Born in San Jose, California, Mr. Harcourt grew up both in the San Jose and Southern California areas. He graduated with honors earning a bachelor’s in Architecture from the “second to none” architectural school of its time, California State Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Since then he has had the privilege of working with some of the largest architectural firms along the Central California Coast during and after graduation, including RRM who is now nationwide with a main office in San Luis Obispo and three satellite offices. He settled in a home along the Central Coast designed and built by himself with his wife Molly and five children. Gary started his own architectural firm in 1981 during the largest recession of our time and grew from a small two-man office to that of ten with a variety of work ranging from single family homes, multi-family developments, banks, commercial developments, and even an “Iwerks” large screen format theater at the historical Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
He contributes much of his success to the expanding economy but also his desire for creativity and design efforts in a highly competitive marketplace. The environment is much different today, but with the same opportunity for advancing and evolution, motivating us to continuously reach for the next and more sophisticated design of whatever challenge we face.
Tradition and innovation – two seemingly contradictory influences – often contribute equally to the architecture that shapes our lives. Architecture consistently draws inspiration from the past and modifies the original to express a new aesthetic that reflects current ways of thinking. Some of the influences that have a great impact upon Mr. Harcourt have been great architects and legends such as Andrea Palladio, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Landry, Green & Green, Robert A.M. Stern, Bassenian/Lagoni Architects, and Ken Tate; all contemporaries in their time and even today. Their architecture spans generations, which it should – being playful yet with order; being simplistic and sculptural transcending time and place. With an understanding of their work and utilizing today’s technology and building materials Mr. Harcourt creates up-to-date- homes and buildings reflective of contemporary lifestyles prevalent today.
Today He and Mr. Kaufman have joined forces offering more than 60 years of experience and design elegance for any design commission they are fortunate enough to receive. Working together has brought a design philosophy of both past (historical influences) and prophecy (modernism with new technologies) working within the constraints of site, needs, time, and costs which work together in concert for a truly artistic adventure from modern to classic, we call architecture.