Mary Beth Coyne’s work and passion for the mountains has taken her to wild and remote places to practice architecture – locations have spanned a spectrum from Kodiak to Tokyo, Wyoming to San Francisco. She created her architecture practice in 2016, to more directly pursue her visions for space. Her designs seek engagement with the land and environment, in pursuit of a sensuous and timeless modernity. The haptic environment and the psychological impact of space has been a focus of her study and work throughout her career and education at Cornell University. Her spaces create a unique realization in form, light, and material responsive to site and climate, and attuned to the clients’ desires. Drawing and sculpture are engaged as part of the spatial exploration.
As a practitioner whose work is built, she balances the drive of the theoretical, experiential, idealistic space with the realities of clients who have budgets and more pragmatic concerns. She is an avid snowboarder (last season she rode every month of the year), and she sees her time on the snow as integral to and interconnected with her work – the lines created on a fresh powder day are snow drawings. The spaces of the mountains transform with the accumulation and diminishing snowpack across the seasons, along with the structure of the snowpack itself – influencing her vision of how built spaces transform over time.