ULTRAMODERNE is an internationally—recognized, award—winning architecture and design firm. Led by co—principals Aaron Forrest and Yasmin Vobis, our office creates buildings and public spaces that are at once modern, playful, and generous. We believe that design is not a luxury, but rather fundamental to the construction of all aspects of the built environment. We continually challenge architecture to do more—irrespective of circumstance—in the knowledge that thoughtful and creative design can serve as the basis for a better world.
We approach building systems, organization, and materials experimentally, in order to find new and more efficient ways to economically and sustainably reshape the built environment. Working both digitally and through physical models and full—scale mock-ups, we intensively research standardized and emergent construction systems to find new, better ways of making. This approach—simultaneously conceptual and pragmatic—not only leads to more responsive designs, but has made us a lead innovator in the use of new materials, particularly mass timber technologies such as CLT, as a sustainable replacement for steel and concrete.
Our office was founded in Providence, RI, in 2015, and opened a San Francisco office in 2023. We work at a wide variety of scales and project types, including single— and multi—family residential, cultural, commercial, educational, and urban design. We work closely with our clients to collaboratively develop a design process tailored to their individual needs. Our work with institutional and governmental clients has gone beyond typical client service to include project—long community engagement to ensure the success of public projects. We similarly draw on an extensive network of highly experienced and award—winning consultants, collaborators, contractors, and craftsmen to ensure that each project receives the attention and expertise that it demands.
Our office has received awards from the Architectural League, Architect Magazine, Domus Magazine, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the American Academy in Rome, the American Institute of Architects, and others. Clients include: the Van Alen Institute, the National Parks Service, Chicago Parks District, the Museum of Modern Art, the Architectural League of New York, and the Boston Society of Architects.
Winning entries for architectural competitions include The Chicago Lakefront Kiosk competition and the Central Falls Affordable Housing competition. Our office was also selected as a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, the Philadelphia Contemporary museum competition, the Roger Williams Park Visitors Center, and the Crook Point Bridge Competition.
Yasmin Vobis (RA, NCARB, FAAR) is a registered architect and co-founding Principal of Ultramoderne. She brings a keen sensibility in organization and material expression to every project. She studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University, where she received her Masters in Architecture and was awarded the Butler Traveling Fellowship and the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize. Prior to co-founding Ultramoderne, she practiced in the offices of Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers, and Steven Holl Architects. In addition, she has taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design, the Cooper Union, Brown University and is currently Assistant Professor in Architecture at UC Berkeley. She was awarded the Founders—Arnold W. Brunner—Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize in Architecture in 2016.
Aaron Forrest (RA, NCARB) is a registered architect and co-founding Principal of Ultramoderne. He has extensive professional experience, having practiced in New York with Bernheimer Architecture and Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers, and in Madrid with Ábalos & Herreros Arquitectos. His background strongly informs his interests in the relationship between structure, tectonics, and architectural space. Aaron received both his Bachelor's Degree and Masters in Architecture from Princeton University. In addition the practice, Aaron has extensive teaching experience, having held appointments at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, and University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Associate Adjunct Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley.