Hope is what I heard at a recent Women’s Leadership Summit held in Kansas City a few weeks ago. I have my journal filled with amazing quotes from some of the most respected women in architecture. With my one person firm specializing in residential design, sometimes I feel so busy that I don’t have a chance to stop, look and learn. It was inspirational to spend two days learning from women architects around the country.
FIT TO PLACE discussed by Andrea Leers of Leers Weinzapfel Associates from Boston is such an important idea. I think it is intuitive for architects to think about the project site and create a response that “fits”. I don’t think we are very good at explaining how critical it is to a project’s success. Every project has the potential to celebrate location. I lose sleep thinking about sprawl and nondescript fringe towns without any identity. How does that relate to my home projects? The homes I design echo back to simple building techniques that have been in America for centuries. A home with a gable roof can be modern or traditional depending on the detail and even slope of the roof. It has what I call good bones. Clean lines, simple yet rich details and easy to construct. Midwest Prairie Style or bungalow or modern farmhouse, all these concepts FIT OUR MIDWESTERN PLACE!
IT IS A JOURNEY. Carole Wedge of Shepley Bullfinch Richardson & Abbot also from Boston discussed the design process as a journey. She told the story of a recent project interview when she was asked by a prospective client why they didn’t have a building ready to show at the initial interview as the other firms. She discussed how design is a journey. I can’t design a home for clients if I don’t know so I ask lots of questions to tailor their home to their needs. It isn’t instant. If you want a home to fit how you live, it takes design work and can take time to figure a great solution. It is worth the effort and time. Okay I have to admit It was hard not to stand yell..YES! I feel the pressure sometimes for an instant solution even in a first meeting or a walk through of a potential project. Do we add on? Or renovate? Or just tear down and start over? …it takes time and many questions to figure out the correct solution. If it was that easy of a problem you would know the answer right away no need to ask! To see the big picture that will be built in future takes some time and patience but is well worth it.