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Planning and Design

This is where the magic happens

The general public often overlooks good design but almost always appreciates it – knowingly or not. We don't often think about the elements of a building that make it good. To us, sometimes, it's comparing it to another building.

Good design, in this case, good architectural design, enhances our lives in ways that we wouldn't necessarily predict or expect. The best homes play a subliminal role in our lives that enhance our welfare and happiness.  We’ve all heard the saying, "You look good; you feel good." And nothing represents one's outward appearance more than the homes we build for ourselves.

What distinguishes an outstanding custom home from an ordinary house is the quality of its design and its execution through construction. To fully appreciate the value of any beautiful home, it is necessary to differentiate between the two. This home achieves the best of all - it had a client who had built before, who knew what they wanted architecturally, who had given a great deal of thought towards function and livability. It was realistic with their construction budget considering that they wished to stone and stucco-clad structure, terracotta tile roofs, steel doors and windows, extensive site development, and stout landscape.

Designing involves consideration towards the site, applicable codes, written programs, and budget projections. It requires intuition and countless hours of contemplation, and for me, that can only be achieved in absolute solitude.

Designing a new home above all requires experience, and experience comes with the price of successes and quite possibly a few failures as well. A custom home is a creative expression like a great astrological event with all planets aligning, but it is still comes down to intuition and an innate understanding of geology, geometry, history, Palladio, Greco Roman, Curbusia, rugs from Turkey rugs Spain, Jerusalem limestone, Italian marble, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar panels, stucco finish, plaster finish, and access to the resources for all of these and much more.

Designing someone's home is a very personal service. There is a big part of me that cares deeply about my clients' never-ending satisfaction with the buildings I design for them. To design anther's home is a great opportunity and an even greater responsibility.

Architectural designers add art, creativity, and beauty to our daily lives in ways we would never expect. We undertake the challenge of designing your favorite corner, banquette, or alcove or how to align important spaces with important views. Good architectural design will fill your life with a sense of harmony and balance. 

Designing a home is a tedious task. Designing a well planned and beautiful home is a gift, one that not all architects or self-proclaimed designers possess.

Process

Design is always a process that requires a schematic of some nature. Therefore schematics are in everything we make - it’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy. An architectural designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist. Good design is an integrative process that seeks resolution (not compromise) through cross-disciplinary teamwork. Design, in the end, is about creating better things for people; otherwise, what’s the point of engaging a designer in the first place.

All architectural designers must provide an appropriate conceptual model that illustrates the way the home will work under all conditions - nothing is too minute to be considered. Phase One Schematics do not need to address all matters as they relate to the design of a home thoroughly. However, before schematics and design development can be regarded as complete. Unresolved issues still apply to the project, so the project should not graduate to construction documents until they are. 

The architectural design addresses social values as well as technical and aesthetic values. The plan acknowledges change; it means consideration for change in our time, to create order and shelter in a place where neither exist. The notion of change and design move along the same path continuum.

The architectural process derives rewards from internal standards of excellence, from the intrinsic satisfaction of our task. We are committed to that design task, not the job. Whereas most people divide their lives between time spent earning money and time spent spending it, designers generally lead a seamless existence in which work and play are synonymous.

Interior Architecture

Once the preliminary architectural planning, form, and site design are established, dialogues are initiated regarding the interior décor, which includes the interior architecture of the primary structure. Interior design and interior architecture for purposes of this website are treated as two distinctly different services because, in truth, that is what they are.

 

Interior architecture is an extension of the building's architecture vis-à-vis plans, elevations, details, and specifications that address all aspects of exposed surfaces, fixtures, finishes, and the like on the interior of the structure. For example, if the ceiling is vaulted or coffered in a particular room, then this is addressed both by the architectural documents as well as the interior architectural documents. The difference is that the architectural documents address structure and the interior architectural documents address detailing and finishes. Got it? Okay, let’s begin…

An unprecedented emphasis on the geometric nature, in the conceptual sense, in architectural form is currently taking place within the interior design in many circles. An evident risk of this emphasis on geometric form is that other aspects of architectural form (perceptual, structural, functional, symbolic and ornamental) can be undervalued or even ignored.

Much of today's architecture no longer aims at achieving a balance between conceptual and perceptual form. For some of today's top architects and designers do not design to be intelligible, but instead, they design to be downright discombobulated; they have become a source of illiterate pleasure serving more to a unique, one-off, experience that holds to intrigue the viewer for only a short period with little intellectual everlasting fascination is to be found.

 

Many architectural designers and interior designers today follow inspirations that have little basis in either form, tradition, or function; their creative whims are the driving forces behind their creations and the owners and us, the viewers and occupants, are forced to live with their creative catastrophe’s until they have outlived their economic value, which in many cases, such as the Bellevue Art Museum, must be near to ZERO so someone, please rip that one down and build a museum for Bellevue that properly represents the creative wealth and genius behind the community. Well, that’s one mans opinion I suppose [sorry Steven Hall, the architect].

 

Furthermore, architectural scale should be understood as the relation between the form of the building and the beholder. Architecture takes place precisely in the dividing line that separates a geometric object from the actual building. A geometric form can have an interest as an object, but there is no guarantee for the object to become a meaningful architectural form, once the building is built.

Legacy Homes

In its basic meaning, a legacy is a gift of money or other personal property that's granted by the terms of a will - often a substantial gift that needs to be properly managed. But the word is used much more broadly as well. So, for instance, much of Western civilization - law, philosophy, aesthetics - could be called the undying legacy of ancient Greece. And the rights and opportunities that women enjoy today are partly the legacies of the early suffragists and feminists.

What is a Design Guy Legacy Home? It’s a project that is a notch above even the finest homes in the neighborhood. It's the Bespoke quality of a home. It's a home designed with integrity that combines the charms of yesteryear with all the modern amenities and conveniences of today. It will often by adopting a classical or traditional style of architecture.

A Legacy Home is a home that, in a perfect world, never leaves its original family - it’s a Bespoke home created and built with an abundance of style, decoration, and uncompromising detail, and decoration, which is all handed down from one lucky heir to another. Perhaps this is a designer’s unrealistic stretch for immortality for both he and the family that commissioned it with this intent in mind. I suppose it’s silly to say such things; after all, it’s not as if we’re living in a Jane Austen or a Downton Abbey novel. Designers are dreamers, and I am a dreamer who happens to specialize in designing buildings that stand the test of time who dreams of such things.

The Design Guy

My goal, as a designer, has always been to make my creative contributions so they will, in some way, enable my clients to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement through the finished product they live within.

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