Terrestrial Pursuits is an architectural design practice with projects across scales and program types — from backyard homes to adaptive reuse art spaces to commercial-industrial facilities.
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We are partners in the creative process, drawing on deep expertise in design, construction, operations, real estate development, and custom software applications to help guide each project and its delivery. 

We think critically and act with curiosity. Our goal is to challenge assumptions and discover unconventional, compelling outcomes together. Our process balances creative exploration with clear milestones and deliverables.

See a step-by-step outline of our process

Digital Coordination

Architectural projects are complex. Our remedy is clear communication and relentless coordination. We also create online tools and interfaces that help clients analyze project data and streamline decision-making.

Our past experience includes overhauling tech systems and operations at Homestead and Otto ADU by fully redesigning the database architecture and creating custom apps for owners and contractors to log and track project information. Through our sister company, Plumb, we also provide custom tech solutions for other design, development, and construction companies to streamline their project management systems.

Environmental Impact

We are concerned with the environmental impact of construction, and we work with clients to bring our experience with adaptive  reuse, low-energy building systems, and high-performance detailing into every project.

Our team has extensive experience with high-performance adaptive reuse projects, including the conversion of a mechanic’s garage into an art studio (while employed by Peterson Rich Office) and the renovation of multiple townhomes to Passive House standards (while employed by CO Adaptive).

Developing Social Density

We’ve worked with over 50 clients to design, permit, and build Accessory Dwelling Units that bring their friends and family closer together. We also help owners navigate complex housing laws, like California’s SB 9 or Los Angeles’s Executive Directive 1, so they can rethink what’s possible on their properties.

We’re particularly interested in the positive benefits of density and community for intergenerational living, which we’ve explored through our academic research on architecture and aging, as well as the cooking-related programming we ran for senior residents at 2Life in Boston.


Sarah Gunawan is a licensed architect in the State of California and Massachusetts . She received her Bachelor of Architectural Studies and her Master of Architecture from the University of Waterloo. Most recently, she led Operations at Homestead and Otto ADU. Prior to that, she led design and construction documentation + administration for complex adaptive reuse projects at CO Adaptive and KVA. She was the 2017 Banham Fellow at the University of Buffalo, and has taught at Waterloo and Wentworth.

Alex received his Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Waterloo and his Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He leads Design and Strategy at Otto ADU, and previously led design and construction documentation + administration for a number of arts and culture projects at Peterson Rich Office.

Past Professional Work

Before starting Terrestrial Pursuits, Sarah & Alex worked as architectural designers at firms in Canada, Europe, Japan, and the US for 10+ years.

See a portfolio of our past projects
Completed while at Peterson Rich Office
Completed while at CO Adaptive
Completed while at CO Adaptive
Completed while at Peterson Rich Office