A prominent scientist once wrote that people who achieve greatness in technical careers ask themselves: “What are the most important problems in my field? Am I working on them?” I see the same questions driving my practice. The biggest issues in residential architecture today are unpredictability, skyrocketing construction cost, and waning craftsmanship in the building trades.
I believe the solution is the architect in the original meaning of the term master builder: one who can seamlessly combine the creative and the technical. I draw upon my architecture and structural engineering training to think like an artist and an engineer to improve the process and the result:
The Process: I seek collaborations with my clients. By keeping an open mind, respecting one another, listening, observing, learning from each other we arrive at elegant and efficient ways to meet the client’s needs;
I seek collaborations with truly skilled craftspeople who take pride in their work. I learn how and why they do what they do and how we can make their job easier;
I promote mass customization, not mass standardization. Every remodel or new home I design is unique, but I hope to avoid building a prototype every time. By standardizing the construction methods, I aim to build unique designs at close to the same cost as standard ones.
I optimize the construction process by experimenting with technologies such as off-site fabrication. In traditional on-site building, time and materials are wasted because much is solved “in the field.” Off-site fabrication process requires that things are worked out completely using drawings and computer models before a single piece of wood is cut.
The Design: To feel spacious, a house need not be huge. It needs to have well designed flow of space and sufficient storage to avoid clutter, be filled with light, and engage with the landscape.
To be sustainable, a house does not need elaborate systems providing infinite energy supply. Rather, it needs to be designed for optimal solar orientation, have a well insulated exterior envelope to reduce energy demand, and have durable materials that last a long time.
To have richness, a house does not need huge expanses of exotic materials. Simple local materials thoughtfully designed to work together go a long way to create variety and richness of texture.
I strive to create architecture that engages all senses, meets my clients’ needs, responds to its environment, and creates a sense of place. I utilize innovative construction methods and best craftsmanship to achieve theses results at predictable, reasonable prices.
No small goals here, saving the world one house at a time.