House, or Home?

South Elevation

The Dabbs Residence – Holly Springs, NC

Language is important. Especially in today’s political climate, social climate, and constantly moving digital world. So before delving into this month’s #Architalks topic “House or Home”, I thought I’d go straight to the dictionary:

Definition of house
plural houses
1 : a building that serves as living quarters for one or a few families : home invited them to her house for dinner a two-family house

Definition of home
1 a : one’s place of residence : domicile has been away from home for two weeks a place to call home
b : house several homes for sale in the area
2 : the social unit formed by a family living together trying to make a good home for her children comes from a broken home

The words, contrary to what a typical tract ‘homebuilder’ might seem to imply, are not interchangeable. When I design a building for people to live within, it’s a house, but what I strive is to help my clients create a home. The design of a new place to live for a family is a collaborative one between designer and client. I try to stress this from the beginning, I’m here to help you realize your dream home. The story behind the house I design, that’s what makes it a home.

I believe what makes a house a home are the people that inhabit it. The dwelling that takes place in it. The dreams realized within it. The memories that are made within it. And ultimately the lives that are lived within it.

An unbuilt house, was designed on paper, but a structure that was simply never constructed.

But what about an unbuilt home?

Rear Exterior View

The Heisler Residence (unbuilt)

If you’re interested reading more about ‘house or home’ from my other Architalks contributing friends, find their thoughts below.

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Dear future architects, never lose your optimism

Dear future architects,

Architecture is an inherently optimistic profession. The very act of designing and building requires hope, it needs it. We need it.

If you’re just entering the profession, there are a lot of opportunities for disappointment ahead, I ask that you take them in stride. Don’t give up the good fight.

The Heisler Residence - Unbuilt 2011

The Heisler Residence – Unbuilt 2011

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Posted in ArchiTalks | Tagged ArchiTalks, Architecture, friendship, humor, inspiration, optimism | 1 Response

#Architalks: Architecture and Children

Drafting board with T-Square

Tools of the Trade

When did you realize you wanted to be an architect?

It’s a question lots of folks ask, and I remember with clarity making that decision at twelve years old. It happened in class. Specifically in an elective, ‘Mechanical Drawing.’ We learned the fundamentals of plan, section, and elevation. Given a three dimensional object, draw it to scale on paper using a pencil, a t-square and a triangle. The class eventually moved up to drawing a full house floor plan complete with dimensions, door and window tags, and notes.

Computer Aided Drafting

CAD

Flash forward a little over two decades and while the tools have changed, the work itself, and that enthusiasm remains. There is something about thinking through, solving three dimensional problems in your mind and on paper that is uniquely rewarding. Then seeing that result in steel and concrete, walking through that space you imagined, sketched, and created on paper there in real space… It’s pretty fantastic.

IMG_9023

Built

Now that I’m a father, and I talk to my daughters about what I do, and what they want to do, I take that dialog seriously. Even at four and six years old, their individual skill-sets, strengths and weaknesses as designers, and even a sense of style come through. One is all about symmetry, the other … is not.

Daddy's little deconstructivist

Daddy’s little deconstructivist

I don’t know if either of my daughters will decide to be an architect, but I’m confident that if they do, they’ll be great at it.

Check out more #Architalks at the links below:

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
Architecture and Photography

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Architecture and a Future Without Architects

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
architecture and __

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)

Evan Troxel – Archispeak Podcast / TRXL (@etroxel)

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Architecture and Travel

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Architecture and Storytelling

Cormac Phalen – Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)

Nicholas Renard – dig Architecture (@dig-arch)

Andrew Hawkins, AIA – Hawkins Architecture, Inc. (@hawkinsarch)

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)

Jes Stafford – MODwelling (@modarchitect)
Architecture and Gaming

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
architecture and m&ms

Rosa Sheng – EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)
Architecture And the Era of Connection

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#ArchiTalks 18: architecture and… the bigger picture

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 18: Architecture and Mathematics

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
Architalks 18: Architecture and … Parenting

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Architecture and Yoga

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Architecture and Ego

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
Architecture and Ego / The Architect’s Unique Struggle with ‘Good’ Design

Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture (@mondo_tiki_man)

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
Architecture and Kids

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@simplybrinn)

David Molinaro – Relax2dmax (@relax2dmax)

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Architecture and More

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
Architecture and the Myth of the Master Builder

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)

Lindsey Rhoden – SPARC Design (@sparcdesignpc)

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
Architecture and Real Estate

()

Courtney Casburn Brett – Casburn Brett (@CasburnBrett)

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Architecture and Interior Design

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)

Samantha Raburn – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Architecture and Wrestling

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)

Nisha Kandiah – TCDS (@SKRIBBLES_INC)

Karen E. Williams – (@karenewilliams3)

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Architecture and Children

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Architecture + Memories

Adam Denais – Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[#ArchiTalks 18] Architecture and Strange Travel Etiquette

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Architecture and…my Generation.

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Riverbirch House in the News & Observer

The Riverbirch Residence - Now Sold

The Riverbirch Residence – Now Sold

A favorite project of mine changed hands toward the end of last year. My amazing clients Michael & Gerry had to leave the area for a new position in another state, leaving this house up for sale. In that process, it came across the eyes of a writer for the News & Observer, Nancy Oates, who wrote up a nice piece about the house and by extension me.

Unfortunately it’s not online anywhere, but you see an image of the final article here: NandO_RHL

One of my favorite lines from the article:

Only an architect would think to put a roof on upside down, because only an architect would know what the space would feel like inside, before it has even been built.

While yes, humorous, this points to a universal truth about what architects do: We help owners understand their goals and the future space.

Floor Plan - Riverbirch Residence

Floor Plan – Riverbirch Residence

And one last quote that I hope always rings true of me and my work:

Notice the “we” in his comments. Many architects would agree with Long that the most interesting clients to work with are those who come with their own ideas and want to work collaboratively to shape a space that fits them exactly.

I really enjoyed designing this house, and working with the clients on site. In fact, somewhere there’s a picture of me carrying around my toddler at the site mid-construction…

Here’s hoping the new owners love it as much as the first owners did.

Posted in Architecture | Tagged Architecture, housing, modernism, Riverbirch, Rusty Long, sustainability | Leave a comment

#Architalks: New Year, New Direction

This is my first blog post as part of a series of blog posts in a group series called #ArchiTalks. Once a month, Bob Borson gives us a theme to write about. On a personal note, Bob and the whole #ArchiTalks group have decided to use their considerable reach to share my son Matthew’s story. More on that can be found below, as can all the other members of the group.

Today’s theme: “New Year, New _____.”

direction – A theoretical line (physically or mentally) followed from a point of origin or towards a destination.

That’s what I’d like to talk about, a destination. Since graduating college, I’ve been wanted to build. There are a lot of architects whose work I look up to, but across the board my favorites build there own work. Here are are a few such architects.

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple

mls-architects

Brian MacKay’s work has been something of a fascination of mine since college and first hearing about Ghost Lab. His mantra ‘Place, Craft, Community’ speaks to both the way his buildings are built, as well as how they connect with their environment. A side note, in his 2014 presentation as keynote speaker at Architecture Exchange East, he advocated starting every project by having a beer or a cup of coffee with the client, and drawing. “All the best ideas come after the second beer.”

Rick Joy

rj-architects

Rick Joy’s works in the Arizona Desert, show a simplicity of massing and materials that, much like MacKay-Lyons’ work, are firmly rooted in place. Of particular interest in the book ‘Desert Works‘ is Joy’s impressive use of rammed earth construction.

Jonathan Segal

js-architects

Jonathan Segal is well-known among architects. His works in San Diego are a staple of any archi-nerd vacation, and any architect who has never dreamed of working for themselves, must not have been practicing very long! In this video you can see some of Segal’s work in person, and hear in his own words the concept behind the project playfully named ‘the charmer.’

Naturally all three of these firms have enviable portfolios, but all three started somewhere. A first design-build project. That’s my goal for 2016.

Modest Modern

Interested in more work from these architects? Here are a few places to start:

Brian MacKay – Local Architecture – This one is on my wish list

Rick Joy – Desert Works – A favorite of mine, frequently found on my drafting board rather than the book shelf

Jonathan Segal – Architect as Developer – In addition to his practice, Segal holds a series of classes and seminars to encourage other architects to ‘fire their clients’ and become the developer


MatthewMy friends and fellow participants of this ArchiTalks blog post series have teamed up to help my family. Here is Matthew’s story, as told by me:

Matthew Long was born May 29th, 2013, happy, and seemingly healthy. Less than two days later his mother and I found ourselves in an neonatal intensive care unit waiting room, listening to a rushed intensive care doctor explain how our son needed immediate dialysis to save his life. The disease, he briefly explained, was one of a group of disorders called Urea Cycle Disorders, which impact the way the body breaks down protein. We later discovered that Matthew’s particular variant is called OTC Deficiency, a particularly severe form of it in fact, which results in a rapid rise of ammonia in the blood, called hyperammonemia, resulting in devastating neurological damage. This form of OTC is so severe, Matthew has virtually no peers who have survived it. Once the immediate crisis was arrested, we came to find out more about the disease and the impact of this initial event.
 
The disease is inherited, and the damage is permanent. Treatment consists of a combination of medications, low protein medical diet, and ultimately a liver transplant. Matthew was fortunate to experience no additional hyperammonemic events in the following fifteen months of life, and had a liver transplant on August 24th, 2014. The cure for the disease, a transplant, isn’t so much a cure as trading one condition for another. While we will never risk the chance of another ammonia spike, Matthew is on a half a dozen or more medications at any given time to avoid rejection. Despite these challenges, intensive daily therapy for cerebral palsy (a result of the initial damage), limited motor function, and various other challenges along the way, our son is remarkably happy and has changed all our lives for the better. He’s taught us to be stronger than we ever thought possible, to have faith beyond human understanding, and the immeasurable value of life.
The #ArchiTalks community is hoping to raise $5,500 to help our family reach our financial goal on HelpHopeLive.org. If each reader of this post contributes a small amount, our impact will be massive and we can make a difference for Matthew. Click here now and donate $2.00

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
New Year, New Community on Business of Architecture

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/new-year-new-adventures-that-might-kill-me/

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
New Year, New CAD

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
New Year, New Adventures

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
new race new year new start

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
New Year. New Budget.

Evan Troxel – Archispeak Podcast / TRXL (@etroxel)

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
New Year, New Goals

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
New Year, New Business

Cormac Phalen – Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)

Nicholas Renard – dig Architecture (@dig-arch)
New Year, A New Hope

Andrew Hawkins, AIA – Hawkins Architecture, Inc. (@hawkinsarch)

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
New Year, New Gear

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)
New Year, New Casita

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
New Year, New Underwear

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
New Year, New Era

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“new year, new _____”

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
New Year, New Plan

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom (@AmyKalar)
New Year, New Adventures

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
New Year, New Life!

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
New Year, New Home

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
New Year, New·ly Adult Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Little Premature

Jonathan Brown – Proto-Architecture (@mondo_tiki_man)

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
new year, new [engagement]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
New Year, New Business

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@simplybrinn)
New Year, New Perspective

David Molinaro – Relax2dmax (@relax2dmax)

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
The New New

Daniel Beck – The Architect’s Checklist (@archchecklist)

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
New Year New Reality

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)
New Year New Desk

Lindsey Rhoden – SPARC Design (@sparcdesignpc)

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
New Year, New Appreciation

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
New Year, New Goals

Courtney Casburn Brett – Casburn Brett (@CasburnBrett)

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
New Year New Office

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
New Year, More Change

Samantha Raburn – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
New Year, New Office Space

Nisha Kandiah – TCDS (@SKRIBBLES_INC)

Karen E. Williams – (@karenewilliams)

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
New Year, New Reflection

Posted in ArchiTalks, Architecture | Tagged ArchiTalks | 2 Responses