ATMO is the Greek root of atmosphere - a word that evokes the distinctive yet intangible quality of space we all experience in spaces that activate our senses and our connection to nature.
Architecture affects people mentally, emotionally, and physically, and has the capacity to support human well-being.
Architecture is a synthesis of aesthetic expression, sensitivity to context, and the sensory experience of space.
Architecture can facilitate a human connection to nature.
I started ATMO Architecture grounded in the belief that the built environment has the capacity to transform space into sanctuary, incorporate beauty and joy into our everyday routines, and connect us to nature through sensory experience.
My focus in architecture is centered in atmosphere. This means rather than immediately discussing doors, walls, and windows, I begin the design process by really understanding you, and identifying the spatial flow and atmosphere that will best support you as an individual, a family, or and/or a business. This understanding informs each and every design detail of your project and translates to a finished space that aligns with your brand, culture, and desired customer experience (for commercial projects), or lifestyle and daily routines (for residential projects).
Prior to founding ATMO, I worked in architecture firms around the world on new residences, residential remodels and additions, and various public, institutional, and commercial projects. I am also a graduate of the Spaceworks Business Planning Cohort. Spaceworks makes Tacoma culturally vibrant and economically strong through training and support for artists and creative entrepeneurs.
Anne Beatrice Baker: Owner & Principal Architect
Bachelor of Science in Architecture:
University of Cincinnati (2009)
Master of Architecture:
Columbia University (2013)
Licensed Architect in Washington
Architectural design is about bringing an acute sensitivity to the everyday rituals of life, and creating sanctuary for these routine moments. By intentionally shaping your environment, you can in turn shape your quality of life.
I approached Anne with a super vague vision and description of what I wanted and somehow she put onto “paper” a dream that I had only seen in my head. She was very patient with me, extremely professional yet still personable and SUPER PROMPT with all correspondence. I can’t recommend her enough. We are thrilled with the work that she did for us! - A Johnson
Anne and ATMO Architecture fit our needs precisely, and we were extremely happy with her design for our rebuild. She was particularly good at guiding and working with us, and she seemed to immediately intuit what we value in the flow and in the space of our house. Moreover, she was able to envision a design that also fit in the eclectic architectural tradition of our historic community. We look forward to working with Anne again. - A Gardner
Have you ever noticed that the chromatic range of our built environment is generally a little limited? I think we are missing out. I work with my clients to discover and develop their palette - a curated collection of textures, geometric forms, and colors that make them feel happy and good. I am also interested in the psychological and physiological responses that we have to color, and in using these for our benefit.
I believe in architecture as a work of art. That means that the execution is just as important as the design. I am building a network of local artists, fabricators, and builders that have demonstrated a high quality of work in order to build highly customized spaces and support talented local artisans.
One thing I have noticed about spaces that feel good to me is that they are textural. The human eye evolved in nature, and people usually feel the most comfortable in spaces with enough visual complexity to stimulate their senses without overwhelming them. This balance can be achieved through using a variety of textured materials, patterns, and shapes that resonate specifically with the client.
For me, sustainability begins with the human connection to nature, and sustainable design techniques should enhance and support this connection. When we are connected to nature, our instinct is to live in harmony with it. To this end, I use a variety of techniques to facilitate this connection by optimizing views, incorporating plant life into the space, and using minimally processed, sustainably produced materials.
WHAT TO EXPECT
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHEN WORKING WITH ATMO
Construction Costs: I encourage my clients to hire a cost estimator or general contractor early on to make sure we stay within budget. I generally recommend for a ball park starting point you budget $250 per square foot for new construction and $100 per square foot for a remodel.
Architectural Services: As a rule of thumb, my fee will be between 7-13% of the construction cost for architectural services, depending on whether the project is new construction or a remodel, and on the complexity of the project.
Other Costs: Depending on the scope of your project, you may need an engineer, site surveyor, landscape architect, or other professional on the team. I can help you assess who will be needed along the way and put you in touch with people in my professional network.
I got a lower bid from another architect. Why is yours higher?
I approach the design process in a unique way and dive deep into building an understanding of my client so that you receive an end result that fits you like a glove. I also include some level of interior design and 3D rendering in all my work, as I believe the best results happen when the space is considered holistically and my clients can visualize the end result. Designing buildings and documenting them to this level of detail is labor-intensive. Therefore, my scope of work is beyond that of the typical architect.
What is your architectural style?
My style is my own, but is influenced by many things: the geometry of the Art Deco style, the elongated lines of Gothic architecture, the raw texture of natural materials, and the neon lights of Las Vegas. However, I always design by integrating the client's personal style and the context of the site, so no two projects will be exactly the same. If you are particularly drawn to a certain style of architecture, tell me about it! We'll figure out what about it speaks to you and incorporate it into your design.
How long will it take to complete my project?
For most projects, start to finish will take about a year if you are ready to build and can get on a general contractor's schedule early in the process. Some clients prefer to move more slowly through the design process - we'll go at your pace.
Can you take on projects outside of Washington?
For the right project, I am open to traveling and obtaining reciprocal licences for out-of-state projects. Let me know if you have an out-of-state project in your contact form below.
The design process is a collaboration between us with the shared intention of creating an environment that reflects and nurtures your best quality of life. Below is an outline of the process from start to finish.
Intake Application: To get started, fill out the new client intake form at the bottom of this page. I will review your information and let you know within 1 business day whether or not I will take on your project.
Initial Consultation: You will receive a complimentary 30 minute consultation with me in person. This is a chance for us to get to know each other, establish goals for your project, and assess whether or not we both feel we are a good fit for working together.
Proposal/Agreement: You will receive a proposal and legal agreement for the full scope of services. I work on a fixed fee basis for architectural services. Once I receive a signed agreement and a 20% retainer, we will begin!
Client Workbook: You will receive a package in the mail containing everything you need to get started with the creative process! I have designed this package to be a fun and introspective experience that includes every member of your family or business (even animals)! Once you've completed this workbook, you'll mail it back to me, I'll review it, and we'll schedule a meeting to review your information and talk more in depth. I'll also schedule a time to visit your site, and I'll take measurements if you are starting with an existing building.
Schematic Design Phase: Now that we've gathered and organized all the necessary information to make your project a success, I'll get to work creating two or three initial design options for your project. We will meet to review and discuss these options. I'll listen to all of what you like and dislike about the options, and we'll figure out a plan to move forward with one design that integrates everything you want. There will be a little back and forth communication until we settle on a final schematic design. I work in a BIM 3D modeling software, so you'll be able to see both floor plans and 3D drawings of your project each step of the way.
Palette Development: Concurrently with the Schematic Design Phase, we will hone in on what materials, colors, and textures we'll use in your project. I'll encourage you to pay attention to what jumps out to you in your everyday life, take note of them, and bring these inspirations to our meetings.
Permitting: Once we have an approved final design and a contractor scheduled, we will submit your project for permitting with the appropriate jurisdiction. Review times generally take from 4-6 weeks, and revisions are usually a part of this process. If a change of use, landmark, or public review is involved, this process will take longer.
Construction Administration: Once your permit is issued and your contractor is mobilized, I will schedule on-site meetings with the contractor periodically to assess progress, and will be available for coordination as necessary. My job during construction is also to be your advocate and administer the construction contract so that what is built is reflective of the design intention.
Celebration and Photography: You made it! Time for you to celebrate and enjoy your new space, and for me to photograph the finished project. I will schedule a time with you to photograph your space and will provide you with digital copies of the images.