The Vision (Design Ethos)

A custom design process begins with the desire to create a home that is truly unique and a symbol of artisanship that will last for generations to enjoy.  This ideology is what connects our designers and homeowners on a one of a kind journey.

Our clients bring with them various goals and desired objectives that their new home will embody.  Our job is to fully uncover their vision, whether it is conscious or subconscious, and meld it with our experience as designers that are well versed in this very specific building typology. We are sensitive to the many considerations that they are challenged with while achieving an aligned vision that is intertwined with our design expertise and ethic.

Our group is composed of Architects and designers trained and licensed in architecture with a wealth of experience.  Expertise in the design of timber framed structures along with a sensitivity to the subtleties and complexities of architectural design make us a very unique group.  Balancing the visual with other varied design influences and considerations is our challenge.

Shelter

Designing a custom home that is a projection of our clients is a personalized process resulting in a home that is unique and marries their vision with a design that responds to programmatic and functional needs, personal tastes and lifestyle. 

Design considerations that we hold in high regard:

Site specific design (land teaches us what & how to build)

  • Approach, view, arrangement of spaces, existing grades, terrain, vegetation, solar orientation and prevailing wind

Efficient usage of space

  • Open floor plan, intertwined spaces allow areas to be more compact without feeling that way, clarity of movement and circulation (minimizing hallways, employing interlocking spaces with travel paths/areas)

Expression of space & structure

  • Through volume, rhythm, proportion, light and materials
  • Timber Framing as a building methodology celebrates the craftsmanship and expression of structure

Functionality of space

  • Promotes active daily living, fosters organization, and encourages interaction and communication between inhabitants

Sustainability

A commitment to good stewardship of the earth is evident through the practice of consciously using renewable resources and materials in our homes.  We consider not only how products are manufactured, but where they are manufactured and procured as well.  Our commitment is reinforced through the use of reclaimed materials for flooring, siding as well as timber framing.

This ideology extends to the energy efficiency of the home.  A typical wood frame constructed home has the structure and the insulation of the home within the interior and exterior framing cavities.  This limits the amount and depth of insulation that can be used on the home and creates “thermal bridges” at stud and header locations where there is effectively no insulation.  In a timber frame home the structure is exposed on the interior of the home allowing for the exterior walls and roof cavities to be filled with insulation, dramatically increasing the energy efficiency of the home.

Concepts of passive design considers:

  • The orientation, fenestration, shading, prevailing wind, solar, thermal mass and ventilation used. 
  • Thoughtful use of durable materials, understanding of technical aspects of design/construction and consideration of how buildings live/evolve
  • Liquid and vapor water management, ventilation, weathering, dewpoint management, air sealing and tightness
  • We are able to model the influences solar, wind and thermal envelope have on the performance of the building

Community

The home itself through careful and thoughtful design should encourage the activities and interactions for which it is designed; (this is dependent on type of home, usage and occupants).

Contextual and cultural considerations

  • Fits its surrounding local vernacular architecturally and stylistically
  • Reflects the nature of place
  • Uses local materials as much as possible

Good Stewardship

  • Projects which inspire others to build better and build with a purpose which is broader than the use of the home

Integration

Drawing on our experienced internal resources across various groups from design, engineering, and construction is vital to ensuring that our clients' projects are well coordinated and run smoothly.   

A high level of detail and thoughtfulness results in a better finished product

The integration of our design ethos

  • Sustainability
  • Shelter
  • Ideal use and sense of space
  • Community
  • Function of site
  • Contextual considerations
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