PHILOSOPHY

An enriching, productive, worry-free process for you
We are completely committed to your experience being inspired and enriching, as well as one in which you feel you are in control and not being taken down a road full of potential unwelcome surprises.

To that end, in everything we do, we endeavor to advise you of the steps along the way, and what you can expect from us. We offer our experience of the design process and the construction process to you, so that you can plan your life during the construction of your project, which is likely to be one of the more disrupting events that will occur in your lifetime.

To help you visualize, our design process and documentation is intentionally developed so that you have a good sense in advance of what you will be able to experience when the project is complete. We tailor our visualization to your needs: some prefer a simple hand-sketch or a plan or elevation drawing, while many find more realistic three-dimensional renderings or physical models to be very useful. We have at our disposal a full range of methods to help you understand design decisions and design opportunities. Happily, many of our clients are surprised at how beautifully their project turned out, and how much they like being in it. On the whole, however, they are pleased that what was constructed is what they had hoped and planned for.

To minimize the frustration and confusion of the construction process, we work hard so that our projects have a minimum of unpleasant surprises like spaces and details not turning out well, or project costs getting out of control or schedules incurring delays, because we labor to understand and document the full set of conditions that will be encountered during construction.

Function and Flow
One characteristic of all of our projects is that moving through them feels right, and that each part and piece of the structure is where it should be, works well, and is a pleasure to use. We take extra pains to make the beautiful functional and the functional beautiful. We do not rest until everything in your new environment is exactly as you like it.

To that end, we listen carefully to you when we meet with you, and take notes of our conversations with you so that we can refer to them as we work. All of our designs are a reflection of the Owner's personality and way of working.

Light and Experience
An awareness of light is essential for all good things. Daylight, moonlight, candlelight, worklight, each has its place in our lives. Whether we are reading a book or working at a computer, walking through a house, working in a school or office building or worshipping in a church, light deeply affects our perception and our receptiveness to what life has to offer. Even darkness finds its meaning in relation to light.

All of our buildings are designed with a deep sensitivity to natural light and its ability to connect us to our surroundings, each other, and our selves. Modern lighting systems allow a complementary array of lit environments that, designed properly, can provide an exceptional environment for activity and repose.

Many of our buildings are intentionally "thin" and "porous" to light, as opposed to thick and hulking. At every turn and in every space there is an opportunity for light to enter in a way that is appropriate to each place and time. Too much light is no better than not enough, so we tune each space to take advantage of the natural movement of the sun and of your daily life and routines.

Durability and Authenticity
We have a particular devotion to creating structures that will stand the test of time. The world abounds with fake materials, thin veneers, copies and pastiches of designs and materials that carry with them the echo of something past. We believe that materials and elements of construction should be a part of history that transcends generations and brings more delight over time rather than less.

Efficiency and Sustainability
It has been said that the most sustainable building is a beautiful building, because it will be loved and used over and over again across time rather than demolished and replaced repeatedly. That being said, there are many new systems and materials today that are genuinely more efficient in terms of energy use and gentler in their impact on the earth.

We have been involved in many facets of energy savings. We know that the first, best, step, is to create environments that do not require a great deal of energy to run; that then when spaces do require, for example, to be heated or cooled, that they are insulated and isolated to reduce heat transfer to a minimum except where such transfer can be part of a passive energy system. Next in line, high-efficiency systems can be used to reduce energy use, and, finally, when energy is required, it should be received from sustainable sources.

Tradition and Transformation
We believe that there is great good in what has been handed down to us, the "tradition," but that this tradition is always being extended and transformed. For some, tradition will mean using elements that were developed in the past because they are still good, beautiful, and useful. For others, these elements have been transformed or even replaced by others born out of the ever-growing body of human knowledge.

We ground ourselves in tradition, but embrace every good thing. We look forward to discovering with you what you find good and beautiful, and bringing that into reality with you.