Kurt Gough

Founding Partner

Assoc. AIA

Kurt is a founding partner and lead designer and he oversees marketing, IT and graphic design at Shelter Architecture. He had an early aptitude for drawing and his overwhelming passion for art and theater became the focus of his studies at St. Olaf College. Before pursuing architecture, Kurt began his design career as an artisan in the prop shop at the Guthrie Theater, then as prop master at Actor’s Theater of St. Paul, followed by a term as stage design instructor at Luther College. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, he worked in the Twin Cities and Baltimore / DC regions as a scenic designer, prop artisan and painter. From 1990 to 1995, Kurt ran the prop department at Baltimore’s Center Stage before moving back to Minnesota to complete a Master of Architecture degree at the University of Minnesota. Kurt has always believed that the process of design is one of the most powerful tools we can harness. His diverse design experience provides Shelter’s projects a point of view that is rare in most architecture firms. It is a key component in Shelter’s award-winning portfolio of work. Kurt excels at identifying critical design elements, simplifying solutions, solving specialty constructions, space planning, developing presentation graphics, and designing customized construction details.

Kurt uses his design talents both in and outside of the Shelter studio. He is the former chairman of the board of Forecast Public Art and an instructor of architecture in the art department at St. Olaf College. As a member of Mayflower UCC in Minneapolis, Kurt has helped spearhead the church’s Earthwise initiative to achieve a carbon neutral facility by 2030. He is still active as a theatrical set designer and recently has designed and built props and sets for independent and Hollywood studio films.

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