WHAT INSPIRES ME: Adam Janak
Architect/Director at Northworks Architects + Planners
by Dina Mishev- Photography by David Agnello
The director of the Jackson Hole office of Chicago-based architectural firm Northworks Architects + Planners (NAP), thirty-five-year-old Adam Janak has been designing commercial and residential buildings in the valley since 2006. The southern Idaho native moved to Jackson immediately after graduating with his master's degree in architecture from the University of Idaho. "I got a really good job offer here (Janak was with CTA Architects Engineers from 2006 to 2016, when he left to found the NAP office) and loved the idea of being so close to the outdoors and in a small town that still had tons of culture," he says. When not designing spaces, Janak, first with a business partner, Paul Kinnard, and now with his wife of two years, Emily Janak, builds homes. Janak is currently working on his fifth project, the restoration of a historic log cabin on East Hansen Street. He and Kinnard previously built new homes, which Janak designed, including a modern twist on a traditional farmhouse on Cache Creek Drive. Janak took a break from designing and building to share some of the things he draws inspiration from.
James Turrell and Robert Irwin both create art and large-scale installations with light, and light is such an important part of architecture. Their work is different from each other- and they work as individual artists- but the work of both men is just so mind-boggling and bending. Your perspective is challenged. The first time I walked into Turrell's Skyspace at the Henry Art Galley on the University of Washington campus, I lost all sense of where things start and stop. (There are more than 80 Skyspaces of Turrell's around the world.) Although the two men don't collaborate, in the 1970s they both did installations in the same Italian villa and there's a book about it, Robert Irwin James Turrell: Villa Panza. I just bought it as a gift to myself.
Every time I go into Mountain Dandy, it is calming and soothing, and interesting. Emily and I often go in together, and the fun is that we never know what we're going to find. If we see anything that intrigues us, we generally walk out with it. Last fall, we walked in the day two chairs made in Sweden in the 1950s by Dux (and designed by Folke Ohlsson) had just been put out on the Showroom floor. We weren't looking for chairs, but they were something we couldn't live without. They're walnut with an open back and (Mountain Dandy owners) John (Frechette) and Christian (Burch) had had them reupholstered, I've also gotten smaller things here- glass barware and books about obscure artists and designers. Mountain Dandy Showroom: 265 W Pearl Ave, 307/690-2896, mountaindandy.com
I've always had an affinity for brown water. Emily's from Kentucky and her family has done a lot of marketing and work for different distilleries. We had a bourbon bar at our wedding. I'm kind of picky about the bourbon I drink, but not really. I generally like it neat, although a good Manhattan or Old Fashioned cocktail works, too. And Wyoming Whiskey- I've come to really like it. When some of the other Northworks guys come into town, we'll sometimes do what we call "genius hour" in the office. We'll have some bourbon or whiskey, and all loosen up. It can help get the creative juices flowing. wyomingwhiskey.com
I love my Filson original briefcase. It's American-made, and just really basic. It's authentic and not gimmicky- both of which inspire me. It is utilitarian, works with a suit or jeans, has plenty of pockets for keeping things organized, and fits a 15-inch computer. The one problem with it is that it's so well made: You just buy one in a lifetime. It's not leather. but instead made from a really rugged twill that's water-repellent. $325, filson.com
Turpin Meadow Ranch is one of our favorite places in the valley. It's where we got married two years ago, and we keep going back. I love the history of the place- it's a log lodge surrounded by restored cabins- and you can escape reality there. As much as we love Turpin, though, a log cabin is something I never thought in a million years I'd ever work on.When the opportunity came along, though, Emily and I took it. We're restoring the house at 240 East Hansen ourselves and it has changed my perception of logs. If we're out there working, every couple of hours someone walking by will stop with questions. And we'll get visitors stopping by to say "thank you" which you never hear when you're building a new house! Cabins from $149, turpinmeadowranch.com