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Olsen Joins OPN Leadership as Associate Principal

Toby Olsen
Toby Olsen
Toby Olsen
Toby Olsen
Cedar Rapids Public Library
Cedar Rapids Public Library
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — OPN Architects announces that Toby Olsen, AIA, has been promoted to its leadership team as an Associate Principal.

Olsen has been with OPN Architects since 2009 when he graduated from the University of Nebraska with a master's degree in architecture and minor in community and regional planning. Olsen has 13 years of experience with OPN.

"My work is inspired by the experiential quality of space that breathes life into projects," Olsen said. "Architecture is not simply technical problem solving. The artistry of creating mood, shaping form, pattern, and light all come together to enhance the way we inhabit the world. We have the duty to enhance the human spirit through design. That is the inspiration to do my best work."

Olsen has a knowledge base crafted by experience with a variety of projects, with a specialty in library design. He said he relishes working with people, be it in public participation processes, strategic planning, or client visioning sessions. Olsen was part of the design team for the Cedar Rapids Public Library in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has worked on the design and led the management of new and renovated library projects across the country, including the recently completed Lawrence County Public Library, which embodies the director’s vision for a library that would house hope not just books.

“Toby is a problem solver. He goes to every client with an open and unique mindset where every design is custom and no two buildings are ever alike," said Wesley Reynolds, Principal. "He brings variety to what he does each day, and keeps his design skills in top form when he approaches every client with a blank sheet of paper, ready to listen.”

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Olsen has dedicated much of his time to being active in the Cedar Rapids community, serving on multiple boards including: Cedar Rapids Metro 100+ Who Care, Cedar Valley Human Society Board of Directors, Theatre of Cedar Rapids Board of Directors, and Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Community Development Innovation Council. He is a member of the Leadership for Five Seasons Class of 2016.

“Toby has been a fundamental piece to building OPN’s reputation and experience in library design," said Dan Thies, Retired President & Principal. "Not only are his talents in architecture and good design, but compassion and understanding for everyone he meets.”

OPN Architects is a regional, knowledge-based design firm with over 100 designers working on projects across the Midwest. OPN maintains studios in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa, and Madison, Wisconsin. The firm’s work spans a wide variety of client types including corporate, civic, higher education, health care, and libraries.

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