Krister R. Allen


Krister Allen, ArchitectKrister Allen grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1991 with a BS in Architecture.  Throughout his tenure at the University he apprenticed under William H. Atwood (Atwood Architects), with primary involvement in resort ski and golf developments throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.  After completion of his schooling, he worked in Steamboat Springs, Colorado afterwards to return to his native state where the first Straight Line Design Co. was established in Staunton, Virginia.  Primarily a design / build construction company, SLDC also provided the working drawings, site planning, specifications, and permit administration for solicitation of bids to The Nelson County Community Development Foundation, a nonprofit agency of affordable housing.

With a lifelong love of ‘the big mountains’, and in search of “the affordable ski resort”, he discovered the Pacific Northwest, and in 1994 relocated to Sandpoint with his then small family.  Shortly after arrival, he became involved as a partner in Architecture 311.5 (another local firm), and in 2006 opened (under similar title), the second Straight Line Building Design Company, which has since engaged in both commercial and residential projects through the present.  The vast scope of the firms residential work has come to accommodate large ‘multi structure’ complexes and waterfront estates, through 250 SF remote wilderness cabins, in addition to numerous remodels and additions (regionally, inclusive of Montana, Oregon and Washington, and as far east as Virginia, Tennessee and Florida).  Commercial endeavors include public projects for the City of Sandpoint, as well as Manufacturing Additions to local industry and period renovations.  Large or small, and often varied in architectural style (embracing traditional as well as modern solutions), each project has served become representative and unique to the particular clients preference and needs.

Krister is vice chair of the Sandpoint Arts Commission, a member of the Sandpoint Historic Commission, involved with the Sandpoint Sailing Association and a PSIA certified Telemark and Nordic ski instructor at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho.


Tom Russell, Architect


Tom Russell, Architect

Photo by Doug Marshall,

Tom Russell grew up in the small town of Old Forge in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  After graduating from Northwood School in Lake Placid and attending Clarkson University for 2 years, he was lured by the big mountains and vast open spaces of the west, and moved to Colorado. While working as a carpenter, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Colorado in Boulder. Between summers spent working for Colorado Outward Bound School and winters ski patrolling at Copper Mountain, Tom worked as a carpenter, primarily building luxury custom homes in the resort towns of Colorado and operating a small contracting business in Summit County.

Seeking new challenges, Tom moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah’s Master of Architecture program. He was fortunate to land an internship working with the gifted Architect and patient mentor Robert Jacoby, gaining valuable experience that led to positions with Utah Architects Fred Babcock and Max J. Smith. He was part of the design team for several notable projects, including the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Utah State Capitol renovation, The Marriott Library at the University of Utah, and numerous residences for some of Utah´s most prominent citizens.

Tom and his wife had fallen in love with Sandpoint, Idaho and decided to make it their home. In 2006 they moved to Sandpoint to enjoy the unique quality of life and outdoor recreation opportunities it offers. Soon after, Tom began working for Hendricks Architecture and assisted John Hendricks in the design of numerous beautiful mountain homes during his 5 years there. In 2012, Tom accepted an appointment to the Sandpoint City Planning and Zoning Commission.

Tom joined Krister Allen at Straight Line Building Design in 2012 to add his experience to SLBDC´s already established reputation for impeccable design and creativity.