiality, aesthetic and craft, and these interests have grown significantly under Jay's mentoring. Adam is intrigued by the way client needs such as daylighting and privacy can influence how a building design takes shape.


Considering the entire life-cycle costs of construction, operation, and maintenance is important in all building projects. Green building practices offer an opportunity to create environmentally sound and resource-efficient buildings by using an integrated approach to design. We strive to design structures that promote resource conservation, include energy-efficient equipment, can include energy and water conservation features, minimize construction wastes, reduce maintenance costs, and above all create a healthy and comfortable environment.

Jay has personally been involved in Environmental building design for over twenty-five years. He has designed active and passive solar reliant projects, led hands-on workshops, and started an environmental-awareness teaching program in public schools.

Design Process


Client participation is paramount in the design process, and integral to the richness of any project. The goal is not simply to create a design, but to reflect the client's program needs in a satisfying and sustaining project.

Jay is involved in all phases of the development, guiding it from initial program discussions with clients through the different design phases toward the detailed information needed for permitting and construction.


We take the time to understand our clients' needs and gain insight into their lifestyle and design preferences. Questioning all of the early conceptions opens up the design process and helps us appreciate our clients' subtle desires, which will bring full life to the finished project.

Design Process


Our schematic design work starts with hand-drawn sketches. The goal at this stage is to provide our clients with the means to easily question our initial concepts, thus guiding them toward specific responses. We often use computer modeling to give clients a sense of the project's form - exterior and interior - from many points of view. By the end of the schematic design phase we expect to have a clear concept that all parties agree upon.

Good communication between client, architect, and builder is critical to bring out the full range of aspirations and desires. We value choosing a contractor early on, so that project scope, budget, and materials can be addressed as soon as possible. Lighting, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems are integrated into the design; we work out all the detailed information necessary for the contractor.

Ideas coalesce and become more refined as we develop the plan and elevation drawings. At that point, we work with our clients to help them choose materials, finishes, colors, and other details to unify the final design.