As creators of 21st century spaces for creative and engaged living, wHY explores Ideas, Buildings, Grounds and Objects that embody our mission to integrate culture into our everyday. We help institutions find and develop their identity through the work we do with them, using design as tool to make meaningful impacts. We pull from the broader context to inform the work and make sure to leave space for evolution.
Founded in 2004 and led by Creative Director Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY is a team of 40 creative designers with offices in LA, NYC and Louisville. In less than ten years, we have built the first new LEED Gold art museum in the world; expanded with the international art market by designing outposts for prominent galleries; explored the intersection of climate, landscape and architecture via an arts education facility for one of the nation’s top colleges; remixed and re-presented an important art collections for one of Americas top institutions; and are currently envisioning a new master plan for an historic park where the 1893 World’s Fair took place.
Creative Director and Founding Partner of wHY, Kulapat Yantrasast orchestrates the creative dialogue between wHY’s 4 workshops. His relentless drive to wrest from each project its unique identity and express it with unapologetic enthusiasm is what sets his work apart from peers, creating delightful outcomes for cultural, educational, real estate, commercial and private clients worldwide.
Following seven years as close associate to Japanese architect Tadao Ando, where he was the project architect for award-winning projects including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Armani / Teatro in Milan, and the Fondation Francois Pinault pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, Kulapat launched wHY with the commission for the Grand Rapids Art Museum. An expert in museum design and passionate about art, Kulapat has led wHY to create game-changing cultural projects in emerging cities.
In 2012, Kulapat was recognized as one of the art world’s 100 Most Powerful People by Art+Auction magazine, and he was the first architect to receive the Silpathorn Award for Design from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture in 2009.
With 28 years of experience, Tim Culbert, Architect DESA is wHY’s Director of Design & International Project Development, working closely with Kulapat to define the design direction of the 4 Workshops as well as oversee development of international projects. Prior to joining wHY, Tim led his own practice for 12 years and co-authored with SANAA the Louvre-Lens Museum, awarded the prestigious l'Equerre d'Argent for Best Building completed in France in 2013. As Associate Partner at I.M. Pei's firm, he oversaw the design and construction of the Miho Museum in Shiga, Japan and the MUDAM Museum in Luxembourg.
Since joining wHY in 2012, Gregory Fischer, as wHY’s General Director, has worked closely with Founding Partner / Creative Director Kulapat Yantrasast and workshop leaders to shape and deliver design dialogues for all aspects of wHY’s work. His breadth of knowledge and interests coupled with his ability to think at different scales of abstraction enable him to discern a project’s driving factors and synthesize responses into successful solutions for clients. He is typically involved from the early project planning stages onward, ensuring quality and commitment to design throughout the entire process.
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