The Ciao of WAO

Ciao, as the Italians say, or welcome, to Wilmot Architecture Office. WAO is founded by award-winning architect Steven Wilmot, who has a broad range of experience over 20 years, with a breadth and diversity of projects ranging from a 350,000 sf sustainable bus garage to a display case for a stuffed penguin.

Experienced in creatively reimagining existing buildings and their uses – whether remodeling or new additions, new uses in historic buildings, or the recycling of buildings. This is the new wave of sustainable thinking in architecture.

WAO designs projects with an eye for flexibility, efficacy, durability, and beauty. WAO assembles a team of consultants, engineers, artists, or experts as needed for each project.

Honors FAQs Credits Bio

Contact Info:

Wilmot Architecture Office
26 East Exchange Street
The Exchange Building Suite #407
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

office@waonow.com
612-345-8195

Honors

Fine Homebuilding 
Selection for the Annual Kitchen & Bath Issue 2011
A ¾ Bath in ½ the space (Architect’s own residence)

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota
Adaptive Reuse Award 2008
Marzario Warehouse/ Monte’s Steakhouse*

Excellence in Concrete & Masonry Design & Construction Award
Minnesota Concrete & Masonry Contractors Association 2003
East Metro Transit Facility*

Award of Merit – International Illumination Design Award
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America 2000
Opera House Restaurant*

Special Recognition Award
AIA Chicago Divine Detail 1999
Opera House Restaurant Environmental Graphics *

* Steven Wilmot has been part of award-winning design teams at all of his previous employers.

Firm of the Year Award
AIA Chicago
Valerio Dewalt Train 1999**

Best Managed Firms in America 
Architectural Record
Valerio Dewalt Train 1998**

Firm of the Year Award
AIA Illinois
Valerio Dewalt Train 1997**

** A great place to start a career in architecture.

FAQs

Q: “What kind of architecture do you do?”

A: One school of thought is that architects do their best work by replicating a certain type of building – schools, skyscrapers, houses, etc. There is certainly an efficiency that comes with the proficiency gained by repeating a building type over and over.

Another school of thought says that there are essential commonalities to buildings – holding up the roof, keeping the weather out, welcoming the people in, providing the needed spaces to function properly, and that the creative solutions to be found to these issues is where true architecture is found.

This second school is where I have been able to use my talents – whether for a display case for a stuffed penguin or a bus maintenance garage for 200 busses.  WAO is a firm that goes beyond the utilitarian to design creative, innovative solutions that finds elements of joy within a beautiful yet useful whole.

Q: What sort of projects have you worked on?

A: Having been fortunate to work at such well regarded firms as SMSQ Architects, BWBR Architects, and Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, there have been several noteworthy projects over the years, including an addition to and remodeling of a community school, a restaurant inserted into a 120 year old warehouse, a handicap restroom inserted into a National Historic Landmark by a major architectural figure, a city block in downtown Madison, Wisconsin as a fresh graduate (still featured on their website), as well as numerous residences including a small bathroom project recognized in Fine Homebuilding’s Annual Kitchen and Bath issue.

Q: Do you practice sustainable architecture?

A: Sustainability is a buzzword that is present in nearly every architect’s description of their work. Obviously, incorporating efficient mechanical systems and controls, a thorough insulation system, recycled and recyclable materials are significant components of a sustainable building – becoming part of the basic approach to design.

My perspective on sustainable design, as informed by my historic preservation work, is that a truly sustainable building is one that is well made, has character, and will be kept vibrant and useful. Recycling buildings is much more sustainable than tearing them down to start from scratch. The historic preservation community uses the phrase “The greenest building is the one already built” which nicely sums up this thinking. In short, a beautiful building today is all the more likely to be a beautiful building tomorrow.

Q: How does one work with an architect?

A:  Very carefully – actually not a joke! Significant planning, evaluating and revising schemes from big concepts to small scale details is needed to arrive at a good design.  A good architect will seek to engage the client to arrive at the best fit for the given context.  Any project that arrives at greatness will be due to the collaborative work of a gifted architect and an involved owner.

Credits

Fish Hook Cabin 
Architect of Record: Wilmot Architecture Office
Principal in Charge: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steven Wilmot, AIA

Christ Church Lutheran 
Original Design Architect: Eliel & Eero Saarinen
Original Architect of Record: Hills Gilbertson & Hayes
Analysis Architect of Record: SMSQ Architects
Principal in Charge: Steve Edwins, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA

New Prairie Home
Architect of Record: SMSQ Architects
Principal in Charge: Steve Edwins, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Interior Photography: Andrea Rugg

3/4 Residential Remodel
Architect of Record: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steven Wilmot, AIA

Northfield Historical Society
Architect of Record: SMSQ Architects
Principal in Charge: Steve Edwins, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steve Edwins, AIA

Monte’s Steakhouse
Architect of Record: SMSQ Architects
Principal in Charge: Steve Edwins, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steven Wilmot, AIA

Prairie Creek Community School
Architect of Record: SMSQ Architects
Principal in Charge: Steve Edwins, AIA
Project Architect: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Lead Designer: Steven Wilmot, AIA
Photography: Nate Ryan

logo: Holmes Design
website: Built by j.kulp

Bio

Architect Steven Wilmot 
A bit about myself