Former Young Architect of the Year launches own firm

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Zach Verhulst Courtesy PURE Architects

Zach Verhulst, the American Institute of Architects’ Grand Rapids 2019 Young Architect of the Year announced the opening of PURE Architects.

Andrew Queenan Courtesy PURE Architects

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, PURE Architects will serve clients statewide, regionally and nationally. Verhulst will serve as owner and managing principal of the firm, and fellow Lawrence Technological University alum Andrew Queenan will be the firm’s project architect and building scientist.

“I believe that we have a unique opportunity to apply a lens and perspective that most other firms currently do not,” Verhulst said. “I’ve spent the last 10 years designing and managing projects and people across the state, experiencing many different projects and client types. Inevitably, most firms approach projects with the goal of mitigating risk to maximize profits, oftentimes at the detriment of the project’s potential. We are driven to do better. Our firm strikes a conscious balance between operational goals and aspirational ones, resulting in better experiences and design outcomes for our clients.”

Prior to founding PURE Architects, Verhulst was an associate and project manager at a large, full-service AE firm in Grand Rapids contributing to significant projects for clients like Grand Rapids Public Schools, Spectrum Health and Tech Defenders. He also was a member of the 2019 class of the Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders.

“Zach and I ascribe to the mantra of being like ‘clouds and dirt,’ meaning we are able to simultaneously connect high-level ideas with the most critical details of a project,” Queenan said. “And there is a special kind of friction between us in how we approach and work through design problems, creating a sort of synergy — that’s where the magic happens, our visions align and we trust each other to get things done.”

PURE already has clients and projects lined up after being open for just three months, including active projects in Florida, New York and Michigan.

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