Design Philosophy

We start by focusing on the basic building blocks of architecture:

      • integration with site,
      • clear organization of programmatic elements,
      • comfortable proportions,
      • creation of dynamic space,
      • a harmonious relationship between architectural space and the structural elements that support and define it,
      • comfortable relationship with natural light and views,
      • energy efficiency

The art of Feng Shui is concerned, among other things, with issues of comfort and flow, and we use these principals in our design work to help us create living and working environments that function well and feel good.

Good stewardship of our planet is very important to us and we have always designed with a high level of energy efficiency in mind. One of our consultants, Jesse Thomas, is a Passive House Institute certified consultant, trained in the operation of Passive House energy use analysis software.  This has increased our knowledge of effective energy efficiency strategies whether or not Passive House certification is desired for a given project.

We design from a place of great knowledge and understanding of the construction process. We know how to detail your building in a way that will be straightforward and efficient to construct. We understand the importance of schedule and budget, and we consider your satisfaction with your project, from beginning to end, to be the most important measure of our success.

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Richard Berg, Architect

Richard Berg received his B.A. in Architecture from the University of Washington in 1979. As part of his studies he attended the UW Department of Architecture’s foreign study in Rome program., and then the following year returned to Rome as a teaching assistant for the program.

Following graduation, Richard joined Ibsen Nelsen and Associates in Seattle, where he worked on projects such as the Museum of Flight, the Inn at the Market, the Stewart House mixed-use project at Pike Place Market, and the Merrill Court luxury townhouses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He decided to return to school in 1983, attaining a Master of Architecture degree with honors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while interning at the firm of Imre & Anthony Halasz, Inc. in Boston.

After graduation from MIT, he joined Whitaker Architecture & Planning, Inc. There he worked as a designer, architectural project manager and occasionally as a project manager for the firm’s construction side, Whitaker Construction Corp. Moving back to Seattle in 1988, he managed the architectural division of Glory International, Inc., a Japanese real-estate development firm that focused on vacation homes and resort projects in both Japan and the U.S. In 1991 he acquired his Washington State Architecture license and accepted a position as Project Architect with Timbercraft Homes, Inc. in Port Townsend. At Timbercraft he was responsible for the design of all their timber-framed projects, which included houses (including his own home addition) and commercial buildings located mostly in western Washington, with occasional projects elsewhere in the US and Japan.

In 1997, he founded Richard Berg Architects in Port Townsend. In 2001 the business expanded and was incorporated. A bookkeeper was hired as well as the firm’s first full-time designer and draftsman.  By 2005 the firm had outgrown its quarters in the Bergs’ home and moved into new office space next door at 719 Taylor Street. In 2010 Richard Berg Architects transformed into Terrapin Architecture. The name change reflects that the firm operates as a collaboration between Richard and his talented and experienced associate architects, combining their expertise and talent in design, construction knowledge, timber-framing, and historic preservation. In 2012 the firm moved into the newly renovated space where they currently reside at 727 Taylor Street.

Richard currently serves on Port Townsend’s Historic Preservation Committee, a design review and advisory board for the City’s National Landmark Historic District.  He just finished a term as Chairman of the Board of the Jefferson Community School, a 7th – 12th grade school focused on innovative and experiential learning located in a historic downtown Port Townsend building, and has also served on the Board of the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades. In the past, he has served as Chair of the Port Townsend Planning Commission and on the Design Review Committee for Port Townsend’s commercial zoning districts. 

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Tamara Halligan, Architect

Tamara Halligan joined the architectural design firm of Terrapin Architecture in the spring of 2013. Tamara is a registered architect in the State of Washington, her journey to this career began by living in 24 houses that were under construction, by the time she achieved her B.A. in Architecture at the age of 24 from the University of Idaho in Moscow.

Tamara drafted and designed commercial and residential projects for architecture firms in Seattle and Kitsap County. Two years of this time were spent creating construction drawings for a fast-paced building company giving her an in-depth understanding of wood framed construction.

After her daughter Ciara was born in 1999, she and her husband Joe built a small saltbox style home in Port Townsend where she started her own residential design company, where she she designed a shed roofed, steel sided home in North Beach and a storybook cottage nestled in an uptown Port Townsend neighborhood.

Tamara sees her ability to interpret client’s dreams into working reality as her greatest strength. She enjoys projects with limitations due to site conditions, feeling that the limitations can help to create a greater level of originality in the design.

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Amy I. Dahlberg, Project Manager

Amy received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (in 1985) and a Master of Architecture (in 1990) from the University of Houston. Following graduation she joined the Gensler architectural firm. At Gensler she earned her registration, was promoted to associate and worked in their Houston, New York, Washington D.C. and Seattle offices primarily on commercial interiors. Amy took a year-long leave of absence in 2001 and moved to Sweden where she enjoyed immersing herself in her great grandparents' culture and language.

In 2005 Amy moved to Port Townsend and joined Richard Berg Architects. She quickly became a key member of the team, taking a lead role in several custom home projects, and eventually serving as the project manager on the new sanctuary and addition to the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Amy’s strength is in her extensive knowledge of construction technique and her ability to apply that knowledge in the creation of harmonious and elegantly detailed buildings.

Amy serves as a member of the Design review committee for Port Townsend’s commercial zoning districts, and can be seen from time to time in local recitals and performances at Key City Public Theater.

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Laura Hall, Architectural Designer

Laura joined Terrapin Architecture in January of 2018. Laura graduated from the University of Washington with a dual degree in Architecture and Construction Management. In college she served as the student voice on the Architectural Advisory Board, providing feedback for upcoming campus-wide construction projects. She studied abroad in Italy and India and spent winter break in Indonesia, doing a rendition of Eat, Pray, Love. Her favorite studio project was completed in India where she worked with classmates to envision and propose a more effective slum rehabilitation housing scheme to city officials.

During college she held a wide range of internships, from working in the college IT department to field engineering for a renovation at SF International Airport. Shortly after graduating she moved to the Bay Area where she worked on corporate campus projects, most notably the Apple and Uber headquarters. In the fall of 2018 she made the transition back to Washington and found her way to Port Townsend and the Terrapin team. She holds her LEED Green Associate accreditation and is working towards architecture licensure in WA state.

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